City Paper's own condescending movie awards, the Alties™

Which will it be:

the stuttering king, the cocky internet whiz-kid, or the teen girl hiring an avenging gunslinger? The usual media chatter suggests


The King's Speech



The Social Network

, and

True Grit

look like early favorites to score big when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gives out those iconic gold statuettes Feb. 27 at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre. But what’s a little fun about this year’s Oscar nominations is that nothing entirely feels like a surefire bet: a Christopher Waltz in


Inglourious Basterds

in 2010, a Daniel Day-Lewis in

There Will Be Blood

in 2008, Helen Mirren in

The Queen

in 2007. Yes, there are certainly front-runners, but in some categories it feels like there’s a genuine race worth discussing.

Which doesn’t mean

The Social Network


The King's Speech

aren’t gonna walk away with everything. Which would, you know, just make sense: The people who already have everything usually get to keep it.

Economics was the elephant-in-the-room subtext to 2010 and the year in movies, and we’re not just talking about all the financial crisis documentaries. Economics slithers its way into many of the Oscar-nominated films as well. The rich can’t just afford to invade people’s sleep in


: Even their dreams take place in better tax brackets. Other Best Picture entries include the have-nots or the have-a-littles trying to hold onto what they feel is theirs (

Winter's Bone


True Grit


The Fighter


Black Swan

), imbalances in home economics (

The Kids Are All Right

), the inevitable sadness of what to do with all that stuff (

Toy Story 3


But so goes it: Money, how to obtain it, and the accumulation of it by a smaller and smaller demographic is just the world in which we live. In a Dec. 3, 2010, article in the

Financial Times Magazine

, Facebook board member Marc Andreessen told reporter David Gelles that the site’s user base would “cap out at some point at the number of people who have electricity.” The mind-boggingly crappy thing about that statement isn’t that it’s an indication at just what level the social networking site operates—but that it’s more than likely 100 percent true.

Best Typecasting:

Jesse Eisenberg,

The Social Network

. Fagerberg: All of a sudden he’s got an attitude but that fast-talking neuro-mumbling isn’t going anywhere.

Best What-He-Always-Does:

Ben Affleck,

The Town


Best What-She-Always-Does:

Jennifer Aniston,

Bounty Hunter

. Ward: Heaving breasts in a tank top, running around in platform sandals, hair tossing coupled with a “Wha?” look then a dirty look and maybe a “harrumph,” giggling.

Best for Shame, Hollywood:

Amanda Peet,

Gulliver's Travels

. Gardner: She’s a dynamite actress who just happens to be super lovely and funny and all you can think to do with her is plop her in a no-chemistry romance with Jack Black? Did you see

Please Give


Best Zach Galifianakis Making You Cry:


It's Kind of a Funny Story


Due Date


Best Yeah, Right:

Isabelle (Alice Braga), the smokin’ hot sniper from


, ’cause they totally have those.

Worst Career Move:

I'm Still Here

. Gardner: Perhaps it proved that Joaquin Phoenix is a brilliant actor, but I’ll never be able to watch him again without thinking of him wondering what various hookers’ buttholes smell like.

Best Who the Hell Is THAT?:

Dieter Laser,

The Human Centipede.

Best Women Want to Do Him, Men Want Not to Be Killed Face-Down in a Puddle of Mud by Him:

Mads Mikkelsen,

Valhalla Rising.

Best Performance by an Artificial Life Form:

Jazz hands down—Cher in



Best Action Star:

Cameron Diaz,

Knight and Day

. Ward: Unlike Angelina Jolie in every action flick since

Tomb Raider

, Diaz actually has the muscles to back up that moxie.

Best Dead Pretty Lady Married to Leo DiCaprio:

(tie) Michelle Williams,

Shutter Island

; Marion Cotillard,



Best Acid Casualty:

John Malkovich,


Best Cinematic Acid:

Enter the Void.

Best Drug Moment:

Get Him to the Greek

’s “When the world slips you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry wall.” McCabe: What’s horribly embarrassing is how reasonable this sounds to me.

Don't Eat the Brown Acid:



Best Comedy:

Hot Tub Time Machine

. Ward: Just stupid enough to delight but smarter than all the kids in the audience wearing American Apparel’s versions of the ’80s gear we actually wore in high school, which makes us happy. Spandau Ballet bonus disco: John Cusack playing John Cusack at the age we fell in love with him.

Best Rom-Com Lady Job:

Kristen Bell,

When in Rome

. Ward: She’s a modern art curator in a

New York museum

and from there it’s no real stretch that she falls in love with Josh Duhamel in Rome while there for her sister’s wedding—as opposed to Ocean City, where real sisters get married.

Best Rom-Com Cameo:

Kaitlin Olson,

Leap Year

Ward: With all of her non-Botoxed glory (the audience sorta gasped at her closeup), Olson shat upon Amy Adams’ fulfilled fantasy engagement to Adam Scott with a passing comment about how smart they are to get married to please the condo board.

Best Parents:

Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson,

Easy A

. McCabe: Maybe it’s just because I’m old, but seeing people older than you cast as the teen-comedy parental unit that you can imagine still having sex and not vomitting in your mouth a little bit feels kinda profound.

Best Performance by Drunken Dancing in a Supporting Role:

John C. Reilly,



Best Performance by Dental Work in a Supporting Role:

Christian Bale’s teeth,

The Fighter

. McCabe: The best anti-crack ad since Marion Barry.

Best Eww:

Michael Shannon’s Kim Fowley,

The Runaways.

Best Crazy:

Jonah Hill,



Best Crazy-hot Mom:

Marisa Tomei,



Best Creepy Children that Actually Aren't Vampires:

The White Ribbon.

The Annual Awesome Tilda Swinton Performance Almost No One Saw Cup:

I Am Love.


Best Overly Obvious Historical Drama Revelation:



. Gardner: Mussolini? Totally not a nice guy.

Best Joke on Everyone:

Exit Through the Gift Shop.

Best Class War:

Sex and the City 2

, when Miranda and Charlotte toast all the mommies who do it without nannies while staying in an Abu Dhabi hotel room. McCabe: That actually made my uterus tweak in anger.

Best Animal House 2.0:

The Social Network.

Best Vasectomy Ad:

Life as We Know It

. McCabe: What’s worse than dying after reproducing? Letting your derelict best friends raise the poor fucker.

Best Hate Fuck:

Lisbeth Salander anally violates the judge who rapes her,

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Best Creep Fuck:

Blue Valentine.

Best F-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-fucking 'ell:

Colin Firth,

The King's Speech


Best Whatevs:

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

. Gardner: Yeah, everybody loved the books, but did you read that David Mamet screenwriting fatwa from last year where he talks about any scene involving two characters discussing another character who’s not there being a dud? TONS of that here.

Best Shootout:

Chloe Moretz steals an entire movie by taking out a gang of armed goons in a strobe-lit warehouse as Nicolas Cage goes up in flames,


. McCabe: Cage’s career circa 2010 in one scene.

Best Dose of Reality:


. McCabe: You know that whole war on terror thing? It’s actually far fucking more awful for the soldiers out there than your worst imagination.

Best We Are the Last People With Whom You Should Fuck:

The Tillmans,

The Tillman Story


Best Lifestyle Porn:

Eat Pray Love


Best Sound of One Hand Clapping:

127 Hours.

Best Unconscionable Violence:

The Expendables

. McCabe: It’s like they only had two kinds of bullets: exploding and cutting in half.

Best Roast Chicken Skin:

The cast of

The Expendables.

Best Cliché:

The Hit Man Out for One Last Job meets the Hooker With a Heart of Gold,

The American.

Best Proof of Satan:




Yogi Bear.

Best Boomer Self-Pity:

Toy Story 3

. Gardner: What a drag it is getting old, for real, huh? The retirement community life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially with mortality staring you down. But there’s a place for you, a use, there still is, really. (See also: the absence of any toy made in the last 40 years except for a Totoro doll.)

Best Facepalm:

Country Strong.


Howard the Duck

Award for Worst Adaptation:

Linda Woolverton and

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

The Halle Berry


award for best rumored nudity that drove up ticket sales:

Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis,

Black Swan

. Fagerberg: Nothing puts asses in seats like faces in crotches.

Outstanding Achievement in Ridiculous, Near Movie-Ruining CGI:

The end of

True Grit.

Best Movie That Doesn't Make Any Sense:



Best Bullshit-Ass Twist:

Book of Eli

. Soderberg: He’s blind, assholes.

Best Mother/Daughter Dance to a Nas song:

“Life’s a Bitch,”

Fish Tank


Best Gratuitous Cuteness:

Thomas Balmes’


Best Polymorphous Perversity:


. Gardner: Everybody has a close relationship with everyone else and then all that totally switches around, as does a gender, and everybody effs everybody and then gets killed, hooray!

Best Sam Fuller Impression:

Shutter Island.

Best Kids' Movie:

The Secret of Kells


Best Secret Stoner Movie:

The Secret of Kells.

Best Shut-ins:

The kids in


Best Movie to Not See Even on Television While you have the Flu:

Cop Out

. Ward: Kevin Smith has run his course behind the camera and Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan must have kids in college for them to show up for this crap. (Well, maybe not the Willis.)

Best Realistic Portrayal of a Canadian Boyfriend:

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World