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Worthless Oscar Tips Here. (I mean Priceless.)

by SHELL SHERREE

Due to popular demand by my readers {snort}, I have put together my tips for some of the major categories in the upcoming 80th Academy Awards. {What's that? The 81st Academy Awards? Oh, damn it all. Be right back ... }

Sorry for the wait. Back to those tips. As those who rode my Melbourne Cup tips all the way to the losing post know, my methods are fallible. Flawed at best. So consider yourself warned, as my method for choosing Oscar winners {there, I've said it - Winners, Winners, Winners - 'recipients' my ass} is heavily influenced by a pin, some Angel cards and a few jiggers of Stones Green Ginger Wine. {I'm on a cleanse.}

Some of these movies have only just been released in Australia. And more are still strapped to the back of a camel crossing the Sahara and facing an unpleasant tick bath on arrival, unlike American Idol episodes that glide here on virtual wings to appear on Foxtel within hours of the US. {Where's the justice.} So I'm including a form guide for the Best Picture noms to help you come up with your own Winners, Winners, Winners.

BEST PICTURE NOMINATIONS
  1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  2. Frost/Nixon
  3. Milk
  4. The Reader
  5. Slumdog Millionaire

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Pseudo D&M-Arty contender. Inspired by a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The story is about an old man born in a baby's body, growing younger as he ages while being remarkably unsurprised about the whole thing. Stars Brad Pitt. We see 'hunky Brad' for only fifteen minutes of a three hour movie and are teased with makeup artistry for the rest. Take a tinkle break at your peril. Cate Blanchett plays Daisy, doomed with Benjamin to an unconventional love {and one too many SK II face masks}. Quite a visually beautiful movie but as emotional as Keanu Reeves on Prozac.

Frost/Nixon The Political contender. Based on a play based on a series of actual interviews in the aftermath of the Watergate kerfuffle. British talk-show host David Frost looks at Nixon and sees an audience pull of Super Bowl proportions. Nixon looks at Frost and sees a neatly coiffed cream-puff with a poncy accent and plans to eat him for breakfast. However, pressure mounts on Frost to wangle an apology from Nixon and he shows that even fluffy pastries can break a tooth if it has a weak spot. Frank Langella {Nixon} and Michael Sheen {Frost} had plenty of practice in their roles, after treading the boards {or mostly sitting in chairs} with the play in London and Broadway. {I hear Frost/Nixon: The Musical is in talks at the moment.}

Milk The Activist contender. Another film based on actual events, therefore completely ruining the ending. Sean Penn plays Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be voted into major public office in America when he was elected to the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors in 1977. He became a hero and champion of human rights, only to have his life cut tragically short when he and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated in 1978 by an unravelling fellow supervisor, Dan White {Josh Brolin}. If Milk wins, they can play rock, paper, scissors to choose which of the three openly gay actors in Hollywood gets to present the Oscar.

The Reader The obligatory Bleak and Tortured contender. Kate Winslet plays Hanna Schmitz, former SS guard turned tram conductor. She has a brief affair with Verging on Inappropriately Young Michael {David Kross} during which she insists he read to her each time before they do the deed. Some time later while becoming a lawyer, he rediscovers her accidentally when he attends war crime hearings only to find her on trial. He realises he holds a key that could help her. Older Michael {Ralph Fiennes} helps with the revelations in between visits to his therapist. A two hour depression pill.

Slumdog Millionaire The Feelgood contender {just close your eyes and hum during the murder/squalor bits}. Kid from Mumbai slums competes in the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire but is hauled away on suspicion of cheating. {Show host should be hauled away for hair atrocities.} His story unfolds, revealing how a kid like him knows the answers to the unlikeliest of questions. It's not all fun and games but springs a Bollywood hope eternal. On Oscars night, I think this would be a nice touch: "And the Oscar goes to ... we'll find out right after this commercial break."

My TIp: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Because it's the most Beatrix Potter sounding movie while not being a Beatrix Potter movie.

BEST DIRECTOR NOMINATIONS

  1. Danny Boyle Slumdog Millionaire
  2. Stephen Daldry The Reader
  3. David Fincher The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  4. Ron Howard Frost/Nixon
  5. Gus Van Sant Milk

For a change, all five directors of the Best Picture nominees scored nods. The Academy is clearly fed up with all the wisecracks made on the night about movies directing themselves.

My tip: David Fincher. Because following the same logic, how can the Best Picture be directed by the Not Best Director. {And for having the guts to cast Brad Pitt then swaddle him in an old man disguise for most of the movie.}

BEST ACTOR NOMINATIONS

  1. Richard Jenkins The Visitor
  2. Frank Langella Frost/Nixon
  3. Sean Penn Milk
  4. Brad Pitt The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  5. Mickey Rourke The Wrestler

My tip: Mickey Rourke. Because I'd love to see him thank his dogs again!

BEST ACTRESS NOMINATIONS

  1. Anne Hathaway Rachel Getting Married
  2. Angelina Jolie Changeling
  3. Melissa Leo Frozen River
  4. Meryl Streep Doubt
  5. Kate Winslet The Reader

My tip: Kate Winslet. Because I've never seen anyone faint during an acceptance speech. I think it's about time.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR NOMINATIONS

  1. Josh Brolin Milk
  2. Robert Downey Jr. Tropic Thunder
  3. Philip Seymour Hoffman Doubt
  4. Heath Ledger The Dark Knight
  5. Michael Shannon Revolutionary Road

My tip: Heath Ledger. Because - well, because.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINATIONS

  1. Amy Adams Doubt
  2. Penélope Cruz Vicky Cristina Barcelona
  3. Viola Davis Doubt
  4. Taraji P Henson The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  5. Marisa Tomei The Wrestler

My tip: Penélope Cruz. Because according to Academy traditions, last year's Best Supporting Actor Javier Bardem, also her current amor, should present the award. I need my TV screen steam cleaned.

BEST HOST NOMINATIONS

  1. Billy Crystal.
  2. Billy Crystal.
  3. Billy Crystal.
  4. Billy Crystal.
  5. Billy Crystal.

My tip: Hugh Jackman. I love Billy Crystal but honestly, what did you expect!

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