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The Shambling, Bedazzled Dinosaur and the 2011 Oscar and Razzie Winners

The Shambling, Bedazzled Dinosaur and the 2011 Oscar and Razzie Winners (photo)

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As expected, “The King’s Speech” topped this year’s Oscars, winning Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Original Screenplay, though not, as expected, the slew of technical awards it was also nominated for. In fact, while it dominated the major categories, it lost more awards than it won and it wound up tied for the most Oscars of the night with “Inception,” which cleaned up in the technical categories: scoring wins for Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and, in what amounted to an upset on a very predictable evening, Cinematography over “The King’s Speech” and the Susan Lucci of the Oscars, “True Grit” director of photography Roger Deakins. Early Best Picture frontrunner “The Social Network” walked away with three awards, for Best Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, and Editing.

Much has already been made — and will continue to be made — about the relative worthiness or unworthiness of “The King’s Speech” as Best Picture winner. Even Best Picture presenter Steven Spielberg seemed to raise the issue by alluding to the illustriousness of the list of Best Picture losers in his introduction to the nominees. His reference seemed particularly appropriate since his own “Saving Private Ryan” famously lost to brilliant Oscar campaigner Harvey Weinstein’s “Shakespeare in Love,” just as the more critically acclaimed “The Social Network” was about to lose to Weinstein’s “The King’s Speech.”

I suppose if you’re a “Social Network” fan (or a “Winter’s Bone” fan or a “Toy Story 3” fan…) this is something to get upset about. But let’s be realistic here: getting it “wrong” is one of the few things the Oscars do really well. Though few people will admit to it, this is the real reason we love the Oscars: because they’re fun to make fun of. They stir up conversation and give us nerds something to complain about. And nerds love to complain about stuff (see: the internet). Mind you, I’m not even suggesting any award really can get it “right.” The only thing that can prove a movie’s greatness is time, and that is something Academy voters do not have the luxury of.

Much will also be made of the show itself, and of hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway who were more uncomfortably odd couple than adorably odd couple. Hathaway was all bubbly energy and excitement, while Franco looked increasingly bored throughout the evening, particularly when he was paired with his more animated co-host. Franco and Hathaway self-deprecatingly acknowledged that their presence pointed to the fact that the Oscars were going for a “young and hip” audience, a fact even more clear during embarrassingly unfunny schtick like the AutoTuned nominees bit. But again, this is what the Oscars do: try and fail to be contemporary. The Oscars, so long, so stodgy, so soaked in the illusion of glitz and glamour, are like a shambling, bedazzled dinosaur. The Oscars have been out of touch since I’ve been watching, dating back the last couple decades. To me, watching the Oscars make awkward stabs at relevance is all part of the fun. If the Oscars got it right, what would we joke about on Twitter?

Really what this year lacked compared with other Oscar telecasts wasn’t comedy but surprise, and that’s something that’s beyond the show’s control. When we remember our favorite Oscar moments, we don’t think of planned material. We love the crazy spontaneous moments — David Niven and the streaker, Sacheen Littlefeather accepting Brando’s “Godfather” Oscar, Cuba Gooding Jr.’s refusal to yield to the wishes of the You’re Taking Too Long! music. The fact that the show went largely as predicted by award season prognosticators isn’t the fault of the the Oscars’ producers, though it may point to the fact that while these prediction websites make winning Oscar pools a lot easier, they also may make watching the Oscars themselves a lot harder.

Harder to watch than the Oscars? The Razzies, but that’s because they’re not televised at all. How is that even possible? Not even on the Internet? I would watch the Razzies, especially if they showed really embarrassing clips of the nominees, and particularly to see if any of the winners showed up to accept their awards.

As I predicted last week, M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender” was the biggest loser at the Golden Raspberry Awards this year, earning Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and a particularly deserving Worst 3D. The deadly “Sex and the City 2” wasn’t let off the hook either, picking up awards for Worst Actress (for all four leads), Ensemble (for all four leads and everyone else in the movie), and Worst Sequel. And speaking of sequels, I’m sure we’ll revisit this ongoing conversation about the merits of these shows this time next year.

The 2011 Academy Award Winners
Best Picture: “The King’s Speech”
Best Director: Tom Hooper, “The King’s Speech”
Best Actor: Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Best Original Song: “We Belong Together,” “Toy Story 3”
Best Editing: “The Social Network”
Best Visual Effects: “Inception”
Best Documentary Feature: “Inside Job”
Best Live-Action Short: “God of Love”
Best Documentary Short: “Strangers No More”
Best Costume Design: “Alice in Wonderland”
Best Makeup: “The Wolfman”
Best Sound Editing: “Inception”
Best Sound Mixing: “Inception”
Best Original Score: “The Social Network”
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, “The Fighter”
Best Foreign Language Film: “In a Better World”
Best Original Screenplay: David Seidler, “The King’s Speech”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network”
Best Animated Feature: “Toy Story 3”
Best Animated Short: “The Lost Thing”
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”
Best Cinematography: “Inception”
Best Art Direction: “Alice in Wonderland”

The 2011 Golden Raspberry Award Losers
Worst Picture: “The Last Airbender”
Worst Actor: Ashton Kutcher, “Killers” and “Valentine’s Day”
Worst Actress: The Four “Gal Pals,” “Sex and the City 2” (Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis & Cynthia Nixon)
Worst Supporting Actress: Jessica Alba, “The Killer Inside Me,” “Little Fockers,” “Machete,” and “Valentine Day”
Worst Supporting Actor: Jackson Rathbone, “The Last Airbender” and “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”
Worst Eye-Gouging Mis-Use of 3D: “The Last Airbender” (Released in “Fake 3-D”)
Worst Screen Couple or Ensemble: The Entire Cast of “Sex & the City 2”
Worst Director: M. Night Shyamalan, “The Last Airbender”
Worst Screenplay: M. Night Shyamalan, “The Last Airbender”
Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel: “Sex & the City 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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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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