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Squeaking in my Oscar picks – just under the wire.

26 Feb

It’s showtime, so I thought I should go on record with my Oscar picks.

First, I suppose I should confess: I’ve seen fewer than half of the movies nominated for Best Picture. And of those, only one (Hugo!) in the theatre. The other three (Midnight in Paris, The Help, and Moneyball) have all come to me courtesy of RedBox in the last two weeks.

So let me start by telling you why I haven’t seen the others, aside from the fact that RedBox didn’t have them on offer…

The Tree of Life? Hadn’t heard of it until I checked the Oscar page two weeks ago. Brad Pitt stars in it, so I assume it made a big splash when it came out, but since I don’t have a television, I don’t see trailers, so I’m a bit clueless. I did youtube the trailer for it today, and based on those two minutes, I gathered that it’s about Brad Pitt being a father and raising a kid that turns out to be Sean Penn. Meh.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close? I read this book and loved it, so I have no interest in seeing the movie. There’s a reason everyone always says the book was better. (Fight Club is the only movie I can think of that runs contrary to this rule. Any others?)

The Artist? Apparently the whole movie is silent? It’s probably great and artistically sound, but I’m guessing all of 100 Americans actually watched it. It seems like the kind of thing that people claim they enjoyed when they want to sound sophisticated, but that – in reality – they abandoned after twenty minutes to sneak into Sherlock Holmes.

War Horse? I know, this one is supposed to be great and – since it has Spielberg’s backing – it’s probably the front-runner for the Oscar. (See what I did there? Used a horse analogy to tee up a horse movie!) Call me un-American, but I don’t like horse movies. I didn’t like Black Beauty or Black Stallion as a kid, and I can’t see myself falling for War Horse. Especially because I also hate war movies. So the idea of watching two hours of horse + war = torture.

The Descendants? No clue what this movie is about, other than George Clooney. And while I love me some Clooney, I find it hard to imagine Dr. Ross on the stage when the Best Picture is awarded.

So of the movies I did see… none struck me as particularly Oscar-worthy, though I enjoyed them all. My favorite – from a sheer entertainment standpoint – was Midnight in Paris, even though it crapped the bed with a less-than-satisfying ending. I suppose if I had to award the Oscar, I’d give the nod to Hugo. It was the right blend of artsy and clever and beautiful and poignant that the Academy often rewards.

The only performance I’m really pulling for tonight is Christopher Plummer in “Beginners.” While the movie was touching, I’ll be honest: I’m voting for him based on his role as Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music. Georg was one suave hottie who could work a whistle. That deserves some applause, even if it is 35 years after the fact.

All right. Time for the red carpet.