JAMIE MATHIESON stakes his credibility on Hollywood liking gays, white people and Meryl Streep.
It’s that time of year again. Here’s what to expect from the greatest show on Earth.
Best Picture – The Artist
Every man kills the thing he loves, and I killed The Artist. I gushed about it so much that my friends now all say that dreaded line: ‘I liked it, but I didn’t like it that much…’ Hype can be crippling, and I half-suspect the bookies’ favourite, winner at the Baftas and Golden Globes, might get upset – after all, the Academy hasn’t given the gong to a comedy since Annie Hall over thirty years ago. But if there’s any justice, it’ll go to the one film this year that’s both a work of art and hugely entertaining.
Best Director – Martin Scorsese (Hugo)
I reckon The Artist will be upset in this category, as the Academy honours Scorsese both for a lifetime of great films – of which Hugo, while a good film, is hardly up with the best – and, more importantly, for being the first film to suggest that 3D might be something other than a gimmick. The real measure of 3D would be when the great, great directors took it on, and while Spielberg didn’t quite pull it off, Scorsese used it brilliantly to create a genuinely dreamlike atmosphere, and this achievement will be recognised.
Best Actor – Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Gary Oldman might spring an upset, because the Academy likes British thesps even more than it likes weeping starlets, but it can surely only be the sexiest Frenchman on screen since David Ginola was last on Match of the Day. That Dujardin could bring such depth to a character without any dialogue is a real achievement.
Best Actress – Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
I’m yet to meet anyone who really liked The Iron Lady, and Nicola Bartlett also felt ambivalent about the oddly narcissistic experience. But Meryl Streep is probably the greatest living actor we have, who produces Oscar-worthy performances more routinely than TCS produces unreadable articles about CUSU politics. This is her seventeenth nomination. Take a year off, Meryl, go to the beach…
Best Supporting Actor – Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
It should be the dog from The Artist, obviously. But since a human it must be, it’ll be an enormously well-deserved gong for Captain von Trapp, in recognition of his career and latter-day revival, and also because he’s playing a gay man, which is second only to playing a Holocaust victim as goes Oscar bait.
Best Supporting Actress – Jessica Chastain (The Help)
I haven’t read The Help, not being a middle-aged middle–class woman on a summer holiday in 2010, and I missed the film too, so I can’t choose between Chastain and her co-star Octavia Spencer. I am therefore going to assume the Oscar will go to the white one, because that’s what usually happens. In 83 years, just twelve black actors have won Oscars.
And, most importantly…
Best Original Song will surely go to Bret Mackenzie (The Muppets), for writing music that makes people happy, which is a nice thing to do. More people should be given gold statues for doing it.