The Oscar Pick: Based on a True Ignorance

In which, not in an especially timely manner, I pick the Oscar for Best Picture based entirely on passing knowledge gleaned from a few end-of-year best-of lists, newspaper and television advertisements and things I might have picked up on the Internet, but mostly plain guesswork.

american-hustle-poster-2American Hustle

I can’t get past the title of this film. Is there any other kind of hustle besides an American one? National Lampoon’s European Hustle? Were they afraid that if they just called it The Hustle, viewers might think this was the long-awaited documentary about the disco dance craze? Instead, it’s a movie about a scandal that sounds like the sequel to Boogie Nights. Verdict: The Academy’s love affair with dramatic hairstyles goes only so far.

captainCaptain Phillips

Also based on a true story. Facts, gross! It’s about pirates, except instead of Jack Sparrow you have Tom Hanks, who is slowly becoming a body with a squint on top. Just kidding, Tom, we love you. Verdict: It won’t be a theme park ride anytime soon.

imagesDallas Buyers Club

Is this about Costco? Texas wholesalers? Matthew McConaughey goes full emaciated as he makes his grab for Serious Actor Greatness using the Charlize Theron Method (pretty person gets less pretty on purpose). Verdict: Based on another true story! Holy non-fiction, Hollywood, are there no imaginary stories left to write or rip off? Have you run out of superheroes?

Gravity_PosterGravity

It’s set in space and, um, things start to fall. Or maybe they stop falling. Or maybe gravity is just a metaphor for… Life. All I know is that I sure hope one character tells another character, “You fail to see the… gravity of the situation,” because that would be perfect. Verdict: In space, no one can see your hair.

herHer

This is the one about the guy who falls in love with the voice of his computer’s operating system. Joaquin Phoenix says, “Open the pod bay doors, Her,” and the voice says, “What is this? Gravity?” and Joaquin says, “I haven’t seen Gravity yet. Is that a joke?” and the voice says, “I’m an operating system. Operating systems don’t joke,” and Joaquin says, “Clearly you haven’t seen Windows 8.” Verdict: Spike Jonze is a genius but let’s not get out of hand. Besides, Joaquin Phoenix always seems to need a bath. Now, if Tom Hanks had played the role, that would have been a-door-a-bull!

Nebraska posterNebraska

Is it just me or are eight Best Picture nominees about three too many? Verdict: I want to listen to Bruce Springsteen now.

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philomena-posterPhilomena

Based on a true story about philomena, a tragic disease that ravaged the method acting community in the early 1990s, causing them to lose weight when they wanted to gain weight, and vice versa. Liev Schreiber gives a tour-de-force-feeding performance! Nope. No clue. I do know there’s a dame in this movie, I think Dame Judy Dench. I’m going to cheat now and Google that… Yes!!! Dame, I’m good! Verdict: The Academy still thinks “British” equals “sophisticated,” but this isn’t the good kind of British; not enough butlers/striking coal miners.

12yas-poster-art12 Years a Slave

Based on a you-know-what. Serious historical films like this help white Americans come to grips with the difficult realities of the injustices and mistreatment inflicted upon the black community. Thank goodness those days are over, amiright? Verdict: We have a winner. It’s a serious film about a serious American subject. Plus, the Academy passed on The Help two years, not to mention Django Unchained last year, and, really, the Academy has nothing against films about black people. Why, some of its best nominations are about black people.

wolfThe Wolf of Wall Street

Based on a ARE YOU SERIOUS! The original title of this movie was American Hustle but, well, you know what happened there. This looks like The Great Gatsby If You Can, Gordon Gekko. I understand it has a voice-over narration. I hate voice-overs. Anyone else with me on that? Also: Does Leonardo drown in this one? Asking for a friend. Verdict: Leonardo DiCaprio is to Martin Scorsese as Diane Keaton is to Woody Allen; it’ll end in tears.

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About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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43 Responses to The Oscar Pick: Based on a True Ignorance

  1. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Quite helpful, really. Now I can avoid that spectacle of spectacles called the Oscars. I’ll be able to catch up on my Sherlock shows and other great Masterpiece theatre stuff.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      There’s more entertainment in an episode of Sherlock than in most Hollywood fare these days. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to slam the door grumpy-old-man style.

  2. markbialczak says:

    It’s my best guess that you’ve listed the winner in this post, Ross. Good job.

  3. American Hustle is excellent if you’re looking for a heaping helping of side boobage.

    Captain Phillips: “Arrrggg, matey. My teeth are all fucked up.”

    Dallas Buyers Club: Is “full emaciated” on a higher plane than Rolling Thunder’s “full retard?” Only a little gold statue will tell.

    I liked Her because it sounds like something that’ll probably happen to me sooner or later.

    Go ahead. Try to make a joke about 12 Years a Slave. It can’t be done. Are you trying to imply that academy votes are racially motivated?

    I wouldn’t see The Wolf of Wall Street if Marty set up a projector and screen in my living room and Leo popped popcorn in my kitchen and brought it to me wearing an apron with “I’m a Pitty Ting” embroidered on it. Three hours of Wall Street assholes does not appeal to me.

    I wasn’t aware of all the NON-FICTION entrants until you pointed it out. Thanks, pal.

  4. El Guapo says:

    I thought Gravity was in the Best Documentary category?

  5. I would totally rent National Lampoon’s European Hustle!

    And I’m right there with you on voice-over narration…

  6. Ned's Blog says:

    Don’t you think it’s time for Canadian Hustle? A riveting story about the… uh…
    fascinating underworld of… uh…
    Maybe…
    Uh…
    Yeah, probably not.
    *This was done in voice-over by Dame Judy Dench*

    • rossmurray1 says:

      “Try to get a grip on yourself, Ned.” [said in the voice of Desmond Llewelyn as Q, and, yes, I remembered that name without looking it up]

    • rossmurray1 says:

      AGH! Except Q would have said “Hickson” not “Ned.” Rookie geek move.

      • Ned's Blog says:

        “Yet Ross’s geek move was easily eclipsed by his ability to remember Desmond’s name from memory, an impressive act that lingered like the aroma of sweat and tea cakes,” [in the voice of Mary Badham as “Scout” in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”]

        [And yes, I had to look her name up]

  7. Lily says:

    Um this was pretty funny. I don’t like to give people pats on the back for their good jokes that often, but I really have to here. Your Capitan Phillips review is gold.

  8. benzeknees says:

    So glad you cleared all that up for me since I haven’t seen a single one of these movies! And might not until way after when they appear on a movie channel somewhere!

  9. This is the only awards show I’ve ever witnessed…ever…

  10. pinklightsabre says:

    Unrelated, and because I want to share something ‘punny,’ it’s the Super Bowl here in America this Sunday. Because both teams are from states with legalized marijuana (Colorado and Washington), some are calling it the “Bowl-Bowl,” or the Stupor Bowl. I heard that on NPR. Have a great day and weekend. – Bill

  11. cat9984 says:

    Thanks, I think. I don’t go to the movies, but now I know less than I did before, right?

  12. Aussa Lorens says:

    Haha I’ve only seen like two of these, but enjoyed your take. And yes–voice over is the worst. Especially if it’s Morgan Freeman. Enough already.

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