The 82nd Annual Academy Awards are just three weeks away, and between now and then, your GonzoGeek panel will be making their picks alongside our resident Oscar expert: Matt’s copy of “Wrestlemania 2000” for the Nintendo 64.
Today: Best Actress
Sandra Bullock for "The Blind Side" - 2/5
Helen Mirren for "The Last Station" - 25/1
Carey Milligan for "An Education" - 7/1
Gabourey Sidibe for "Precious" - 10/1
Meryl Streep for "Julie & Julia" - 7/4
Bruce (last year: 2/5)
Wow, they really stacked this one in Sandra Bullock's favor didn't they? Too bad I haven't seen and don't like the premise of The Blind Side. When I heard Michael Oher, the kid the movie is about, say they dumbed his character down, I found that offensive. Nearly as offensive as Bullock trying to pull off a Southern accent. Bad move Sandy. Two first time nominees are in this field. Both gave, what I've read, are excellent performances in good movies. Too bad for them. Helen Mirren won't win for a movie nobody between the coasts has seen. That leaves us with Meryl Streep playing Julia Child. Well, since I think she's the only one who has a chance of stopping Sandra Bullock, I guess I'm going with Meryl. I'm doing it as much for Dan Akroyd's bleeding out Julia Child as anything. Bon Appetit!
Chris (last year: 3/5)
Sandra Bullock is on the right path. But it's not her time yet. So we're probably looking at either Sidibe or Streep. It shouldn't matter, but Streep has been so good for so long her performance in this role probably won't but her over. Even more to the point, however, everything about 'Precious' screams of a big, steamy lovefest with Oscar, and Gabourey Sidibe will probably get her taste before he's spent.
Chuck (last year: n/a)
Carey Mulligan for ‘An Education’: Her portrayal of Jenny in this, just her third or fourth film appearance, should turn this relative unknown into one of our next high-profile leading ladies. Her personal story about her early forays into acting is as “Education”-al as anything she’s committed to the screen thus far- but she is only 24, and has much ahead of her. I’d expect Nick Hornby to take the Best Adapted Screenplay trophy if not up against Geoffrey Fletcher’s adaptation of Sapphire’s ‘Push’, but Hornby will be back, as will the lovely Ms. Mulligan.
John (last year: 2/5)
I've only seen two of the nominees, but one of them was Meryl Streep. Hard to go against Streep in any award race, and I actually liked her in this--even though this movie was marketed to the polar opposite of my demographic. I do like a good meal, though, so there's that.
Matt (last year: 3/5)
Count me among the many who don't understand the Bullock nod. I didn't hate The Blind Side as much as RJ did (and I had loooow expectactions), but her performance was hardly stunning. Plus, for all the talk of "body of work", surely Bullock's resume would cost her the statue, not earn it. I could see an upset by one of the newcomers, but Sidibe's great performance is overshadowed by Mo'Nique, leaving it up to Mulligan. Instead, I think this is a "make good" award - in weak year for leading ladies, voters will turn to an old standby and give it to Meryl Streep, whose turn in last year's "Doubt" was head-and-shoulders above "Julie & Julia" and should have won instead of illiterate Nazi pedohphile Kate Winslet.
R.J. (last year: n/a)
Conventional wisdom seems to be leaning toward Sandra Bullock in one of the worst films ever to be nominated from an Academy Award. More on that in a moment. Helen Mirren, in “The Last Station,” gets nominated for a film only awards voters and critics have seen and will not win. Carrey Mulligan, a twenty-four year old actor, plays a teenager who grows up swiftly during one pivotal year of her schooling in “An Education.” She's very good as are Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious” and Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia.” But this year seems to belong to Bullock. Oscar voting often follows the PR which is driven by money and hustle and Bullock's PR team in this Oscar season has been amazing. Sandra Bullockwill win for a film that insults the intelligence of all audiences and made a fortune by doing so.
Wrestlemania 2000 (last year: 2/5)*
Surprisingly, Mirren has the longest odds, so she's out.
Bullock: "Double J" Jeff Jarrett
Sidibe: Mark Henry
Streep: Mr. McMahon
Streep gets double- and triple-teamed from the start. She fights back against the odds, delivering a piledriver to Sidibe on the concrete floor, then returning to the ring to eliminate Mulligan after a crippling back rake at 3:53. Sidibe recovers and bloodies Bullock, but Streep rejoins the fray to team up with Sandra and deliver a pair of double-team atomic drops to Sidibe. Then Meryl turns on her new ally just as quickly, surprising her with a shoulderblock to the back and eliminating Bullock at 7:01. The larger Sidibe batters a weary Streep, delivering SEVEN Big Splashes over the course of two minutes. Ever the crafty veteran, Streep catches Sidibe with a low blow and goes for another piledriver, but Gabourey Sidibe reverses it into a back body drop, delivers an eighth Big Splash and wins the Oscar at 9:35.
Odds were chosen from various online betting sites, including Bodog and Bet365. Kids, remember that gambling is illegal in many states and maybe your friends at the horse track never thought to mention that the place had mob ties and it's very difficult to explain to the family why your "old college pals" Guido and Antonio keep showing up at the house every weekend to 'hang out' but end up leaving after fifteen to twenty minutes of 'roughhousing' the way you guys used to do it at marching band practice.
Up next: Best Supporting Actor.
* Wrestlemania 2000 picks the Oscars by (1) eliminating the nominee with the longest odds, (2) matching up the remaining four with a character from WM2K’s extensive circa-1997 WWF roster and (3) Staging a CPU-generated four-man elimination match where the last man standing is the Oscar winner. No wrestlers are repeated during the contest.