This blogger (Julia Rhodes!), who may still be recovering from a celebratory Sunday evening, won the CLR Oscar Wager for the second year in a row even with mighty stiff competition. One Mr. Dan Fields and I made our best educated guesses as to who would take home those coveted gold statuettes in 2011. Out of the categories in which we voted, I correctly guessed fifteen (putting me on par with the great Roger Ebert, who tweeted that he still did best out of all the Chicago dailies). Dan correctly predicted only nine. A sad day for Mr. Fields, but not even a particularly thrilling one for me–there were so, so few surprises this year.
I think 2011’s ceremony was passable, but most people are grumbling or railing (yet again) that it was the worst ever. Host James Franco, who has to be sleep-deprived and braindead most of the time due to his insane number of obligations (two soap operas, promoting his Oscar-nominated film, working on his PhD) was…well, he had to have been stoned. His counterpart, the lovely Anne Hathaway, dragged his dead weight through the ceremony with aplomb; her giggly charm shined through jokes that sunk like stones. On the other hand we did get to see Franco in drag, and that’s always fun.
Ladies and gentlemen, I must lament the fact that there weren’t even very many beautiful dresses. Mila Kunis’s gorgeous lavender concoction, which threatened to grace us with a dreaded nip-slip all night, is one of the highlights. Hailee Steinfeld’s stunning princess dress, so very age-appropriate and lovely, is worthy of girlish envy. Poor, eccentric Melissa Leo was attacked by doilies before the ceremony, and she responded to her (well-deserved) Supporting Actress win by saying “f*$%ing” on national television–you go, Ms. Leo.
Dan and I underestimated the power of Alice in Wonderland, perhaps because we were both disappointed in the film. I put my faith in Annette Bening, hoping she’d win after she was snubbed for American Beauty in 1999 (in favor of Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry–which is fair). My love for Inception played in my favor in the Sound categories, and Dan’s well-placed adoration for True Grit played against him.
Your California Literary Review Oscar Wager color code:
2011 Academy Award winners.
Dan and Julia’s winning categories.
Julia’s winning categories.
Dan’s winning categories.
And we now present your 2011 Oscar Winners:
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech (Dan and Julia correct!)
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech (Dan and Julia correct!)
James Franco, 127 Hours
Firth’s amazingly poised speech must have thrilled the Brits, who tore into Kate Winslet when she had the gall to show emotion onstage at the Golden Globes a few years ago.
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Christian Bale, The Fighter (Julia correct!)
John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech (Dan’s vote)
Bale was good, but Rush probably deserved this–and please, Mr. Bale, get rid of that awful facial hair.
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan (Dan correct!)
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right (Julia’s wishful thinking vote)
I wrote that Portman completely shredded the veil between herself and her character. She deserves her award–and looked more comfortable at the ceremony than she has since her womb fruit began to show. I just selfishly wanted Bening to win because I love her.
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter (Julia correct!)
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit (Dan’s vote – and she would’ve deserved it!)
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
Here’s hoping we’ll see some more fantastic performances from Steinfeld. Teenaged Oscar winners often don’t fare so well in future years, so here’s also hoping that because she escaped that blessing/curse she’ll take the path of, say, Dakota Fanning instead of Tatum O’Neal.
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
How To Train Your Dragon
Toy Story 3 (Dan and Julia correct!)
Alice in Wonderland – Robert Stromberg (Production Design); Karen O’Hara (Set Decoration) (neither correct!)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 – Stuart Craig (Production Design); Stephenie McMillan (Set Decoration) (Dan’s vote)
Inception – Guy Hendrix Dyas (Production Design); Larry Dias and Doug Mowat (Set Decoration) (Julia’s vote)
The King’s Speech – Eve Stewart (Production Design); Judy Farr (Set Decoration)
True Grit – Jess Gonchor (Production Design); Nancy Haigh (Set Decoration)
Dan wrote, “I wanted, wanted, wanted Alice In Wonderland to be worthy of this Oscar. And guess what? Not a chance.” I am in wholehearted agreement, but apparently the Academy thought otherwise.
Black Swan – Matthew Libatique (Julia’s vote)
Inception – Wally Pfister (neither correct!)
The King’s Speech – Danny Cohen
The Social Network – Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit – Roger Deakins (Dan’s vote)
We both chose dark horse contenders and failed. Wah-wah.
Alice in Wonderland – Colleen Atwood (neither correct!)
I Am Love – Antonella Cannarozzi
The King’s Speech – Jenny Beavan
The Tempest – Sandy Powell
True Grit – Mary Zophres (Dan and Julia’s vote!)
We vastly underestimated the power of Burton in the Art Direction and Costumes categories. Speaking of which, I don’t remember seeing Burton on the red carpet, but the all-knowing internet tells me he was there. If I didn’t see him, that probably means he simply wanted his counterpart, lovely and slightly crazy Helena Bonham Carter, to stand center stage with all the flashbulbs. I like him even more now.
Black Swan – Darren Aronofsky
The Fighter – David O. Russell
The King’s Speech – Tom Hooper (Julia correct!)
The Social Network – David Fincher (Dan’s vote)
True Grit – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Not entirely sure I agree with this one, but it seemed a simple choice after the Director’s Guild Awards.
Black Swan – Andrew Weisblum
The King’s Speech – Tariq Anwar
The Fighter – Pamela Martin
127 Hours – Jon Harris
The Social Network – Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter (Dan and Julia correct!)
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
How to Train Your Dragon – John Powell
Inception – Hans Zimmer
The King’s Speech – Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours – A.R. Rahman
The Social Network – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (Dan and Julia correct!)
Reznor cleans up nicely, doesn’t he? A part of me wanted him to pick up the mic and start intoning “I Wanna F*%^ You Like An Animal” during his acceptance speech. In all seriousness, these gents deserved this Oscar.
MUSIC (BEST SONG)
Country Strong – “Coming Home”
Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
Tangled – “I See the Light”
Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Glenn Slater
127 Hours – “If I Rise”
Music by A.R. Rahman; Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
Toy Story 3 – “We Belong Together”
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman (Dan and Julia correct!)
Mr. Newman is a staple for good reason.
Inception – Richard King (Julia correct!)
Toy Story 3 – Tom Myers and Michael Silvers (Dan’s vote)
Tron: Legacy – Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
True Grit – Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
Unstoppable – Mark P. Stoeckinger
Inception – Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick (Julia correct!)
The King’s Speech – Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley (Dan’s vote)
Salt – Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
The Social Network – Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
True Grit – Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Alice in Wonderland – Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 – Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
Hereafter – Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojansky and Joe Farrell
Inception – Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb (Dan and Julia correct!)
Iron Man 2 – Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick
This was a total no-brainer.
WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
127 Hours – Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network – Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin (Julia correct!)
Toy Story 3 – Screenplay by Michael Arndt. Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
True Grit – Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (Dan’s vote)
Winter’s Bone – Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
Another Year – Written by Mike Leigh
The Fighter – Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson. Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
Inception – Written by Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right – Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech – Screenplay by David Seidler (Dan and Julia correct!)
David Seidler is now the oldest person to win in this category, and he deserves it.
Exit Through the Gift Shop (Julia’s uninformed vote)
Barney’s Version – Adrien Morot
The Way Back – Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng (Dan’s vote)
The Wolfman – Rick Baker and Dave Elsey (Julia correct!)
The Wolfman was not a particularly good movie, but damn if it isn’t good-looking. The fact that Baker now has an Oscar makes me a little giddy.
Biutiful – Mexico
Dogtooth – Greece (Dan’s vote)
In a Better World – Denmark
Incendies – Canada
Outside the Law – Algeria
So there you have it, folks. I am as yet California Literary Review/The Fourth Wall’s undefeated Oscar Wager champion. Stay tuned–I am devising a cruel, unusual, possibly hilarious punishment for the chagrined Mr. Fields. (It’s gonna be good!)
What say you, faithful Fourth Wall readers? Thoughts, opinions, grumblings, mumblings, cheers for this year’s winners and losers?
All photos copyright their original owners.