The 2013 HefferBrew Oscar Ballot- by Dustin Brewer

Our residential movie theater employee Dustin sits down and gives you his take on who should take home the gold at the Academy Awards on Sunday.

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I don’t know if there’s anything more fun to hate-watch than the Academy Awards, you love watching the glitz and the glam and seeing all the stars dress all nice but you hate it because in the end, you’re just watching a group of overpaid people get together, self-congratulate and hob-knob about “the best of the year.”

That said, I love movies. I make my living working at a movie theater (I know, I know, shocking that we’re not quite rolling in that sweet online journalism cash yet) and no matter what, I can’t help but love the magic of movies and get attached to the people that help bring that to life.

So let’s dive in and and predict the outcome for Hollywood’s biggest night.

Best Original Song: 

  • “Before My Time”- from Chasing Ice
  • “Everybody Needs a Best Friend”- from Ted
  • “Pi’s Lullaby”- from Life of Pi
  • “Skyfall” from Skyfall
  • “Suddenly” from Les Miserables

And the Oscar Goes to: “Skyfall.” Let’s be real, if you read the evisceration of “Skyfall” by our very own Gavin Muirhead, you read the part about us making 15 minutes worth of jokes about the dramatic power of the song “Skyfall.” That said, Adele is nothing to scoff at. I have no idea what Chasing Ice is, Cameron exposed Ted as racist fodder, if a lullaby wins, we’ll all fall asleep and general consensus is that no one in Les Miserables could really carry a tune short of Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway (as coincidence would have it, both are nominated). Do you really think that Adele, the Grammy-Award winning singer is not dominating this category?

Best Animated Feature: 

  • “Brave”
  • “Frankenweenie”
  • “ParaNorman”
  • “The Pirates! Band of Misfits”
  • “Wreck-It Ralph”

And the Oscar Goes to: “Wreck-It Ralph”. First, one of those stands out like a sore thumb doesn’t it? If I didn’t work at a theater, I would even be asking “What the hell is a ‘Pirates Band of Misfits’ and what is it doing in this category?” Here’s the gist: clay-mation, British made, Hugh Grant is the star, families fell asleep watching it almost every day it played. Good? Good. This is really a two-dog (sorry Frankenweenie) race between Brave and Wreck-It Ralph. While Brave contained more heart and dept than I expected, Wreck-It Ralph contained more at every turn. The characters are fully realized, the animation is gorgeous, the video game setting allows for tons of sneaky references and the story contains a few twists that shock better than many live-action films these days. Fantastic voice-work from John C. Reily, Sarah Silverman and Jack McBrayer made this not just the Best Animated Feature, but one of the Best Movies of the year.

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Amy Adams in “The Master”
  • Sally Field in “Lincoln” 
  • Anne Hathaway in “Les Miserables”
  • Helen Hunt in “The Sessions”
  • Jacki Weaver in “Silver Linings Playbook”

And the Oscar Goes to: Anne Hathaway. Ever want to see Helen Hunt completely naked? Then “The Sessions” is the movie for you buddy, unfortunately, there was a performance more emotionally naked than hers; Anne Hathaway. (Yes, I’m aware that that was the worst, most cliched segue possible and I’m sticking with it.) For all the hype and media and accolades surrounding Hathaway and Jackman, “Les Mis” was not correctly beloved at all, quite the opposite actually, most critics found it overlong, boring and poorly directed. Here’s an excerpt from one review:

“Anne Hathaway, whose version of “I Dreamed a Dream” is fierce and true, her martyred mother Fantine delivering a sob in the throat that’s very you-are-there. I have to say, it was moving. The rest of the time I just wanted to get moving, far away from its oppressive clamour.”

I know enough to say confidently that the Academy loves giving awards and praise to showy roles, no matter how bad the movie is and a singing, disease stricken, prostitute mother giving up her daughter before she dies, is the kind of stuff Oscar dreams are made of.

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Alan Arkin in “Argo”
  • Robert DeNiro in “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in “The Master”
  • Tommy Lee Jones in “Lincoln”
  • Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained”

And the Oscar Goes to: Christoph Waltz. In a perfect world, Christoph Waltz will hoist the trophy, what would be his second for his second collaboration with Quentin Tarantino. Actually, in a perfect world, Leonardo DiCaprio would be winning but my sources tell me you have to actually be nominated to win. (For shame Academy, for shame). What Waltz does in “Django Unchained” is astounding; he’s the heart and soul of the film and represents the real statement QT is making with the film. So many were focused on the depiction of racism and the violence and the N-word that they found it to be exploitative of the subject matter. Waltz’s character, King Schultz, is a man so disgusted by the actions of those around him, so ashamed of what he sees on a day to day basis, that he’s willing to give anything to help Django reunite with his wife and give them their freedom. Tommy Lee Jones and Robert DeNiro are the two favorites for this award, DeNiro for finally taking the time for reading the script before filming the movie and Jones for essentially playing the same character he won for in “The Fugitive.” Expect one of them to play spoiler, but in terms of performance, no one was better than Christoph Waltz.

Best Actress:

  • Jessica Chastain in “Zero Dark Thirty”
  • Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Emmanuelle Riva in “Amour”
  • Quevenzhane Wallis in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
  • Naomi Watts in “The Impossible”

And the Oscar Goes to: Jennifer Lawrence. For the first time in 30 years, every lead actor from a movie is nominated for an acting award, still, nobody talked about anything from “Silver Linings Playbook” but Jennifer Lawrence. Every review was “Bradley Cooper is the best he’s ever been, but Jennifer Lawrence is on another level.” That’s no exaggeration. J Law dominates this movie like an acting combination of Mike Tyson, Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan. She’s funny, heartbreaking, sympathetic, terrifying; sometimes all at once. Each scene she’s in is like a Blake Griffin lob from CP3. (If by some miracle of a chance someone that knows her is reading this, call me?) She’s 22 years old and already has 2 Oscar nominations and carries a franchise, “Hunger Games” anyone? We could be witnessing the birth of our generations’ Meryl Streep; an actress so capable of anything thrown in her way, that you can’t compete, you can only hope to slow her down.

Best Actor: 

  • Bradley Cooper in “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln”
  • Hugh Jackman in “Les Miserables”
  • Joaquin Phoenix in “The Master” 
  • Denzel Washington in “Flight”

And the Oscar Goes to: Abraham Lincoln. Daniel Day Lewis. Seriously, we penciled this in the second we heard that Daniel Day-Lewis was going to play Lincoln in a Steven Spielberg film. The two-time winner needs to be clearing mantle space for his work digging up and re-animating Lincoln.  What makes this so insane is everyone nominated is fantastic in their roles, but it doesn’t matter because everyone knows DDL is taking this one home.

Best Director:

  • Michael Haneke for “Amour”
  • Benh Zeitlin for “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
  • Ang Lee for “Life of Pi”
  • David O. Russell for “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Steven Spielberg for “Lincoln”

And the Oscar Goes to: David O. Russell. The oversight of nominating Ben Affleck for “Argo” has thrown this category up in the air. There are three front-runner runners; Lee, Russell and Spielberg. And while all three are deserving, the restrained direction of “Silver Linings” gave it a more claustrophobic feeling which upped the emotions and really helped drive the topic of mental illness home. The intimacy of it all made the heavy scenes impossible to ignore, there’s nothing flashy here, just the characters in all their flaws. The flashy, CGI assisted style of “Pi” could easily earn Lee his second Directing statue and the epic, sweeping style of “Lincoln” is the kind of stuff Spielberg has been doing his whole career. Here’s to thinking that the two epics cancel each other out and Russell wins after being snubbed for “The Fighter.”

Best Picture:

  • “Amour”
  • “Argo”
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
  • “Django Unchained”
  • “Les Miserables”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Lincoln”
  • “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • “Zero Dark Thirty”

And the Oscar Goes to: “Argo”. The Academy had no problem snubbing Affleck for directing but do you really think they can pass at the opportunity of naming the movie where Hollywood saves the day Best Picture? “Django” is too controversial. “Les Mis” is overblown and boring. “Lincoln” gives us everything about Lincoln except for the only thing the audience is waiting to see (The assassination.) “Zero Dark Thirty” is a little too brutal with its’ unflinching look at torture and the limits we went to to find Bin Laden. It really comes down to “Silver Linings” and “Argo” and “Argo” gets the edge because of its’ subject matter. The Affleck-snub and “Argo’s” dominance at Awards shows since, shows that people may be trying to atone for the oversight and rewarding the movie that throws back to the classic suspense thrillers of years ago, with Hollywood’s quintessential Award.

Other Winners:

  • Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained”
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: “Silver Linings Playbook” 
  • Best Visual Effects: “The Avengers” *
  • Best Cinematography: “Skyfall”

*If “the Avengers” doesn’t win Best Visual Effects, I think we can all agree the Academy Awards mean nothing. There’s no example of a movie being tailor-made for an Academy Award category better than this. We burn Hollywood down if this goes any other way.

Dustin Brewer is co-creator of HefferBrew. He’ll be working the night of the Oscars so find him on Twitter @dstnbrwr and let him know how he did. Make your own predictions right here in the comments section or on

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