Almost a month ago, a few days after this year's Oscar nominations were announced, you my faithful and constant readers (thanx to Mrs. Parker for the borrowing of at least part of that phrase) were asked to choose which film you think should win this year's Oscar for Best Picture. Not the film that will win (which incidentally seems to be more than a foregone conclusion at this point) but which film you would vote for if you were a member of the Academy. Did you pick the swaying genius of The Tree of Life or the giddy nostalgia of The Artist or Hugo? Did you cast your vote for Woody back in Woody form in the magically inclined Midnight in Paris? What about the love of the game directness of Moneyball or the dramatic poignancy of The Descendants? Did you vote for the succulent looking but emotionally manipulative War Horse? What of the pandering mediocrity of The Help, which though wonderfully acted all around, saddled with the most inane screenplay imaginable? Or perhaps your choice was for the insipid atrocity that was Incredibly Loud and Obnoxiously Close? Perhaps you can see a bit of my own leanings from the above statements, but after all, I am one of those nasty critics everyone speaks so badly about. Anyway, on with the results of the poll.
In no real surprise, and by a veritable landslide, Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, easily the most acclaimed film of 2011 and my own personal favourite, wins the thing hands down as they say. Garnering 31 votes (out of an overall total of 72 cast), which is another way of saying 43%, Malick's gorgeous film (hated and reviled by much of the mindless multiplex masses) is our big winner. I would love to see it spoken when they open that final envelope of the night on Sunday, but that, as they are prone to say, ain't gonna happen brothah.
Coming in at a distant second and third are a pair of films that look back into the annals of cinema history. With 12 votes (16%), just squeaking out the silver medal spot by one vote, is Martin Scorsese's Hugo. This film, my second favourite of the year, is followed by the frontrunner to win the actual Oscar, The Artist, grabbing 11 votes (15%). Pretty much from the beginning this was really a race between these two motion pictures for the honour of coming in second to The Tree of Life, and it was nearly a photo finish - but in the end, Hugo had all four feet off the ground. In case you do not get that last reference, check out some, appropriately enough, very early, pre-film history here.
That brings us to the rest of this nine horse pack. With 6 votes (8%), coming in in fourth place is Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, which in turn is followed by Moneyball and The Descendants in a tie for fifth with 4 votes (5%) each. Then we have those lesser films - and not just in my not-so-humble opinion but apparently in the voter's eyes as well. With 2 votes (2%) apiece are Steven Spielberg's visually stunning (see I can say good things too) War Horse and that 9/11 work of arrogant stupidity (okay, not everything can have good said about them) Incredibly Overblown and Ridiculously Annoying. Then we have that last place finisher, The Help, in a sad state of affairs, grabbing exactly zero votes.
Well, there you have it true believers (now I must thank Stan Lee for usurping his tagline) - the results of how you would vote if you were a member of the "illustrious" Academy. And speaking of the "illustrious" Academy, I will be back on Saturday to announce my final predictions for these so talked about Oscars. Until then.....