31 January 2011
  sag award reaction
well, one thing that i am willing to admit after last night's sag awards is that we now officially have four frontrunners in the acting races. this has been becoming more and more evident recently, but after last night i think we can finally hand over oscars to christian bale, colin firth and natalie portman. melissa leo is certainly in the lead for the best supporting actress award as well, but something tells me this one is a little less sewn up. (i can envision an alan arkin or tilda swinton type scenario here in which hailee steinfeld walks away with the best supporting actress award if the academy feels that they just have to give true grit something). that being said, this year has been a little bit exceptional in that i really support all of these four eventual award winners. natalie portman gives my favorite lead actress performance in black swan and, even though colin firth probably isn't my favorite, one certainly could never say he is undeserving. i can't stand christian bale in general, but he is almost unrecognizable as dickey eklund in the fighter. the best supporting actress category is causing me some consternation, as nothing would make me happier than seeing melissa leo walk away an oscar winner (how much do i LOVE frozen river?) but i could say the same thing about amy adams (how much do i LOVE. . . well, everything amy adams has ever been in). still, i am strangely drawn to hailee steinfeld and am almost maybe possibly hoping that she upsets. (ARGH! i can't decide).

now, one thing that i am NOT willing to admit after last night's sag awards is that the king's speech is now the front runner in the oscar race. mark my words, there is an elaborate blogger-led oscar campaign strategy underway to make the social network SOMEHOW seem like an underdog in desperate need of votes. when all is said and done, the social network IS the eventual best picture winner, and it will win in an absolute LANDSLIDE. this is unfortunate, clearly, and the king's speech is a far superior film in every possible way. but it is going to happen. and i am already getting irritated by the coming post-oscars morning headlines declaring the social network's "upset" win. blech.
30 January 2011
  tom hooper wins dga
it wasn't quite as much of a surprise as it could have been that tom hooper took home the dga award this weekend, considering the king's speech had just won the pga award a week previous. a lot of bloggers were predicting this, and it was seeming an increasing possibility to me as well. i have to say that i think the king's speech is without a doubt one of the most brilliantly directed movies of the year. every movement in this film is so carefully planned out, and the performances are clearly led by an artful guiding hand. so i am more than pleased that hooper and this film have gotten some attention from the guilds.

still, in the long run, it doesn't matter.

over at awards daily they followed up the dga announcement with the headline "the king's speech set to sweep oscars." oscar bloggers and critics pretty much all over the internet have switched their best picture frontrunner to the king's speech. i'm not sure, but i think there may be two reasons for this (neither of which has to do with the king's speech legitimately gaining the upper hand in the race):

1. (less likely) critics have actually been momentarily blinded by the few accolades handed to the king's speech into forgetting the DOZENS of awards and top rankings that the social network has received.

2. (more likely) critics are freaking bored with the social network awards season sweep and are trying to stir up drama where there is none. by the same token, there may be a few diehard social network supporters out there that are trying to make it seem like this film really NEEDS votes from the academy members, thus eschewing the faint possibility that the film loses best picture by accident.

let's face it, nothing is stopping the social network. this despite the undeniable fact (which nobody seems to want to stop and acknowledge, even though i am sure there are many many others who would agree) that this movie really isn't that good. yes, we'd all like to see this oscar season be a little more interesting. but face it guys, it just isn't happening.
29 January 2011
  oscar nominations are out and. . .

all in all, i'd have to say not bad.

thankfully my prediction that true grit would be largely shut out went unrealized. in fact the film ranks second in total nominations AND the coen brothers almost out of nowhere walked away with a best director nod. way to go! (p.s. look who DIDN'T get a best director nomination? double plus!)

on the other hand, my prediction that winter's bone would do very well came true. congrats to jennifer lawrence and john hawkes. it would have been super cool if dale dickey could have pulled off the best supporting actress nomination as well, but i am more than satisfied with the love the academy has shown this movie.

i held out some hope til the very end that shutter island wouldn't be ignored when the nominations came out, and of course i was wrong. but i don't think anyone expected it would walk away without a SINGLE nomination. i don't get that at all. i also don't get hailee steinfeld being nominated as a supporting actress rather than as a lead, but i am happy for her regardless and will still champion her to win the category.

congrats to jacki weaver as well for her well deserved best supporting actress nomination for animal kingdom. this is an amazing movie and should have received much more awards attention, but weaver is one of the best things about the film, so if it were going to be nominated anywhere, it was in this category.

in general, i have very few major complaints about the nominations, other than the unavoidable if unfortunate attention shown to the social network. i wish jeremy renner hadn't gotten that supporting actor nomination. there was so much better work that went unrewarded (sam rockwell in conviction, most notably), and his performance simply isn't very memorable. i would have rather seen pete postlethwaite nominated here, personally. at least the town missed out in the best picture category, however.

my least favorite nomination of the year has to be the best original screenplay nod for mike leigh's another year. i can't begin to tell you how much i loathe this film, ESPECIALLY leigh's bizarrely, epicly dull writing. will someone PLEASE explain to me why this movie doesn't blow chunks?

no ryan gosling for blue valentine? the category was just too stacked i guess, and they decided to nominated javier bardem instead. this was just a really competitive year in the acting categories in general. other notable performances went unrewarded as well: barbara hershey in black swan, diane wiest and aaron eckhart in rabbit hole, hilary swank and sam rockwell in conviction, mark wahlberg in the fighter, matt damon in hereafter and true grit, julianne moore in the kids are alright.

i have to say i am pretty satisfied with the best picture lineup in general. are the best films of the year on it? of course not, but there is enough entertaining material there that will make this year's best picture showcase pretty fun (as long as i can manage to go whichever day they aren't showing inception-- *yawn*)
24 January 2011
  oscar nominations tomorrow

i'm torn. on the one hand, i can't remember another year that yielded as many fantastic films and unforgettable performances as this one. it's almost impossible to narrow down this year's best actress and best supporting actress categories down to five. and there are definitely films that i loved this year that won't make it in my top ten. the past few years at the movies have been a little bit underwhelming i feel, so i am thankful that this year has been such a good one.

unfortunately, none of the year's work that i most admire will win academy awards. that may not be entirely true, but the awards circuit this year has been absolutely dominated by two films that i CAN'T STAND made by two filmmakers that i REVILE. this more or less happens to me with at least one or two films every year, but this year i feel even more irritated by the love being shown to inception and the social network when there is so much better filmmaking being done elsewhere that isn't going to be rewarded at all (or perhaps only meagerly).

that being said, my intuition is telling me that there are still some surprises to look forward to when the academy award nominations are announced. of course i think that the films and performances that are going to be nominated are largely those being predicted right now, but i also think there are absolutely going to be at least one or two major surprises, especially in the best picture category.

what's/who's getting nominations?

*winter's bone for best picture* i think it's absolutely ludicrous that people are saying this film will be #11. i don't know what films are missing out in this category, but i think winter's bone is definitely IN.

*shutter island for best picture* i am going out on a limb with this one, but something tells me that if there is a major surprise to be had tomorrow morning, this is going to be it.

*hailee steinfeld for best actress* yes, she has gotten a lot of attention as a supporting actress, but this category fraud is clear to all, and i expect her to actually be nominated in the actress category a la kate winslet.

*julianne moore for best actress* i say she makes it in along with bening

*pete postlethwaite for best supporting actor* okay, this probably isn't going to happen, but it might, and it would be deserved.

what's/who's not?

*true grit, across the board* i say it gets a single major nomination for best actress and is shut out everywhere else. i also predict luke screams at the television and maybe throws something.

*127 hours for best picture* it's a blah movie and i don't see it getting a lot of number one votes.

*ryan gosling and michelle williams* their performances are maybe too good for the oscars. i say they both get snubbed and neither one really gives a damn. because, in my head, they're cool like that.

*rabbit hole, across the board, including nicole kidman* the academy, like the entire entertainment industry, has had it out for nicole kidman in recent years, and i don't know that they are ready to bring her back to the party yet.

what would make me happy?

1. please, dear gawd, absolutely under no circumstances should any positive attention be shown to mike leigh's entirely and undeniably abysmal another year. this includes the laughably overwrought performance of lesley manville.

2. jacki weaver gets nominated as best supporting actress for animal kingdom. there are so many excellent elements in this film, and i would really be ecstatic if it garnered an inexplicable original screenplay nod, but since i think best supporting actress is the only place animal kingdom is likely to get noticed, i would be satisfied with that.

3. barbara hershey gets nominated for best supporting actress instead of mila kunis. i have nothing against kunis' performance, but hershey is better.

4. the coen brothers take one of the director slots (away from IDEALLY christopher nolan but more REALISTICALLY, david o russell). this isn't happening, but i would like it.

5. no nominations for jeremy renner (best supporting actor) or the town (best picture). a mediocre performance in a mediocre film that absolutely pales in comparison to the similarly themed animal kingdom
Luke and John talk about movies

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