Posted on February 18, 2008 at 4:15 PM
Back in college, I briefly had the editorial reins of the entertainment section
in an alternative (read: unpopular) campus paper. One of my few accomplishments
was an Oscar prediction article pitting our resident film critics up against
Wrestlemania 2000, the old then-WWF game for Nintendo 64. It was supposed to be
a stupid gimmick, something I have built a reputation on over the years. But
then Wrestlemania 2000 went 5-for-5 and blew our “experts” out of the water.
Ever since, I’ve blown the dust off the N64 every February to get new insight
into the upcoming Academy Awards.
1. For each of the categories (Lead Actor/Actress, Supporting
Actor/Actress, Director, Picture and one wildcard choice), I automatically
eliminate one nominee. To do this in a fair and even fashion (as opposed to the
old way when I picked someone whose name or face I didn’t like), we consult
Vegas odds. The nominee with the least-favorable odds gets cut. Odds were
provided via Bodog as of 2/18.
2. The remaining four nominees per category are matched up with a character from
WM2K’s extensive circa-1997 WWF roster. No wrestlers are repeated during the
3. Those four wrestlers per category are placed in a four-man elimination Royal
Rumble match, with the rules tweaked to reflect a “Fatal 4-Way Elimination
Match” by WWF/E rules – aka, the last man standing is the Oscar winner.
Read on to see the results.
Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
– Matt Hardy
The first category is a damned crying shame, because
Hoffman, who practically drove Charlie
Wilson’s War by himself as the
ultimate Aaron-Sorkin-secondary-male-lead character (aka the Jeremy Goodwin, the
Sam Seaborn, etc.), is the longshot at 16/1 odds. The man deserves a statue…but
rules are rules, so he gets bounced.
Talented sibling who will probably always deal with the shadow of his more
conventionally-successful (but less critically-acclaimed) brother.
No Country For
Old Men – Cactus Jack
Takes a pounding but keeps coming back to dish out more; almost seems to thrive
on the violence he creates. Wears nice cowboy boots.
Seymour Hoffman , Charlie
Into the Wild
– Jerry “The King” Lawler
Past his prime but still kicking around and good for a short appearance here and
there. Used to kick a lot of ass, now he’s just doing what he can.
Clayton – Ken Shamrock
Prone to going nuts at inconvenient times.
It’s bedlam from the start as all four men brawl it out. As Holbrook and
Bardem get into it, Affleck uses his speed to wear Wilkinson down. After a pair
of top-rope legdrops, he finds an opening and rolls Tom up with a cradle for the
elimination at 7:21.
Affleck and Holbrook team up on Bardem, who retreats and grabs a foreign object
from outside the ring to even things up, bloodying Holbrook in the process.
Eventually, Holbrook turns on Affleck and Bardem picks the spoils, pinning Casey
a short lariat. After the fall, Holbrook continues the assault, locking Affleck
in a figure four and chasing him out of the ring. As Bardem comes out to join
them, it turns out to be a trap, as Holbrook jumps Bardem and beats him down. He
rolls Javier back in the ring and locks in another figure four, getting the
tap-out at 11:34
to score a huge upset.
Your Oscar winner for best Supporting Actor, Hal Holbrook!
I’m Not There
– Pat Patterson
The little girl from Atonement
had a whopping 35/1 odds, way behind
virtually every other candidate. According to Vegas, she’s the only one who has
no conceivable shot at this trophy, so she is eliminated early.
A woman trapped in a man’s body.
Gangster – The Godfather
This is a pretty circular relation, because neither Ruby Dee, nor her character
are pimps per se, but the movie The Godfather is about gangsters and Ruby is
nominated for a movie about gangsters. Also, we shouldn’t discount the
possibility that she’d come aboard the ho train.
Gone Baby Gone
– Mr. Ass
More positive aspects of the character are discounted by a tendency for foul
Clayton – Chyna
Despite numerous attempts to appear otherwise, her obvious talents will always
be counterbalanced by an occasionally startling lack of femininity.
Battle lines are drawn early as Dee and Ryan duke it out while Swinton and
Blanchett hook up. While the former is a back-and-forth affair, the latter is
more of a woodshed beating. Swinton barely gets any offense in as Blanchett
takes her to task, finishing with a figure-four leglock for the submission
elimination at 4:13.
For the next eight minutes, the remaining three trade double teams and double
crosses, with no woman gaining a clear advantage. Finally Swinton gets her
revenge, pulling Blanchett out of the ring for an outside brawl. Left alone, Dee
crushes Ryan with an avalanche and collects an easy elimination at
comes back in with a vengeance, but Dee powers back. Dee hits a flying elbow, a
lariat and a backdrop driver, but Blanchett refuses to go quietly, fighting back
as best she can. A second lariat is too much, though, and Ruby Dee pins her for
the win at 14:10.
Your Oscar winner for best Supporting Actress, Ruby Dee!
Best Original Screenplay
– Jeff Hardy
There are no published odds on this category, so this one goes by personal
choice, and I bumped Tamara Jenkins and The Savages because it was the hardest
one to find an equivalent for. If The Headshrinkers were in WM2K, it’d be a
different story, but them’s the breaks.
Appeals to the youths and struggles with some dangerous and potentially
Lars and the
Real Girl – Al Snow
Seemingly stable guy who talks to a doll.
Clayton – Big Boss Man
Guy tries to police his community via unconventional methods. There’s also a
Guardian Angel joke to be made here.
– Terri Runnels
It’s a movie about a rat.
Right from the start, Michael Clayton asserts control, taking all three of
the other movies outside the ring for a beating, one-by-one. Ratatouille takes a
pounding from all three others, but manages to hold its own until Lars lays into
it with a chair. The other two join in to gang up on the animated feature, with
Michael Clayton securing the elimination at
via pin. The Clayton vs. The World
battle continues for the next two minutes as he squares off with both Juno and
Lars. Juno misses a high-risk flying legdrop and Clayton quickly hops on top for
the pinfall at 11:25.
For the next eight minutes, the brawl went on, marked by Lars And The Real
Girl’s inability to finish. After Clayton reaches the ropes on a camel clutch,
Lars comes back with a powerbomb outside the ring and a big German suplex
inside. A schoolboy rollup and a backslide yield only two-counts for Lars.
Finally, he manages to drop Michael Clayton with his trademark brainbuster
finishing move, then ties him up in a cradle for the win at
Your Oscar winner for Best Original Screenplay, Lars And The Real Girl!
Clayton – Dude Love
Jones were each tied at 25/1
odds, so it was a coin flip. A lot of people would argue that TL’s performance
in No Country For
Old Men helped secure him this
nomination, and pretty much no one saw In The Valley
Of Elah, so it is with a heavy heart that I remove him from the list.
Anti-big-business = environmentalists = tree-huggers = hippies = free love.
Day-Lewis, There Will Be
Blood – Vince McMahon
A tycoon who steps over or through anyone or anything who stands in his way of
– Chris Jericho
A perennial also-ran whose entertainment value and strong performances rarely
(if ever) resulted in winning the big one. Took a brief foray into music to get
the creative juices flowing.
Jones, In The Valley
Promises – Bradshaw
Enforcer-type who is ready to throw down at any time, but there’s quite a bit
more going on behind the curtain.
Day-Lewis gets saved from early elimination as Clooney’s mandibleclaw was
applied too close to the ropes. The assault continues, though, and the heavy
favorite is shockingly eliminated at 3:18after
a schoolboy rollup from George. Mortensen’s pounding of Depp is interrupted by
Clooney, and Depp regains some control with Clooney’s help. Viggo fights back
and gives George a taste of his own medicine with the mandible. Clooney bloodies
Depp with a headbutt, and Depp responds by hitting a reverse suplex on Clooney,
dazing him long enough for Mortensen to get the elimination pin at
11:23. Now uninterrupted,
the Depp/Mortensen brawl continues, ending only when Depp hits Viggo with a
package piledriver. He locks in his patented elevated Boston crab for the
submission and the win at 13:44.
Your Oscar winner for Best Actor, Johnny Depp!
Truthfully, Laura Linney’s got the longest odds in this one, at 40/1. But it
just isn’t fair to shut her out, especially when Blanchett’s got another
nomination on the table and because she’s already HAD a Best Actress nomination
for playing Queen Elizabeth I in a movie named
Cate’s odds were a hefty 30/1, so it’s not like we’re giving her a Montreal
treatment here or anything.
Away From Her
Unfortunate events (Alzheimers/The Nation of Domination) led them to forget who
they once were.
Cotillard, La vie en Rose
– Jeff Jarrett
Did a pretty good job of pretending to be a singer.
– Road Dogg
Alternately a sharp talker and a weak spirit; family always seems to come up.
– Val Venis
Known on the surface for sexual transgressions, but brings a lot more to the
table and has remarkable staying power. Doesn’t have a problem getting down for
the sake of getting down.
This one is a slobberknocker from the start, as all four ladies take a
licking. Linney is the first to go, tapping to a figure-four from Cotillard at
8:26. The match
continues evenly with the other three, spilling outside momentarily to give
Linney another taste of the action. Page fends of some double team attempts from
Christie and Cotillard, but the former eventually turns on the latter to give
Page an opening. She capitalizes with a super backdrop from the top rope. A
Doomsday Device attempt from Page and Christie falls flat, and their tenuous
alliance falls apart – Christie abruptly clocks Page from behind and pins her
for a quick elimination at 14:52.
Less than a minute later, Cotillard catches Christie off the ropes with a
sleeperhold, knocking the favorite out and scoring the upset win at
Your Oscar winner for Best Actress, Marion Cotillard!
Anderson, There Will Be
Blood – The Big Show
Gilroy and Michael
Clayton have the longest way to
go, odds-wise. Plus, he’s a much higher favorite for Original Screenplay. So
he’s out here.
The man becomes an oil giant (haha, puns!) and pretty much impossible to ignore
by the latter half of the movie. Tended to move kinda slow.
No Country For
Old Men – Mankind
Exposes the evil and ugly side of humanity and the modern world; more famous for
the violent parts.
– Shawn Michaels
Favorite of the ladies and has a lot of personality. Slowed down and dropped off
just after its peak, then made a strong comeback.
Schnabel, The Diving
Bell and The Butterfly – Kane
A man struggles to make the most of his life after suffering life-altering
injuries. Also, one eye is jacked up.
Reitman, the smallest of the group, keeps his distance from the bigger men.
He survives and early scare from Schanabel after a series of power moves. P.T.
Anderson and the Coen Bros. go at it practically from the opening bell,
seemingly intent on eliminating their stiffest competition early. Anderson
succeeds, pinning the Coens after a gorilla press slam at
6:20. With his
biggest threat eliminated, Anderson takes advantage of a mistake from Schanabel
and practically chokeslams him through the mat, picking up an easy pin at
7:09. Reitman has
some bright spots, but for the most part, Anderson manhandles him, throwing him
around the ring for the better part of five minutes. After a massive fallway
slam, the pinfall – and Anderson’s victory – are academic at
Your Oscar winner for Best Director, Paul Thomas Anderson!
At 12/1, Atonement
has the odds stacked against it and
won’t make it to the ring, despite winning the Golden Globe and a few other
awards. It’s a shame, because the whole “so-and-so lied about blah-blah-blah and
now whatsherface is pissed and blah-blah-blah’s gotta fix it” is the kind of
stuff that flies well in the world of pro wrestling.
– The Rock
Overflowing with charisma and keeping audiences hanging with a sharp tongue.
Maybe got in bed with the wrong people, but it was the fierce independence that
held up in the end.
Clayton – Triple H
It’s the industry favorite with a solid foundation and a lot of things going for
it. Unfortunately, it probably only made it as far as it did because of who it
knows, not what it did.
No Country For
Old Men – The Undertaker
A grim reaper-type drives the story, which is less about the violence that
follows and more about a man who’s too old for this shit trying to keep up with
the punishment that the new kids go through.
There Will Be
Blood – Steve Austin
He’s a bad man who does bad things, but you can’t help but root for him along
the way, since it’s not like most of the people he’s beating up weren’t asking
for it to begin with.
No Country and Michael Clayton start off wearing each other down while There
Will Be Blood and Juno square off. At just about eight minutes in, No Country
and There Will Be Blood square off for the first time, taking it to each other
while Juno is eliminated at 8:39
after a Pedigree facebuster from
Michael Clayton. There Will Be Blood busts No Country For Old Men wide open with
a brazen chairshot, but it’s not enough to put it away. A double team weakens
the favorite, but the alliance between Clayton and There Will Be Blood fades
quickly. Michael Clayton uses some timely reversals to stay in the match. A
Doomsday Device from Clayton and There Will Be Blood has No Country On the
Topes, but it just keeps coming, chokeslamming Clayton to keep hope alive.
Unfortunately, the comeback doesn’t last, as a Pedigree facebuster from Michael
Clayton takes No Country For Old Men out at
15:58. The brawl
spills outside the ring, where No Country wreaks havoc on everyone for its
elimination. After receiving a Tombstone piledriver, There Will Be Blood
stumbles back into the ring, where a reverse atomic drop from Michael Clayton
seals the deal at 20:55.
Tagged: Casey Affleck
, Academy Awards
, Nintendo 64
, Wrestlemania 2000
, philip seymour hoffman
, javier bardem
, hal holbrook
, tom wilkinson
, cate blanchett
, ruby dee
, saoirse ronan
, amy ryan
, tilda swinton
, diablo cody
, george clooney
, daniel day-lewis
, johnny depp