by Rob Boylan
Now I know why all of those preambles during awards shows are so boring. There is so little to say that hasn't been said 15 earlier during the award season (or blogging) that it's simple to just fall back on cliche and give it some sort of "timeless" riff, like Howard Beale in reverse. We've run out of originality, so here is some bullshit. Mmm. Timeless, classic bullshit about the magic or struggle of life.
It's so boring though.
So, I will say this. George Clooney 1, Brad Pitt 0, and the French guy is gonna win anyway.
Demian Bichir is a fine actor, but Laurence Olivier himself couldn't carry the stunning amount of dead weight acting and writing and directing that A Better Life had to offer. In fact, he might actually have come off looking somewhat better because he wasn't the only one chewing up the scenery.
Is it Clooney's turn for a Big Boy Oscar to add to his Supporting Oscar on the shelf? It's kind of strange to see him as the only one nominated since it was his co-star, Shailene Woodley who everyone went totally crazy for when the film was out. (The power of the bikini perhaps?) I'm sure it's tough to play a character who shows as little emotion as Matt King, and maybe this group of voters knows that.
He may only have one of the most charming, disarming smiles in recent memory and that thing he does with his eyebrows, but when you have that you don't need much else. Especially if you also have a cute dog.
If you read my post yesterday about Best Adapted Screenplay then you know I had an awful problem with one of the casting choices. Gary Oldman wasn't the problem. Gary Oldman kept my mind off of the problem, in fact. In almost everything he's ever done, he's just so completely goddamn good. If the Academy follows its protocol to treat the Best Actor award as a soft lifetime achievement award, then it'll go to Oldman.
There isn't much to say, really. Moneyball would have fallen apart without Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill bringing something more to Billy and Peter than was on the page. I don't think either of them will get anything for it, but I'd be satisfied if either of them won, though it would probably be bittersweet for Billy Beane, since that will probably be the only trophy to ever come out of the moneyball philosophy and it wouldn't even go to him.
The Descision: Gary Oldman, but like the screenplay, he doesn't have a shot in hell at winning. He's not old enough, and he did challenging work, but it wasn't emotionally challenging as much as it was intellectually challenging. And it wasn't about the magic of the movies anyway.