It’s that time again! The Academy Award nominees have been announced, and we’re on our way to seeing all 27 Best Picture nominees, rooting for the actors and actresses that already have a collection of statuettes, and pretending to care about sound design.
It also means that we’re making our third annual Oscar predictions! In case this is your first time reading our Oscar coverage, we call the winners based on the most important of criteria: Muppet connections. It’s simple, whoever has the most and best connections to the Muppets, Sesame Street, or Jim Henson is bound to win the Academy Award. (Caveat: Don’t actually base your Oscar pools on our predictions. Last year, we only correctly guessed two: The Artist for Best Picture and The Muppets for Best Original Song, though that last one was a gimme. We are almost always wrong.)
Unfortunately, the Muppets aren’t nominated this year (what, a movie from 2011 isn’t eligible for the 2012 Oscars??), so who really cares who will win any of these silly things?
They’re playing the “get off the stage” music, so I’ll finish up and let you all take a look at the nominees, along with our ridiculous predictions.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Alan Arkin for Argo
Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master
Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln
Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained
I would love it if some of these guys ever worked with the Muppets. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Tommy Lee Jones are just begging to have a grump-off with Sam the Eagle or trade barbs with Oscar. Christoph Waltz is also on that list, but he came close after his announcement and subsequent retraction of co-starring the new Muppet movie (though he still may appear in a cameo, which isn’t quite enough for him to win this award). Robert De Niro comes close after having appeared on Sesame Street teaching Elmo how to act, and then butchering a Christmas carol with Kermit on Saturday Night Live. Our first award goes to Alan Arkin for having not one, not two, but three significant Muppet credits to his name: “Larry” in the “Larry and Phyllis” sketches on Sesame Street, guest starring in an episode of The Muppet Show, and most recently appearing in The Muppets as a surly tour guide. And despite the fact that he’s almost 80, we’re expecting him to keep on showing up in Muppet productions.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams for The Master
Sally Field for Lincoln
Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables
Helen Hunt for The Sessions
Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook
Jacki Weaver needs to catch up, because she’s the only one here without a Muppet connection. Helen Hunt appeared in the music video for the Kermit Unpigged album’s “She Drives Me Crazy“, Sally Field ate cookies like Cookie Monster with Telly on Sesame Street, and Anne Hathaway sang “I Want a Snuffleupagus for Christmas” in Elmo’s Christmas Countdown. But it comes as no surprise that this award goes to Amy Adams, who appeared in The Muppets as Mary, and that’s freaking good enough.
Actor in a Leading Role
Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln
Hugh Jackman for Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix for The Master
Denzel Washington for Flight
I admit, I was a little surprised at a few of these Muppet connections. Hugh Jackman taught Elmo about a Word of the Day on Sesame Street and Denzel Washington also appeared on Sesame Street as a poet way back in 1989. But I’m calling this award for Joaquin Phoenix, not because he has the strongest Muppet connection, but because his is the most interesting. Phoenix was interviewed by Janice in issue #15 of Muppet Magazine about his role in the movie SpaceCamp. And really, how many of us can say that??
Actress in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva for Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts for The Impossible
Although Quvenzhané Wallis is very Muppet-like in her adorableness, Naomi Watts is the only one with an honest-to-Frog Muppet connection after popping up on Sesame Street to teach Elmo about the word “exchange” with her husband Liev Schreiber.
Animated Feature Film
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Brave has a family of anthropomorphic bears. They’re just one step away from them donning neckerchiefs and telling bad jokes.
Michael Haneke for Amour
Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild
Ang Lee for Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg for Lincoln
David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook
Yes, this is a picture of Baby Gonzo as Steven Spielberg. Your argument is invalid.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Both Beasts of the Southern Wild and Life of Pi heavily involve animals, which would normally get either one close to winning this award (mainly because it’s usually so tough to pick a winner in these damn things). But this one goes to Les Misérables because one time, Shalom Sesame spoofed the Les Mis song “Master of the House” with “Matzah in the House”.
According to the Muppet Wiki, Seth MacFarlane has made over 45 Muppet references on Family Guy, plus over a dozen mentions on American Dad, which can be a good thing or a bad thing if you consider jokes about Cookie Monster as a drug addict, Statler getting murdered, and, of course, Bert and Ernie being gay. Still, MacFarlane tends to be more of a song-and-dance man in shows like this, so maybe he’ll bring a little of that old school Muppet Show vaudeville fun to the Oscars. So yeah, he’ll be a big winner, but not without a few jokes made in poor taste along the way.
The Academy Awards will air on February 24 at 7:00ET/4:00PT on ABC, so be sure to watch and be amazed at our amazing predictions!
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by Joe Hennes – Joe@ToughPigs.com