Love Oscar night. Love it, love it, love it. I love the Barbara Walters Special, even if all of her questions are so loaded with empathy and she’s practically falling all over herself to praise the star. I remember when Babs used to ask tough questions; now they’re all softer than Dairy Queen ice cream.
Of course I love the awards themselves. I love how they randomly throw presenters together for these things (“He’s a comedian who’s had a string of hit movies, she’s a star from before you were born! Let’s welcome Will Ferrell and Debbie Reynolds!).
I love the whole 1 1/2 hours between the first big award (supporting actress, usually) and the next award we care about. And I love that usually, there’s one speech that’s so emotional and sweet that I get a lump in my throat watching it (I’m a sucker for a touching speech; even Cuba Gooding Jr.’s wild one from a few years ago was pretty moving.)
So with the Oscars tonight, I could tell you who I think is going to win. But you could read that in 500 other places. Since it’s my blog, I’m going to tell you who I want to win, and why:
Best Picture: I’ve actually seen five of the 10 best picture pics, and I guess I’m in the minority here but I’m glad they expanded it to 10; there are usually way more than five great movies a year. “Avatar: was visually brilliant. “Inglorious Basterds” was wildly entertaining and funny. “Up” was the best animated movie I’ve seen since “Shrek,” my all-time favorite. “The Blind Side” was terrific.
But I’m really rooting for “Up in the Air.” It was the best movie I saw last year. Great acting, great script, all of it was great. I know it’ll be “Avatar” or “The Hurt Locker” collecting the trophy, though.
Best Actor: I only saw one movie in this category, but I’d like to see Jeff Bridges win it. Guy’s a heck of an actor, and he’s been nominated five times before with no victories. Clooney was great in “Up in the Air” but he won’t win.
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock was great in “The Blind Side.” But I’d like to see Gabourey Sidibe win, because it was apparently such a wonderful performance, and she doesn’t look like a movie star, and I like that someone who doesn’t look all glamorous and rail-thin can win an Academy Award.
Best Director: James Cameron is just insufferable. I would love to see Quentin Tarantino in it. “Basterds” was a fantastic movie, with great direction as always from the Q man.
Supporting Actor: Absolutely must be Christoph Waltz, the evil Nazi (are there any other kind?) from “Basterds.” Guy was unbelievable in every scene.
Supporting Actress: Everyone says Mo’Nique from “Precious” will win, but I’m rooting for Anna Kendrick of “Up in the Air.” She was breath of fresh air in that movie, really funny, and showed great acting chops. Go, Anna.
Enjoy the show, though I’m not a big fan of Alec Baldwin co-hosting. I still can’t see him without thinking of that awful answering-machine message he left for his daughter a few years back.
**Well, that was a most enjoyable butt-kicking my Blue Devils put on Carolina last night. Eighty-two to 50, and it wasn’t really even that close.
Couple thoughts from the first Duke win over UNC at Cameron Indoor since 2005:
— When Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith are both hitting shots, Duke looks like a Final Four team. Jon Scheyer, good as he is, can help out big-time with assists and other intangibles when his shot isn’t falling, like it wasn’t Saturday.
— Sign of the night: “Eight miles isn’t very far to go, except when your’e crying the whole way.”
— Brian Zoubek continues to amaze me. Guy is a legitimate stud interior player now for Duke. And with neither Plumlee showing any progress, he’s huge for Duke in the postseason.
— Boy, this is the most god-awful Carolina team I’ve seen in my life. Matt Doherty’s 8-20 disaster team from 2002 was bad, but at least they played hard. This Heels team looked completely disinterested and unmotivated. I enjoyed it.
— I’ve gone back and forth this year on if Duke is good enough to make the Final Four. Right now I’m thinking yes. The field is wide open, and if the Blue Devils get a good draw next Sunday, I think it’s definitely doable.
It’s March. The conference tournaments are underway. Selection Sunday is a week way. Love it!