I love movies and have been watching the Oscars since my teens, when I used to earn extra coin handicapping the winners, a skill I inherited from my dad.  Throughout the years, my dogs have kept me company, usually just hanging around, hoping that some party food will find it’s way to the floor.  Even Rebel, my majestic Irish Setter, never offered an opinion on the outcome.  Tanner was eager to share our steak dinner (he got a sliver of fat and some juice) but he was more interested in predicting the winners.  

Eugenie and were leaning toward Hugo, a moving, visually resplendent  fairy tale about making broken people whole.  There were other notable nominees, The Help,  Midnight In Paris and some clunkers (Tree of Life – what the…?) but Tanner was adamant:  Uggie would win for The Artist, a charming homage to conema’s silent era, and Cosmo for Beginners, a young man’s meditation on his father’s sexuality and illness.  Hugo also featured a dog, a Doberman, the canine sidekick of Sasha Baron Cohen who played the villain with a heart-of-gold, but he was a snarling, ornery bugger, the opposite of the cute, perky, indomitable Jack Russells.  Tanner was right.  Christopher Plummer earned Best Supporting Actor for Beginners and The Artist went on to cop Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor.  According to Tanner’s unnamed canine sources, Uggie claimed he was happy for Jean Dujardin but he secretly felt that he’d been robbed.  

Instead of gloating, Tanner offered his thoughts about this year’s show and the lack of drama.  There were some very good movies like The Help and Midnight In Paris but most of those didn’t have top tier stars in the leads.  Then there were films with A-list names (Money BallIron LadyThe Descendants) that were good but not great.  Tanner says people get excited watching big stars carry big movies.  Kind of like watching Kobe or LeBron hit the game-winning shot.   He found it interesting that several films (Midnight, Hugo, The Artist, War Horse) had French locations or were set around the time of WW I.  He thinks it has to do with the economic downturn and a nostalgic yearning for distant, ‘better’ times.  Sorry, Woody.  Anyway, if the recession continues into next year, I’m thinking about putting down some cash on Tanner’s Oscar picks .

If you dig cinema and would like a more nuanced and intelligent analysis, check out my friend Dan Cohen’s blog.  Tanner often plays with his dog, Luna (pictured below).  I wonder if he stole his picks from her?  Hmmm.

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