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 Actress
Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right" - 13/2
Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter's Bone" - 28/1
Michelle Williams, "Blue Valentine" - 66/1
Natalie Portman, "Black Swan" - 1/12
Nicole Kidman, "Rabbit Hole" - 66/1
First things first. The Academy HAS to rebound from giving the gold to Sandra Bullock last year. I finally, and against my will, watched “The Blind Side.” That was just awful.
(steps off soapbox. Steps back on.)
I think we can safely eliminate Nicole Kidman. She's not wearing a prosthetic nose so she has no chance. Besides, if she were to win, she could well blind the entire audience when the stage lights bounce off that ivory white skin of hers. Either that or she'll burst into flames.
Next, say goodbye to Michelle Williams. Unless there is still a huge wave of Heath Ledger nostalgia gripping the Academy, her chances are longer than the line to see “Never Say Never” on opening weekend.
Jennifer Lawrence is the young, fresh face in the crowd. She's gotten good press for “Winter's Bone,” and she's a quality dark horse, but I just don't think its the year for dark horses.
Annette Bening is a perpetual bridesmaid in this category, having lost our several times. I think her streak will stay intact this year. Why? Well, simply put I just don't think the Academy will be able to resist the chance to give the statue to Natalie Portman. As I wrote when she was our cheesecake of the week back in December, some things are just inevitable. Portman has been a critical and popular favorite since her debut in “Leon.” If you discount the Star Wars prequels, she's got a solid body of work. Twisty psychological drama in the world of ballet? Sounds artsy. All the stars are in alignment for Natalie Portman.
Natalie Portman (but give me a Mila Kunis to go please!). Watch for Nicole Kidman as a dark horse; a powerful performance in an emotionally charged role. Winner: Natalie Portman.
Natalie Portman already won the Golden Globe and makes out with Mila Kunis on screen. Sounds like an Oscar-winning turn to me.
In a perfect world, this would go down to the wire between Lawrence and Portman, two solid performances that pretty much ARE their respective movies. Bening is an outlier, but like I said yesterday, I can't believe that The Kids Are All Right belongs in any award category. I haven't seen Rabbit Hole or Blue Valentine, so all I know of Kidman's and Williams' respective chances are what I can interpret from the Bodog odds...ie, no chance for either. So I'd love to see this to go to Lawrence (especially if Hallie Steinfeld isn't the "anointed new star" for Supporting Actress), but I am pretty sure that it belongs to Natalie Portman.
Wow. Five movies I’ve not seen, two of which I’ve only vaguely heard about. I’ll go with Natalie Portman because she’s going to be in Thor.
Wrestlemania 2000 *
Kidman and Williams are tied with the longest odds. Rabbit Hole sounds a lot more interesting than Blue Valentine, plus Heath Ledger's legacy should be that he earns more accolades after death than his ex-wife ever does in life, so Williams is out.
Annette Bening - Even as a character you're supposed to dislike, she is a bit much: X-Pac
Nicole Kidman - A blonde woman nobody cares about: Edge
Jennifer Lawrence - Not interested in keeping up the family name so much as doing her own thing: Road Dogg
Natalie Portman - Can play white or black, but is infinitely more interesting as the bad guy: Chris Jericho
After a brief feeling-out period, the younger ladies (Portman and Lawrence) go at it in the ring while the veterans brawl on the outside. Kidman beats Bening like Warren Beatty owes her money, then rolls her back into the ring and delivers a frog splash and her Downward Spiral finisher (renamed "The Downgrade" in honor of her Tom-Cruise-for-Kris-Urban husband trajectory) to eliminate the Golden Glober winner at 5:29.
Almost immediately, Kidman teams up with Portman to take out Lawrence, but eventually Kidman figures she'd have better odds taking out the favorite. The alliance falls apart and Portman ends up on the wrong end of the double team. Lawrence goes along for the ride and watches as Kidman pins Portman at 9:07.
Action spills to the outside, where Bening is waiting. Portman also joins the fray and both remaining contenders take their lumps. There's some back and forth as each woman rejects the other's attempt at a finishing move. Finally, Kidman hits the ropes and finds herself caught in a Jennifer Lawrence sleeperhold. Unable to escape, she taps out and gives up the Oscat at 13:36.
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.