Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oscar Eve Thoughts



As I type this, looking out my window, it's a bright, sunny day, but my Facebook feed tells me that it's actually snowing, or at least hailing, in Los Angeles. So let's just get this out of the way: if Salma Hayek or Scarlett Johansen show up on the read carpet tomorrow wearing parkas, God and I will no longer be on speaking terms.

So let's get into this. I still haven't seen The King's Speech, The Fighter, 127 Hours, Blue Valentine, Toy Story 3, Rabbit Hole, or a lot of the others, so I probably shouldn't be doing this at all. Last year, I made an effort to see all the shorts and the songs on YouTube, but I didn't really have time for that this time. Here's what I'm rooting for.

Picture - My first choice is Black Swan, which seems to have gone from dark horse to no chance over the last few months. Barring that, I hope The Social Network beats The King's Speech.

Director - I'd be perfectly happy with Aronofsky, Fincher or the Coens winning this.

Actor - I've been a fan of James Franco going back to Freaks and Geeks, so I'll root for him.

Actress - Well, my first choice is to root for Natalie Portman. Again, I've been a fan since Leon, and it's a great film. I'm not sure she's really the best actor here. Jennifer Lawrence might be just as good. And it's very possible that Michelle Williams and Nicole Kidman might be better. One thing I'm pretty sure about: Annette Bening shouldn't win. She's good and all, it's just not an Oscar-worthy performance. In fact, Julianne Moore gives a much more interesting performance if you ask me. From what I gather, Annette Bening is just a really nice person who people in Hollywood really love. I'm sure she's a fine person, and a fine actor, but come on.

Supporting Actor - John Hawkes, a great character actor who's been doing great work for a long time, and who gives a fantastic performance. I actually didn't recognize him until about halfway through the film.

Supporting Actress - Hailee Steinfeld. Easy choice, especially considering she's really the fucking lead actor in the movie.

Original Screenplay - Hmmm...I expect this to probably go to Inception.

Adapted Screenplay - The Social Network.

Animated Feature - The Illusionist. A dark horse, for sure, but I could see it winning. I haven't seen the other two. I should note that, as terrible as the trailers work, I have heard from many respectable people that How to Train Your Dragon is a great film, and maybe better than Toy Story 3.

Documentary Feature - Exit Through the Gift Shop. This isn't a dark horse like The Illusionist. Exit is just not going to win, period. Exit is documentary-as-art, and the Academy believes in documentary-as-social-statement. That's just the facts. So this will probably go to something like Inside Job. And as long as we're on the subject, let's talk about the obvious snub: Waiting for Superman. What annoys me about this is that it seems as though the academy may have snubbed this documentary because it's an "anti-union" movie, which seems like a bizarre way of looking at it. I haven't seen it yet, so I could be totally off on this, but I'm also a person who doesn't really think The Corporation is an anti-corporation movie. Superman seems to be a film about specific crimes of one particular union. The idea that the teacher's union has stood in the way of education reform isn't really some subjective opinion, it's kind of a fact that's been obvious for over 20 years. Does being pro-union mean thinking workers are always better off having a union, or does it mean thinking that anything a union ever does is good? Well, I'll hold off on saying more until I've actually seen it, but that's my take on it.

Cinematography - True Grit.

Editing - The Social Network, obviously.

Sound mixing/editing - I'll give 'em both to True Grit.

Art Direction - Either True Grit or Harry Potter.

Visual Effects - I think Harry Potter might be my fave, but it would be foolhardy to root against Inception on this one.

Makeup - Barney's Version.

My top 10 of the year, since I haven't done it yet:

1. Black Swan
2. Valhalla Rising
3. The Illusionist
4. Winter's Bone
5. Kick Ass
6. Exit Through the Gift Shop
7. The Social Network
8. Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe
9. The Kids Are All Right
10. The Other Guys

Well, I'm seeing Four Lions next week, and I expect that to knock something off, but that's pretty much it. I liked Splice a lot, too.

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