The 83rd Annual Academy Awards are Sunday, so it's time for the annual predictions from the revered GonzoGeek panel: Bruce, Chris, John, Matt, Stephe and Matt’s copy of “Wrestlemania 2000” for the Nintendo 64.
Today: Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, "The Fighter" - 1/7
Geoffery Rush, "The Kings Speech" - 4/1
Jeremy Renner, "The Town" - 80/1
John Hawkes, "Winter's Bone" - 66/1
Mark Ruffalo, "The Kids Are All Right" - 66/1
When the nominations were announced, this was the category that, from a purely geek point of view, amused me the most. Let's see, we've got Captain Barbossa, Hawkeye, the Hulk, Kenny Powers' brother and Batman. That's geekucopia kids.
Normally I'd pick Geoffrey Rush here as we know the Academy likes to give career awards in this category (*cough*Martin Landau*cough), but Rush won the big one for “Shine” so I don't think he's going to win here. If Jeremy Renner didn't win last year for “The Hurt Locker” I don't see him winning for an Affleck joint. There is a lot of going around for “Winter's Bone” but I don't think it will be Hawkes who wins the gold for that one.
For me it comes down to Ruffalo and Bale. Ruffalo is an actor that, for the live of me, I don't see the adoration for. Maybe I've not seen the right movies. Whatever the case, I don't think its his night.
No, I think the Oscar will go to the Dark Knight himself, Christian Bale. He's go a solid and well received body of work. A couple of years ago, the Academy ignored the “Dark Knight” juggernaut. They've ignored Christopher Nolan for “Inception.” For all those varied reasons and the joy of seeing Patrick Bateman at the podium, Christian Bale is my pick.
This category's roles are 3 parts crazy (Bale, Hawkes, Renner) and 2 parts good guy (Ruffalo, Rush). I didn't really see much of a stretch by Bale, and Ruffalo scruffed up a little bit and raised his game by a notch, but also seemed well within his comfort zone. The combination of Hawkes' relative anonymity and the small scale of his film will likely derail him, leaving Renner and Rush. I'd really like Renner to win (he's now shown he can play a-hole crazy every bit as well as stoic crazy) but believe the award will go to Rush, whose pedigree and complete disappearance into character in the sort of period piece Hollywood loves will see him through. Winner: Geoffrey Rush.
I've not seen any of these movies so let's try to narrow the field. I have read "Winter's Bone." Hawkes' character wasn't horrifically scarred like his literary namesake. Yer outta there! Geoffrey Rush, you've had your Oscar. That leaves Bale, Renner and Ruffalo. I'll go with Jeremy Renner, who probably should have won a wee gold fella last year if not for Jeff Bridges.
I put myself at a disadvantage here because I've seen every performance EXCEPT for Geoffrey Rush, who seems to be gaining steam as the favorite. I do think that Rush could win because of all the momentum that The King's Speech has, but there's always a chance that the Academy only gives it one acting award (that being Colin Firth).
Of the remaining nominees, I was a little surprised to see Renner nominated just because The Town doesn't seem like Oscar fare (even if his performance was solid). He's the male version of Amy Adams - a fairly authentic lower-class New England character without a prayer to win a statue. Ruffalo is great, but after seeing The Kids Are All Right, a) I'm kinda stunned that anyone associated with that movie is in contention for an award and b) even if you dismiss item a. as me being snide, Ruffalo should be eliminated for that face he makes in his last scene in the movie (you know, the one where he is summed up and then dismissed just in time for the emotional resolution). That leaves Hawkes and Bale, and it's no contest. Hawkes is really great in Winter's Bone but his part is so small compared to the overall plot. Christian Bale is practically a second lead in the movie as its redemptive character, and like Melissa Leo in the Supporting Actress category is one of the truly memorable parts of the film. He deserves an Oscar and I think he gets it here.
My commitment to making completely arbitrary picks continues with selecting Batman for best supporting actor. I saw The Town, and I have a hard time believing that Jeremy Renner was the best performance out there. Don't get me wrong, he was good and I enjoyed the movie, but I'm betting someone else did better. Probably Captain Barbossa, but I'm sticking with Batman. Odd thought, but wouldn't it be fun if Rush and Bale showed up in their respective alter egos?
Wrestlemania 2000 *
Renner gets the early curtain at 80/1
Christian Bale - Had one real shot at the top and is pretty delusional about his place in history: Jeff Jarrett
Geoffrey Rush - A little weird, but helps a introvert develop some personality: Al Snow
John Hawkes - Pretty much a dick to everyone but appreciates the value of family: Hardcore Holly
Mark Ruffalo - Poor sap caught between two lesbians: Meat
All four men brawl it out from the start, pairing up to take one guy out then turning on each other. It's every man for himself. Eventually the guys with the longer odds, Hawkes and Ruffalo, start taking it to the favorites. Ruffalo plays it smart against Rush, going for a pinfall attempt after nearly every big move. Rush keeps kicking out, though, and eventually turns back the upset attempt. Meanwhile, Hawkes brings that Ozark backwoods brutality to the more technical Bale, dragging him outside and fighting dirty. Bale is out of his element and Hawkes takes adavantage, rolling him up for a quick surprise pin at 9:26. Before the shock wears off, Hawkes returns to the ring and joins Rush's assault on Ruffalo. As soon as the other prohibitive favorite turns his back, Hawkes suplexes Ruffalo and gets the fall at 10:24. The momentum is purely on John Hawkes' side at this point, and he takes advantage of the situation to roll up Rush and win the Oscar at 11:26.
Odds were chosen Bodog.com.
* 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.