Monday 28 February 2011

Oscars 2011: my recap, my reviews

Anne Hathaway and James Franco co-hosted. Their opening skit had some great special effects but I think the jury is still out on the overall value. Melissa Leo dropped the F bomb during her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress, apparently a first for the Academy Awards. Kirk Douglas did a presentation at the age of 94. For those who don't know, Douglas suffered a stroke in 1996 and had to teach himself to talk all over again chronicling his experiences in the 2003 book My Stroke of Luck.

The biggie of the night was, of course, The King's Speech. Whew! Finally the waiting is over; we now know. The conjecturing just went on and on and on. And now for the Monday morning papers as everyone dissects all the minutiae of the ceremony: who wore what; who committed a faux pas; which films should have won, etc. Admittedly, the Oscars represent quite a bit of hoopla when Hollywood rolls out its glamour and glitz however we love our entertainment so we love Hollywood.

Below is a listing of the winners showing all of the nominees. It's good to see who lost. After all, there are some pretty good films here and selecting a clear winner is difficult. And just because somebody lost doesn't mean you shouldn't go see that film.

At the end, there are reviews of some of the films which will hopefully remind us of some of last year's highlights or, if you didn't get a chance to see a particular film, to consider doing a rental one of these fine Saturday evenings with a bowl of your finest popcorn and enjoy a couple of hours of great escapism.

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids are All Right
The King’s Speech - Winner
The Social Network
127 Hours
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening (The Kids are All Right)
Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)
Natalie Portman (Black Swan) - Winner
Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem (Biutiful)
Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) - Winner
James Franco (127 Hours)
Jeff Bridges (True Grit)

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale (The Fighter) - Winner
John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)
Jeremy Renner (The Town)
Mark Ruffalo (The Kids are All Right)
Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams (The Fighter)
Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech)
Melissa Leo (The Fighter) - Winner
Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)
Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3 - Winner

Best Documentary Short Subject
Killing in the Name
Poster Girl
Strangers No More - Winner
Sun Come Up
The Warriors of Qiugang

Best Short Film (Animated)
Day & Night
The Gruffalo
Let’s Pollute
The Lost Thing - Winner
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)

Best Short Film (Live Action)
The Confession
The Crush
God of Love - Winner
Na Wewe
Wish 143

Achievement in Art Direction
Alice in Wonderland - Winner
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
The King’s Speech
True Grit

Achievement in Cinematography
Black Swan
Inception - Winner
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Achievement in Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland - Winner
I Am Love
The King’s Speech
The Tempest
True Grit

Achievement in Directing
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
David O. Russell (The Fighter)
Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) - Winner
David Fincher (The Social Network)
Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit)

Best Documentary Feature
Exit through the Gift Shop
Inside Job - Winner
Waste Land

Achievement in Makeup
Barney’s Version
The Way Back
The Wolfman - Winner

Achievement in Film Editing
Black Swan
The Fighter
The King’s Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network - Winner

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Biutiful (Mexico)
Dogtooth (Greece)
In a Better World (Denmark) - Winner
Incendies (Canada)
Hors la Loi (Algeria)

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
How to Train Your Dragon
The King’s Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network - Winner

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from Country Strong
“I See the Light” from Tangled
“If I Rise” from 127 Hours
“We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3 - Winner

Achievement in Sound Editing
Inception - Winner
Toy Story 3
TRON: Legacy
True Grit

Achievement in Sound Mixing
Inception - Winner
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Achievement in Visual Effects
Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Inception - Winner
Iron Man 2

Adapted Screenplay
127 Hours (Simon Beaufoy and Danny Boyle)
The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin) - Winner
Toy Story 3 (Michael Arndt, story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich)
True Grit (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen)
Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik and Anne Rossellini)

Original Screenplay
Another Year (Mike Leigh)
The Fighter (Paul Attanasio, Lewis Colich, Eric Johnson, Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy)
Inception (Christopher Nolan)
The Kids are All Right (Stuart Blumberg and Lisa Cholodenko)
The King’s Speech (David Seidler) - Winner

Anne Hathaway James Franco: Opening Oscar Skit 2011
[chuckles] I found this video, not the best quality, of the opening skit of the co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco. I leave it to you to judge if it was good or lame but yes, the special effects were interesting.

EUX TV - Feb28, 2011
EU-backed 'King's Speech' and 'In a better world' take Oscars in Hollywood
The European Commission on Monday did not hesitate to claim credit for its role in the success of the Oscars for the British film The King's Speech. In a press release, the commission said it had supported this film with 562.000 euro in distribution support via the EU MEDIA fund for cinema. This money was used to promote the film outside the United Kingdom. The King's speech earlier on Monday won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and best original screenplay. Director Tom Hooper made The King's Speech on a shoe-string budget of less than 11 million euro. The Danish film 'In a better world', directed by Denmark's Susanne Bier, won the Oscar for best foreign language film. This film was also promoted via the Media programme.

The Nominations for Best Film
Going down the list gives me an opportunity to re-live a few of those moments parked in front of the silver screen: some great films, some not so great films but a successful attempt nevertheless to lure me into the dark and get me to cough up my hard earned dollars for that cinematic entertainment.

Black Swan - Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

The Fighter - Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

Inception - Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
my blog: Why wasn't this movie made in 3D? While it is visually stunning, I had a problem with the premise. Like the Matrix, we start with an idea which allows the maker to do anything he wants to twist reality. That's a good thing and leads to some great movie scenes. Nevertheless, I found that unlike the Matrix, the supporting premise was not adequately explained and seemed just a tad convoluted for the necessary suspension of belief

The Kids Are All Right - Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

The King's Speech - Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
my blog: I found this slice of history to be well done, well acted and well told.

127 Hours - Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

The Social Network - Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
my blog: I found the movie fascinating and would give credit to Aaron Sorkin who wrote the screenplay. That man did a fabulous job with the TV series The West Wing and once again, his writing shines. Of course, considering the story is a true story makes it all that much more interesting. Fact wins over fiction.

Toy Story 3 - Rotten Tomatoes: 99%
my blog: Is 3D a fad or is it here to stay? Pixar once again show themselves to be excellent makers of great family entertainment.

True Grit - Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
my blog: This is a movie which has some meat on its bones. Jeff Bridges had a colourful role, far better than Tron Legacy and much deserves his nomination.

Winter's Bone - Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

Other Films
There were a few other films of note in 2010 I would like to point out.

Barney's Version was an excellent film and an excellent adaption of the book by Canadian author Mordecai Richler. You can't take your eyes off of Paul Giamatti. This love story will tug at your heart strings.

Blue Valentine is a sorrowful tale. This love story shows us the highs of love at first sight and the lows of two people who have grown apart.

Another Year is a wonderful character study written and directed by England's Mike Leigh. No car chase scenes but a lot of "small" action nevertheless.

I do want to add here how some documentaries proved to be some of the best if not the best films for me in 2010. Fiction is great and who doesn't love a well told story. But what about reality? Both Inside Job and Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer deal with events surrounding the financial crisis of 2008 and taking into account just what happened to all of us, to the entire world, I found these films to be truly the most fascinating films I had seen last year. I can't recommend them enough.

See my blog's site map for all of my movie reviews.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
83rd Academy Awards: winners

AddThis Blog - Feb 28/2011
Data from Last Night’s Oscars by Justin Thorp
Like the rest of the world, we were glued to our televisions to see who’d take home Oscar gold at the Academy Awards last night. The AddThis sharing platform provides sharing and social analytics to more than 8MM sites and over 1B unique users monthly.  So, we’re able to have our finger on the pulse of activity on the Web. While watching the show, we kept an eye on which actors and movies were getting shared about and searched for. Here are some interesting data points that we found…


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of the great joys of art is how subjective it is - it's fun to listen and debate. For example, though I think Jeff Bridges is a wonderful actor and did a fine job in True Grit, I do not feel the performance merited a nomination. I would have liked to have seen Marky Mark receive that honor. But I'm with you on Aaron Sorkin. That dialogue was just...kinetic brilliance. I'm also a big fan of his work, and recommend one of his first films, The American President. Not only stellar writing, but supposedly leftover material from this film created The West Wing. Another Year was equisite, I wish it would have been nommed Best Picture. But really, Leslie Manville was R O B B E D of a nomination. She was perfect. I've rarely seen a performance so finely executed. She nailed it. Hell, she deserved Best Actress, not even supporting! I would voted her over my beloved Annette Bennington, for LM gave the greatest performance this year, period.

In my humble opinion. :)

Thanks for the recap.