Oscar predictions

3 03 2010

The Oscars are only a few days away, so here we go.  Read ’em and weep:

Picture:  The Hurt Locker

Director:  Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)

Actor:  Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)

Actress:  Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side

Note:  I SO hope I am wrong and Meryl Streep is able to win this.  A Carey Mulligan upset would be wonderful too. 

Supporting Actor:  Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)

Supporting Actress:  Mo’Nique (Precious)

Original Screenplay:  Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)

Adapted Screenplay:  Jason Reitman (Up in the Air)

Foreign Film:  The White Ribbon

Documentary:  The Cove

Animated feature:  Up

Cinematography:  Avatar

Score:  Up

Special Effects:  Avatar

Song:  “The Weary Kind” (Crazy Heart)

Editing:  The Hurt Locker

Sound Editing:  The Hurt Locker

Sound Mixing:  The Hurt Locker

Costume Design:  The Young Victoria

Makeup:  Star Trek (District 9 was robbed of a nomination)

Art Direction:  Avatar

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Best of 2009

1 03 2010

There are still a few films I haven’t seen that could have an impact on this list, however I have no way of seeing these films for at least a couple of months and don’t want to be posting a best of 2009 list during the summer of 2010.  Those films are Tetro, A Single Man, Bright Star, The Last Station, The Secret of Kells, 35 Shots of Rum, The Princess and the Frog, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox.  So with that in mind, here’s my top 10 with a few honorable mentions thrown in:

10.  SUGAR

9.  PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

8.  CRAZY HEART

7.  THE WHITE RIBBON

6.  THE COVE

5.  PONYO

4.  ANTICHRIST

3.  AVATAR

2.  FISH TANK

1.  UP

Honorable mentions:

The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, A Serious Man, Up in the Air, In the Loop, Sin Nombre.

Feel free to post your own top 10 below!





Crazy Heart

25 02 2010

Others have labeled this 2009’s The Wrestler, and I think that fits it perfectly, both in storyline and quality.  Jeff Bridges plays Bad Blake, a washed-up country singer trying to find his way back to the top.  It’s one of the best roles of his career and I’d be surprised and disappointed if he didn’t walk away with the Oscar next week. 

I am not much of a country music fan, however the music is beautiful.  Bridges turns out to be quite the singer and gives several memorable performances, not to mention Colin Farrell’s performance of “The Weary Kind,” a song which is rightfully receiving a lot of awards attention.  First time director Scott Cooper uses subtlety and a quiet, slow pace to great effect, so everything breezes along and never bores.  It’s a touching film and Bridges’ performance is not to miss.

RATING:  9/10





Thoughts on the Oscar nominations

3 02 2010

First the good: 

Up gets the honor of being the first ever animated film to be nominated for best picture.  Sure it took the expansion to 10 nominees, but it’s still quite an accomplishment and I couldn’t think of a more deserving film. 

Hurt Locker and Avatar lead with 9 nominations each.  I’m happy to see two great films lead the field.

-Always nice to see veteran actors like Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep get nominations.  Hopefully they both win this year.

-Vera Farmiga and Maggie Gyllenhaal get their first nominations.  They’re both wonderful and it’s great to see them get some recognition.

-Kathryn Bigelow gets a best director nomination.  The film industry is still male dominated, so it’s always nice to see female directors get nominated.

-The Academy embraces sci-fi.  Avatar, District 9, and Star Trek all get a good amount of nominations.  Banner year for sci-fi.  Now if only Sam Rockwell had managed to get a best actor nomination for Moon

-No major nominations for Nine, Lovely Bones, or Invictus, proving that not all Academy members are sheep.

In the Loop, Harry Potter, and A Serious Man all get  nominations.  All deserving surprises.

And now the bad:

The Blind Side.  Seriously, I feel like I’m going crazy.  This getting a nomination sure doesn’t make the expansion to 10 nominees look like a good idea.

-Sandra Bullock.  She could possibly win a Razzie and an Oscar, and to think that she might beat Meryl Streep.  Not cool, Academy.

-No nomination for Ponyo.  It wasn’t expected to squeeze in a nomination, but I still feel it was much more deserving than some of the other animated nominees.

-No nomination for Julianne Moore.  Admittedly I have not seen the film, but she’s long overdue and I was hoping she’d get some recognition this year, oh well.

-No best score nomination for The Informant!

No best makeup nomination for District 9.

Here’s the full list of nominees:

Best Picture
“Avatar”
“The Blind Side”
“District 9”
“An Education”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Precious”
“A Serious Man”
“Up”
“Up in the Air”

Best Director
James Cameron, “Avatar”
Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”
“Quentin Tarantino, “Inglourious Basterds”
“Lee Daniels, “Precious”
Jason Reitman, “Up in the Air”

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney, “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth, “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman, “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker”

Best Actress
Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren, “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan, “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”
Meryl Streep, “Julie & Julia”

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon, “Invictus”
Woody Harrelon, “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer, “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci, “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, “Nine”
Vera Farmiga, “Up in the Air”
Maggie Gyllenhaal, “Crazy Heart”
Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique, “Precious”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“District 9”
“An Education”
“In the Loop”
“Precious”
“Up in the Air”

Best Original Screenplay
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“The Messenger”
“A Serious Man”
“Up”

Best Animated Feature Film
“Coraline”
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“The Princess and the Frog”
“The Secret of Kells”
“Up”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Ajami” (Israel)
“The Milk of Sorrow” (Peru)
“A Prophet” (France)
“The Secret in Their Eyes” (Argentina)
“The White Ribbon” (Germany)

Best Art Direction
“Avatar”
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
“Nine”
“Sherlock Holmes”
“The Young Victoria”

Best Cinematography
“Avatar”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
“The Hurt Locker”
“The White Ribbon”

Best Costume Design
“Bright Star”
“Coco Before Chanel”
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
“Nine”
“The Young Victoria”

Best Film Editing
“Avatar”
“District 9”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Precious”

Best Makeup
“Il Divo”
“Star Trek”
“The Young Victoria”

Best Music (Original Score)
“Avatar”
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Sherlock Holmes”
“Up”

Best Music (Original Song)
“Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog”
“Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog”
“Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36″
“Take it All” from “Nine”
“The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart”

Best Sound Editing
“Avatar”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Star Trek”
“Up”

Best Sound Mixing
“Avatar”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Star Trek”
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”

Best Visual Effects
“Avatar”
“District 9”
“Star Trek”

Best Documentary Feature
“Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country”
“The Cove”
“Food, Inc.”
“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers”
“Which Way Home”

Best Documentary Short
“China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province”
“The Last Campaign of Booth Gardener”
“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant”
“Music by Prudence”
“Rabbit a la Berlin”

Best Short Film (Animated)
“French Roast”
“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty”
“The Lady and the Reaper”
“Logorama”
“A Matter of Loaf and Death”

Best Short Film (Live Action)
“The Door”
“Instead of Abracadabra”
“Kavi”
“Miracle Fish”
“The New Tenants”

-Overall a pretty good list. Feel free to give your own thoughts below!





Crazy Heart trailer

18 11 2009

Looks great, and it’s SO nice to see Jeff Bridges get a good role like this.  I hope it results in an Oscar (he’s never won before).