I got 16/24. So glad I switched to Reznor at the last second. Not great but, hey, at least I beat Ebert! But not myself: last year I got 17. And for the third or fourth year in a row (and many before that) I got 7 out of 8 in the main categories. One day a perfect 8 will be mine!
Best Actor: Colin Firth
Best Actress:Natalie Portman
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale
Best Supporting Actress: Mellisa Leo
Best Original Screenplay: The King’s Speech
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network
Best Cinematography: True Grit
Best Art Direction: The King’s Speech
Best Costume: The King’s Speech
Best Sound: Inception
Best Editing: The Social Network
Best Sound Effects Editing: Inception
Best Visual Effects: Inception
Best Makeup:The Wolfman
Best Song: Toy Story 3
Best Original Score: Social Network (go Trent Reznor!)
Best Animated Film: Toy Story 3
Best Foreign Language Film: Biutiful
If I Could Vote…
Best Actor: Colin Firth (King’s Speech)
Best Actress: Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale (The Fighter)
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams (The Fighter)
Best Original Screenplay: The Kids Are All Right
Best Adapted Screenplay: None stand out.
Best Cinematography: Inception
Best Art Direction: Inception
Best Costume: I Am Love
Best Sound: Inception
Best Editing: 127 Hours
Best Sound Effects Editing: Inception
Best Visual Effects: Inception
Best Makeup: The Way Back
Best Song: None
Best Original Score: Trent Reznor, Social Network
Best Animated Film: How to Train Your Dragon
Best Foreign Language Film: Dogtooth
Some Thoughts on the Nominees…
“The Kids Are All Right”
“The King’s Speech”
“The Social Network”
“Toy Story 3″
Will: There may be 10 films nominated but, as usual, it comes down to just two. King’s Speech vs. Social Network. And that’s being kind. This isn’t really a race at all. It’s more between King’s Speech winning and King’s Speech winning, um, more. I find it curious that after two years of 10 best picture nominees the field is as predictable as ever. Will there ever be another surprise on the level of Crash? Perhaps but this is not the year for that. In the end I feel Social Network is hurt more by the fact that it had all the momentum for too long than the silly notion that it has no heart. If that was the case No Country For Old Men would have lost to Juno and Hurt Locker would have lost to Avatar. Whatever the reason, this bodes well for King’s Speech…
Should: … and good, because it’s the better film. I usually roll my eyes at (a) the more “traditional” and/or safe choices, and (b) the film that has better odds to win (Oscar bandwagon jumping group think is really sad) but King’s Speech, while old fashion on the surface, is simply the best nominated film here. Perhaps not the deepest, but the most rich and enjoyable to be sure. Is it he best film of the year? Not really but since when was that a requirement of the BEST PICTURE winner?
Worst: Inception. I just don’t get this movie. No, not in the narrative clarity sense (I find it funny that people were confused by the very simple and shallow story). What I don’t get is all the love for it, though I certainly don’t hate it (still a C+/B-). And perhaps I have under valued Social Network. It’s in the B+ range but planning on seeing it again to see where that grade settles. I hear it gets better with a second viewing (unlike Benjamin Button) so I’m hoping that’s the case. As for Winter’s Bone. The more I think about this movie the more annoyed with it I get. It’s overdone and has tricked a lot of faux pretentious white people into thinking it’s profound (myself included). It’s bad David Gordon Green. It’s snowy counterpart, Frozen River, was better. Hawks is great it in though.
Robbed: I would say that only four (maybe five) of the films nominated for Best Picture this year should be here but that’s just me. See below. Anything past “Kids” is really iffy in my book. Meaning: lots of good films were robbed and the list is too big to count but if pressed name a few I would say Blue Valentine and Ghost Writer would have been worthy Oscary choices.
Best Picture Nominees Ranked
1. King’s Speech
2. The Fighter
3. Black Swan
4. The Kids Are All Right
5. True Grit
6. Social Network
7. Toy Story 3
8. 127 Hours
10. Winter’s Bone
Achievement in directing…
“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight), Darren Aronofsky
“The Fighter” (Paramount), David O. Russell
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Tom Hooper
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), David Fincher
“True Grit” (Paramount), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Will: The most exciting category of the night in my book. Again, it’s King’s Speech vs. Social Netork. This is a real tough one to call because for all the early awards Fincher won for Social Network he did win any of the big precursor awards (DGA for instance). However he did win a Globe and a BAFTA and that’s got to count for something. Unless it doesn’t. This is one of those rare years where the non-lock has as good of a shot as the De facto lock (Hooper). Call it a soft-lock. It’s not like when the dark horses Soderbergh (Traffic) and Polanski (The Pianist) won, it’s more like when Ang Lee won for Brokeback Mountain in the sense that the more Oscar baity film gets to win while the director goes to a mroe critically respected film. Now, I have no idea why that didn’t also happen last year with Bigalow winning director and Avatar winning picture. But it didn’t and thank God for that because it would be embarrassing to say Avatar is a Best Picture winner (as opposed to Hurt Locker which everyone has forgotten about at this point). Anyway, I’m sticking with Fincher for the win.
Should:Aronofsky’s film is a wonderful and cathartic stylistic piece that he was really able to bring a lot of vision to. I mean, that’s what this category should be about but it’s not (otherwise the Ron Howards and Danny Boyles of the world wound not have an Oscar). I would happy as hell to see Fincher get his first directing Oscar (long due) but Social Network is not a directorly movie and even he has said so himself. Zodiac was and totally should have won (er, assuming There Will Be Blood didn’t come out that year as well). As for Hooper and King’s Speech, well, besides being the best nominated film it seems to me that any competent filmmaker above could have made it just as well as Hooper did so I don’t know why he won the DGA for what is essentially an enjoyable but, lets face it, routinely made biopic.
Worst:The Coen Brothers. I like True Grit all right and of course I love the Bros but it’s almost as if they directed this movie in their sleep. It’s their least imaginative film since Intolerable Cruelty.
Robbed: Christopher Nolan. Duh. I’m not a big fan of Inception but Nolan’s work as a director is stunning and unlike any other big budget production.
Performance by an actor in a leading role…
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful” (Roadside Attractions)
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit” (Paramount)
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
James Franco in “127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight)
Will: No contest. Firth, Firth, Firth.
Should:Again, Firth. I saw the movie before the buzz and the first thing I said after it ended to my friends was “I’m so glad Firth will finally get an Oscar.” There was no question about it. That being said every actor nominated except for Bardem gave award worthy performances, though Bridges was more supporting if you ask me. I think in a weaker year Eisenberg would have been a frontrunner here and it’s too bad he has to lose because, first, when will he ever get nominated again and second, lets give him credit for basically perfecting a new-ish cinematic trope. That of the prickly nerd that you love and hate in equal parts. Eisenberg: 1/ Michael Cera: 0!
Robbed: Call me crazy but if Franco gets a nom for 127 Hours (which he was great in!) than Ryan Reynolds should also get one for “Buried” as he was just as good in a similar stuck-in-one-place-for-the-whole-movie performance. The problem with that scenario is that it’s Ryan Reynolds and it’s really hard to admit he’s capable of a great performance but, argh, apparently he is! Above Reynolds though Ryan Gosling was seriously robbed for his amazing work in Blue Valentine. As good as Michelle Williams is in that movie Gosling not only carried it but elevated it to a position of high art.
Performance by an actress in a leading role…
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features)
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole” (Lionsgate) 😯 😐
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions)
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight)
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine” (The Weinstein Company)
Will: Easy one, Portman.
Should: Unlike a performer like Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman is only as good as the material she’s in. She’s not consistent at all and can even be a very bad actor in the wrong kind of movie (last year’s Brothers, Garden State, Mr. Magorium, Star Wars, etc. etc.) but… Black Swan is the right kind of material suited to her ability. That being said I’m big fan of Michelle Williams and would vote for the her. Ryan Gosling got all the big moments in the movie but her quiet desperation/exasperation is a fascinating thing to watch.
Robbed: When I first saw “Kids” I figured Bening gave the sort of underrated performance that is usually is overlooked come awards time and that Juliane Moore was the obvious choice. Somehow, though, the lines got crossed and Moore (an Awards circuit favorite) missed out. It’s one of the great mysteries of the year. I also feel Tilda Swinton got robbed for her beautiful work in I Am Love. I just love her.
Performance by an actor in a supporting role…
Christian Bale in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions)
Jeremy Renner in “The Town” (Warner Bros.)
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features)
Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
Will: Bale!!! He’s the best actor of his generation that has been ignored for too long. Rush is coming on very strong though but since he already won in the 90s (for “Shine”) I’d love to see Bale get his first Oscar under his belt. I’m sounding very gay here.
Should: Bale!!! Though I’m a big fan of Hawks and Rush. Not to mention how cool it is to see the underrated Ruffalo get noticed. On this site I said gave the best performance ten years ago when he starred in his first movie You Can Count On Me so I’m not some fare weather fan.
Worst: Renner is good but his nom seems a bit out of place. Besides, he should have won last year for Hurt Locker.
Robbed: Ben Stiller in Greenberg will go down as one of the great underrated performances of this decade.
Performance by an actress in a supporting role…
Amy Adams in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”(Paramount)
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Will: Despite her desperate and slightly annoying All About Eve/Sunset Blvd.-isms, Melissa Leo seems like an obvious choice. I don’t see Steinfeld or Carter giving her much of a fight. Ooh, check out my play on words.
Should: As with the lead actor category there are a lot of great performances here. Leo’s energy and intensity is an amazing thing to watch while Helena Bonham Carter reminds everyone how good she can be/once was (before Tim Burton ruined her). And Jacki Weaver smile-all-the-time performance is memorable but ultimately lacking in a killer scene so to speak. For me, then, it’s between Adams and Leo. Adams finds a perfect balance of not too much and not too little here. She’s funny, she’s strong, she’s sexy, she’s emotional, and even serious. Bitch keeps it real. Nothing feels like it’s overdone. Most figure Wahlberg is the heart of the film but I think it’s Adams.
Worst: Sorry, really sorry to say this but Steinfeld is………. not as good as everyone is saying. She was fine, don’t get me wrong, but I think kids + Coen dialogue is not a great match. Hell, most adult actors are not a good fit for the Coens. It can’t be easy to act in a Coen movie and this is one of those cases where a lot of the nuances are totally lost. Her role (which is really a lead performance) is a bit self conscious and unsure if you ask me (as was Damon’s). She really needed to sell the character and i don’t think she did that.
Robbed:Leslie Manville in Another Year! Big snub here. Thanks to Mike Leigh’s unique approach, her “supporiting” performance is also, by design, the central role in the film. It’s hands down one of the most innovative uses of a character I’ve seen in years.
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3? (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Michael Arndt, Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
“True Grit” (Paramount), Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions), Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini 🙂
Will: Social Network. Biggest lock of the night.
Worst: Toy Story 3 is adapted? From what, Toy Story 2? I’m too lazy to look this up so I guess I’ll never know. To be honest I’m not a fan of most of the nominated screenplays here. Social Network’s dialogue is showy and self aware and I’m very biased against Aaron Sorkin. Still, overall it seems to be a tight scrip and even Sorkin haters like me have to admit that. The dude is a huge creep and I hate, hate, hate West Wing. I liked “127 Hours” the movie (at times) but the scrip seems to be more of a blueprint that goes something like: Man walks, falls into a crack, gets all bummed out and screams “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh” for a few days before drinking his pee and considering masturbating to photos of that hot chick from Brokeback Mountain in his camera. Really, that movie is almost exclusively good because it’s a performance piece centered around a great performance.
Robbed: Polanski’s Ghost Writer is the polished work of a master. He also gets points for actually writing where many directors his age and status do no (Woody Allen excepted). Also, Edger Wright managed to surpass the Scott Pilgrim comic in a lot of ways and that’s the mark of a good adapted screenplay. The movie’s third act is better than Pilgrim’s last two volumes which is a great treat.
“Another Year” (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Mike Leigh
“The Fighter” (Paramount), Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson, Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Written by Christopher Nolan
“The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features), Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Seidler
Will: Inception should have a decent shot because the Oscars look out of touch by excluding Nolan’s work so often (this is the only film of his to ever get a Best Pic nomination) but I feel the King’s Speech now unstoppable momentum will really help it in this particular category.
Should: Unlike adapted, a lot of great movies are represented here and that’s nice to see. “Another Year” is subtle and thoughtful but similar to a lot of Mike Leigh films the movie does not seemed to be centered around the script. Then there’s the colorful King’s Speech which gets credit in my book for being that rarest of historical movie that’s not based on a book or any previously published material (way to go!). The movie is not only very funny but has a lot of emotional weight and historical significance. My vote would go to The Kids Are All Right however. Great story, great dialogue and unlike so many similar independent-ish movies about quirky families (Little Miss Sunshine and Rachael Getting Married come to mind) it’s not shallow, smug or self satisfied. I think back on that movie and smile. Then I want to eat a tomato.
Worst: There’s a lot of cool stuff to look at in Inception but the story is not one of them, it is by far it’s weakest element of the movie. Same thing happened to Avatar but that wasn’t nominated for it’s writing. The Inception story and paper thin characters are so flimsy and flawed that it’s the primary reason I question if it’s even a good movie. Regardless, a part of me is secretly hoping that Nolan wins an Oscar (even for a lesser story) because he’s very talented, he writes his own films and get snubbed way too often. He will get an Oscar eventually (I hope) so we might as well get it out of the way.
Robbed: Baumbach’s writing on Greenberg is some of his best and some of the year’s best. “I’m strangely on tonight!” Top that Seidler!
Best animated feature film of the year…
“How to Train Your Dragon” (Paramount), Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” (Sony Pictures Classics), Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney), Lee Unkrich
Will: Toy Story 3… worse animated films have won such as the overrated Up and Shrek. It is sad though that Disney/Pixar has won this category four years in a row. Disney buys it ever year. Maybe they should just call the category Best Disney Animated Feature and call it a day.
Should: Dragon. I didn’t expect to like that movie but it’s surprisingly good.
Achievement in art direction…
“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney), Production Design: Robert Stromberg, Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1? (Warner Bros.), Production Design: Stuart Craig, Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas, Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Production Design: Eve Stewart, Set Decoration: Judy Farr
“True Grit” (Paramount), Production Design: Jess Gonchor, Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
Will: Again, King’s Speech seems like a safe bet here. It will win just for the speech therapist’s cool looking studio. Makes for a good gay porn set as well from what I hear.
Worst: Alice in Wonderland. Ugh. Ugly ass movie. Tim Burton’s trite aesthetic flair is so played out.
Should: Inception all the way. Seriously, if Inception doesn’t win it’s flawless for Art Direction then the Oscars should just not have it as a category. I also am very fond of Potter and King’s Speech. Potter is perhaps the best looking film in that series. I’d watch it again just to look at it.
Robbed: Scott Pilgrim. Watching it on Blu-ray is such a treat. I actually found myself pausing it just to look at all the detail. Outside of actresses getting naked how often does that happen? Never!
Achievement in cinematography…
“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight), Matthew Libatique
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Wally Pfister
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Danny Cohen
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Jeff Cronenweth 🙂
“True Grit” (Paramount), Roger Deakins
Will: I’m going with the “safe” bet again by guessing True Grit even though I have a feeling it may lose to Speech or Social Network. It will be nice to finally see a Cohen films wining this award (their films have always been strong in this category. I also think that this is the only big award Grit will get and so it will be saddled with this award much as There Will Be Blood was a few years ago (though that also won Best Actor). Still, Deakins is a true genus of the medium and while this is not his best work it should be good enough to get him a lot of votes. My favorite Deakins shot films would be Barton Fink, The Assassination of Jesse James, House of Sound and Fog, Shawshank Redemption and No Country For Old Men. Jeez, how did he not win for any of those?!
Should: Inception. Wally Pfister is one of the best DPs in the world. Social Network is also amazing to look at because the cinematography is so in sync with Fincher’s vision. Black Swan comes in a close second.
Robbed: Again, Scott Pilgrim. Bill Pope is the man! That film is all over the place but amazingly coherent. I challenge any of the nominees above to turn in something as complex and enjoyable to watch as Pilgrim. It’s like visual candy.
Achievement in costume design…
“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney), Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love” (Magnolia Pictures), Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest” (Miramax), Sandy Powell
“True Grit” (Paramount), Mary Zophres
Will: No way is Alice taking this. King’s Speech.
Should: I Am Love ALLLLLL the way. This film should have gotten more noms and the costumes are amazing. So is the art direction. So is the acting. And directing. And… yeah, it’s very good all around.
Worst: Alice in Wonderland: Ugh again. Every aspect of this film is ugly and rotted out. Looking at it offends my senses.
Robbed: Scott Pilgrim. Modern costumes always get the shaft.
Best documentary feature…
“Exit through the Gift Shop” (Producers Distribution Agency), A Paranoid Pictures Production, Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz
“Gasland”, A Gasland Production, Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Representational Pictures Production, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo” (National Geographic Entertainment), An Outpost Films Production, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
“Waste Land” (Arthouse Films), An Almega Projects Production, Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley
Will: Once again only two films have a shot. Inside Job vs. Exit Through the Gift Shop. Job has the better shot but I have a strong feeling about Exit.
Should: Gift Shop! It’s that rare enjoyable documentary that’s also pretty deep and socially relevant. This year’s Man on Wire in other words.
Robbed: Nothing. Now that I am older I have to admit to myself that I detest the documentary genre. I see, like, one good doc a year.
Achievement in film editing…
“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight), Andrew Weisblum
“The Fighter” (Paramount), Pamela Martin
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), Jon Harris
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter 🙂
Will: Once again it’s Speech vs. Network. I think Social Network has a better shot but it’s going to be close. This may be the category that I go back and forth on until the show but for now I’m sticking with Social Network. Not only does Angus Wall have a cool name but he did the editing on films like Zodiac and Panic Room so he racked up some awesome points there.
Should: 127 Hours, next to Franco’s (near) flawless performance this film was made by it’s editing. From where I was sitting Boyle shot a bunch of stuff that probably didn’t mean much until it was assembled in the editing room. Really though I’m a sucker for closed form film making and films are set in a strategically limited space. The better ones are so interesting to watch and so dependent on the rhythms of the editing to keep it alive and fresh.
Robbed: Take a guess: yup, Scott Pilgrim. The editing is insane yet dovetails with Edgar Wright’s jumpy vision completely. Best editing of the year (really, though, what the hell does anyone know about editing from just looking at the final product)
Best foreign language film of the year…
“Biutiful” (Roadside Attractions), A Menage Atroz, Mod Producciones and Ikiru Films Production, Mexico
“Dogtooth” (Kino International), A Boo Production, Greece
“In a Better World” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Zentropa Production, Denmark
“Incendies” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Micro-Scope Production, Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” (Cohen Media Group), A Tassili Films Production, Algeria
Will:Ugh, Biutiful. In A Better World stands the chance of being this year’s Secrets in Their Eyes (meaning: the non-front runner often has a great shot here). Dogtooth has the critics vote but, again, this category cares more about the message than the quality.
Should: Dogtooth all the way. But this category is hard to call because the people voting actually see the movies (as opposed to most other) and are really old and out of touch and… hard to predict.
Robbed: Lots! How about Everyone Else from Germany? How about Wild Grass from France. I could go on but my fingers are getting tired (hehe).
Achievement in makeup…
“Barney’s Version” (Sony Pictures Classics), Adrien Morot
“The Way Back” (Newmarket Films in association with Wrekin Hill Entertainment and Image Entertainment), Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
“The Wolfman” (Universal), Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
Will: Wolfman. How could it not? At the very least it’s cooler looking than the makeup in Wolf. Hopkins looked bad ass in this movie.
Should: I think Rick Baker tends to be overrated and his work is too costume-y (despite that not even being a word). I’ll go with Way Back I guess even though I have not seen it. Despite the reviews I’m really excited to see Peter Weir’s Way Back and glad it got at least one nomination (as opposed the butt loads his last film Master and Commander got). I’m very curious what role makeup of all things plays in it.
Robbed: I’m very happy that no candidates spring to mind.
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)…
“How to Train Your Dragon” (Paramount), John Powell
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Hans Zimmer
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), A.R. Top Rahman
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross 🙂
Will: Yes, Desplat has a great shot finally. He’s an amazing composer, one of the best around. Very prolific composer with an astonishing range (from a Twilight movie to a Wes Anderson movie to Julie and Julia to Harry Potter etc.) so this would be a good time to honor his amazing work in the last ten or so years since “Birth” (at least that’s when I started noticing him). That being said can anyone who saw King’s Speech actually remember it’s music? As opposed to…
Should: Trent Reznor. Trent all the way. Reznor is an amazing musician who has a gifted ear for edgy instrumental music. Okay, I’m a HUGE Nine Inch Nails fan but I feel his score is objectively good. The score is subtle when it needs to be (love the piano stuff) and flashy elsewhere (love the 8bit techno even more). The film industry should throw themselves at this guy because it can really use his talents. Such a refreshing break from the John Williams orchestral standard. Close to him is of course Desplat. Sad, though, that after all these years of rooting for Desplat the year I’m not is the year he will.
Robbed: Oddly enough, Desplat, despite having the best shot at winning for King’s Speech, was robbed for his Ghost Writer score. File that under irony.
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)…
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” (Sony Pictures Releasing (Screen Gems), Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey 🙄
“I See the Light” from “Tangled” (Walt Disney), Music by Alan Menken, Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong 🙄
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3? (Walt Disney), Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Will: Toy Story 3. Because Randy Newman hasn’t won since that last shitty song in Monsters Inc. Or did he win for that movie’s score. I don’t remember. Does it matter? Every piece of music he does sounds the same anyway.
Should: Good God, nobody. I hate this category this year as opposed to most other years where I just dislike it.
Robbed: All the awesome music in Scott Pilgrim. Garbage Truck for one. The opening song for another. Oh, and Scott’s Ramona song (written by Beck) is solid gold.
Achievement in visual effects…
“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney), Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1? (Warner Bros.), Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter” (Warner Bros.), Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
“Iron Man 2? (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment, Distributed by Paramount), Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick 🙂
Will: Of course Inception should win because it’s easily the most relevant film of the the year and has the most creative use of effects of the bunch. The effects are brilliantly invisible in the way they are integrated into the material. It’s literally groundbreaking.
Should: Inception. I’m a bigger fan of Iron Man 2 than most people I know and I gotta say I love the look and feel of Potter but nothing comes close to Inception’s visuals and presentation.
Robbed: Tron. Say what you will about the movie (and I’ve said what I’ve, um, willed) but, come on, it should at least be in the top five. While Tron’s 3D is not very good at times and the CGI Jeff Bridges looks like an uncanny valley drop-out (I guess that’s better than dropping out of Sweet Valley), it’s certainly better than, say, the grotesque and muddy looking Alice in Wonderland monstrosity which has no right being here. Or anywhere.
Yawn: The Other Categories
Once again I find myself wondering why these are part of the show and not announced separately.
Best documentary short subject…
“Killing in the Name”, A Moxie Firecracker Films Production, Nominees to be determined
“Poster Girl”, A Portrayal Films Production, Nominees to be determined
“Strangers No More”, A Simon & Goodman Picture Company Production, Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
“Sun Come Up”, A Sun Come Up Production, Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
“The Warriors of Qiugang”, A Thomas Lennon Films Production, Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon
Will: Who Cares. Fine, whatever, Strangers No More. Congratulations!
Best animated short film…
“Day & Night” (Walt Disney), A Pixar Animation Studios Production, Teddy Newton
“The Gruffalo”, A Magic Light Pictures Production, Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let’s Pollute”, A Geefwee Boedoe Production, Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing”, (Nick Batzias for Madman Entertainment), A Passion Pictures Australia Production, Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)”, A Sacrebleu Production, Bastien Dubois
Will: Who cares. Oh, I already said that. Going with the bigger Disney short was once a safe bet but not anymore. So it’s Day/Night vs. Gruffalo. Gruffalo then because I’m tired of getting burned here and there’s probably a bunch of Jeneane Graffalo fans out there that think this short is about her… as if that crappy MTV 90s animated show Daria wasn’t already.
Best live action short film…
“The Confession” (National Film and Television School), A National Film and Television School Production, Tanel Toom
“The Crush” (Network Ireland Television), A Purdy Pictures Production, Michael Creagh
“God of Love”, A Luke Matheny Production, Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe” (Premium Films), A CUT! Production, Ivan Goldschmidt
“Wish 143?, A Swing and Shift Films/Union Pictures Production, Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite
Will: Wish 143. Why? The title. I have a theory that the “best” sounding title, one with the most oomph, usually wins because people are stupid.
Achievement in sound editing…
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Richard King 🙂
“Toy Story 3? (Walt Disney), Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy” (Walt Disney), Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague 😐
“True Grit” (Paramount), Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable” (20th Century Fox), Mark P. Stoeckinger
Achievement in sound mixing…
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick 🙂
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin 😡
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit” (Paramount), Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Will: First off, how the hell did King’s Speech get nominated in this category? Der. Okay, then, Inception.
Robbed: Scott Pilgrim.
My initial reactions reposted…
- Christian Bale in The Fighter. We all knew it would happen but it still feels great that Bale finally got nominated and is the frontrunner for the win.
- Trent Reznor for Social Network. I honestly didn’t think the Oscars were progressive enough to know good music when they heard it.
- Dogtooth nominated for Foreign Film. Greece’s first nom in 30 years!
- Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine.
- After being snubbed so long ago for You Can Count On Me (his first role) Mark Ruffalo finally gets a nomination.
- John Hawkes!
- David O. Fucking Russell, congrats! You were snubbed for directing Three Kings so this one’s earned. Good movie to boot.
- Christopher Nolan for directing Inception–an average movie in my book but one with exceptionally noteworthy direction. The Oscars hate Nolan for some reason. And of all the things to nominated him for… they go with writing? Really?! The film has a clear visual mastery going for it but, come on, the story and plotting sucked and only exist to serve the visuals. It’s shocking and sad that a director of Nolan’s caliber, who is doing very interesting things with big Hollywood budgets is getting passed over. Nobody makes big movies like Nolan does and the Oscars love big movies (Avatar). So what gives? His Dark Knight is the reason the Best Picture nominees got increased to 10 and his snub here should really be looked at.
- Ryan Gosling–Michelle Williams, also very good, got nominated. But Gosling was amazing. I don’t get it.
- Ghost Writer–in almost all categories. Writing, directing, editing, cinematography, and acting (Brosnan and Williams esp).
- Scott Pilgrim–No sound or editing nominations? BS. Unstoppable got nominated but not Pilgrim!
- Shutter Island–It had a tiny bit of momentum but nobody was buying. Sad considering it’s Scorsese’s best movie in years.
- Leslie Manville for her performance in Another Year. So sad she missed out. She’s in good company though because the Oscars also snubbed Sally Hawkings in Leigh’s Happy Go Lucky. Something about wacky Leigh characters the Oscars don’t like.
- How does Annette Bening get nominated in Kids are All Right but not Julianne Moore? Benning is very good in that movie. Moore is every bit as good.
- Okay, Tron: Legacy sucked but to not nominated in the Best Visual Effects category is insane.
- Inceptionagain. I just realized that it missed out on an editing nomination. The only two noms it should have gotten is directing and, yeah, editing. That is missed both is insane and they might as well have not nominated for Best Picture in that case (which would have been fine by me).
- I would say Waiting for Superman in the doc category except it’s not a snub if it shouldn’t have been nominated in the first place. Surprising, yes, snub no.
- Andrew Garfield had a good shot of getting nominated but the real best supporting actor in Social Network was Armie Hammer. Not was Armie Hammer snubbed but his twin, Armie Hammer, was also snubbed.
- Ditto Mila Kunisin Black Swan. She had great odds with a SAG and Globe nom but I felt her performance was lacking and unmemorable. Barbara Hershey was not and she should have been nominated in the supporting category. Hence the snub.
- A Clint Eastwood movie gets nominated for visual effects. Hum. Haven’t seen the film. And don’t want to but, hey, it’s Clint so I got to.
- Alice in Wonderland gets three nominations. That’s three nominations too many
- 127 Hours gets a Screenplay nod. Really?
- Inception also gets a Screenplay nomination. Makes no sense. That would be like nominating Avatar for its writing last year (which they didn’t).
- Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that the GREAT Mike Leigh got his fifth writing nomination for his amazing work on Another Year. But, as with 127 Hours and Inception, this is not a writerly film. Plus, isn’t a lot of dialogue improv?
- True Grit is an okay movie. I liked it. And I like the Coen Brothers but this is not close to one of their better directed films. I don’t know how they slipped in this year over Boyle, Affleck, Nolan or some of the other buzzed about directors. I guess they’ll get nominated for making just about anything at this point. Time for a Ladykillers 2!
Overall, a solid list of nominees. Nothing too awful here. Some overrated films (Social Network, True Grit, etc.) but overrated films that are far from bad. I just this was a very weak year for movies in general so if this is the best Hollywood could do then I guess it could have been worse.