OSCAR NIGHT – ‘BEST PERFORMANCE BY A DOG’ (and some humble pie)

It was a tough night for Tanner and Eugenie; they failed to predict the key awards, and had to listen to me crow about Argo‘s Best Picture win. We were all glad to see Life of Pi pick up some gold, especially Tanner who loves all movies featuring 4-legged creatures.

In keeping with the Awards, check out this video on ‘Skidboot’, a cattle dog who takes the ‘BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING DOG’ hands down. Tanner was quick to point out that he’s much cuter and that he could learn all those commands and tricks, but being a terrier (American Staffordshire) he simply doesn’t want to. Hmm.


Last year Tanner proved to be a wiz at handicapping the Oscars; albeit his method was sketchy, he tabbed the Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor nods, along with a slew of other winners. Given his track record, Eugenie and I decided to let him offer his thoughts on this year’s races.

Tanner & Lou on State Street, Santa Barbara, 2/18/13

In the Best Picture category, we didn’t see three of the nominees – Beasts of The Southern Wild, Django Unchained and Life of Pi (Lou’s fault since Eugenie and I were bugging him to get the screeners).  Of the other six, Les Miz was overly long with uneven singing and a plot that jumps from a riveting ‘A’ story (Jean Valjean v Javert) to sappy, with the love at first sight between Marius (a rich frat boy slumming as a revolutionary) and Cosette. It’s a bit of a downer, but nothing compared to Amour, which made me want to run into traffic (Remember, I’m a dog and seppuku isn’t an option). We all found it sheer torture and it left us wondering how in the heck these two snooze fests get nominated when the bubbly, brilliant Intouchables came away with bubkes. But I digress. 

Lincoln was well done, with great acting boosting what is basically a lengthy documentary. Our friend, Joe Simone, rightly said it should have ended 15 minutes earlier, before the assassination, while David P, a director pal, said it l was shot with all those profiles so we would marvel at Daniel Day Lewis’s resemblance to Abe. Zero Dark Thirty (much like Hurt Locker, the 2009 winner) features a documentary story with a frosty protagonist that’s hard to warm up to. Her growth during the picture is nil. That leaves us with Silver Linings Playbook and Argo. Mom loved the former, second only to Intouchables in her year’s best. Dad said the first 30 minutes were a bit muddled but, after that, it was quite good. We all agree that Jennifer Lawrence is amazing, perhaps a new Meryl Streep in the making, and that she will take Best Actress. Eugenie liked Argo while dad liked it much better; then again, he’s a political type. It’s a tough call but I’m rolling with mom on this one. 

In the acting categories, it’s Daniel Day Lewis for Lincoln, Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings, Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master (no, I didn’t see that one either and probably never will because, with the exception of Boogie Nights, Lou doesn’t care for the director’s work). Finally, the under-rated David O. Russell upsets Steven Spielberg for Best Director. Overall, last year’s movies were far superior, not coincidentally, because they featured canine stars.
Porter update: Although he’s still fighting an infection and some post-op soreness, the tough little puppy is doing much better.