February 22nd, 2008 5:33 pm | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

Before You Go: My Courageously Inaccurate Oscar Picks

ellen page and dancing elks

Expressions of critical ennui are themselves boring. With that in mind, feel free to skip past the next two paragraphs.

Neither I nor anybody I know can seem to get very excited about the Oscars this year. Maybe I just hang out with the wrong crowd. Maybe all your friends are planning to host riotously enthusiastic Oscar parties, complete with cupcakes decorated like Ellen Page's orange-striped belly and milkshakes with Daniel Day-Lewis' face on the glass. But at Willamette Week World Headquarters, the mood is subdued. This seems to be part of a general trend. Pundits have speculated that the disinterest is somehow to blame on the writers' strike nearly 86ing the whole spectacle, or that Americans are more interested in the meaningful contest of the Presidential primary.

I can buy those explanations, but I think it has more to do with the quality of the nominated movies. They're actually too good. I frankly don't care if No Country for Old Men beats There Will Be Blood on Sunday night; I'm just happy that Hollywood gave us such stimulating and thought-provoking pictures. Daniel Day-Lewis, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Javier Bardem and Tommy Lee Jones, among others, are turning in some of the most magnetic performances we've seen in years. So who cares if they get statuettes? I'd rather be at the movies. Excellence has rendered competition irrelevant.

End rant. I suppose it's my job to muster some enthusiasm and make my picks for the winners of this year's Academy Awards. And in an effort to get you nearly as excited as I am, I'm blatantly stealing a page from the Roger Ebert playbook and challenging you, the reader, to predict the awards (well, the top ) with more accuracy than me.

You have 46 hours to make me look bad (not a difficult task); the person who gets the most awards right will win a brand new DVD of La Vie en Rose, with an Oscar nominated performance by Marion Cotillard. Yes, it's the movie that N.P Thompson called "sickening!" and "crude!" and that WW intern John Minervini describes as "the only movie I've ever fallen asleep in!" Can you feel the excitement yet?

And the Oscar will go to...

Best Picture: No Country for Old Men

I have a sneaking suspicion it's going to be Juno, but I'm as cowardly as everybody else: I can't quite pull the trigger. Oscar doesn't do comedies, the Coens are due, Juno's not even the best movie Michael Cera was in last year. It's gotta be No Country, right. (Somebody go ahead and pick Juno; that way you can mock me even more aggressively Monday morning.)

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood


Best Actress: Ellen Page, Juno

Because I'm not that much of a coward, Julie Christie is supposedly a real drag at the parties, and I can't pronounce Marion Cotillard's last name. (Laura Linney would be a fun surprise, and as a bonus, it would make N.P. Thompson's head explode. But it's not gonna happen.)

Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

He's been putting it up all his life.

Best Supporting Actress: Ruby Dee, American Gangster

Her life is almost over. (By which I mean she's really old. The Academy likes really old people.)

Best Director: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Have you ever heard of a little show called Branded, Dude?

Best Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody, Juno

All but one man died there at Bitter Creek...

Best Adapted Screenplay: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Fucking Arthur Digby Sellers wrote 156 episodes, Dude. Bulk of the series. Not exactly a lightweight. And yet his son is a fucking dunce.

So there you have it. Beat my score, and you can cherish Marion Cotillard's Oscar-losing performance for a lifetime! If you don't beat my score, you know what I'm going to do:

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