Fuck the underdog, go with the favourite
Pardon my French. Everyone loved The Artist. I thought it was good, though it did riff off Singing in the Rain a bit (which is a better movie). Even though I liked it I am not one to pander to hype especially when there were better movies in 2011. But this movie is going to win lots, probably the big one for best picture. Just like the Kings Speech was always going to wipe the floor at the Oscars, and Slumdog Millionaire, and Gone with the Wind etc etc.
It helps if you have been in the game a long time…
If you have been a directing or acting for a long time and made at least 4 great movies or performances that have been snubbed by Oscars, the academy award will then start taking notice of you when you start making films within your later life. This rule is especially significant for the directors and actors, whose best work was in the 1970’s or early 80’s. However this decision to give the award to a veteran stems from guilt. You see the academy has fucked up on more than one occasion where they have not given awards to those considered legends or people of genius. Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin and Robert Altman all missed out, save for latter two obtaining honorary ones. Therefore if Scorsesse is going to miss out on an Oscar for Raging bull, Taxi Driver, or Goodfellas, then he will get one later for something less brilliant like The Departed. Or if Pacino misses out for the Godfather movies or the amazing Dog Day Afternoon then he will get one at 52 years of age for Scent of a Woman. Seriously Scent of a Woman? See also Henry Fonda, Stephen Spielberg, or Terrence Malick who has yet to win an Oscar.
Although American perception’s of the British people does not extend beyond “soccer” hooliganism, bad teeth and excessive tea drinking, the academy award in recent years have proved to be genuine anglophiles. They are not as fond of the Australians. Danny Boyle, the kings speech, Helen Mirren (for the Queen), Anthony Minghella (English Patient), Shakespeare In Love and Chariots of Fire have all found success in within the past 30 years. The English are coming! They say, and then we bugger owf with the gold plated bald man. Gary Oldman is British; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a British film. Do not expect Britain to come back home empty handed from the Kodak theatre.
Find a niche…
Make a film that is apparently unique from the rest. It needs to stand out and be different. Look at Slumdog Millionaire; a film set in Bombay, centred around a popular game show. Brokeback mountain; queer cinema has been around for yonks but get two A-Lister actors, make it a western and you have John Wayne turning in his grave. Thus the artist has found its niche by being lazy and not bothering to have any dialogue.
Be Meryl Streep
This lady is some kind of wonderful. If for any chance you’re an average joe like me and think that acting is the easiest and laziest job in the world then watching her act will soon shut you up. The academy also knows that she is one of the greatest actors ever, so repeatedly nominate her for her acting. She has won two already, they might just be a bit more generous and give her another.
And there you have it. My wish list for the Oscars in the main categories is for Brad Pitt or Gary Oldman to win best actor. Maybe Pitt should win it more because we all know that Oldman is a superb actor but Pitt is an criminally underrated who deserves to be rewarded for a remarkable body of work. Best picture should go to The Artist the other movies in that category just aren’t good enough. Best actress should go to Michelle Williams, for the same reason as the latter sentence. Yes Streep is amazing but The Iron Lady was not acting but mimicry. Rooney Mara shouldn’t be there and although Viola Davis was good, she was too saintly.
Best director should go to Malick because he is a genius. Supporting actress and actor should respectively go to Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer. Plummer because I heard he was good in Beginners and Spencer because I saw she was good in The Help. If Berenice Bejo wins that won’t be a bad thing because Argentinean women are hot. And her performance in The Artist is worthy of it. And my favourite Oscar moment? This: