Hey, wouldn’t it be great to know who’s going to win the Academy Awards before they even air? Okay fine, we’ll let you in on our scam – we know all of the winners, because of our fool-proof, mathematical, inspirational, celebrational method to deduce Oscar winners each and every year.
You see, it takes the very best in Hollywood to win an Oscar. And only the best in Hollywood get to work with the Muppets. Ergo, the talented folks with the strongest Muppet connections must be earning their awards this weekend.
I know, the logic is impressive. You are impressed.
Still dubious? Last year, we accurately predicted the winners for Best Actor, Best Animated Feature, Best Original Song, and even Best Picture. That’s almost half! So, pretty much all of them.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Ciarán Hines for Belfast
Troy Kotsur for CODA
Jesse Plemons for The Power of the Dog
J.K. Simmons for Being the Ricardos
Kodi Smit-McPhee for The Power of the Dog
Despite Ciarán Hines’ appearance in a TV movie version of Jason and the Argonauts that featured digital creatures from the Jim Henson Creature Shop, it’s simply not enough to clinch him the Oscar. Shocking, I know. Alas, he’s been beat out by J.K. Simmons for his uncanny ability to successfully sell insurance to Grover, as seen in a series of ads for Farmers Insurance.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Jessie Buckley for The Lost Daughter
Ariana DeBose for West Side Story
Judi Dench for Belfast
Kirsten Dunst for The Power of the Dog
Aunjanue Ellis for King Richard
Wow, not one of these five talented women have ever crossed paths with the Muppets. You’d think that Dame Judi Dench would’ve, but after that Cats debacle, I don’t blame her. And I’m pretty sure I remembered Kirsten Dunst appearing on Miss Piggy’s talk show in The Muppets sitcom, except for the fact that it never actually happened. So without an actual Muppet connection, we’ll give this award to Jessie Buckley, because her name sounds like Barkley. It’s not much, but it’s enough.
Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Barden for Being the Ricardos
Benedict Cumberbatch for The Power of the Dog
Andrew Garfield for Tick, Tick… Boom!
Will Smith for King Richard
Denzel Washington for The Tragedy of Macbeth
This one’s a toss-up between Benedict Cumberbatch and Denzel Washington. Cumberbatch hung out with The Count and Murray Monster in a YouTube video back in 2014, and Washington appeared as a Grouch poet in a 1990 episode of Sesame Street. The scales are going to tip slightly in favor of Benedict simply because one time he wore this Sherlock Hemlock shirt.
Actress in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Olivia Colman for The Lost Daughter
Penélope Cruz for Parallel Mothers
Nicole Kidman for Being the Ricardos
Kristen Stewart for Spencer
Interesting enough, both Jessica Chastain and Penélope Cruz have been interviewed by Muppets on various red carpets, which historically has been enough to win an Academy Award. But Nicole Kidman has them both beat out thanks to her appearance on Sesame Street (presenting the Word of the Day, “stubborn”, with Oscar the Grouch), as well as her starring role in the Frank Oz film The Stepford Wives. Actually, maybe she should be deducted points for that one…
Animated Feature Film
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon
I’m sure that every animated film – especially those of the Disney or Pixar ilk – have found some sort of inspiration in the Muppets. But The Mitchells vs. the Machines found some actual inspiration, as an early storyboard included a spoof of the Tickle-Me-Elmo doll during the mall attack scene. And later, the main character tweeted out a picture of a sock puppet and called it “Katie Muppet”. So yeah, she’s a fan.
Best Original Song
“Be Alive” from King Richard
“Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto
“Down to Joy” from Belfast
“No Time to Die” from No Time to Die
“Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days
Can you believe that three of these nominees have appeared on Sesame Street?? “Be Alive” co-writer and performer Beyoncé sang “A New Way to Walk” with Destiny’s Child in 2002, and “No Time to Die”‘s Billie Eilish sang “Happier than Ever” with the Count just this year. But the obvious winner is “Dos Oruguitas” writer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is basically best friends with Elmo after his multiple appearances and songwriting credits. Plus, he wrote a whole song about Oscar’s valet.
Kenneth Branagh for Belfast
Ryusuke Hamaguchi for Drive My Car
Paul Thomas Anderson for Licorice Pizza
Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog
Steven Spielberg for West Side Story
Not many people know this, but Spielberg spent his infant years in a nursery with the rest of the Muppet Babies.
Summer of Soul
Writing with Fire
The winner, thanks to an incredible write-in campaign, will be Street Gang. You can’t fight the system.
Don’t Look Up
Drive My Car
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story
Ah, Best Picture. Always the most difficult category to predict. How does a movie that doesn’t feature any Muppets prove to have a strong Muppet connection?? Perhaps the time frame of the late 1960s of Belfast or the mid-1970s of Licorice Pizza, both of which were also important eras for Jim Henson? Maybe there’s something in the idea that Drive My Car might be inspired by Kermit and Fozzie’s road trip in The Muppet Movie? How about Power of the Dog‘s… dog? There are Muppet dogs. That’s a thing. No, we’ll give this Oscar to West Side Story, which takes place outside the future site of Lincoln Center, which puts the bulk of the action right in front of the Sesame Workshop offices, and down the street from the former filming location for Sesame Street. Spiritually, we may as well have seen Oscar’s trash can just behind the Jets and Sharks’ epic showdown.
Be sure to watch the Academy Awards this Sunday, and follow along with us on Twitter as we live tweet Muppet facts throughout the broadcast!
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by Joe Hennes – Joe@ToughPigs.com