The Oscars are only 9 days away. It took a while for the nominations to sink in for me. Once I got over the crazy nomination for The Blind Side for best film, the terrible Best Supporting actor category and the snubs of Anthony Mackie, Peter Sarsgaard and (500) Days of Summer, I think the Academy should be proud. They did well this year. And here is why:
- All the love for "The Hurt Locker" is absolutely deserved. It is the best war movie, the best movie about the Iraq war and a contemporary thrilling ride that is fantastic to watch. Happy that Bigelow, Renner and Boal made it to the nominees list. Even it's score was a surprising nominee.
- Mo'Nique gave the best performance of the year. Period. So gut wrenching, emotional, and full of bravado. She completely dominated her movie. And Gabourey Sidibe as Precious was heart breaking yet so full of life. They were nominated. And so was the movie, Lee Daniels' direction and Geoffrey Fletcher's screenplay. Because such performances could only be great if they had a script to work with and a director with a wise eye to cast them and guide them through. So powerful were the performances they elevated the movie and made it one of the year's best.
- For a while there I thought Anna Kendrik's overrated performance was going to overshadow Vera Farmiga's far superior turn in "Up in the Air". But she was noticed and nominated. And finally the whole world can see her charms and hopefully make her the movie star she deserves to be.
- And Meryl. I can't say more. So full of joy as Julia Child. She does it again. Far better than anything I'd say check out how NYTimes explains the "Streepness" of it all.
- And their 10 best pictures nominees aren't too bad. Besides the movies I mentioned above they acknowledged District 9, An Education, Avatar and Inglorious Basterds. They liked, really liked the profane and hilarious script for "In the Loop", the sumptuous beautiful threads of "Bright Star" and the music of "Up".
Congrats AMPAS. This year you did not embarrass yourself.