The 83rd Annual Academy Awards are Sunday, so it’s time for the annual predictions from the revered GonzoGeek panel: Bruce, Chris, John, Matt, Stephe and Matt’s copy of “Wrestlemania 2000” for the Nintendo 64.
127 Hours— 100/1
Black Swan— 40/1
The Fighter— 40/1
The Kids Are All Right— 200/1
The King’s Speech— 2/9
The Social Network— 7/2
Toy Story 3— 150/1
True Grit— 35/1
Winter’s Bone— 150/1
That’s a diverse set of 10 movies you’ve picked there Academy.
I think we can eliminate “Black Swan,” “Inception” and “The Kids Are All Right” right off the top.
Next, let’s lose “Winter’s Bone” and “127 Hours.” Little indies very seldom win Best Picture Oscars. Come to think of it, neither do big Indys. Just ask Harrison Ford.
That gets us back down to five movies.
Hollywood loves boxing movies and westerns. Still I just don’t see it being the year for “The Fighter” or “True Grit.”
My next cut is “The Social Network.” There are simply too many old technophobes in Hollywood who don’t get it.
That leaves us with “The King’s Speech” and “Toy Story 3.”
The prohibitive favorite is “The King’s Speech,” but I dare you to find a more poignant moment in any of these movies than the moment the Toys, facing their mortality, expressed their feelings for one another without saying a single word. That, kids, is great filmmaking. And, it also the reason, I’m going with my heart instead of my brain on this one.
WINNER: TOY STORY 3
The expansion of this category to 10 pictures is absurd, but doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. I mean, ‘Inception’ was my favorite movie of the year, and it might not have even been nominated without the expansion, but if it’s not going to win, what’s the point? This can also be asked of ‘The Kids Are All Right,’ and ‘Toy Story 3,’ See, we’ve got it down to 7 already, a couple harder cuts and we’re golden. Winner: ‘The King’s Speech‘
Haven’t seen many of these but I will automatically eliminate Winter’s Bone for adapting a book with “Winter” in the title and then producing a cinematic version with ZERO SNOW. FAIL. Read the book. Don’t waste your time with the movie.
Oscar loves its British royalty pictures, and I’ve actually heard The King’s Speech is pretty good. I have not seen it, however. Nor have I seen The Social Network. I’ll go for the upset and True Grit, as that’s the best movie I saw last year. Celebrate the way Rooster would. Bake some fresh cornbread, then shoot it.
I’ve seen all but one of the nominees (127 Hours), and there are definitely some solid contenders despite the fluff at the bottom of the category. This is pretty much down to True Grit, The King’s Speech and The Social Network. If my Jesse Eisenberg love yesterday didn’t make it clear, The Social Network is my favorite movie of the year (well, besides Scott Pilgrim vs. The World). I agree that The King’s Speech is great and it deserves recognition, but I hope it gets that recognition in the form of acting nods for Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. Like Bruce said, the Academy loves these stories about British royalty, often at the expense of equally great American films. The Social Network is quintessentially American, because it’s a a celebration of both a world-changing piece of American technology and of people stepping over each other to get rich. ‘Murica, indeed. But most of all The Social Network has cultural resonance to the current era that no other movie in this year’s field can match. The King’s Speech, True Grit, Black Swan, The Fighter and Winter’s Bone are all great movies deserving of the statue. After last year (aka The Bullock Episode), I have been pretty pessimistic/cynical with my choices (as in, “the Academy will do this” instead of “this deserves to win”), so this time I’m picking with my heart and going with the movie I enjoyed the most: The Social Network.
Okay, so expanding the field of movies to 10 is a lot like giving everyone a trophy for showing up in youth sports. It’s pandering. It’s rewarding effort instead of achievement. And yes, I’m basically saying screw you and your self-esteem. You want an award, earn the damn thing.
I think I’m going to pick ‘The King’s Speech’ for this one.
I’ve not seen several films on the list, and so they get cut. Of the one’s I have seen, I thought ‘Toy Story 3’ was the most engaging, but it’ll get an award for Best Animated film. ‘Inception’ was bore. And I’ve been actively trying to disengage from ‘The Social Network’ (#5- No Attachments) for years.
Hmmm…now that I’m thinking about it, I think I might get this one right and that might ruin my record and I can’t have that.
Therefore, I’m changing my vote.
Give the Oscar to ‘True Grit’.
Wrestlemania 2000 *
Ok, so this whole ten nominees things sucks, can we all agree on that? It was a “response” to the omissions of The Dark Knight and Wall-E back in 2009, but it’s really just patronizing/pandering/some other gerund-form p-word that means bad things. Throwing five more BS nominations in the pile just dilutes the importance of getting nominated to begin with. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, ten nominations makes this whole Wrestlemania 2000 thing twice as hard. It’s not as easy as just doubling the field (as I tried to do last year). You have really finesse it so the finale isn’t Up vs. District 9 or something.
So here’s what we do: cut the two noms with the longest odds: Toy Story 3 (sadly) and The Kids Are All Right (justifiably). Then we take the remaining eight and stage four qualifying matches based on odds. The four winners advance to the traditional 4-way elimination finale. Here we go:
“Black Swan” – Mostly interesting for the freak appeal: The Big Show
“The Fighter” – Natural talent bounces back from poor handling and middling performances to become a star: Steve Austin
“Inception” – Pretty interesting but a little too crazy to be taken seriously: Ken Shamrock
“The King’s Speech” – You have to learn some charisma to succeed in this world: The Rock
“127 Hours” – Free spirit ends up handicapped (sorry, this one is a bummer): Droz
“The Social Network” – Trying too hard to be ubiquitous: Triple H
“True Grit” – Old school, revamped to appear more modern but it’s still the old classic: The Undertaker
“Winter’s Bone” – I’d rather let this one speak for itself: Val Venis
Based on our odds, here’s the preliminary results:
The King’s Speech over Winter’s Bone by submission at 50:42.
Black Swan over The Fighter by TKO at 16:50.
Inception upsets True Grit via pinfall at 21:37.
The Social Network over 127 Hours via submission at 52:03.
So the field is finally set for our finale: King’s Speech vs. Black Swan vs. Inception vs. The Social Network. From the start, The King’s Speech and The Social Network go right at each other, fighting it out to take the upper hand in this competition. Left on their own, Inception and Black Swan vie to be the underdog. Inception finally rolls up Black Swan with a small package at 6:53. Inception stays alive with the two favorites by pitting them against each other and picking up the spoils. At one point a Perfect Plex from Inception nearly eliminates The King’s Speech, but a last-second rope break saves the day. With the best upset attempt denied, Inception loses momentum and falls victim to a double piledriver from the two clubhouse leaders. One reverse DDT from The King’s Speech later and Inception is eliminated at 9:12.
The fight between The King’s Speech and The Social Network resumes after the brief respite to take out the summer action flick. The Social Network gets the upper hand at one point but never makes a serious bid to put it away. Action spills outside when a single punch from The King’s Speech sends The Social Network tumbling over the top rope. Outside, Speech throws Network into the guardrail then returns to the ring. Back there, The Social Network hits a few suplexes to wear down its opponent, but on the third time, the British monarchy tale reverses. In full control, The King’s Speech hits a reverse DDT to win the Oscar at 13:16.
Odds were chosen Bodog.com.
* Wrestlemania 2000 picks the Oscars by (1) eliminating the nominee with the longest odds, (2) matching up the remaining four with a character from WM2K’s extensive circa-1997 WWF roster and (3) Staging a CPU-generated four-man elimination match where the last man standing is the Oscar winner. No wrestlers are repeated during the contest.