Tuesday, January 25, 2011

For Shits And/Or Giggles

( Various establishing of cred by commenting on how you don't really care about the Oscars anyway. Blah blah blah hardly ever pick the right films. Pull back from coming off as a kill joy or too cool for school with with a "But they're kind of fun anyway." comment.)

So now that that's out of the way. Just so we're clear this is who I'd like to win not necessarily who I think is going to.

Best Actor:

Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
Colin Firth in “The King's Speech”
James Franco in “127 Hours”

Haven't seen the Bitiful, 127 hours or The King's Speech yet (Though Jesus the pull on that fucking thing. I woman came into my store the other day on her way to see it and seemed positively dismayed by the prospect. "I guess I'll like it." she said with a grim shrug that suggested that she was going to march into a death camp rather then, you know, go see a movie. I almost wanted to tell her that if she gave her money at the box office and asked for a ticket to something else they would let her go.)

Anyway, Bridges Cogburn was a force of nature but I actually think Eisenberg's is the stronger performance. So yeah, Eisenberg.

Best Supporting Actor:

Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone”
Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech”

Oh I'm sorry I can't hear you over the sound of Andrew Garfield being robbed.

I'd be more upset about that if there was only one clear answer to this and that's John Hawkes in Winter's Bone. I know I'm verging on ad nausem here but Uncle Teardrop is one of the most fascinating characters I've encountered in fiction. Period. Renner and Bale both brought a lot of humanity to sketchy characters (and Renner a genuine feeling of danger) but they have nothing on Hawkes.

"Have you got the taste yet?" indeed.

Best Actress:

Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

Huh I think this is one of the few times when the roles nominated for women are markedly stronger then those for men. At the present time it's between Portman and Lawrence. Similar to Cogburn Vs. Eisenberg I think Portman has the showier role and Lawrence the better one. I'd like Lawrence but whose kidding who here, this is Portman's to lose.

Best Supporting Actress:

Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech”
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

Oh I'm sorry I can't hear you over the sound of Mila Kunis getting robbed. That aside, another solid pack. I'm reserving full judgement until I watch Animal Kingdom, but at the moment it's Steinfeld. I am kind of stunned that Melissa Leo has been nominated for playing the actual Queen Of The Harpies.

Best Animated Film:

“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich

Bit of a let down after last years banner year. Would have loved to see Tangled on there as I continue to be the one person not in love with How To Train Your Dragon. I'M NOT USUALLY THE CURMUDGEON!!! THIS BURNS MAKE IT STOP!!!

Art Direction:

So yeah Toy Story 3.
“Alice in Wonderland”
Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
“The King's Speech”
Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
True Grit”
Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

Inception's design was brilliant, and yes I continue not to fly into a frothing rage when presented with the phrase, "Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland".

But True Grit turned The American West into a Diane Arbus inspired gothic piece of nightmare fuel while never once straining beyond the bounds of believability. It's one of the best designed movies I've ever seen.


“Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
“Inception” Wally Pfister
“The King's Speech” Danny Cohen
“The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit” Roger Deakins

And this is where the Academy's timidness does bother me, because were is Bill Pope's name on this list? Love Scott Pilgrim or hate it, that movie's cinematography was some genuine next level shit.

Deakins is the easy answer here, but I would like to see Libatique take home the award, he's been doing ground breaking work for a lot of years without anyone really noticing, and Black Swan is no exception. That was shot on Sixteen Millimeter guys. That's a 1 and a 6. They got those images on Sixteen Mil. Wow.


“Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz
“Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
“Waste Land” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Oscar Nominee Banksy, let that roll around on your tongue for a minute. Jesus can you imagine if he shows up?! It'd be anarchy. Or he'd probably just through everyone for a loop by politely accepting the award and moving on. Either way I want to see it happen.


“Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum
“The Fighter” Pamela Martin
“The King's Speech” Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” Jon Harris
“The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

Another check mark for Black Swan.


“How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell
“Inception” Hans Zimmer
“The King's Speech” Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours” A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

The Social Network. Reznor's work has been the soundtrack to my writing for quite awhile. It opens up all kinds of locks for me... Oh and it works pretty well in the film too.

“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Hey you know what's not on here? A song from Scott Pilgrim the only good musical released this year. What the fuck.

Tangled is the one on here that is least offensive but man even if I thought the movie was delightful (Yes that's right DELIGHTFUL!) that soundtrack was not all it was cracked up to be.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

Envy is not an emotion I normally associated with art. But contemplating Sorkin's script for The Social Network turns me into a brooding Salieri. It's a thing of beauty. A meticulous perpetual motion machine that is the finest of it's format.


Best Original Screenplay

Another Year
The Fighter
The Kids Are Alright
The King's Speech

Once again it's an act of construction so meticulous I can't help but marvel at it. That van, that van...

“Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky
“The Fighter” David O. Russell
“The King's Speech” Tom Hooper
“The Social Network” David Fincher
“True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Yes I'm surprised at the Nolan snub as you all are. The Fighter was not Russell's best work by a long shot.

Yep Aronofsky again.

Best Picture

“Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
“The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
“Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
“The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
“The King's Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
“127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
“The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ce├ín Chaffin, Producers
“Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
“True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

Chances are slim but man I hope this one wins It's nice to remember that sometimes all you need to do is make an excellent movie about people.


le0pard13 said...

Fine look at this, Bryce. I'm waiting on my wife so I can tee up the BD for THE SOCIAL NETWORK so I reserve my thoughts on it. Almost every one sees Supporting Actor as a race between Geoffrey Rush and Christian Bale, although I agree John Hawkes is as good as you say. And if everything was right in the world Jeff Bridges would be in that supporting category and Hailee Steinfeld would be in the Best Actress categories for TRUE GRIT.

Same can be said that the main contenders are Natalie Portman and Annette Bening for Actress. If WINTER'S BONE could garner more eyes, it'd really help Jennifer Lawrence and Hawkes. I'm also with you on the lack of enthusiasm for HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. Although, my kids are big LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS fans and are crestfallen that it didn't make it... I'm somewhat gleeful that it didn't (but that's another story).

But what about Robert Richardson not getting a nod in cinematography for SHUTTER ISLAND?!? And I'm glad to see INSIDE JOB making it for Best Doc, but I'd have rather seen THE TILLMAN STORY there over RESTREPO. My son convinced me to check-out SCOTT PILGRIM so I'm with there, as well. Lastly, I'm beginning to think the current Academy members are treating Christopher Nolan as this era's Steven Spielberg. They didn't give much respect to Spielberg's early work and they seemed to have transferred that in how they ignore Nolan's films and efforts.

I may be able to talk my wife into seeing THE KING'S SPEECH in the theater with me (fingers crossed), and I'm looking forward to checking out the number nom's it received. I very much enjoyed reading this post, Bryce. Thanks.

Michele (TheGirlWhoLovesHorror) said...

This is what I've always hated about the Oscars. The same motherfucking movies nominated over and over again in category after category, as if only five movies came out all f-ing year. That just really grates my cheese. Step OUTSIDE the box, Academy, for once in your life.

Bryce Wilson said...

@ le0pard13: Thanks for the response le0pard. I'd be more upset about Steinfeld if I didn't think she had a much better chance of winning in that league. Good call on Richardson, totally slipped my mind. And good call on Nolan and Spielberg parellels.

Look forward to reading what you have to say about The King's Speech.

@ TGWLH: Word.

Kurt said...

Great write-up, good sir. But haven't seen The King's Speech, yet? For shame, doc. (Although we only got around to it this past weekend)

Bryce Wilson said...

It's on my list. It's just one of those movies I'm not rushing to see in theaters cause I know it's going to be in them forever.

Bryce Wilson said...

PS. Hunting rabbits with an elephant gun?