NBA All Star Game and Oscars Thread

Best Jumpshot: Andre Iguodala

This is quite the day for the basketballly- or cinematically-inclined. The 2012 NBA All-Star Game begins at 6PM. The 2012 Academy Awards start at 7PM. One event has significantly more Andre Iguodala. The other has significantly George Clooney. Decisions!

Let's just preview both. Iguodala, in his first All-Star Game, should be one of the first off the bench for an Eastern Conference squad that's starting Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and future Sixer Dwight Howard. Coach Tom Thibodeau is a defensive-minded fellow, so I'd guess Dre sees the court before fellow wing man Paul Pierce, but at the same time as Chicago Bull and BONAFIDE SUPERSTAR Luol Deng. Here's hoping Dre plays a ton of defense.

If Iguodala can match the stats-heavy performance of Evan Turner from the Rising Stars Challenge, he could be in for a sneaky MVP vote. I imagine there'll be slightly less scoring in this game and if Dre can boost his stat filling with a few impressive dunks and *gasp* defense, I think there's a very very slim chance of an AndreIguodalaMVP happening. Allen Iverson won the hardware in both 2001 (when he also won NBA MVP) and 2005. It'll probably go to Bron though so whatevs. What are your Iguodala predictions for the game?

If you don't like movie talk on a basketball blog, you should probably just skip to the comments. If you do, prepare for a lot of filmgeekness below.

As some of you guys know, I live in Los Angeles and in my non-basketball life, I'm in "the industry", a term that gets thrown around extremely obnoxiously on the reg. I've been lucky enough to have seen a ton of movies that opened in LA and not many other places, so it's extremely depressing for me to see the films and actors that did get nominated over some extremely worthier competition. For reference, here's my top 10 films of 2011:

  1. Drive
  2. 50-50
  3. Shame
  4. The Muppets
  5. Moneyball
  6. Like Crazy
  7. The Ides of March
  8. Martha Marcy May Marlene
  9. Attack the Block
  10. The Descendents

All of those films are extremely different and extremely varying in how much recognition they've gotten from The Academy, but there is my constantly changing list, which easily could have included Midnight in Paris, The Beginners, The Artist, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Contagion, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and even X-Men: First Class. I'm sure we'll be debating this in the comments though so let's fight.

In terms of the actual Academy Awards show, hosted by Mike Wazowski, there really couldn't be anything more predictable. For reasons that involve nostalgia and groupthink rather than innovation and excellence in film, The Artist will win far too many categories. It was an extremely enjoyable film, with a very likable and smiley Jean Dujardin, but there's a reason why silent movies don't exist anymore. When sync sound was invented, silent movies were irrelevant as there's so much more depth and subtlety possible with the spoken word. Dujardin and Berenice Bejo were lovely, but by definition, they had to overact and exaggerate their facial expressions to an old-timey extent. Also, this film is the most racist in the bunch, hilariously void of black people because, my nostalgic confidants, they weren't allowed to act in those films. Let's just casually ignore that while we remember "the good old days", right?

The crop of other Best Picture noms are pretty light also. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is the 2nd worst movie ever to be nominated (The Reader being the first), The Help is over-long and implying that white people were the ones responsible for the civil rights movement (yay!), War Horse is very average Spielberg, Hugo has basically no plot but it's a Scorcese kids movie about, again, the olden days so why not, Moneyball is deserving, Midnight in Paris is a little light and unfulfilling but I don't mind its inclusion too much, The Descendents is great but the voiceover at the beginning and worthless subplot about the land leaves me wanting, and I've admittedly not seen The Tree of Life because I don't know that I'd be able to make it past the credit sequence.

Other than that, here are my picks for most of the Best Everythings minus some things you probably don't care about, along with who *should* have won.

Best Supporting Actor

Who Will: Christopher Plummer - Beginners

Who Should: Christopher Plummer - Beginners

Although Albert Brooks in Drive was phenomenal, it's Plummer's to walk away with.

Best Supporting Actress

Who Will: Octavia Spencer - The Help

Who Should: Octavia Spencer - The Help

Original Song

Who Will: Man Or Muppet - The Muppets

Who Should: Life's A Happy Song - The Muppets

Loved both, but this one's just better with more moving parts. Plus, Amy Adams.

Original Screenplay

Who Will: Woody Allen - Midnight in Paris

Who Should: Will Reiser - 50/50

Perfect blend of comedy/drama, sentimental vote since it was his own cancer survival story.

Adapted Screenplay

Who Will: Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillian - Moneyball

Who Should: Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillan - Moneyball

Faxon/Rash/Payne may take it for The Descendents but this adaptation was more impressive of a non-fiction book for baseball statheads.

Cinematography

Who Will: Guillaume Schiffman - The Artist

Who Should: Emmanuel Lubezki - Tree of Life

This'll just be another instance where The Artist wins something it shouldn't because the Academy likes its oldness. So many other more impressive visual achievements.

Best Director

Who Will: Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist

Who Should: Nicolas Winding-Refn - Drive

More The Artist awards, but Winding-Refn merged so many genres flawlessly to make a haunting portrayal of a flawed, mysterious character and what turned out to be my favorite movie of the year.

Best Actor

Who Will: George Clooney - The Descendents

Who Should: Michael Fassbender - Shame

George was great and if he wins I'll be thrilled it's not Dujardin, but Fassbender's performance in Shame was once-in-a-lifetime. Devastating, vulnerable, and layered, but the NC-17 rating along with his, um, penis kept him away from the prude Academy.

Best Actress

Who Will: Viola Davis - The Help

Who Should: Elizabeth Olsen - Martha Marcy May Marlene

While it's not better than her sisters' performances in A New York Minute [kidding], Olsen is absolutely heartbreaking and terrifying in this breathless slow burn of a thriller.

Best Picture

Who Will: The Artist

Who Should: Drive

It's more polarizing than 50/50 (though that failed due to terrible marketing so was also rather polarizing), but it just struck every chord with me and despite a few logistical flaws expected in a noir, everything from Ryan Gosling to Carey Mulligan to Oscar Isaac to Albert Brooks to BRYAN CRANSTON was just spot-on and it's easily the most memorable film of the year to me.

Let me know your thoughts! I'm off to go see Wanderlust for some popcorn David Wain/Paul Rudd comedy. Let's talk movies and basketball the rest of the day. I'll bring the lemonade.

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