AND THE WINNER IS . . . GREENBEAN’S OSCAR PICKS

Before we begin, let me humbly remind you that I picked the winner for the last two years (Argo, The Artist) as well as most of the other categories.  So, having reminded you of that, let’s get straight to the prognostication, shall we?  If you like, you can detour here and read my synopsis of the best picture nominees if you click here or for an analysis of Oscar’s psychological state when choosing these films click here.

Best Picture

Best Picture?  Probably That and More
Best Picture? Probably That and More
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

The winner will be 12 Years A Slave.  It has to be.  Philomena and Nebraska are tied for runner up and I would not be mad if either of them won or even if Gravity or Captain Phillips won.  However, I think in the end, 12 Years a Slave was the best movie of them all.  Her is creepy and Dallas Buyers has too many problems with the overall production.  If Wolf or Hustle win I will be very, very angry.

Actor

  • Christian Bale (Hustle)
  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (Wolf)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years)
  • Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers)

The winner will be Matthew McConaughey.  More than any other actor I’ve seen in years, McConaughey was able to make me forget I was watching a movie and make me think I was watching a documentary of the real person.  Bravo Mr. McConaughey.  Bravo.

As an aside, I wonder if Leo DiCaprio will ever again portray someone who is not rich and powerful.  That seems to be all he plays these days.

Actress

  • Amy Adams (Hustle)
  • Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
  • Judi Dench (Philomena)
  • Meryl Streep (August:  Osage County)

The Winner will be Judi Dench.  Her only real competition on this list is Bullock who did a great job in Gravity, but this is Dench’s year.  Streep’s portrayal of the matriarch in August:  Osage County was overplayed and caricatured.  Blanchet was good in Blue Jasmine but not Oscar worthy and Amy Adams was not even the most impressive actresses on her own set.  Dench needs to win to make up for the snub she and Skyfall got at the Oscars last year.

Supporting Actor

  • Barkhad Abdi (Phillips)
  • Bradley Cooper (Hustle)
  • Michael Fassbender (12 years)
  • Jonah Hill (Wolf)
  • Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers)

The winner will be Michael Fassbender.  Fassbender is a superb actor who conjures great intensity with his eyes and posture.  His portrayal of the cruel slave owner was breathtakingly evil.  Leto and Abdi are close seconds.  Hill and Cooper have no shot.  I personally hope that Jonah Hill’s moment of glory is just about up.  I do not like him.  Besides, Fassbender sports an awesome beard and that is worth a lot of votes right there.

Supporting Actress

  • Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (Hustle)
  • Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years)
  • Julia Roberts (August:  Osage County)
  • June Squibb (Nebraska)

The winner will be Julia Roberts.  It is a tight three-way race between Roberts, Lawrence, and Squibb but I think in the end Roberts will pull it out.  I don’t see how Oscar can give an award to Lawrence, 23 years old, two years in a row.  Squibb was wonderful in Nebraska, but she was overshadowed by Dern.  By contrast, Julia Roberts swiped August out from underneath Meryl Streep and that is not easy to do, so she will win the Oscar.

Director

  • Steve McQueen (12 Years)
  • David O. Russell (Hustle)
  • Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
  • Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
  • Martin Scorsese (Wolf)

The winner will be Alfonso Cuaron.  He will win much for the same reasons that Ang Lee won last year.  His film was eye candy from top to bottom and he made a one woman science fiction movie interesting and profitable.  His only real competition is McQueen.  However, in the end, I think it will be Cuaron.

You can be sure that Sunday night I will be watching the Oscars live, and probably tweeting out live during the show.  I do hope Ellen does a better job than that awful man from last year.

Picture from thewrap.com

CASTING CALL–WHEN THE JUDGES SADDLED UP

This morning I have a lot work to do, but my mind is still on my “What if the Judges of Ancient Israel were recast as Sheriff’s in the Old West” from yesterday’s blog.  Originally I was thinking about books or a collection of short stories, but the more I think about it, these would work really well as feature length films.  I mean, the concept couldn’t be any worse than the very disappointing Cowboys and Aliens.

Now I turn my attention to, if they were films, who would I prefer to cast in the various roles?  Hummm…..

Samson--Sheriff Sam is strong, arrogant and has spectacular hair.  Obvious go to moves would be Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I think he is now too old to play the role.  I think we might have to tack a different direction–Sheriff Sam’s strength doesn’t come from his muscles, but from God, so we don’t have to make him a body builder.  So, what about Ashton Kutcher?  He has the fair for it, is about the right age, and would easily pass for an arrogant fool.  Delilah is a tart, so we need someone who could pull that off in a sleazy kind of way.  She needs to be young–almost late teens early 20’s.  How about Vanessa Hudgens?  If she’s not available, then maybe Scarlett Johansson?  On second thought, go with Scarlett–she would play a bad girl well.

Deborah–Sheriff Debbie or, as she’s known by the locals, “Little Debbie,” is older, matronly, and regal.  I think of her as Barbara Stanwyck in the old tv show, “The Big Valley.”  How about Judi Dench, especially now that she is finished with James Bond?  If she is unavailable, perhaps Betty White.  In the Deborah story it is important that we cast Barak, Jael, and Sisera.  Barak is easy–that is Bill Pullman.  Zoe Saldana would be a good fit for Jael.  For Sisera?  Antonio Banderas.  Yeah, Antonio Banderas.

Ehud–Sheriff Ehud is a spy who has recently been promoted to U.S. Marshall so he covers a large territory.  He should be in his mid 20’s and be athletic but not bulky because he has chase scenes and fight scenes.  We have a lot of options.  If we go with an earthy look, then Rupert Grint could do the trick, but I don’t know if he has the acting skills to mask that British accent of his.  If we want to go with the poster-boy, then Taylor Lautner.  Do we want to go techno geeky?  Then how about Michael Cera.  Do we want the character to have an urban hipness?  Then we crank it up with Corbin Bleu.  The one person, though, I forbid on my project is Shia Lebeouf.

Gideon–Sheriff Giddy is a reluctant war hero who is young, still under his father’s care so to speak when he starts out.  Gideon has doubt, but casts his doubts aside and moves forward in faith.  In my mind the character has a lot of Will Smith in him, but Smith is too old to play the part, unless we elongate the story over a period of years and have Will Smith’s son, Jaden, play the younger Gideon and then Will Smith play the older Gideon.  Nice. I like it.

I think each one of these should get their own film, and then we could tie them together with one final film in one large assault on the enemy fort—kind of like the Avengers did with their superheros.