Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Oscar Picks

On Oscar Eve, I thought I'd commit to my picks. Also, I finally saw Toy Story 3 last night, so I've now seen all ten movies nominated in the best picture category (this makes me officially qualified to make picks). So here goes!

Best Picture
This is the second year The Academy has nominated ten films in this category. I liked, no, loved them all. I didn't even feel lukewarm about one film. Instead of choosing just one, I'm going to rank them.
  1. The King's Speech
  2. Inception
  3. The Fighter
  4. Black Swan
  5. The Social Network
  6. 127 Hours
  7. The Kids Are All Right
  8. True Grit
  9. Winter's Bone
  10. Toy Story 3
All movies were great - and, with the exceptions of Toy Story 3 and True Grit, were original or based on true stories. I love that! I really wish Hollywood would focus more on films of this nature than reboots/sequels. It was hard to rank these movies, but I did it. Looking at it, I feel as if I could move them around again. But I won't. I'll stick with this ranking.

Best Actor
I have seen all but one of these nominees (Javier Bardem's Biutiful is in my Netflix queue). Jeff Bridges was really good in True Grit. Jesse Eisenberg was good in The Social Network (I give the credit to Aaron Sorkin and his amazing script). I think this category comes down to the final two nominees: Colin Firth in The King's Speech and James Franco in 127 Hours. These two movies included many closeups of these actors' faces - no words needed to express their emotions. They were FEELING it. I was not the biggest fan of Franco until I saw his performance in that cave. When he makes every cut to free himself, I was riveted. I only looked away when he made that final cut. I did not pass out/throw up, but I felt it. And when Firth struggles to get a syllable out - I was rooting for him. So in this category, I have to go with my heart: COLIN FIRTH

Best Supporting Actor
Every one of these nominees made these films worth watching. John Hawkes was really good in Winter's Bone. Jeremy Renner was creepy good in The Town. Mark Ruffalo was charming in The Kids Are All Right. Geoffrey Rush was outstanding in The King's Speech. But I cannot imagine Christian Bale not winning for his role in The Fighter.  It's not just his super skinny appearance or thinning hair that makes me root for him (or his expletive-laden tirade that made headlines two years ago). I found myself wanting to hate him for his drug addiction that had dragged him down, but wanting to love him for his passion for boxing and support of his brother. For those reasons, my pick is: CHRISTIAN BALE.

Best Actress
The only performance I can't formally rate is Nicole Kidman's in Rabbit Hole (I can say that I've seen the trailer a few times and her face moves, which might be why she was nominated). I felt like when I saw Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right that I had seen her play the high-strung woman before (ahem, American Beauty). Jennifer Lawrence was captivating in Winter's Bone, but I wanted more. Michelle Williams was heartbreaking in Blue Valentine, but I sometimes felt like she was as detached from the viewer as she was from her soon-to-be-ex-husband. So, my pick is: NATALIE PORTMAN. I loved her not just for the freakishly-thin figure she rocked the whole movie, but because she had me questioning what was happening for most of the movie. She was haunting and unbelievably amazing as a ballerina on the edge.

Best Supporting Actress
I haven't seen Animal Kingdom, so I have no idea what to think about Jacki Weaver. I have seen the other performances - all brilliant. Amy Adams was really good in The Fighter. And Melissa Leo in that same movie - wow. I mean, I have loved her since I first saw her on Homicide: Life on the Streets. But she didn't seem to be in as much of the movie as I had hoped (I thought stage moms were more influential?). If ever there was a quirky non-Tim Burton role better suited for Helena Bonham Carter, it was The King's Speech. She was such the cheerleader in this movie that I couldn't help but like her - and that's saying a lot for me. I usually see her as caricature. Despite those amazing ladies, my pick is: HAILEE STEINFELD. Without her, True Grit would not have been half as good. She was the toughest girl I've seen in a movie in a while. And she was a true scene stealer among some of the best actors.

Documentary Feature
I want this to win because I want to see Banksy accept the Oscar in costume. The other documentaries are good, too, but I want to see this followed through. Reward the talent of these street artists! Yes, the others were powerful (and political), but this was just about art. LOVED it.

Those are the only categories I'm really excited about. But I'll still watch the entire show. I'll live blog it (and of course make it a drinking game) right here tomorrow night.
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