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Fancy One of These Wagers for the Academy Awards?

Not to be outdone by the categories of awards themselves, a betting company in the UK is creating their own inventive assembliges to incentivize anyone who wishes to gamble this year.  At (supposedly the world’s largest betting brand) instead of voting for the usual “Best Film”, “Best Director”, “Actor” or “Actress”, one can place a wager on the following:

  • How many of the big 3 award winners (Director, Actor, Actress) will visibly cry when receiving their award?
    • None: 4/7
    • 1: 3/2
    • 2: 5/1
    • All 3: 20/1
  • Oscars Specials – How many times will the word Thanks or Thank You be used in the acceptance speech of the Big 3 Awards (Director, Actor, Actress)?
    • Over/Under 20: 10/11
  • What will be the Predominant Color of Natalie Portman’s Dress at the Awards Ceremony?
    • Black 3/1
    • White 3/1
    • Blue 4/1
    • Cream/Beige 9/2
    • Pink 9/2
    • Red 5/1
  • Will Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds attend the Oscars together? Yes 6/1
  • Will any Oscar recipients fall on their way to the stage? Yes 15/1
  • Will Geoffrey Rush be wearing a hat? Yes 6/4


Now you may be asking yourself “why”? Well, apparently there is a feeling that the Oscars look even more predictable than normal this year (Colin Firth is 1/50 to win Best Actor!) so the categories were put togteher to help the long evening be a little more entertaining.  Perhaps our own moviewalla listeners could come up with a few inventive categories of our own???

Will the Annie Awards winner be a good predictor of “Best Animation” for the Oscars?

Which one is best “Toy Story 3” vs. ‘How to train your dragon” has long been a sometimes heated debate amongst the moviewallas.  With two of the wallas adoring “Toy Story 3” and the other backing the “How to Train Your Dragon” train all the way to the Oscars.  Needless to say, this will be a hard fight to the end since both animations are extremely good.  Methinks this could turn into a replay of the “Big Mac vs. Whopper” debate of Ye Olde time (PS, who won that by the way?).

how to train your dragon

However at the 38th Annual Annie Awards held on Saturday, February 5 at UCLA’s Royce Hall a choice was made and DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon” won top honors as the Best Animated Feature. Often a predictor of the annual Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the Annie Awards honor overall excellence as well as individual achievement in a total of 25 categories ranging from best feature, production design, character animation and effects animation to storyboarding, video games, writing, music and voice acting.  (A complete list of the 38th Annual Annie Award winners can be viewed at

I decided to think of some of the merits of each of these terrific submissions to see if there was any way to separate the two:


Toy Story 3

How to Train your Dragon

Best Story


Most heart wrenching


Best rendition of a dragon that acts like a dog or Cat


Best story arc


Best ensemble cast EVER


The one that made me cry the most


The one that I would watch again and again


The one that I would watch if Toy Story 3 got worn out


So there you have it, both animations, both excellent and little to separate them.  Even in trying to rate the two against each other, I found the choice so difficult.  But remember, I loved “Toy Story 3” and sobbed uncontrollably at the end…for me I think what it comes down to was the familiarity and joy I felt seeing Woody, Buzz, Mr. Potato Head and the rest of the gang for the third time.  That intertwined with Pixar’s amazing talent to tell the story of a young boy all grown up and leaving home for the first time and the impact it has on all of those you leave behind.  Gosh, I’m tearing up just thinking about what a GREAT story this was as I write.  Whatever your preference, “Toy Story 3” or “How to Train your Dragon” what more could we ask for than two brilliant animations in one year that are both deserving of the title “Best animation”

Toy Story 3

What do Lego and the Oscars Have in Common?

lego oscars

The Oscars and Lego have Artist Alex Eylar in common.  Once again, Eylar posted images on his Flickr site of the 83rd Academy Awards Best Picture nominees constructed of Lego bricks and miniature figurines. This unique tribute combines his passion for both Lego and Film

Each of the ten nominated films: “The Fighter,” “Inception,” “Black Swan,” “Toy Story 3,” “127 Hours,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “Winter’s Bone,” “The Social Network,” “The King’s Speech,” and “True Grit” have been given the Eylar treatment with a memorable scene recreated in loveable lego pieces

Eylar last made news for his minimalist interpretation of 10 iconic movie posters, such as “Clockwork Orange” “Back to the Future,” and “Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory.” Image Kind reported, “His personal renditions of popular and iconic movie posters cut through the noise of over-hyped Hollywood production and tell a story through simplicity.”

lego oscars

Looks like this may be a growing trend given that Eylar isn’t the first person to combine Lego building with a love for film. Eric C. Harshbarger has made a career out of building mosaics and sculptures out of Lego bricks, and many of his projects have a cinematic theme. Lego itself often comes out with movie-themed sets as well.

To see a full set of the ten nominations in lego go to






Oscar Nominations Tomorrow Morning – Am I the Only Excited One?

The Oscar nominations are announced tomorrow morning – is anyone as excited as I am?  I am not sure why I am so excited, I mean it’s not like I am waiting to find out if I get nominated or anything but I am really excited.  I can’t even imagine how I would feel if I had a dog in the race?  If I was in any jeopardy of getting a statuette, a gold-plated britannium on a black metal base which is 13.5 in (34 cm) tall, weighs 8.5 lb (3.85 kg) and depicts a knight rendered in Art Deco style holding a crusader’s sword standing on a reel of film with five spokes, would I be even more excited than I am now; a mere watcher of films?

oscar statue

If I was Colin Firth (c’mon I am British!) what would I be thinking tonight?  Would I be nursing my cup of cocoa reassuring myself that it doesn’t matter what happens tomorrow because “I know I did a great job?” or “I don’t need another statue to prove I’m a great actor – I just loved playing a stuttering monarch that no one ever talks about”

What if I was Annette Bening – Surely the fact that I played “same sex marriage” and made it look damn convincing vs. that little whippersnapper who just had to learn to dance is worth a nod?  C’mon guys you’ve looked me over so many times, everyone knows I am a GREAT actress!

And if I’m David Fincher, I mean I have a great body of work behind me already and I made a film about a networking website look like an exciting week in Ibiza – that takes a lot of talent

I am Christian Bale now – marveling at my ability to pull off the great Dicky Eklund.  I had to train just as hard as Natalie Portman and I’ve been around longer, wait, statues make great things to throw at people, no?  By the way, I wonder if Amy Adams or Melissa Leo will be nominated – wouldn’t it be great of we all got one.

Finally, what if I’m Toy Story 3 – I mean I totally deserve best film – just because I am rendered in code and not celluloid, should that be held against me?

Anyway, six hours to go, so I will just have to wait like the rest of them.  My own hopes for nominations in one form or another are – “The Social Network”, “Kings Speech”, “Toy Story 3”, “Blue Valentine”, “127 Hours”, “The Kids are All Right”, “True Grit” and of course, “The Fighter”.  Good luck all my faves of 2010!