Back by not-so-popular demand is my meshing of two of my favorite things: The Oscar race and the NBA. The Oscars have expanded to ten movies in the Best Picture race this year, so I have my work cut out for me to find something about each movie that reminds me of an NBA team.
(For the record, my favorite movie of 2009 is the documentary The Cove, but I'll admit it was a pretty weak year and that movie didn't overwhelm me like so many of the great movies of the past decade. Honorable mention to In the Loop, The Hurt Locker, and Inglorious Basterds.)
Without further ado, our ten nominees:
Avatar - Los Angeles Lakers. Although I like Phil Jackson much more than I like James Cameron, there's no doubting Cameron's career - two Terminator movies, Aliens, Titanic, and the underrated True Lies are kind of like all of Jackson's titles. This is the most expensive Hollywood-ish movie on the list, and the one that made the most money. Sounds like the Lakers to me.
The Blind Side - Oklahoma City Thunder. No one expected them to be this good right now, but by the sheer force of the lead performance, they're going to the playoffs. By the same token, Sandra Bullock (who was good, but not that good) managed to take a predictable movie that should've been forgotten a couple of weeks after it came out and turned it into a huge success and an Oscar nominee. By the way, Bullock is going to win Sunday night. Who would've ever thought after Speed 2 that she'd eventually have an Oscar on her mantle?
District 9 - Golden State Warriors. They're lots of fun, and seeing them is a wild and enjoyable experience (especially if you have a fantasy player going against them). They have absolutely no shot to win.
An Education - It's what the Knicks are going to get in this offseason. Someone called me pessimistic a few weeks ago when I thought the Knicks might not get enough (or any) good players this summer. While that commenter was right to call me pessimistic, as a Knicks hater, I'd say that was an optimistic opinion. I'm holding onto that one. Joe Johnson isn't going to get them to the playoffs guys.
The Hurt Locker - Washington Wizards. This one was easy.
Inglourious Basterds - New Orleans Hornets. You've got one of the biggest stars in the world, Chris Paul/Brad Pitt, yet he disappears for large sections of the season/movie and some newcomer (Darren Collison/Christoph Waltz) comes in and walks away with the season/movie. If this season ends with the Hornets on top, it'll be an even bigger shock than the end of the movie.
Precious - Portland Trail Blazers. The injuries to Greg Oden and Brandon Roy should've been enough to make anyone give up, but the Blazers are ten games over .500 and are heading to the playoffs. Actually I haven't seen this movie yet, but I'm just assuming she overcomes all adversity and succeeds in the end.
A Serious Man - San Antonio Spurs. Tim Duncan is of course the titular character. I still don't know if I liked this movie or not, but it's worth seeing for the Bar Mitzvah scene alone.
Up - New Jersey Nets. They've got nowhere to go but Up.
Up in the Air - Cleveland Cavaliers. Actually, a lot of teams are up in the air right now waiting to see what LeBron James is going to do, but after seeing that ridiculous alley-oop to Bron the other day, this one has a nice double meaning.