January 25, 2011

Annual Professional Commentary on the Oscar Nominations

Best Motion Picture of the Year
127 Hours (2010): Christian Colson, Danny Boyle, John Smithson = oy
Black Swan (2010): Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver, Scott Franklin = yay, pretty much
The Fighter (2010): David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Mark Wahlberg = barf
Inception (2010): Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas = obligatory
The Kids Are All Right (2010): Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Celine Rattray = sorry, no
The King's Speech (2010): Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin = Miramax nostalgia
The Social Network (2010): Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Ceán Chaffin = and the winner is
Toy Story 3 (2010): Darla K. Anderson = yay, pretty much
True Grit (2010): Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Scott Rudin = yay
Winter's Bone (2010): Anne Rosellini, Alix Madigan = barf

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem for Biutiful (2010) = Julia paid 'em
Jeff Bridges for True Grit (2010) = yay
Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network (2010) = sure
Colin Firth for The King's Speech (2010) = whatevs
James Franco for 127 Hours (2010) = at Gosling's expense

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right (2010) = best thing about it
Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole (2010) = barf
Jennifer Lawrence for Winter's Bone (2010) = yawn
Natalie Portman for Black Swan (2010) = yay
Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine (2010) = yay

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale for The Fighter (2010) = the full retard
John Hawkes for Winter's Bone (2010) = best thing about it
Jeremy Renner for The Town (2010) = interesting
Mark Ruffalo for The Kids Are All Right (2010) = shrug
Geoffrey Rush for The King's Speech (2010) = shrug

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams for The Fighter (2010) = her perennial nomination; also: yum
Helena Bonham Carter for The King's Speech (2010) = shrug
Melissa Leo for The Fighter (2010) = oh please
Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit (2010) = emoticons to express yay because she's 14
Jacki Weaver for Animal Kingdom (2010) = yay

Best Achievement in Directing
Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan (2010) = won't win
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen for True Grit (2010) = awesome
David Fincher for The Social Network (2010) = deserved this fifteen years ago
Tom Hooper for The King's Speech (2010) = whatevs
David O. Russell for The Fighter (2010) = aw hail no

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Another Year (2010): Mike Leigh = throw the dog a bone
The Fighter (2010): Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, Keith Dorrington = no no way n'uh uh no way fuggetit
Inception (2010): Christopher Nolan = oh please
The Kids Are All Right (2010): Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg = see Inception
The King's Speech (2010): David Seidler = he wrote Tucker

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
127 Hours (2010): Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy = Slumdog ass-covering
The Social Network (2010): Aaron Sorkin = rent that tux
Toy Story 3 (2010): Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich = ok
True Grit (2010): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen = yay
Winter's Bone (2010): Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini = barf

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
How to Train Your Dragon (2010): Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders = ok
The Illusionist (2010): Sylvain Chomet = love-children everywhere are checking their attics
Toy Story 3 (2010): Lee Unkrich = believe it or not

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Biutiful (2010): Alejandro González Iñárritu(Mexico) = or Julia would've killed everyone
Dogtooth (2009): Giorgos Lanthimos(Greece) = yay
In a Better World (2010): Susanne Bier(Denmark) = didn't see, but Bier should be in movie jail
Incendies (2010): Denis Villeneuve(Canada) = go Leafs
Outside the Law (2010): Rachid Bouchareb(Algeria) = news to me

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Black Swan (2010): Matthew Libatique = yay
Inception (2010): Wally Pfister = best thing about it
The King's Speech (2010): Danny Cohen = rock me, Danny Cohen
The Social Network (2010): Jeff Cronenweth = runs in the family
True Grit (2010): Roger Deakins = Susan Lucci

Best Achievement in Editing
127 Hours (2010): Jon Harris = hope he thanks Cuisinart
Black Swan (2010): Andrew Weisblum = yay
The Fighter (2010): Pamela Martin = whatchutalkinabout?
The King's Speech (2010): Tariq Anwar = shrug
The Social Network (2010): Kirk Baxter, Angus Wall = whatevs

Best Achievement in Art Direction
Alice in Wonderland (2010): Robert Stromberg, Karen O'Hara = barf
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010): Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan = yay
Inception (2010): Guy Hendrix Dyas, Larry Dias, Douglas A. Mowat = A for effort
The King's Speech (2010): Eve Stewart, Judy Farr = shock of shocks
True Grit (2010): Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh = yay

Best Achievement in Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland (2010): Colleen Atwood = first mostly-CG costume nom?
I Am Love (2009): Antonella Cannarozzi = shrug
The King's Speech (2010): Jenny Beavan = "
The Tempest (2010/II): Sandy Powell = didn't see, but it's Julie Taymor
True Grit (2010): Mary Zophres = yay

Best Achievement in Makeup
Barney's Version (2010): Adrien Morot = Giamatti hasn't looked so human since Planet of the Apes
The Way Back (2010): Edouard F. Henriques, Greg Funk, Yolanda Toussieng = ironic
The Wolfman (2010): Rick Baker, Dave Elsey = yay

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
127 Hours (2010): A.R. Rahman = yawn
How to Train Your Dragon (2010): John Powell = ok
Inception (2010): Hans Zimmer = ok
The King's Speech (2010): Alexandre Desplat = I like Desplat
The Social Network (2010): Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross = rooting for it

Gonna stop there because we start getting into categories with too many blind spots for me personally. No surprises or even big huge disappointments this year, except maybe the lack of love for Marwencol.

January 02, 2011

Top Ten Talkback

Here's your chance. What'd we miss? What'd we get right? What were we smokin'? And what was the deal with all that cunnilingus? (Full lists with intro here.)

Ian's list:
10. Iron Man 2
9. Somewhere
8. Marwencol
7. Mother
6. The Other Guys
5. Valhalla Rising
4. I'm Still Here
3. Greenberg
2. Black Swan
1. True Grit

Bill's list:
10. The American
9. Black Swan
8. Blue Valentine
7. Exit Through the Gift Shop
6. Somewhere
5. Dogtooth
4. Greenberg
3. Marwencol
2. Life During Wartime
1. True Grit

Walter's list:
10. The American
9. Marwencol
8. Dogtooth
7. Greenberg
6. Mother
5. Animal Kingdom
4. Black Swan
3. Somewhere
2. True Grit
1. Valhalla Rising

I'll start: I'm completely unwilling to acknowledge that Iron Man 2 is anything but a turbid, often-unwatchable mess that may lend itself by its very vapidity to some read or another, but doesn't present much beyond just the fact of itself. So be it - I don't know that I've been immune to that instinct in the past (like Blue Crush, for instance) - he without sin, and all that. I lament not having seen Todd Solondz's latest as I really, and for truly, love Todd Solondz's stuff (well, except for Storytelling) - and wish I'd seen Soderbergh's latest on Spalding Gray because, as Bill has eloquently put it about things in the past, I feel like I've dreamed it already.

I want to echo Bill's Twittered pride about not any of the three of us sticking Social Network in the top ten though, yeah, I think we all liked it. It's just, you know, so blandly intelligent and well-crafted... sort of like The Ghost Writer though I fear that I don't see any connection to it and Chinatown. The Ghost Writer doesn't end with resignation... ah well. I do wonder about the venom, though, of my colleagues against Scott Pilgrim which, though it didn't touch my heart in any discernible way, I was sort of impressed by in a technical way. It was my Tron 2, I guess, and I was sort of excited by Wright's joking dedication to making a sequel to Krull in the Twitter-verse. Maybe I'm just a sap.

And what is it with all the cunnilingus?

I think it's interesting that I was the only of these three male critics to rank Somewhere above Greenberg... though when it came time to do the top flick, well, it couldn't be more masculine.

I noticed, too, that there were a lot of people jumping off things in movies this year; that Resnais' Wild Grass is actually sort of a twee piece of shit; and that even though I still don't think that Shutter Island is great, I'm coming around to the idea that it's not as elderly as first suspected. Here's the thing, it's been a long time since a year in pictures has boasted as many beautiful-looking films, independent of their ultimate value. Stuff like Ondine, for instance, by the always-reliable Neil Jordan, which is mostly cross-eyed badger spit and missed opportunities, but in moments flabbergastingly lovely. Like Inception, which sucks, but is a wonder to look at - even the documentaries - even the foreign flicks... I'm excited to catch up with what I missed this year; I'm thinking 2010 was a deep well.