Me and My Nine Iron

February 27, 2011

My Oscar picks

It’s always great to mention the Golden Raspberry Awards recognize the year’s worst in film, as the 31st Razzie Awards bestowed top worst honors to The Last Airbender (4.5 IMDb) and Sex and the City 2 (4.0). M. Night Shyamalan took Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay and Worst Supporting Actor (Jackson Rathbone), and it’s a far drop-off from when Disney made him the highest-paid screenwriter to write Signs for $5 million in 2002.

Sarah Jessica Parker, who was generously paid $15 million as producer and star of SATC2, took Worst Actress of a Worst Screen Ensemble for the Worst Sequel. Now, onto the actual news.

As I mentioned last year, there’s no competitive need to expand the Best Picture category to ten films. Wouldn’t the field be just as strong with just Black Swan, Inception, The King’s Speech, The Social Network and True Grit?

Without further ado, my select Oscar picks for 2010’s year in film:

Writing (Original Screenplay) – Christopher Nolan, Inception (In my Writing decisions, I’m going strictly off of the movie’s story as I’m not going to waste my time reading every nominated screenplay. The categorization between an original and an adapted screenplay is nebulous. Isn’t anything based on a true story unoriginal? Then, why are The Fighter and The King’s Speech considered original while 127 Hours isn’t? And is a sequel truly unoriginal (Toy Story 3)? They say developing the characters is the hardest part, which you already have laid out for you in a sequel, but then every true story has this luxury as well. Nolan will get snubbed in every major category–he didn’t even get nominated for Best Director–but he definitely deserves to be rewarded for this 10-year idea for his first Oscar win and second Oscar writing nomination (Memento).)

Have not watched: Another Year

Writing (Adapted Screenplay) – Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network (To continue with my previous debate, this movie was “adapted” from a book that hadn’t even been written yet. There were only 14 pages of notes for Sorkin to look at of what would become a 260-page book. Technicalities aside, I actually read Sorkin’s screenplay, a fast-paced, 163-page piece of work that is nothing short of impressive. A lot of screenplays are butchered with the addition and deletion of a large number of scenes once shooting begins (e.g. The Hangover), but I couldn’t even catch one word that wasn’t shot to a t. In a spec screenplay however, if you write over 120 pages, no one will even read it, no matter how good it is. And the amount of shot directions Sorkin notes is almost annoying, not to mention not allowed in specs but of course, you get away with things when you’re big time.)

Directing – Darren AronofskyBlack Swan (I wavered on going with David Fincher, who made the best movie out of his story, but I have what some doctors might consider a mild heart attack while watching the last half hour of Black Swan, and that credit belongs entirely to the director, not the movie.)

Animated Feature Film – Toy Story 3 (Funny how this category only gets three nominees, including a French animation over an American film like Tangled. But this category, unlike last year, is a pretty weak and obvious one, as TS3 is just the third animated film and second in a row to be nominated for Best Picture. It’s your absolutely rare sequel where the latter is just as good if not better than an already amazing movie. I call it the Pixar exception, and I expect a lot from Cars 2 coming out in June.)

Actress in a Supporting Role – Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit (Everyone loved the two actresses from The Fighter, but I wasn’t sold on their performance being spectacular–not to be confused with them giving a spectacular performance–let alone, Oscar-worthy. But maybe, I’m as mixed up as a recent L.A. Times article claims – that the awards should really say Most, not Best, as in this case, Most On-Screen. I thought Steinfeld was the main character, but if she’s not, she’s definitely the driving force of the movie, and the 14-year-old blew me away in her first real movie, unlike the others.)

Have not watched: Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Actress in a Leading Role – Natalie Portman, Black Swan (Anyone who says Annette Bening has a shot against Portman should be just that – shot. It’s hard for me to think of a time where a comedy actor can beat a drama actor, and this easily isn’t one of them. The amount of training Portman put in to becoming her character is unmatchable.)

Have not watched: Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole

Actor in a Supporting Role – Christian Bale, The Fighter (I really liked Jeremy Renner in The Town, but this category goes to the English actor and first-time nominee. From his massive weight loss to his spot-on mannerisms of a drug addict, he steals the show from Mark Wahlberg in the movie.)

Actor in a Leading Role – Colin Firth, The King’s Speech (This was one of the tougher categories to choose from, as I liked all the nominees, but it looks like a male sweep for the English. This is Firth’s second year in a row being nominated for Best Actor after coming up short with A Single Man. For a non-stammerer to have all the mannerisms of a stammerer was impressive.)

Have not watched: Javier Bardem, Biutiful

Best Picture – The Social Network (To me, this came down to a struggle between Black Swan and TSN, and what I was looking for in a Best Picture was more than just a great story and a great movie. I’m looking for an iconic movie, a movie for our ages, and that’s probably the only thing that gave TSN the upper edge here. Is it a coincidence that the best movie also had the best script? Nope.)




  1. […] not be taken lightly. Well, neither should the psychosexual part too. As I mentioned in my recent post about my chest pains, this is an amazing movie from the story of a self-obsessed ballet dancer to […]

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  3. Come to think of it, Steinfeld should’ve switched places with Annette Bening. I thought Julianne Moore had more screen time than Bening. I’m baffled myself.

    Looks like we’re opposites on Best Director and Picture. All that you mentioned about making something out of nothing in TSN, that’s all Sorkin. He’s the one that wrote those brilliant intercuts, pre-lapped voice-overs to proceeding scenes and made it the fast-paced movie that it is. All Fincher had to do was follow the instructions.

    It’s interesting how we both think that Black Swan should be in the Top 2, yet it’s probably a 2-man race between TSN and The King’s Speech.

    Comment by Bryan — February 27, 2011 @ 5:34 pm | Reply

  4. I agree with you on most. But a few points:

    -If Natalie Portman doesn’t win Best Actress I’m boycotting the Oscars forever.
    -Why is Hailee Steinfeld nominated for Best Supporting Actress and not Best Actress? She’s on screen for 90 percent of the movie. Granted, she stands a better chance of winning BSA, since Portman has the Lead award on lock. But still, Steinfeld made True Grit for me and I think she deserved a Best Actress nomination.
    -127 Hours was adapted from Aron Ralston’s autobiography Between a Rock and a Hard Place. But like you, Toy Story 3 qualifying as an adapted screenplay confuses me.
    -I haven’t seen The Fighter and I’m sure Christian Bale deserves to be the favorite for Best Supporting Actor, but Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech was the best male performance I saw all year – even better than Colin Firth’s, imo.
    -Loved Black Swan. It was my favorite movie of the year. But David Fincher deserves Best Director. As great as its script was, it was filled with stationary dialogue, legal depositions, typing code on computers – in other words, nothing. No action, all talk: but Fincher filmed it in a way that was exhilarating – brilliantly weaving together multiple legal depositions to propel the story – with a pace as fast as the dialogue. It was Fincher’s best work since Zodiac, which is brutally overlooked.

    Comment by Chris Le — February 27, 2011 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  5. My Oscar Picks…

    […]Writing (Original Screnplay) ? Christopher Nolan, Inception (In my Writing decisions, I'm going strictly of of the movie's story[…]…

    Trackback by Pro Blogger News — February 27, 2011 @ 4:03 am | Reply

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