Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Just because it's a joyful picture

Oscar Oscar - How was it?

Well first things first, my predictions. I got 19 out of 24 correct. Not bad, I won the pool at the my party.The short films totally tripped me. I was happy to be wrong about Adapted Screenplay and for Geoffrey Fletcher to be the first African American to win a writing Oscar. Hopefully in a few years race and gender won't matter but first they have to start winning. Which they did this year.

The show itself was not that entertaining. Neil Patrick Harris, who was fantastic at the Tonys and Emmys, was only so-so here. Martin and Baldwin brought a retro vibe back to the Oscars, particularly after Jackman last year totally pushed it forward. They had a couple funny jokes (...that damn Helen Mirren, and the snuggles) but mostly predictable and not funny enough. And the show felt like it went forever.

The emotional highlight for me was Oprah's intro of Gabourey Sidibe, calling her "a new American Cinderella" while Gabby was moved to tears. If only that was followed by her actually winning. Alas the Sandy train could not be stopped, but she gave the best speech of the night. Funny, emotional, humble...hit all the right notes. And while Mon'Nique was criticized for not being humble enough, I liked that she paid a tribute to Hattie McDaniel, both in her speech and her outfit. While I see why she mentioned the politics of campaigning, in winning she should've risen above that. But so happy to see her win, if one person deserved an Oscar this year, it was Mo'Nique.

The Hurt Locker won 6. I think the last time my favourite film of the year won was back in 1996 with The English Patient. Happy for Bigelow, Boal and all the other winners. As Nathaniel Rogers from Film Experience called it "The Sexy Locker", everyone's so damn hot! The best film of the year won. Still I was surprised by how poorly "Avatar" did. I guess you can't win without acting and writing nominations.
Just a quick note about the fashion. It was not that interesting. Most people (except Charlize Theron and SJP) looked good. Loved the outrageousness of the mullet dress that Zoe Salanda wore. Hot! Carey Mulligan wore another mullet and I applaud them both for not being boring. Of the men Jake Gyllenhaal looked the best. But the Sexy Locker guys were up there too.

Another year, another Oscar. When the next one? February 2011, here we come. Maybe the kids will be alright, then.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

3 Surprises I'd like to see tonight

It feels kinda odd to be behind the favorite at the Oscars. The last time was Brokeback's year and we know what heartache that brought. But it was hard to come up with 3 surprises I'd like to see tonight. Here's hoping Hurt Locker prevails.

- Gabourey Sidibe winning over Bullock and Streep. You know she'll give a giggly warm and funny speech. It will be a breath of fresh air. Plus she gave the best performance of the year.

- Jeremy Renner over Bridges. Again because he was so good. And because it will a moment full of joy.

- And if not Gabby, please give it to Meryl. Nothing against Sandra but Meryl has been fantastic for 35 years. And yes she has 2, but it's not enough. She deserves a 3rd.

That's it folks enjoy the show.

ME_Says Awards

A couple of weeks ago I announced my nominations for the best in 2009 movies. On the eve of the Oscars, it is time to announce the winners. No surprises if you've been following.

On another note, my picks are not that different from the Oscars. That's because there was consensus on the best this year, and the academy got it right.

Best Picture of the year:

1. The Hurt Locker.
2. (500) Days of Summer.
3. Precious.
4. Valentino: The Last Emperor.
5. An Education.
6. Up in the Air.
7. Inglorious Basterds.
8. District 9.
9. Avatar.
10. Every Little Step.

Best Director:
1. Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker.
2. Neil Bloomkamp - District 9.
3. James Cameron - Avatar.
4. Lee Daniels - Precious.
5.Quentin Tarantino - Inglorious Basterds.

Best Actor;
1. George Clooney - Up in the Air.
2. Sharlto Copley - District 9.
3. Matt Damon - The Informant
4. Joseph Gordon Levitt - (500) Days of Summer.
5. Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker.

Best Actress:
1. Zoey Deschanel - (500) Days of Summer.
2. Carey Mulligan - An Education.
3. Maya Rudolph - Away We Go.
4. Gabourey Sidibe - Precious.
5. Meryl Streep - Julie and Julia.

Best Supporting Actor:
1. Brian Gerety - The Hurt Locker.
2. Anthony Mackie - The Hurt Locker.
3. Peter Sarsgaard - An Education.
4. Stanley Tucci - Julie and Julia.
5. Christoph Waltz - Inglorious Basterds

Best Supporting Actress:
1. Vera Farmiga - Up in the Air
2. Melanie Laurent - Inglorious Basterds.
3. Mo'Nique - Precious.
4. Rosamund Pike - An Education.
5. Blanca Portillo - Broken Embraces.

Best Original Screenplay:
1.(500) Days of Summer. Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Webber
2.Inglorious Basters. Quentin Tarantino.
3.The Hurt Locker. Mark Boal.

Best Adapted Screenplay:
1.An Education - Nick Hornby.
2.Julie and Julia - Nora Ephron.
3.Precious - Geoffrey Fletcher.
4.Up in the Air - Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

5 Random Thoughts about Shutter Island

A Scorcese movie is always reason for very high expectations. However in the last decade he only really delivered with "The Departed". Both "The Aviator" and "Gangs of New York" had fantastic elements but did not get even close to his masterpieces of yesteryear. And this one did not either.

1. It is a very well done movie. Of course you'd expect that from a master like Scorecese. Editing, music, cinematography - all great.

2. Lots of very accomplished actors who are really fun to watch. Patricia Clarkson, Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, Michelle Williams. They were all good and compelling.

3. Leo is great. He and Scorcese must have a shorthand by now. He keeps getting better and better. This coming post his best performance in "Revolutionary Road" and in it he is again an older, wiser, haggard family man. So good.

4. I figured out the twist ending very early on. So I spent 2 hours bored waiting for it to end. The story is not that great. And the movie was so long. Note to all filmmakers two and half hours is a long time. Being long does not make a movie great.

5. Why was this movie made? It takes at least 2 years and millions of dollars to make a movie these days. Did Scorcese really have the passion for this story? It's just so blah.

6 out of 10. And I think I'm being generous.

Final Oscar Predictions

It's 3 days away. This has been the longest Oscar season ever. But there's light at the end of the tunnel. Here are my final predictions. I'm making them based on precursors and what I read online for the big categories, as for the rest just guess work.

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker

Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Best Actor: Jeff Bridges

Best Actress: Sandra Bullock

Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz

Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique

Original Screenplay: The Hurt Locker
Adapted Screenplay: Up in the Air

Art Direction: Avatar

Cinematography: Avatar

Editing: The Hurt Locker

Sound Mixing: The Hurt Locker

Sound Editing: Avatar

Costumes: The Young Victoria

Makeup: Star Trek

Documentary Feature : The Cove

Foreign Language: El Secreto de Sus Ojos (Argentina)

Music (Original Score) : Up

Animated Feature: Up

Visual Effects: Avatar

Song: The Weary Kind

Live Action Short: The Door

Animated Short: A Matter of Loaf and Death

Documentary Short: China's Unnatural Disaster
So Hurt Locker will win 5 and Avatar 4. And there will be no surprises in the acting categories.