March 9, 2014

Getting Oscar picks in early

Due to scheduling problems, leap year and poor planning on my part, the annual Oscar predictions column that usually resides in this space failed to make it into the paper last week.

Frankly, it’s a shame, because believe me, I totally nailed it this time around. Yep, everything but that tiny, little, insignificant Best Picture mishap. To be fair, “12 Years a Slave” was my “should win” choice, but I thought “Gravity” would win (like it did everything else).

Oh well, another near-million dollar Oscar pool jackpot lost.

Honestly, it was disappointing not to have the chance to just share my predictions after all the tiresome and grueling hours I put in making sure to watch every Oscar nominee.

To make sure that doesn’t happen again, I am now ready to make bold predictions for the 2014 Oscar race (to be selected on Feb. 22, 2015). Yes, it hurts that I’ve only seen, oh, seven movies to this point of 2014, but I’m reasonably sure that Joel Kinnaman’s performance in “RoboCop” will stand the test of time.

At the very least, “The Lego Movie” will be there to top the Animated Film category.

With the sure-to-be bungled announcements — why can’t professional actors read a teleprompter? — a mere 50 weeks away, here is what you can expect:

After much discussion and controversy, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences eschews early frontrunners Will Ferrell, Jackie Chan, Lady Gaga and 3-D computer-generated Elvis Presley to name John Travolta as the host of the 87th Academy Awards.

Though he has a few minor flubs — introducing Judi Dench as “Yusuf Dingleberry” and Robert De Niro as “The Duchess of Windsor” — Travolta performs admirably. While wearing the exact same pantsuits that Ellen Degeneres wore in 2014, he sings a medley of songs from “Grease” with Melissa McCarthy and re-enacts every dance scene from Saturday Night Fever.

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