I apologize for my radio silence but I was sucked into a vortex of tears and trembling and I don't mean my annual Oscar weekend nervous breakdown. I was working on a project involving Oscar's acceptance speeches and I literally spent twelve hours watching them via Oscar's official YouTube channel. People are always complaining that the Oscars are too long but I say too short. Whenever I revisit a famous Oscar speech I become more perplexed that the producers are always pushing winners to keep it down to 45 seconds. I live for those hot mess speeches like Adrien Brody's in 2003 or Halle Berry's in 2002. Remember that? I mean she didn't even stop hyperventilating for a minute and a half. How much less memorable would Jeff Bridges speech have been in 2010 if they didn't let him have all this "groovy" memories and detours and how much duller would Sandra Bullock's speech have been had she had to cut out all the laugh lines and Meryl Streep kissing jokes and her anecdote about her boy craziness...
My greatest impossible dream for Sunday is that Christopher Plummer will feel compelled to sing the entirety of The Sound of Music's "Something Good" when he wins for Beginners. If he does we should all tear down our curtains and make playclothes in his honor.
I hope they let Viola Davis talk for 15 minutes when she wins Best Actress because she's divine. Yes, yes, the gays are supposed to want Meryl Streep to win every year -- sorry! -- but this year I'm all about Viola. She truly anchored The Help, saving it from its own worst impulses and making its best ones resonate. You could feel a lifetime of struggle in her posture and walk, habitually suppressed anger in her frowns; even her smiles and laughter had undertows like she knew they'd be gone the next instant or bring painful memories of her son back with them. People reflexively bad mouth the film -- sure, it's an easy target -- but that performance is just flawless. (If I ran the world Meryl would already have her three or four naked gold men so I owe her nothing)
What are my Predictions? AFTER THE JUMP...If you're betting against The Artist on Sunday, you'll lose. Ignore the backlash especially when people call it a safe unadventurous choice. ("Yes, because comedies and black and white silent films win so often," he said sarcastically). This is a highly unusual year in that it seems like most of the best nominees in each category are going to win.
Will Win: The Artist
Spoiler: The Descendants and The Help are the only films with anything like spoiler heat but not enough of it.
Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Spoiler: If Oscar gets cold feet about giving everything to the French on Sunday, this could go to an American legend Martin Scorsese (Hugo) or to Alexander Payne (The Descendants).
Will Win: Viola Davis, The Help
Spoiler: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady ... and it might happen since it's been 29 years.
Will Win: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Spoiler: George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean, George and Brad Pitt (Moneyball) were still campaigning hard right up into the finish and it feels like a squeaker. I'm rooting for Brad and Hollywood always roots for Clooney but Dujardin's extravagantly expressive face and dancing feet might prove irresistible.
Best Supporting Actor
Will Win: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Spoiler: None. Plummer is so far out front I wouldn't be surprised if Hollywood can't remember who the other guys are.
Best Supporting Actress
Will Win: Octavia Spencer, The Help
Spoiler: None. She's been sweeping the precursors.
Who would you vote for?
WHAT TO SEE THIS WEEKEND THAT YOU PROBABLY HAVEN'T YET...
Matthias Schoenaerts as a steroid addled man in "Bullhead"
If you haven't seen The Artist yet, you need to see what the fuss is about. Otherwise try and find Iran's A Separation which has been slowly trickling in to more cities. The family drama slash legal thriller is a full stop masterpiece and if it loses Best Foreign Film Sunday it'll be the night's most depressing moment. (It's also nominated for Best Screenplay but there's probably no stopping Woody Allen's amusing Midnight in Paris there.) A Separation has tough competition, though, from Poland's In Darkness, a Holocaust drama (and you know how much Oscar loves those) and maybe even from Belgium's Bullhead, a critically acclaimed crime drama about illegal growth hormones that has a lot of people talking. If you've seen all the Big Name players, you could also try a couple of the Best Documentary nominees: Hell and Back Again and If a Tree Falls are both streaming on Netflix.
If you've already seen all the nominees and have no time to see movies anyway because you're busy prepping for your massive Oscar party to shame all Oscar parties, well done!
TOM LEPPERT: Senate candidate's rivals attack former Dallas mayor for appearing in Gay Pride parade. Ugly stuff. Lots of background at the Dallas Voice.
KENYA: Mob storms safe-sex seminar for gay men.
THE SIMPSONS: The 500th episode's genius opening sequence gets put in slo-mo.
STOP TEASING THE FISH: A puffer fish goes after a laser.
For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.
Bill Maher gives $1 million check to Obama Super PAC.
San Francisco LGBT Center celebrates 10th anniversary in March.
Gerard Butler goes to rehab after developing pill problem over pain from 300.
Wingnut Elaine Donnelly still campaigning against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" months after it took effect: "Supported by the Catholic Thomas More Law Center, she has filed a federal Freedom of Information Act suit against the Navy, alleging that it distorted the figures from its study to make it look like more of the armed forces supported repeal. "
Adele to appear in closing ceremonies of London 2012 Olympics.
Idaho's only gay lawmaker Nicole LeFavour won't seek reelection: "LeFavour cited personal reasons, saying she won't ask her partner, Carol, to endure another difficult Legislature. LeFavour hopes she's replaced in the Legislature by another openly gay member."
Top 10 Grindr-induced psychological maladies. "As a practicing psychologist and avid student of human behavior, the Grindr phenomenon prompted me to ponder deeper issues and implications."
Downton Abbey gives PBS highest ratings since 2009.
These are a mouse's taste buds.
Radio personality Beth McDonald bows out of Catholic event after organizers ask about her participation in Phoenix's Gay Pride parade.
Mark Morford: How to be more like Satan.
St. Petersburg parliament holds public hearings on bill outlawing gay "propaganda". "Anti-gay proponents packed the hearing in their favor, Russian LGBT groups report, as organizers publicized the event only yesterday, and filled the audience with clerical and Russian nationalist organizations." Activist group AllOut is planning a worldwide 'day of action' this coming Tuesday. Find out how you can participate HERE.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell says marriage equality should be left to the states, and gays and lesbians make inferior parents.
Massive whale rubs up against Hillary Clinton's dinghy (sounds dirty, right? it's not).
Bear comes out of hibernation.
D.C. Police target gay men in online sting: "In a little noticed brief filed in federal court last May, Assistant Public Defender for D.C. Jonathan Jeffress said that with full approval from the U.S. Attorney’s office, a D.C. police detective posing undercover as an adult gay man has targeted gay men for sex-with-minor arrests on adult gay websites that have 'no history or reputation as locations where minors go online.'"
Puppy is suspicious of broccoli.
Dermot Mulroney and a Macaroni penguin.
'Truth Wins Out's Wayne Besen files suit against "ex-gay" group PFOX: "I decided to sue PFOX after its President, Greg Quinlan, appeared on a television show and falsely claimed that I tried to have him killed."
Indian government sends out mixed messages over Supreme Court's consideration of law that criminalizes homosexuality: "A sensitive debate over gay sex in India was thrown into farcical confusion Thursday after a government lawyer urged the Supreme Court to ban it - only for the government to contradict him hours later in a statement accepting a recent ruling that made it legal."
Same-sex marriage opponents filed paperwork for a voter referendum petition with the state Board of Elections today to undo marriage equality legislation passed this week, the AP reports:
Delegate Neil Parrott said he filed draft language for a referendum petition with the state board of elections Friday, a day after the Senate joined the House in approving a bill to allow same-sex marriages. Gov. Martin O’Malley endorses the measure and plans to sign it next week.
The board has a week to consider the submission and if it is approved, Parrott and others will begin collecting the 55,736 signatures needed to bring the measure to the November ballot.
Parrott says he plans to turn in double the number of required signatures to ensure certification.
New York state Senator Mark Grisanti, one of four GOP senators to vote for marriage equality last June, has lost the support of the Erie County Republican Party over his vote, the NYT reports:
Ralph C. Lorigo, the chairman of the Erie County conservatives, said Mr. Grisanti had lost his party’s trust after twice telling party executives, in 2008 and 2010, that he was not in favor of gay marriage, and then voting in 2011 to legalize it.
“A lot of people felt betrayed by that commitment that he broke,” Mr. Lorigo said in an interview on Friday.
The party instead endorsed Charles M. Swanick, a former member of the Erie County Legislature who once changed his affiliation to Republican before returning to the Democrats. Mr. Swanick has told the county conservatives that he was against gay marriage and abortion, and in favor of fiscally conservative policies, Mr. Lorigo said.
Senate majority leader Dean Skelos says he is confident of Grisanti's reelection.
An Academy Awards report from the Onion News Network.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...