Awkward Press

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The Awkward Movie Challenge: Oscar Picks

March 05, 2010 By: Category: Movie Reviews, The Awkward Movie Challenge


According to Netflix, Mike and Jeffrey agree with each other on movies 84% of the time. In their ongoing feature, The Awkward Movie Challenge, they search valiantly for that sweet 16% that results in big arguments and big laughs. This week, they take a break from their usual shenanigans to help you win big money in your Oscar pools.


True fact: I have never missed an Oscar ceremony. Oh, I’m sure there were a few years before I came of thinking age that it wasn’t high on my priority list, but as long as I’ve loved movies, the Academy Awards has been appointment viewing. I was watching when Sally Field said, “You like me, you really like me!” I was there when Rob Lowe performed his infamous duet with Snow White. (Well, not there, but you know what I mean.) I’ve sat through Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin, David Letterman, Chris Rock, lots and lots of Billy Crystal, and more horrendous musical numbers than I can count.

I was a little bit of a late bloomer; I didn’t start to become cynical about what the Oscars represent until I was, oh, 32 or so. I mean, I recognize that in any given year, there are always great films that go completely unrecognized by the Academy. But of all the major entertainment awards, the Oscars are still the most consistent in recognizing works and performances of actual artistic merit. The Emmys are hit-or-miss, and any award show that gives prizes to Two and a Half Men is automatically disqualified from relevance. The Golden Globes are an also-ran. Winning a Grammy is practically an insult. And the Tonys? Please. As if Denis O’ Hare in Take Me Out could even hold a candle to Thomas Jefferson Byrd in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. You might as well give a Tony to Tom Wopat!

Having said that, this year I am less interested in seeing who wins than I have ever been before. As everyone who knows anything about anything knows, this year there are 10 best picture nominees instead of 5. Why? I don’t know. Every year there are at least two films that don’t have a chance in hell; this year there are 8. My favorite of the nominees — A Serious Man — doesn’t stand a chance. I quite liked Inglorious Bastards , Up in the Air, and An Education, but none of them are going to get it, either. The race to watch is between The Hurt Locker and Avatar. My views on Avatar are pretty well known to anyone who reads this website (no one reads this website), and I thought The Hurt Locker was well-made but ultimately unengaging. (more…)