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GonzoGeek vs. The Oscars 2011: Best Actor

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 Actor

The Nominees: 
Colin Firth, The King's Speech — 1/33
James Franco, 127 Hours — 18/1
Javier Bardem, Biutiful — 40/1
Jeff Bridges, True Grit — 25/1
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network — 25/1


Today I'm not so much making a pick as I am making a stand!

I don't understand America's ongoing fascination with the British monarchy. We found a war to free ourselves from theis English hillbillies and yet year in and year out we get story after story about kings, queens, princes and duchesses.

First it was Diana's wedding. Then it was Diana's death. Then it was Diana's funeral.

Now its Prince William is getting hitched to Kate Middleton and I'm "treated" to speculation about Kate's dress and what the royal family will eat at Buckingham Palace post-ceremony.

That's brings me to my pick for Best Actor.

The frontrunner is Colin Firth for "The King's Speech." I have no fundamental problem with Mr. Firth. I think he's a fine actor. I've enjoyed many of his films.

However, this is another case of America's annoying Anglophilia.

This is America dammit!

(cue "The Battle Hymn of the Republic")


So, I'm taking a stand and I'm making a pick for 'Murica! And what's more 'Murican than cowboys? NOTHING!

John Wayne won an Oscar for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn. This year, Jeff Bridges is nominated for his interpretation of the same character. Well, if it was good enough for the Duke then its good enough for the Dude!

I say Bridges becomes a two time Oscar winner and leaves Colin Firth wondering what the hell happened for the second year in a row.




The heavy-hitting category of the night: previous winners (Bardem, Bridges), one guy who should have won by now (Firth, not least for delivering the only believable performance in Amanda Bynes-vehicle ‘What A Girl Wants’), and one of the coolest guys on the planet (Franco). The one man who isn’t packin’, Jesse Eisenberg, is out from the get go. It probably won’t be Bardem or Bridges this time around either. And much as I’d like it to be Franco, I get the feeling that, for god knows what reason, there’re still a lot of non-believers out there. So, the award goes to Colin Firth. And kind of like Bridges before him, not a soul will be able to raise an eyebrow. Winner: Colin Firth.


The Dude got his last year, though much respect for repping Roster Cogburn in iambic perimeter. I'll go with James Franco, who I hilariously confused with Anne Hathaway yesterday. Has an Oscar host ever won one of the major awards whilst hosting?


A year ago, I took a pessimistic view and said that Firth (for "A Single Man") would pull an upset over the heavily-favored Bridges (for "Crazy Heart"). It was one of many wrong calls I made, but it looks like I was only off by a year. This time Firth is still a Brit and Bridges is still a cowboy, but the former seems likely to take the statue. I love Bridges' performance, but I think he's being hurt by two previous wins - John Wayne's in 1969 and his own last year. Fair or not, voters will choose something different. It sounds like Firth has this locked up, but for most of the year I swore that this was Jesse Eisenberg's award to lose; he absolutely KILLS it as Mark Zuckerberg, or at least the fictional variation of Zuckerberg that The Social Network presents. I think he gets written off because he didn't "stretch" much - the Facebook founder is right in his presumed comfort zone (that is, the arthouse-y Michael Cera 2.0 roles). However, he has a lot of hidden energy in TSN that gets overlooked. He is always moving, always reacting, always part of a scene. Of the "young" actors nominated across all categories, I think Eisenberg has the most potential as an actor, but since he mixes his awards show work in with more audience-friendly fare like Zombieland, he might not make an immediate return to the Oscars. This was a role he was meant to play and he nailed it. Doesn't THAT deserve recognition?


Okay…how to score this one. James Franco – No. Not unless it’s for ‘Pineapple Express”. Jeff Bridges & Javier Bardem – No, they’ve already got theirs. Jesse Eisenberg – No. For some reason I can’t look at him without thinking the first rule of Facebook is ‘Cardio’.

Which leaves Colin Firth. I’m good with that.

Wrestlemania 2000 *

Bardem has the longest odds and the worst spelling in an Oscar-nominated movie since Inglourious Basterds, so he's out.

Jeff Bridges - A tough guy whose reputation as an asshole overshadows his talents: Bradshaw
Jesse Eisenberg - Unlikeable little shit who stole other people's moves and just did them bigger: Shane McMahon
Colin Firth - A surprise choice for the top spot due to his perceived shortcomings: Mankind
James Franco - I don't know anything about this guy except for one body part: Mr. Ass

This one gets dirty from the start. Firth takes Bridges to the outside, as his royal highness has no interest in playing by the Duchess of Queensbury rules. It turns out that Bridges isn't so much a cowboy as he is The Dude with a decent accent; once The King drops the speech and becomes a man of action, all toughness drains out of Lloyd's little boy. After a shinbreaker on the outside, Firth pins Bridges and takes out his biggest competition early at 5:34.

Inside the ring, Eisenberg had been going back and forth with Franco in a battle of Freak and Geek (or is it the other way around)? The shock of seeing The Dude go down early catches Eisenberg's attention, and Franco seizes the moment, rolling him up for another shocker at 6:03.

Action between Firth and Franco is so awkward and stunted, you'd think it was a sketch from a Franco-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live. The fight inside, then they fight outside. Franco gains control, then Firth does. Bridges and Eisenberg stick around, but don't get involved much. Firth delivers two of his devestating shinbreakers (or as he calls them, sh-sh-sh-sh-sh-shinbreakers) and goes for a pinfall, but it only gets a two-count. As Franco tries to recover and get a second to breathe, Firth catches him with a facebuster, then applies a rear naked choke. This guy survives all that time with his arm under a rock and he can't take seven seconds of a sleeperhold. Franco taps at 11:52 to give the oscar toColin Firth.

Odds were chosen

* 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.

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