Oscar Gladiator Games
It's gonna be a pretty savage competition for this year's Oscars, and pretty much everyone is well deserving of a nomination, so why bother picking who deserves it by talent? Instead, as I love so much to do, I've decided to figure out who would win if the Oscars were based on gladiatorial combat. Because that's how most contests should be decided. By Spartacus levels of nudity and violence in monster truck arena presided over by wild-bearded Joaquin Phoenix.
Part II -- BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Hilary Swank, Conviction
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
Carey Mulligan, Never Let Me Go
Hye-Ja Kim, Mother
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
Sally Hawkins, Made in Dagenham
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
This is gonna be like an I Ching reading with all these bony bitches battling it out. Sally Hawkins and Carey Mulligan are adorable. Which is why they will be the first to die. Simultaneously, I'd imagine, and probably wishing they'd eaten a donut just once in their lives. That's not to say they'll be pushovers, they'll get a few licks in here or there, but I just think they're too meek to mangle. Michelle Williams and Natalie Portman at least have the benefit of the hunger and crazy on their side. I'd probably favor NatPo, if only because what she lacks in gristle, she makes up for in combat training. Williams could be a brute, but she's got that indie world-weariness that seems to sap any grudge-match level of violence out of her. Jennifer Lawrence is scrappy, but she's also new to the game, so I can see her popping off a few of the weaker girls before getting out-strategized by the veterans. Lawrence would assuredly draw first blood, probably just behind Portman, who probably gets gang-beaten by the rest. I would like to think that Hilary Swank would probably do some severe damage, with the combination of her boxing experience and a face so angular it can actually be used as a weapon. Anyone face-punching Swank is likely to get their hand cheese-gratered. Which is where I see Portman getting iced. I'm not sure who's coming out alive from the prom committee scrum of the younger ranks, but it really doesn't matter, since they're gonna have to face down two tough old birds.
Annette Bening seems too classy at first, with a frosty Yankee mentality, kind of like a Martha Stewart, but she's also a bit of a firebrand. I think a lot of that fire's kind of gone to smoldering coals, but that's not to say it couldn't be stoked again. I think maybe five years ago, she might not have been in her prime, but I think she's got a bit of a prison trustee sort of viciousness and cynicism that would benefit her well. She's been married to Beatty for a damn long time. I see her as a sort of Lady Macbeth, who doesn't actually need to enact violence but is willing should the need arise. I actually see her and Kim circling the bird's nest of younglings picking off the ones who weaken or separate from the herd. Kim's probably going to get overlooked, because she's old and Asian. Huge fucking mistake. She's gonna load up on knives, sit quietly by playing possum, and then lash out. Anyone getting in her way's gonna walk away holding in intestines before they even realize they got cut.
I'm feeling that probably Portman, if she can fend off any sort of five-on-ones, and a severely injured Swank come out of the little kid's scruff before they realize they've got to deal with Bening and Kim. I can see Portman going all out on Bening in an astonishing combat, one of those back and forth deals where both are just whaling on each other, trading blows and drawing blood. I think Swank would turn her back on Kim trying to figure who to strike first, and that's gonna make her a dead duck, trying to hold that veiny neck together after Kim's opened her carotid. I think if Portman manages to get Bening on the ground, she'd probably bash her with a rock or something, giving Kim a chance to give her two little V for Vendetta's in those razor-sharp shoulderblades. But if Bening manages to eke out a victory, Kim's not going to see her back anytime soon. I actually think Bening would draw Kim into the Portman showdown, getting her just in range and using Kim's frailty of age to osteoporose some splintered shins. With her down, I think Bening's doggedness would just keep her in the fight. I tend to favor a Portman victory, if only her sheer desperation and insanity manages to keep her in the scrum long enough for the two elder queens to out strategize each other to death.