He Said, She Said will be a weekly post brought to you by Joseph Williams and his lovely wife, Palmer. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything though…
Discussing thoughts and feelings about everything under the sun, from TV and film to awards shows and life experiences, they’ll bring a unique perspective on each topic. When they agree, consider it two thumbs up. When they disagree, consider both sides. But don’t write them off as typical-guy and typical-gal points of view. After all, Palmer doesn’t exactly like chick flicks, and Joseph doesn’t get all jacked up to see Transformers 3 at midnight.
How to Make Predictions for Contests
Palmer: Now that awards season is upon us, an annual debate has arisen between Joseph and I about how you should fill out your Oscars ballot. Joseph and his cheating heart thoroughly researched what the critics and Academy say about each pick. I, with my pure, unadulterated heart, predict based on who I think ought to win. Example: Joseph voted for The Tree of Life for cinematography based on critics’ predictions. I saw parts of The Tree of Life, and thought the story was dumb and had no plot. Albeit a beautiful movie, my heart told me this was the Oscars, a contest for movies, not a contest for art on screen. Thus, I couldn’t vote for a seemingly pointless movie and chose, instead, The Artist. Why should I let the Academy, a group of people I’m pretty sure I have little in common with, decide for ME what I think a good movie is?!
Joseph: First of all, you watched about 15 minutes of The Tree of Life. I chose it because I thought it did have the best cinematography. And many make the argument that movies are indeed a form of art on screen. I don’t see why being principled and choosing with your heart has to be mutually exclusive from picking a winner and being a winner. This debate comes up as I have, for the second year in a row, won the Oscars Prediction Pool amongst our friends.
Palmer: And by win, you mean you cheated. And cheaters aren’t winners. So you did not win. Because you cheated. (and The Tree of Life was dumb)
Joseph: I thought this was He Said, She Said… NOT He Said, She Interrupted. But as I was saying, historically, I have always done well with Oscars predictions, NCAA Tournament Challenges, and other similar contests. I pick with my heart, but I still go for the win. For example, for my two college basketball teams (Vanderbilt and Memphis), I always think about how far I actually think they will go, then predict they will go one round further. This is giving credence to my heart, while also not shooting myself in the foot annually by having Vanderbilt beat Memphis in the NCAA Championship game. For the Oscar shorts categories, I used to simply pick whichever name sounded the coolest and then the Pixar animated short if it was there. But now, I do my research about what critics and viewers who actually saw these movies think about them. I’m making an educated, informed guess. I’m going for the win. What makes it the right decision is that I then always root for whoever I actually WANT to win, even if that would make my predictions less accurate.
Joseph: Many critics have made similar arguments concerning The Artist’s victories for Best Picture as they did against The King’s Speech. While I loved both films and would highly recommend each, I would have cast my vote for only one of them – The Artist. (I would have voted for The Social Network last year. Aaron Sorkin is the man.) In a year where great films captured nostalgia for the art of yesteryear (The Artist, Hugo, Midnight in Paris), none did it as poignantly, whimsically, or as universally as The Artist. Contrary to what many critics say, the story and the characters do say a lot about universal humanity – we often abhor change because we are too comfortable with the status quo. But the tale told here is told in a way to make modern audiences appreciate the magic that was the dawn of cinema without being too heavy-handed or self-righteous. It will leave you tap-dancing out of the theater, even if you have no clue how to tap-dance.
Palmer: So I put off seeing The Artist for as long as possible. In fact, on five previous occasions I schemed my way out of seeing it with Joe. However, the night before the Oscars, I realized that in order to stay true to my aforementioned theory of Oscar picks, I had to actually see the movie to cast my ballot. So I went. And it was lovely. I went in with low-expectations, hoping to get a nap in mid-showing, because after all what better place to take a nap than in a silent movie. But from the moment the movie came on, I was captivated. Even though it was a silent film, the story was engaging. I hardly noticed that there was no sound. The costumes were beautiful, the silent banter heart-warming, and the movie was actually much grittier than I thought possible for such a film. I highly recommend it to everyone, and formally apologize to Joseph for weaseling my way out of seeing so many times.
Joseph: This one is just simply absurd. Palmer is vehemently against movies with an animal as a primary character. In the myriad of weekends and evenings deciding what movie to go see or rent, Palmer has rejected hundreds of great films (or they could be great!? I don’t know if they are or not…) simply because of her aversion to animal movies. War Horse? Nope. Secretariat? Nah. And it’s not just what movies to see! I’d like to be able to share a magical moment with my wife when a golden retriever and pitbull bound out of the forests on an East Tennessee mountain road. So when this happened recently and I began to hum the theme song to Homeward Bound and recounting Shadow, Chance, and Sassy’s adventures, my wife did not have a clue what I was talking about. The bittersweet self-sacrifice that is the ending of Old Yeller? Nope. How Marley & Me captured the evolution of a young married couple to middle-aged parents? Lost on her.
Palmer: Animal movies are dumb. Seriously, they are too easy. I need a movie that is going to cleverly fight for my emotion and empathies. Of course I’m going to be devastated by the mistreatment of a circus elephant (i.e. Dumbo and Water for Elephants), or cry out in outrage for a mistreated dog (i.e. 101 Dalmations, Call of the Wild, Shiloh, Lady & the Tramp). Even if it is supposed to be a happy, redemptive animal movie, somehow the animal always ends up getting hurt (i.e. Free Willy, Marley & Me, Charlotte’s Web). No thank you! I know that animals are cute, cuddly, and ultimately have limited life-spans. I do not need to be reminded of the sadness and cruel fate that so many cute little ones face. Come on, Hollywood, let’s get a little more creative. So I join, PETA, in saying – STOP ANIMAL MOVIES!!!
*Back to point number one on Oscars predictions, I vote with my heart. So I don’t care how good the sound or sound editing was on War Horse? Was it an animal movie? Yes. So did I vote for it to win any Oscars? Nope.
Joseph: You just joined PETA on something? Okay. That’s all that needed to be said.
Joseph: I am just going to say it for both of us – we haven’t enjoyed Modern Family as much this season. It still gives us a lot of laughs and enjoyment. We still watch it almost every Wednesday night on our DVR. But it has gone from my favorite comedy on TV to my second-favorite (behind Parks and Recreation) to the bottom of the top five. I find myself more consistently enjoying and laughing at Parks and Rec, New Girl, Up All Night, and Community. A few episodes this season have been as good as ever; but there is just some magic missing. Some of the characters have become caricatures of the complex people they were in season one.
Palmer: Mitchell, you are annoying. Luke, you have outgrown your character. Claire, please eat a hamburger. Gloria, you are as lovely as ever. Cam, you can do no wrong. Lily- anyone else wonder how she went from a one-year old to a five-year old overnight? (Though admittedly cute, and reminiscent of the Olsen Twins in Full House.) Phil, although you will always hold a place in my heart as you are Joseph Wiliams incarnate, you too need to step up your game. Basically, a show I have loved since the beginning, is becoming stale. Modern Family, let’s take a cue from The Office. Learn the lessons from history. Get your stuff together and evolve your characters, before you end up in Season 8 and everyone wished you had ended several years ago.
Palmer: Ok, blogosphere, I need your help with something. Joseph and I have the sweetest one-eyed old dog ever, Topper. He lives a cold life. Not cold in the sense that he doesn’t have loving owners who have given him a warm home and fancy dog-food, but cold in the sense that hateful old Joseph, refuses to cloth him. He makes sweet little one-eyed Topper go through life shivering every time he is forced to go outside. He needs a sweater!!! It’s just common decency. If you are going to groom him and shave off all his fur, the least you can do is give him a warm sweater in return. Also, he only has one-eye, which makes him struggle a bit in picking up lady dogs. He needs all the help he can get, and a stylish sweater would definitely do the trick. Please write Joseph hateful emails about his dog abuse, and demand that he buy poor little Topper one doggie sweater.
Joseph: Dogs don’t need clothes. God gave them clothes. It is called a body covered in hair. For generations and centuries, dogs have been just fine without sweaters, jackets, or costumes. Not only should dogs not wear clothes, but western civilization’s legitimacy to the rest of the world, our ancestors, and future generations looking back on us as a (hopefully still) dominant civilization depend on it. You know who first became famous for putting dogs in clothes? Paris Hilton. Let’s not pattern our behavior after her. Hasn’t she had enough attention?Please help Joseph and Palmer decide by voting in our first-ever He Said, She Said Poll: Should dogs wear sweaters?