The Dinner Party Oscar Ballot
Behold, the coming of the 2013 Academy Awards — aka Geek Super Bowl!
As you busy yourself selecting a glamorous outfit to wear to your Oscar party of choice this weekend — you know, the outfit into which, after a long evening spent chugging champagne and bean dip in front of the awards telecast, you will no longer fit — don’t forget to make your picks for the inevitable Oscar party betting pool. Below, as usual, we handicap the likely winners of various awards, based on the only criteria that matters: whether the nominee appeared on our show.
Best Visual Effects
True, the new, perhaps overly crisp “48 fps” shooting format deployed by Peter Jackson in “The Hobbit” made many audiences uncomfortably aware of every grain of Dwarf makeup caked upon a performer’s face. Regardless, the film’s legendary VFX honcho Joe Letteri came on our show to give us a list of his favorite digitally-created characters, so he will win.
A tossup: David O. Russell’s deft directorial hand, steering actors Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper through his alternately funny, heartwarming and brutal “Silver Linings Playbook?” Or young first-timer Benh Zeitlin, who for “Beasts Of The Southern Wild” gathered together animals and a cast of first-time actors, threw them into boats in the Louisiana swamp, and survived? Both filmmakers were our Guests of Honor, both are thus deserving of the accolade. We give the advantage to Russell, because he also sang us a rendition of “Come Fly With Me.”
Best Adapted Screenplay
Another photo finish: “Argo’s” script is based upon an article by Josh Bearman, who of course appeared on “The Dinner Party” to offer a list of articles written by others which should also be made into films — what a gracious man, looking out for his fellow scribes! Then again there’s the lost-at-sea adventure “Life Of Pi,” based upon the novel by Yann Martel, who stirred our listeners’ souls with his list of equally wild adventure tales. We give it to Yann, just ‘cause he had the brass to call “Dante’s Inferno” a travelogue.
We keep hearing “Silver Lings Playbook’s” Jennifer Lawrence is the frontrunner. But we feel certain once the Academy compares the number of times she has been on our show (zero) to the number of times “Zero Dark Thirty’s” Jessica Chastain has been on our show (once, just a few weeks back), they will vote overwhelmingly in favor of… well, you do the math.
Best Documentary Feature
Obviously, this week’s “guest of honor” David France will take home the gold for his fierce, on-the-ground depiction of the AIDS activism in “How to Survive a Plague.” But wait… against impossible odds, a tie will be announced!? Believe it. “Searching for Sugar Man”’s Malik Bendjelloul and folk singer Rodriguez - once considered dead (in this category) - will ascend the stage, alive and calm as ever, to accept a second gleaming statuette. How will they have accomplished this coup? By charming our socks off (and Oscar voters’, too) last summer. Case in point: Rodriguez’s insistence on addressing Rico as “Rico Gagliano.” Confidently mark two winners on your ballots, and thank us later.