DID YOU READ

My (Sure To Be Wrong) Oscar Picks

My (Sure To Be Wrong) Oscar Picks (photo)

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You can know a lot about movies and still know very little about the Academy Awards. The Oscars are a specialized skill, sort of like scouting in baseball: you can be the best baseball mind on the planet, but if you can’t predict who has the talent and drive to become a great player (or the desire to spend 250 days of the year on the road — a trait that, admittedly, does not hold up in this analogy), that’s not the job for you. I know a lot about baseball and movies, but I wouldn’t be a great scout and there’s a reason I don’t run one of those Oscar all-the-time websites.

But making Oscar predictions is an essential part this job, like creating a top ten list at the end of the year or making fun of Rob Schneider movies. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it — I do — it’s just that I’m not great at it. Last year, my former podcast co-host and I made a bet on the show and I lost. As a result, I had to drink an entire bowl of Austin’s finest (and thickest) queso dip. I almost went blind. On cold nights and right before it rains, I can still taste guacamole in my mouth.

Here is my one helpful Oscar picking tip: learn about the short films. Anyone doing an Oscar pool is going to know the main contenders, and unless they’re desperate to lose money (or, in my case, their appetite) they’re going to do some rudimentary research on the frontrunners in all the main categories. By good info on the animated, documentary, and live action shorts categories is in short supply and requires a bit more digging than many of your competitors will be willing to do. So find yourself an article like this one on indieWIRE and study up.

I say all this so you know exactly who is making these picks: a very knowledgable moviegoer with a layman’s knowledge of the Oscars. So you should take them all with a grain of popcorn salt, and shop around for comparative picks before entering your own cheese-drinking Oscar pool.

The 2011 Academy Award Nominees
(My picks in bold and italics)

Best Picture
“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“Inception”
“The Kids Are All Right
“The King’s Speech”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”
“Toy Story 3”
“True Grit”
“Winter’s Bone”

Best Director
Darren Aronofsky, “Black Swan”
David O. Russell, “The Fighter”
Tom Hooper, “The King’s Speech”
David Fincher, “The Social Network”
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, “True Grit”

Best Actor
Javier Bardem, “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges, “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg, “The Social Network”
Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
James Franco, “127 Hours”

Best Actress
Annette Bening, “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman, “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Winter’s Bone”
Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams, “Blue Valentine”

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, “The Fighter”
John Hawkes, “Winter’s Bone”
Jeremy Renner, “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo, “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush, “The King’s Speech”

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter, “The King’s Speech”
Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld, “True Grit”
Jacki Weaver, “Animal Kingdom”

Best Original Screenplay
Mike Leigh, “Another Year”
Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson and Keith Dorrington, “The Fighter”
Christopher Nolan, “Inception”
Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg, “The Kids Are All Right”
David Seidler, “The King’s Speech”

Best Adapted Screenplay
Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy, “127 Hours”
Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network”
John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, and Michael Arndt, “Toy Story 3”
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, “True Grit”
Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini, “Winter’s Bone”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Biutiful,” Mexico
“Dogtooth,” Greece
“In a Better World,” Denmark
“Incendies,” Canada
“Outside the Law,” Algeria

Best Animated Film
“How to Train Your Dragon”
“The Illusionist”
“Toy Story 3”

Best Art Direction
“Alice in Wonderland”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
“Inception”
“The King’s Speech”
“True Grit”

Best Cinematography
“Black Swan”
“Inception”
“The King’s Speech”
“The Social Network”
“True Grit”

Best Costume Design
“Alice in Wonderland”
“I Am Love”
“The King’s Speech”
“The Tempest”
“True Grit”

Best Documentary Feature
“Exit Through the Gift Shop”
“Gasland”
“Inside Job”
“Restrepo”
“Waste Land”

Best Documentary Short
“Killing in the Name”
“Poster Girl”
“Strangers No More”
“Sun Come Up”
“The Warriors of Qiugang”

Best Editing
“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“The King’s Speech”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”

Best Makeup
“Barney’s Version”
“The Way Back”
“The Wolfman”

Best Original Score
“How to Train Your Dragon”
“Inception”
“The King’s Speech”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”

Best Original Song
“Coming Home,” from “Country Strong”
“I See the Light,” from “Tangled”
“If I Rise,” from “127 Hours”
“We Belong Together,” from “Toy Story 3”

Best Animated Short
“Day & Night”
“The Gruffalo”
“Let’s Pollute”
“The Lost Thing”
‘Madacascar, a Journey Diary”

Best Live-Action Short
“The Confession”
“The Crush”
“God of Love”
“Na Wewe”
“Wish 143”

Best Sound Editing
“Inception”
“Toy Story 3”
“Tron: Legacy”
“True Grit”
“Unstoppable”

Best Sound Mixing
“Inception”
“The King’s Speech”
“Salt”
“The Social Network”
“True Grit”

Best Visual Effects
“Alice in Wonderland”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
“Hereafter”
“Inception”
“Iron Man 2”

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

via GIPHY

It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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