Sunday, November 7, 2010

First Oscar Predictions of the Season - Best Picture

The Oscar race this year will be a relaxed one, at least where I am concerned. I just came back from a screening of Blue Valentine, which I'll talk about later (knock on wood) and at greater length, but it ranks up there with Winter's Bone, Dogtooth, Never Let Me Go and The Social Network as indelible cinema experiences of 2010 that just won't let go (no pun intended). I suppose you could put 127 Hours in that category as well, although I can almost tell a film that's going to recede in my memory, even it if is one that I love.

That being said, here are my slapped together, haphazard predictions.

Best Picture

++Who Knows?

1. The Social Network*
2. The King's Speech*
3. 127 Hours**
4. Toy Story 3**
5. Inception+

6. Winter's Bone+
7. The Kids Are All Right+
8. The Way Back++
9. Never Let Me Go++
10. Black Swan++

Alternate: True Grit, The Fighter, Another Year, How to Train Your Dragon, Get Low

Okay. Several things to address. I think a lot of guns are being jumped at this point. In my mind, the only two true locks in this category are The King's Speech and The Social Network. 127 Hours is nearing lock status, but we have to see how people respond to it (God forbid). Toy Story 3...everyone is calling it a lock. I've yet to see it (I know, I know), but I don't think we can assume that Pixar is going to have a horse in the race every year just because there are now ten best picture nominees. Beyond those four very likely candidates, it's really anyone's game from where I'm sitting. Inception seems like a distant memory, doesn't it? And the reasoning that they'll nominate it as penance for snubbing The Dark Knight doesn't compute for me. First of all, Nolan already has an Oscar nod for writing, so it's not like they've ignored him completely. And if they loved The Dark Knight so freaking much, they would have nominated it. Fact. The Kids Are All Right read as very slight to me, but even ignoring my own feelings, there are plenty of ways (Bening aside) for them to screw up an Oscar campaign for this film. Ditto for Winter's Bone, which is in a better position than The Kids Are All Right. That film will be championed come year's end and I personally think that the people predicting Jennifer Lawrence to miss a best actress nod are crazy (I'm not naming names). My reasoning on Never Let Me Go, The Way Back and Black Swan. I can see each of these films having intense pockets of love. Never Let Me Go already does. The people who love that film (moi, for instance) really really love it. And we know Aronofsky is going to have his partisans. Basically, I had to fill ten slots and I don't feel comfortable predicting True Grit, which everyone seems high on for some reason even though no one has seen it. Exactly three of the Coen Bros' many films have been nominated for best picture. Three. Plus, are we forgetting that the original True Grit didn't even get a best picture nomination? Am I missing something here? I know I said the same thing about Avatar last year, but I don't see why people are automatically labeling True Grit a best picture contender. I will admit that the film looks spectacular, but the Coens are not overdue at this point, the Academy is not really hot on Westerns these days, shall I go on?

Monday, November 1, 2010

All I Ask...

I'm usually very demanding and discriminating when it comes to evaluating movies...

Nevertheless, I will go see Burlesque when it opens later this month. Lord knows I've enjoyed a lot of films, even of late. This is not about enjoying and respecting a film. I can't for the life of me remember the last time I had fun at the movies. I'm talking me as an eight-year-old, watching Timon and Pumba sing "Hakuna Matata," honest-to-goodness fun. So for Burlesque, I have only one request. And it's a small one. I hope the filmmakers have obliged.

If (if?) Burlesque absolutely must be least have the good taste to make it very very bad. I'm talking Showgirls bad. I need this.

That is all.