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New Times / Art

The following article was posted on February 20th, 2013, in the New Times - Volume 27, Issue 30 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [] - Volume 27, Issue 30

And the winner is ...

The little gold statue than could!


It may not be as big as the Super Bowl, but for some of us, the Academy Awards is another national holiday. This Sunday, Feb. 24, starting at 4 p.m., the 85th Academy Awards with host Seth MacFarlane will be broadcast on ABC, and all across America and beyond, house parties, bars, and in my case the SLO Elks Lodge No. 322 will be transformed into Oscars gatherings.

It’ll start with the red carpet gabfest, a who’s who of celebrity and fashion, and then it’ll move onto the awards. I have a feeling Lincoln will do well. I won’t be surprised if it wins Best Picture, Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis, maybe Best Supporting Actress for Sally Field (You like her. You really like her!), Best Director for Steven Spielberg, and maybe Best Adapted Screenplay for Tony Kushner. I also wouldn’t be surprised if it picks up some of the techies awards.

Sally Field, who won Oscars for Norma Rae in 1979 and Places in the Heart in 1984, made Oscar history on her second win by saying in her acceptance speech, “I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!” Will they like her a third time? She’s up for Best Supporting Actress for Lincoln.
During the awards, no doubt cinephiles will be grousing about their favorites that were snubbed. In my case, I can’t believe that my two favorite films last year—The Master and Moonrise Kingdom—were both passed over for Best Picture and Directing. Ridiculous! At least The Master’s Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams are up for acting awards. And the Moonrise Kingdom script, by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, is up for a Best Original Screenplay Award. Still, what is the Academy thinking?

Guessing the winners is always a fun game. I like to fill out a ballot for who I think should win and fill out another for how I think the Academy will vote.

If it was up to me, I’d go with Zero Dark Thirty as Best Picture, Joaquin Phoenix as Best Actor, Quvenzhané Wallis as Best Actress (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Christoph Waltz as Best Supporting Actor (Django Unchained), Anne Hathaway as Best Supporting Actress (Les Misérables), Brave as Best Animated Feature, Django Unchained for Best Cinematography, Lincoln for Best Costume Design, David O. Russell for Best Directing (Silver Linings Playbook), Argo for Best Film Editing, Les Misérables for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Skyfall for Best Original Score, “Skyfall” by Adele for Best Original Song, Life of Pi for Best Production Design, Zero Dark Thirty for Best Sound Editing, Les Misérables for Best Sound Mixing, Life of Pi for Best Visual Effects, Lincoln for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Moonrise Kingdom for Best Original Screenplay.

How do I think the Academy will vote? I can’t tell you just in case we end up (gentleman) betting in the same Oscars pool.

The real question—one no one can predict—is what sort of surprises the Oscars might kick up. During the 79th, Ellen DeGeneres asked Steven Spielberg to snap a photo of her with Clint Eastwood, then posted it on her MySpace page.

Or how about the 70th when up and coming actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck won the award for … Best Writing? Huh? Their boyish delight was awesome!

Is Christoph Waltz (left), who won a Best Supporting Actor award as Col. Hans Landa in 2010’s Inglourious Basterds, about to get his second as Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained?
How about the 11th, when Walt Disney was awarded an honorary Oscar for the first animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and his full size award was accompanied by seven smaller ones?

What about the time Julia Roberts was giving her speech and she bucked protocol that says when the music starts, you stop, and instead made conductor Bill Conti stop the music until SHE was finished?

On the 74th, Woody Allen, who famously shuns the Oscars, showed up post-9/11 to introduce a celebration of New York City. That was a surprise!

Or during the 71st, when Roberto Benigni walked across the backs of chairs in his exuberance. Or the 72nd, when South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone showed up in drag. Or the 79th when Jennifer Garner slipped on the steps and gracefully recovered by saying, “I do all my own stunts.”

How about that f-bomb Melissa Leo dropped during the 83rd? Oops! Or Cher’s crazy costume and feather headdress at the 58th? Or Vanessa Redgrave’s met-with-silence rant at the 50th against “Zionist hoodlums?” Then there was then-73-year-old Jack Palance’s one-armed pushups at the 64th.

There was the streaker at the 46th, which garnered this scathing putdown by host David Niven: “The only laugh that man will ever get in his life by stripping and showing off his shortcomings.”

And who can forget Brando renouncing his Best Actor award for The Godfather by sending Native American Sacheen Littlefeather at the 45th in protestation of Hollywood’s mistreatment of Native Americans?

What’s going to happen this Sunday at the 85th? I don’t know, but I’m going to be watching. How about you?

Glen Starkey takes a beating and keeps on bleating. Keep up with him via twitter at, friend him at or, or contact him at