St Kilda v Fremantle – The Stuff (Oscars Edition)

That’s right, its Academy Awards day and that means it’s time for the sequel absolutely no one asked for, but the Mongrel Oscars/Awards are back baby!

I just want to say that myself and my mum are very excited for this year’s ceremony, particularly since we are likely the only people left watching it.

There will be a couple little tweaks this year, as we continue to refine this special edition review. I won’t be directly comparing performance with previous winners, but instead be comparing to current nominees/my predicted winners, although you will likely read this after the awards have been announced. Let’s see how my predictions go. No nominees this time. Just winners in some categories I’m feeling confident about.

First, let’s talk about the story that unfolded before us. It was a scrappy game in Perth. Neither team will be highlighting this game at seasons end as a high point.

Fremantle simply kicked straighter early in the game, as the Saints were largely playing better footy. How wasteful they were. It looked like it was going to burn them, as it has done to many teams just in this round of footy.

But then came the third quarter and a Max King and Jack Higgins blitz that turned this game from a bit of a defensive slog to an exciting goal fest (well, for at least one team). It was on the back of this burst, that the Saints captured the lead and never surrendered it.

Fremantle gathered their bearings and did steady on the eve of the three-quarter-time siren, but the damage was done They had let the Saints in for a brief window and they had ransacked the place like a 10-year old boy left alone on Christmas, who claims robbers tried to break into his house.

Normal programming resumed in the last quarter, with an added edge due to the closeness of the contest, with neither side able to have much effective offensive possession. The Saints eventually held out and won their first match at Optus Stadium.

Best Actor: Will Smith – King Richard

This was a hotly contested race. With multiple choices a possible deserved winner, but this has to go to Andrew Brayshaw. Multiple players put their hand up with strong performances, but I overlooked Brayshaw last week, just as Smith has previously been overlooked for his own strong performances. In short, it’s time to recognise his work.

Yes, St. Kilda won the match, but they didn’t have the best player on the ground, just like how King Richard isn’t going to win Best Picture, but Will is still taking home the Oscar for best afield in his category.

Brayshaw was unrelenting in this game. And was one of the main reasons Fremantle was able to open up a small lead early and then the big reason why they almost closed the gap late. But alas, as Richard found out in his journey of teaching his children not only about tennis, but about life as an athlete of colour, Brayshaw needs to continue to demonstrate to his teammates what unflinching commitment looks like.

Best Actress: Nicole Kidman – Being the Riccardo’s

Talk about a wide-open race. Any punter off the street would have as much chance as an expert of picking this one.

This is the same with the other leaders in this game. It genuinely will b a raffle for most pundits deciding votes. In the end I settled with Max King. King had a strong cast around him and combined beautifully with Jack Higgins (who we will get to next) to propel the Saints in a raging third quarter that resulted in a five goal swing the Saints way and heading into the last quarter with an 18-point lead. King kicked a match winning four goals and took a game-high four contested marks.

King, much like Kidman, is often maligned for a poor performance here or there, but in this game he delivered in a big way for Saints fans.

Best Supporting Actress: Kirsten Dunst – The Power of The Dog

Jack Higgins can often look a little beat-up on the footy field, can’t he?

Last week was a nightmare for Higgins, just as some recent history has been for Dunst.

Higgins delivered the sort of performance he has always promised since his very early days at Richmond. An enigmatic forward, his game was far from perfect, but it was superb. Combining with kick for three goals each in that third quarter turn. In fact when you look at the way the Saints scored in this match, they kicked five goals in 13 minutes int eh third quarter and kicked four goals for the rest of the game.

Higgins kicked the first of the third quarter to jump start the Saints and then came back in to drive the dagger into the Dockers fans hearts after Max King placed it there with his three goal run.

A four-goal return for a small forward in a game where your team only kicked nine goals is a great effort worthy of recognition. Not to mention the way Higgins combined with the likes of Dan Butler to continuously apply pressure on the Fremantle defenders.

Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons – Being the Riccardo’s.

Screw the experts, this a pick with my heart. I am a JK Simmons… Stan? Is that what they call them these days? Anyway, he should win because he is awesome.

This also applies to my pick for this award in this game. Luke Ryan. I’m just a huge fan of his and how he plays his footy. Last week was an aberration, but it is good to see him get his season back on track in this one. Racking up the ball across halfback, intercepting opposition attacks using his good marking skills and utilising his long kicking to springboard the Dockers own offensive push.

There is a reason this guy is an All-Australian defender.

Some other notable awards in this game went too:

Best Director: Jane Campion – Power of The Dog

Jack Steele stepped behind the camera in this game. Usually a marketed star, in this match he lead his team across the ground, directing traffic and setting the example for the habits of a winning team. Defensive Pressure. Steele laid a game high 13 tackles and had an equal game high six clearances as he burrowed inside to ensure the likes of Hill, Gresham and Sinclair could focus on their roles on the outside.

Best Original Score – Hans Zimmer – Dune

Joshua Battle. Talk about setting the tone for your team. Battle was marvellous as he operated as the opposing number to Luke Ryan, in what was a scrappy defensive struggle for large parts of this game.

Best Original Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza

Blake Acres may or may not have an issue with the MRO from an incident early in this game in which he collected Max King high as they contested a ground ball in the Saints forward fifty. However, aside from that Acres was very solid against his old team. I constantly found myself seeing him involved in niggle byplay with Saints players, which I found refreshing as it kept this game interesting when it was lacking scoreboard impact.

And that’s about enough Awards talk. If you made it this far, I’m really proud of you and you now know more about this years Oscars chances then about 90% of people. But that’s not saying much. Now we will shelve this blessed tradition until next year when Fremantle get a third crack against a new team for another batch of these spicy awards and a chance to be liked to cinematic greatness.