Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Academy Award Nominees Are Out

It's the usual list. Most of the movies have been released late in the year, hobnobbing for Oscar bait.

And most of them haven't been seen by the general public, save for a couple of notable exceptions.

All to be passed out in a three and a half hour show which will run over it's allotted time slot by an hour. All for some statues that can be given away in 45 minutes time.

Most of these, I'll be commenting from just things I've heard about the movie. Opining on things I don't even know about. You know, the usual blogging stuff I do from day to day.

BEST PICTURE
127 HOURS (Fox Searchlight)
An Hours Production Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
BLACK SWAN (Fox Searchlight)
A Protozoa and Phoenix Pictures Production Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
INCEPTION (Warner Bros)
A Warner Bros. UK Services Production Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
THE FIGHTER (Paramount)
A Relativity Media Production David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Focus Features)
An Antidote Films, Mandalay Vision and Gilbert Films Production Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
THE KING'S SPEECH (The Weinstein Co)
A See-Saw Films and Bedlam Production Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
THE SOCIAL NETWORK (Sony Pictures)
A Columbia Pictures Production Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
TOY STORY 3 (Walt Disney)
A Pixar Production Darla K. Anderson, Producer
TRUE GRIT (Paramount)
A Paramount Pictures Production Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
WINTER'S BONE (Roadside Attractions)
A Winter's Bone Production Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

I'm guessing either True Grit, The Social Network or Black Swan.

Why would True Grit will win? Because it's the Coen Brothers. Why it might lose? It's the Coen Brothers and didn't they win just last year? Or was that the year before last?

Why would The Social Network win? It's a biopic. Why it could lose? It was relatively popular.

What does Black Swan have going for it? It's dark and it's about lesbians. Against? It's dark and it's about lesbians. I don't know much about this movie other than a couple of reviews I've read. The lesbian theme isn't what the movie is supposed to be about. Only a way to make guys buy tickets for the movie. Black Swan will win an award or two tonight but I don't think it will be Best Picture.

BEST ACTOR
JEFF BRIDGES - TRUE GRIT (Paramount)
JAVIER BARDEM - BIUTIFUL (Roadside Attractions)
JESSE EISENBERG - THE SOCIAL NETWORK (Sony Pictures)
COLIN FIRTH - THE KING’S SPEECH (The Weinstein Company)
JAMES FRANCO - 127 HOURS (Fox Searchlight)

Jeff Bridges or Colin Firth. Other than The Social Network, I haven't seen any of the movies listed but from the other movies I've seen Bridges and Firth in, they are good actors.

BEST ACTRESS
ANNETTE BENING - THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Focus Features)
NICOLE KIDMAN - RABBIT HOLE (Lionsgate)
JENNIFER LAWRENCE - WINTER’S BONE (Roadside Attractions)
NATALIE PORTMAN - BLACK SWAN (Fox Searchlight)
MICHELLE WILLIAMS - BLUE VALENTINE (The Weinstein Co)

Natalie Portman or Annette Bening. If there is a dark horse in this race, it's Nicole Kidman. She's due.

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
CHRISTIAN BALE - THE FIGHTER (Paramount)
JOHN HAWKES - WINTER’S BONE (Roadside Attractions)
JEREMY RENNER - THE TOWN (Warner Bros)
MARK RUFFALO - THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Focus Features)
GEOFFREY RUSH - THE KING’S SPEECH (The Weinstein Company)

Christian Bale is a very good actor. Don't dismiss him just because he's Batman. But that doesn't mean winning. So I'm going with Geoffery Rush. Haven't seen any of these movies either, I'm going with what I've seen in the past.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
AMY ADAMS - THE FIGHTER (Paramount)
HELENA BONHAM CARTER - THE KING’S SPEECH (The Weinstein Company)
MELISSA LEO - THE FIGHTER (Paramount)
HAILEE STEINFELD - TRUE GRIT (Paramount)
JACKI WEAVER - ANIMAL KINGDOM (Sony Pictures Classics)

Helena Bonham Carter. Biopic, period piece. She's shoo-in. Unless Hailee Steinfeld pulls a hail mary (that pun was full of suck).

BEST ANIMATED PICTURE
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (DreamWorks Animation)
TOY STORY 3 (Walt Disney)
THE ILLUSIONIST (Sony Pictures Classics)

The Best Animated Picture category is only a few years old but it's long overdue.

And, not surprisingly, this is the category where I have seen most of the movies. Toy Story 3 should win. But I have a gun feeling that the voters aren't too keen on voting for a sequel so How To Train Your Dragon might win.

BEST DIRECTOR
DARREN ARONOFSKY - BLACK SWAN (Fox Searchlight)
DAVID FINCHER - THE SOCIAL NETWORK (Sony Pictures)
TOM HOOPER - THE KING'S SPEECH (The Weinstein Co.)
JOEL AND ETHAN COEN - TRUE GRIT (Paramount)
DAVID O. RUSSELL - THE FIGHTER (Paramount)

This is where having the lesbian subtext of Black Swan will win it for Darren Aronofsky. David Fincher directed a beautiful film with The Social Network, the look, the acting, the setting, the feel but there wasn't any soul to the story. It had all the right paints applied at all the right parts but the picture didn't have any depth.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
ANOTHER YEAR, Mike Leigh (Sony Pictures Classics)
THE FIGHTER, Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson, Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson (Paramount)
INCEPTION, Christopher Nolan (Warner Bros)
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg (Focus Features)
THE KING'S SPEECH, David Seidler (The Weinstein Co)

I did see Inception. I liked it for what it was. An action thriller that made you want to see it again to see what you missed the first time around. A popular film so I'm thinking it will go to The Kids Are All Right.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
127 HOURS, Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy (Fox Searchlight)
TOY STORY 3, Michael Arndt, Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich (Walt Disney)
THE SOCIAL NETWORK, Aaron Sorkin (Sony Pictures)
WINTER'S BONE, Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini (Roadside Attractions)
TRUE GRIT, Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (Paramount)

Toy Story 3 should win but, again, it's a sequel and on top of that, a cartoon. True Grit or The Social Network. I hate the rapid fire dialog that Sorkin does but Hollywood seems to like it.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Algeria, Hors la Loi (Outside the Law) (Cohen Media Group) - A Tassili Films Production
Canada, Incendies (Sony Pictures Classics) - A Micro-Scope Production
Denmark, In a Better World (Sony Pictures Classics) - A Zentropa Production
Greece, Dogtooth (Kino International) - A Boo Production
Mexico, Biutiful (Roadside Attractions) - A Menage Atroz, Mod Producciones and Ikiru Films Production

Don't know, haven't seen any of these. Last foreign film I saw was House Of The Flying Daggers and The Kite Runner.

BEST 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

Only seen two of these, Inception and The Social Network. Of the two, The Social Network should win.

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

Haven't seen any of these or know what they are even about. Whichever one panders furthest to the left will win.

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

Same deal with the Documentary Long Subject above.

BEST 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

I'm saying The Social Network because David Fincher is notorious for taking numerous takes of the same scene with slight differences.

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

The movie that shouldn't win? Alice in Wonderland.

It looked horrid and very cartoonish. If it's a cartoon or animation, that would be one thing. But they were shooting for making it look real and it only looked fake. Fake enough to pull me out of the movie to realize that the Jack of Spades body wasn't normal. But when you finally accepted that, someone else would appear looking cartoonish and pull you right back out.

BEST 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

True Grit and The King's Speech are both period pieces. It's a toss up.

BEST 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

Most everyone in Alice in Wonderland was wearing green suits that were digitally costumed later. The King's Speech because of the royalty wearing the royal outfits. Should be a no brainer.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP
Barney's Version (Sony Pictures Classics) Adrien Morot
The Way Back (Newmarket Films/Wrekin Hill Entertainment/Image Entertainment) Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
The Wolfman (Universal) Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

The Wolfman. I'm going only by the title here.

BEST 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. Rahman
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing) - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Inception's score was good but The Social Network's was great. Very nontraditional with their approach to it. I've never been a fan of Nine Inch Nails (one or two songs of theirs I liked. But never as a group.) but Reznor and Ross did a good job with the score.

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SONG)
“Coming Home” from Country Strong (Sony Pictures/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

Tangled or Toy Story 3. This is one of the few categories where animation is actually respected.

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

Day & Night. There was a preachy little segment in the middle of it where someone on the radio was talking about keeping an open mind. Maybe I'm jaded (and my mind is as open as anyone else. I've tried sushi before) about it.

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

No idea. I didn't receive my DVD for my consideration for some reason.

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

Toy Story 3. Because every sound you hear was made in the studio. At least, that's the working theory why.

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

No idea. I wouldn't have the first clue on how to decide which movie had the best sound mix. So I'm going to say The Social Network for no other reason than it was the only one I've seen.

Sorry for the distraction, I'll be back on politics tomorrow.

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