The Ninth Annual Anti-Oscars

    Worst Picture – “Eat Pray Love”

    Few 2010 movies were as infuriating as “Eat Pray Love.” Elizabeth Gilbert — author of the original memoir — is somehow made more obnoxious by Julia Roberts’ gummy portrayal, handily making every mom’s favorite writer the most insufferable woman on screen all year.

    The whole premise of the dramedy is “self-exploration.” But Gilbert’s narrative isn’t all Camus-like existentialism — it’s mostly just a rich white bitch whining about being a rich white bitch.

    After ending her marriage, Gilbert heads on a globe-trekking journey (paid for by her editor; if only every pizza and yoga fan could be so lucky) to “find herself.”

    Cue the inevitable scenic montages of Julia Roberts eating, Julia Roberts meditating, Julia Roberts putting on fat pants, Julia Roberts riding a bike, Julia Roberts falling in love with Javier Bardem (not fair) and — lest you forget — Julia Roberts discovering her purpose in life — which is, apparently, writing about being a rich white bitch.

    Sure, women have the right to travel the world and write manifestos — just like legions of men have done before them. We just wish this manifesto had more insight than gelato and first world problems.
    —Arielle Sallai
    Hiatus Editor

    Most Underrated – “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”

    Michael Cera films aren’t usually groundbreaking, but “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” came out and shocked the few people who saw it this summer (it failed to earn back its $60 million budget) with its comic book energy.

    At its core, the story is familiar: Like many boys before him, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) must face the past of his new girlfriend, Ramona Flowers. Video game absurdity comes into play, however, through a simple twist — Pilgrim must literally battle each of Ramona’s seven evil exes in order to claim her as his own.

    Following “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz,” director Edgar Wright crafted “Scott Pilgrim” as a full-blown sensory experience, combining original music from indie greats like Beck, Broken Social Scene and Metric with graphic novel visuals. Each artist wrote music under the name of one of the film’s fictional bands, and Wright used visual effects to transform the world into an homage to 8-Bit and gamer culture, lending the film a distinctly modern voice.
    —Rusteen Honardoost
    Staff Writer

    Barfiest Movie – “The Human Centipede”

    What sounded like an avant-garde shocker from a lower-division art class turned out to be the most unfathomably revolting film of the year. “The Human Centipede,” sprung from the mind of the moustached Dutchman Tom Six, involves a group of poor tourists who stumble upon a mad scientist with an odd fantasy; he dreams of connecting the three through their digestive systems, ass to mouth.

    No one could have anticipated the explosive success and immediate legacy of the little torture-porno that could. It spawned a pornographic parody, aptly titled “The Human Sexipede” (seriously). And, later this year, it will return with its highly-anticipated sequel “The Human Centipede (Full Sequence),” which will reportedly feature a 12-person centipede.

    But the film’s most significant feat lies in its trumping of the MPAA. Six packed the most unbearable shit of mankind into “Centipede,” and still managed an R rating. (But we’re sure all that awkward cunnilingus in “Blue Valentine” warranted the NC-17.)
    —Ren Ebel
    Associate Hiatus Editor

    Best Use of ‘the Dude’ – “True Grit”

    Jeff Bridges is one of the most badass motherfuckers in Hollywood. From his pot-toking, white Russian-sipping role as “The Dude” in “The Big Lebowski” to his Oscar-winning portrayal of Otis Blake in last year’s “Crazy Heart,” Bridges seems capable of making every character he plays instantly cool.

    Last year was good to Bridges. In addition to earning his second consecutive Best Actor nomination (for “True Grit”) he appeared (not once, but twice!) in Disney’s “Tron: Legacy.” It’s in “True Grit,” however, that Bridges expertly combines DGAF charisma with searing drama. The actor’s performance as Marshall Cogburn was a masterful (and sometimes hilariously incomprehensible) update of John Wayne’s portrayal of the character in 1969. And if there’s one actor in the business today fit to recreate Wayne’s cool ruggedness, it’s Bridges.
    —Andrew Whitworth
    Senior Staff Writer

    The Michael Cera Award – Jesse Eisenberg

    Michael Cera’s curly-headed, anxiety-ridden persona has finally been upstaged by an even curlier-headed, more anxiety-ridden up-and-comer: the hot dork Jesse Eisenberg. For years, Eisenberg was antagonistically called a poor man’s Cera, playing awkward, gangly nerds in lower-profile flicks than the “Superbad” star (see: any Eisenberg movie ending in “-land”).

    But 2010 was a turning point for the New York native. Though Cera’s part in this year’s “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” earned critical accolades, the performance hit a little to close to the same “Juno” approach to land him anything more than a few favorable reviews.

    Eisenberg, meanwhile, was wrapping up one of the year’s most beloved dramas. His bitingly sarcastic Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network” earned the 27-year-old actor both rave reviews and an Oscar nod for Best Actor — making him the youngest in the category in years.

    Hollywood heavyweights are typically dethroned by younger, better-behaved counterparts (a la Winona Ryder and Natalie Portman). Cera, however, seems to be suffering from a case of arrested development this year.
    —Neda Salamat
    Senior Staff Writer

    Most Inappropriate British Accents – “Prince of Persia”

    Maybe the director of “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” thought Jake Gyllenhaal’s biceps would be enough of a distraction. Maybe they were counting on the audience to get caught up in the whirlwind of ninjas and magic sand. I can tolerate the latter, and God knows women (and plenty of men) can appreciate those biceps, but I cannot accept a movie set in ancient Persia in which characters speak with British accents.

    Let’s consider history for a moment. Though the movie takes place in the “mystical lands of Persia,” anyone with Wikipedia access can come to the conclusion that the film is set around the time of the Sassanid Empire, which lasted from 224 to 651 AD. England didn’t become a unified state until 927 AD. So not only is L.A.-bred Gyllenhaal too white for the role, there is no historical way he could be speaking with a British accent.

    We know Hollywood takes liberties with history, but there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed. Not that the change is unprecedented. Hollywood loves to take ancient empires and make them relatable (and attractive) to American viewers — too bad our intelligence is questioned in the process.
    —Sarah Robinson
    Staff Writer

    Hottest Underage Actor – Logan Lerman

    I only agreed to see “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief ” because my tween sisters begged me to, though I told myself it would be interesting to see how the film used Greek mythology in a kid-friendly plot line. Butwhat got me to keep watching was something else altogether. Or, more accurately, someone.

    With striking blue eyes, artfully sculpted dark hair and youthful enthusiasm that make Justin Bieber look like a downright dweeb, Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson had my eyes glued to the screen. I’m no cougar, but watching the kid use his wit to trick Medusa had me head over heels in love.

    Of course, I IMDb-ed him after the movie ended, only to discover that at the time of filming, Logan was 17 years old (though he’s 19 now). I felt creepy for a while — and then decided to rationalize the whole thing by blaming Disney’s casting. I nevertheless look forward to his next starring turn as the lead in the film adaptation of “The Perks Of Being a Wallflower,” after which I hope to not feel like a pedophile.
    —Sarah Robinson
    Staff Writer

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