Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The Oscar nominations came out this morning, and the biggest disappointment for me was the absence of BARNEY'S VERSION in almost every category, except "best makeup"—a well-deserved category for the people involved, but one I don't care that much about in terms of the artistry of the main filmmakers.


I haven't seen 127 HOURS, but intend to within the next few days, so for my taste the only films out of these ten that would be on any "Best Picture" list I'd make would be: THE FIGHTER, THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, THE KINGS SPEECH, THE SOCIAL NETWORK, TRUE GRIT and WINTER'S BONE. And like I said, at the top of my list would be BARNEY'S VERSION.

As for the other categories. "Best Supporting Actor" nominations went to Christian bale for THE FIGHTER, John Hawkes for WINTER'S BONE, Jemery Renner for THE TOWN, Mark Ruffalo for THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT and Geoffrey Rush for THE KING'S SPEECH.

My five nominations, out of what I've seen so far, would go to Bale and Rush for sure, but also to Mickey O'Keefe for THE FIGHTER, John Hutcherson, one of the kids in THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, and Dustin Hoffman in BARNEY'S VERSION.

For "Best Supporting Actress" nominees, the Academy chose Amy Adams and Melissa Leo for THE FIGHTER, Helen Bonham Carter for THE KING'S SPEECH, Hailee Steinfeld for TRUE GRIT and Jacki Weaver for ANIMAL KINGDOM.

I haven't seen ANIMAL KINGDOM, but otherwise my choices would be Melissa Leo, Helen Bonham Carter and Hailee Steinfeld for sure, but for the other two I'd choose Mia Wasikowska, the other "kid" in THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT" and Minnie Driver for BARNEY'S VERSION.

For "Best Actor" the Academy chose Javier Bardem for BIUTIFUL, Jeff Bridges for TRUE GRIT, Jessie Eisenberg for THE SOCIAL NETWORK, Colin Firth for THE KING'S SPEECH and James Franco for 127 HOURS.

Even though I haven't seen it yet, I've never seen Franco do anything that doesn't deserve an Oscar nod, so I'd probably include him for "Best Actor" for 127 HOURS and definitely for HOWL. For the other four, again BARNEY'S VERSION is at the top of my list with Paul Giamatti, and though I know I'll get a lot of flack from some of my friends for this: Ben Affleck for his roles in THE TOWN and COMPANY MEN, Colin Firth and Jesse Eisenberg (even though it seems to be a distortion of what Zuckerberg is really like, it's still a powerful acting coup).

As for "Best Actress" (almost always one of the most competitive and best categories, and no exception this year), the Oscar nominations went to Annete Bening for THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, Nicole Kidman for RABBIT HOLE, Jennifer Lawrence for WINTER'S BONE, Natalie Portman for BLACK SWAN and Michele Williams for BLUE VALENTINE. Unfortunately I haven't seen BLUE VALENTINE or RABBIT HOLE yet, so my choices are more limited, but at the top of my list are both Bening and her co-star in THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, Julianne Moore. Lawrence would also be one of my choices, but then would come Rosamond Pike in BARNEY'S VERSION and Noomi Rapace, the girl in all those THE GIRL WITH movies, which probably aren't eligible, but she deserves at least a nomination for all three movies.

For "Best Director" the Academy chose Darren Aronofsky for BLACK SWAN, David O. Russell for THE FIGHTER, Tom Hooper for THE KING'S SPEECH, David Fincher for THE SOCIAL NETWORK and the Coen brothers for TRUE GRIT.

My choices would include Russell, Hooper, Fincher and even Aronofsky (I'm too squeamish and critical for BLACK SWAN, despite some well-executed horror film tropes and melodramatic firsts, but there's no doubt Aronovsky is a brilliant filmmaker), but I'd again have BARNEY'S VERSION at the top of my list with the director Richard J. Lewis (and I'd like to throw an honorary nod to Ben Affleck for pulling off a Clint Eastwood in THE TOWN, i.e. directing himself and doing a very efficient accomplished job of pulling of a terrific caper movie if nothing else).

For "Best Adapted Screenplay" they chose Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy for 127 HOURS, Aaron Sorken for THE SOCIAL NETWORK, Michael Arndt for TOY STORY 3 (?!), the Coen brothers for TRUE GRIT and Debra Granik and Anne Roselini for WINTER'S BONE.

I'm down with Sorkin and Granik/Roselini. But for my others I'd choose again Michael Konyves for his adaptation of Mordecai Richler's BARNEY'S VERSION, and Peter Craig, Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard for their version of Chuck Hogan's novel PRINCE OF THIEVES, and then I'm out of choices but suspect, though I haven't seen it, FAIR GAME might be on my list from what I hear.

For "Best Original Screenplay" they chose Mike Leigh for ANOTHER YEAR, another movie I haven't seen but hear great things about, as always with Leigh, Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson for THE FIGHTER, which I'm totally down with, Christopher Nolan for INCEPTION, which was too confusing for my taste to be considered for this award, Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg for THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT and David Seidler for THE KING'S SPEECH, both of which I concur with. So I'd just have to come up with one more for my choice and I guess I'll have to wait until I see the rest on my list.

The only other category I'm really interested in this year (I used to be obsessed with everything about the Oscars in my pre-brain-op list-making compulsiveness, but that seems to have faded post-op) is cinematography. The nominations were for BLACK SWAN, INCEPTION, THE KING'S SPEECH, THE SOCIAL NETWORK and TRUE GRIT.

This is one of the few categories I believe BLACK SWAN deserves a nomination for (the other would be editing). And I can go along with the rest of the nominations as well.

As for editing come to think of it, the nominees were 127 HOURS, BLACK SWAN, THE FIGHTER, THE KING'S SPEECH and THE SOCIAL NETWORK. I'd replace THE SOCIAL NETWORK with BARNEY'S VERSION, the best edited film of the year for my taste.

The only other category I have a little interest in is film score, for which the Academy chose 127 HOURS, HOW TO TRAIN A DRAGON, INCEPTION, THE KING'S SPEECH and SOCIAL NETWORK. I have to say the latter, SOCIAL NETWORK was the most originally compelling score for my taste, but the soundtrack collection of period tunes in BARNEY'S VERSION was another favorite.


Anonymous said...

HI Michael...I Kings Speech and thought of course Colin Firth will win, but then I saw True Grit, and I really believe that Jeff Bridges will take the award...I loved him in it.

Anonymous said...

I 'saw' Kings Speech

Yulia said...

I think The Kings Speech deserves all the nominations, it is a movie that lives up to the hype in my estimation. It was beautifully filmed and acted, everything about it for me was just excellent! By the way, I can share with one usefull link : http://www.torrentoff.com here I found all the movies nominated for the Oscar

Lally said...

Suzanne, I enjoyed TRUE GRIT and all the performances in it. Thought Birgdes, as always, was great. But I also thought it was ultimately pretty close to the original, including Bridges work. He may win, or Firth, but for my taste it's James Franco and Paul Giamatti who should vie for the top honor.