If it's crap ... We'll tell you
I should get an award for busting out two blogs in a row. Go me–hopefully they’ll be more frequent from here on out…enough shameless self–promotion. We’re back with part II of the Oscar Predictions. So sit back grab a bowl of popcorn and continue to let’s continue to get ready for movie fandom’s biggest night.
The King’s Speech:
Best Actor (Colin Firth)
Best Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush)
Best Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter)
Best Art Direction (Eve Stewart, Judy Farr)
Best Cinematography (Danny Cohen)
Best Costume Design (Jenny Beaven)
Best Director (Tom Hooper)
Best Editing (Tariq Anwar)
Best Score (Alexandre Desplat)
Best Sound Mixing (Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen, and John Midgley)
Best Original Screenplay (David Seidler)
Best Chance: Best Picture, Colin Firth for Best Actor
Biggest Snub: None
I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to be like every other critic and gush over this film and proclaim it Oscar gold from every which way till Tuesday. Unfortunately for me, a great film is a great film, whether it’s to your tastes or not. Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech is not my cup of afternoon tea in the slightest–a slow moving, stuffy old biography about those stuffy old English royals. Colin Firth star shines brightest as he portrays King George VI, who had to overcome his stammer in order to properly and confidently, lead the United Kingdom through the darkest days of the 20th century.
I’m not so brazen as to deem a film or show bas just because I don’t like it and this film is no different. I won’t be watching The King’s Speech a second time any time soon, however, Hooper’s film is hands down the Best Picture front runner and Colin Firth is all but a lock for best actor. Matter of fact if he didn’t win, it would be the shock of the night. To portray King George VI, Firth not only had to come across the screen as ‘kingly,’ but because of the king’s allocution inadequacies, had to stammer just about every line he said, come across vulnerable, likeable, and someone the English people would be able to get behind, as they did with the real King George during World War II.
The Social Network:
Best Actor (Jesse Eisenberg)
Best Cinematography (Jeff Cronenweth)
Best Director (David Fincher)
Best Editing (Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter)
Best Score (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)
Best Sound Mixing (Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick, and Mark Weingarten)
Best Adapted Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin)
Best Chance–Aaron Sorkin for Best Adapted Screenplay / Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross for Best
Biggest Snub–Andrew Garfield for Best Supporting Actor
OMG! WTF! The Facebook movie? Really?! Are you kidding me? Can we please watch a film about stucco paint drying instead?! If any director on this planet could make a movie about the controversial founding of Facebook as compelling as it was, certainly David Fincher was the man for the job. The man who has made the best cop thriller of all time (Re: Se7en) might have made the best movie ever about a social network’s beginnings. As with Inception, I was not as impressed as friends and critics were. In the case of The Social Network however, that’s because every stinking commercial boasted that it’s “the movie of the moment.” Why, because Facebook isn’t even ten years old yet? Absurd. Almost as absurd as not giving a Supporting Actor nod to Andrew Garfield; whose Eduardo Saverin does all he can to try to keep his friendship with Mark Zuckerberg and his place within the Facebook history alive even in the heat of a lawsuit.
The Social Network is a great movie to watch, but Best Picture winning material it is not. The film is a success because it takes its admittedly blasé subject matter (a snarky, egotistical Harvard freshman creates the premiere website in his dorm room and finds success amidst various lawsuits doesn’t sound like much for a film) and makes it compelling and that is because Aronofsky’s direction (which is always great), Sorkin’s screenplay, and Reznor’s score. The film’s best chances to find Oscar gold are the latter two of the three. Sorkin’s script is fasts–paced, well worded, and well acted; and Reznor’s score (his first feature film score) sets a dark brooding mood that works well against the backdrop of lawsuits and social networking highway robbery.
For my next movie, the Zombie Network
Best Animated Film
Best Song (“We Belong Together,” by Randy Newman)
Best Sound Editing (Tom Myers and Michael Silvers)
Best Adapted Screenplay (Michael Arndt, story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich)Best Chance–Best Animated Film, Randy Newman for Best Song
Biggest Snub–Ned Beatty for Best Supporting Actor
How many people who saw the dénouement of the Toy Story saga cried as much as Big Baby? Whoever didn’t raise your hand is lying! Toy Story 3 is so good, so touching, so fricking fun, that as an adult watching the film I felt like I should have after watching the Star Wars prequels–just like a captivated kid again! Happy to see my old friends, and happy to get the chance to see Woody, Buzz, Slink, Ham, Rex, and the rest of the toy chest bid us all a fond farewell as we all enter adulthood. Toy Story 3 also marks the first time that a trilogy’s conclusion is the best of the bunch, and damn good prison break story to boot. Kudos to everyone at Pixar for continuing to one–up themselves every picture. Lets face it, the day they make a bad or even sub–par film, we might have to seriously evaluate how much time the world has left. On top of all this, the flick is a shoe–in for Best Animated Movie and since Up was double–nominated last year, we know that votes won’t be split enough for the film to NOT win.
One day, I hope the Academy recognizes actors for their voices as well as the performances that go with them. Ned Beatty as the voice of the villainous ‘warden,’ Lotso is awesome in every way possibly, the gravely voice that used to bellow “Mr. Luther” is pitch–perfect and Beatty crafts a villain for the ages not just as cartoon movies go, but as all movies go.
As for Randy Newman’s “We Belong Together?” I’m humming it as I write this whole blog, to give you an idea of how fun and quirky a song I think it is.
Other the Mr. Bale, meet the real Best Supporting Actor
Best Actor (Jeff Bridges)
Best Supporting Actress (Hailee Steinfeld)
Best Art Direction (Roger Deakins)
Best Costume Design (Mary Zophres)
Best Director (Joel and Ethan Coen)
Best Sound Editing (Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey)
Best Sound Mixing (Lievsay, Berky, Greg Orloff, and Peter F. Kurland)
Best Adapted Screenplay (Joel and Ethan Coen)
Best Chance–Hailee Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress
I’d like to say the Coen brothers will win Best Picture and Best Director for their remake of John Wayne’s True Grit (and based on the novel by Charles Portis). Unfortunately, their victory three years prior for No Country For Old Men might cancel this one out. I can’t imagine the directing brothers scoring victories so close to each other in years. Still True Grit is a badass western infused with the Coen’s style of quirk and circumstance. Jeff Bridges does a terrific job of making Rooster Cogburn his own; mixing the Dude with the Duke and a bit of Bad Blake. Matt Damon does an even better job of towing the line between a brash Texas Ranger and a man of honor. But it’s Hailee Steinfeld and her character of Mattie Ross that actually has true grit.
A 14–year old shrill of a woman, who swears vengeance on Tom Chaney (James Brolin) for murdering her father, Mattie hires U.S. Marshall Rueben ‘Rooster’ Cogburn to track down the fugitive. Her performance steals the show amongst a cast that features Bridges, Damon, Josh Brolin, and Barry Pepper; a feat which considering her lack of experience (some short films and TV guest spots), is nothing short of Oscar worthy.
Best Supporting Actor (John Hawkes)
Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence)
Best Adapted Screenplay (Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini)
Best Chance: Jennifer Lawrence for Best Actress
Biggest Snub: Dale Dickey for Best Supporting Actress
Ree Dolly is a seventeen–year–old living in the Ozark region. Unfortunately for her, Ree lives the hard life caring for her younger brother and sister, a mom who has become mute over the years, and a deadbeat dad meth cooker. Everything starts to go to hell when the local Sheriff tells her that her dad put the house up as collateral for bail money and if he doesn’t show at his hearing, Ree and her family are getting kicked out. No matter how treacherous the region proves to be, or the how awful the neighbors (which are all inter–related) treat her and threaten her, Ree is determined to find her father and the truth. Winter’s Bone is the dark horse film about dark horse people that the Academy loves to nominate, don’t be terribly shocked if it ekes out the Oscar for Best Picture, yes it’s that good.
Lawrence’s performance is wrought with a stark sadness and realness to it that isn’t seen very often in young actors–either she is a prodigy or director Debra Granik knows how to pull this kind of performance out of her cast; in either event, Lawrence’s performance is a game changer and her Ree Dolly is someone to root for and feel for. For those of us who know little to nothing of her plight and her upbringing, you can’t help but want to reach through the screen and save her from this all–to–real horror. As her uncle, character actor John Hawkes delivers an equally nuanced and layered performance as Teardrop, and not so nice man who gets to redeem himself throughout the movie. It’s a performance the academy loves to nominate. A man who the audience has no clue where he’s coming from or why he does what he does only to do the right thing by film’s end.
Confessions from the Couch
-I think we can all truly admit that as good as Colin Firth was in the King's Speech, James Franco was better in 127 Hours. Firth had the incomparable Geoffrey Rush to work off, Franco had a rock. You be the judge.
-It's been said several times throughout this blog but why in the world was The Town not nominated for Best Picture?!?! Or at the very slightest, Best Adapted Screenplay. The film is truly captivating if you haven't seen in it yet, put the laptop down and get it now.
-While it was an ok film, thankfully the Academy omitted the Depp/Jolie tete-a-tete known as the Tourist like the Golden Globes did. And while some people were annoyed that film was nominated in the Comedy category, watch it again and listen to the dialogue - a lot of it is patterned from comedies of old.
-The most fun, most captivating, most heart-warming and wrenching film of the pack is Toy Story 3 and it should win Best Picture. Nuff said!
-Next week (I promise) - twenty years of T2!