Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oscar Buzz

Watching Black Swan last week made me think about this year's Oscar race.  It's a contenda.  Unfortunately, I won't be watching the show this year;  I have a 10/12 that day which means that we can rehearse the actors for 10 hours out of a consecutive 12 hours.  It also means I'll be working from about 10 am to to about midnight.  Fortunately, I love what I do.

Buzz is that Natalie Portman will most likely get a nod and maybe even the gold for Black Swan.  I hope not; she's good but I don't think it was her best work.  Part of me thinks Hollywood will vote the scabs.  What I mean is that people will look at her pulling skin off her finger or her webbed feet and consider that good acting.  I know I'm going on a limb here and I'll probably be skewered for this next statement but I think that's what happened to Tom Hanks in Philadelphia.  I never thought his character in that movie was that much of a stretch:  a nice guy who is wronged by a law firm.  Oh, yeah happened to be gay.  He definitely deserved it for Forrest Gump but in my opinion not for Philadelphia.

No, I don't think Natalie Portman should get it.  For my money, I'd like to see Annette Benning win.  She was so good in The Kids Are Alright.  Julianne Moore had the flashier part but I thought Annette Benning owned that film.  Don't get me started on Nicole Kidman.  Not only am I NOT a fan, but I saw Rabbit Hole on stage and the script is amazing.  But it's a play written for the stage; I don't see how it can translate well to a movie.  So I'm not going to see it but I'm sticking to my prejudiced, uninformed opinion.  I feel so Republican.

As for the boys, I hear that Colin Firth has it locked up for The King's Speech.  Word is that he'll get it this year because he deserved it last year for A Single Man.  I don't feel like seeing The King's Speech though:  Colin First becomes king 
  • He has a stutter
  • He meets Geoffrey Rush
  • Brilliant acting ensues
  • The king gives a speech 
  • The nation is moved. 
Let me know if I left anything out.  The funny thing is that supposedly Jeff Bridges (who won last year for Crazy Heart) should have won this year for True Grit.  Well, I didn't see Crazy Heart but I did see A Single Man and I do want to see True Grit.  So I'll watch True Grit and say I saw both Oscar winning performances.  Make sense?

It's not like anyone is breaking down the door seeking my predictions anyway.

As for supporting, I loved both Christian Bale and Melissa Leo in the The Fighter.  There is some buzz around Mark Wahlberg but I just don't think that guy can act.  Easy on the eyes, produces a great TV show but acting, not so much.  And while I do think Amy Adams can act, I didn't think her part in The Fighter was that good.  I found it rather boring: I'm with you, I'm not with you, I'm with you.  Yawn.  But oh, oh, oh, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo were soo soooooo so good.  I kept having to remind myself that Christian Bale was Batman.  

Maybe, I'm just cynical this year about the Oscars.  First, they get James Franco (who also has a chance at the gold for 127 Hours; and no I don't want to see 2 hours of James Franco pinned by a rock no matter how cute he is) and Anne Hathaway to host which seems rather vanilla to me.  Then, the movies all seem to be re-runs of films that have already won Oscars.

As a kid, my brother and I had heard that there are only 7 or 8 storylines and every film can be boiled to one of those storylines.  So before watching any movie, we'd joke:  "Oh, is this the mom has a rare disease and the daughter discovers the cure story?"  Or some such thing. 

"Is this the Academy Awards where the actor wins the Oscar for breadth of work?"


  1. still hating on black swan...smiles. still have yet to see it...the fighter and bale for sure...every once in a while we get treated to a new movie...but then they never win...

  2. Kate- not sure I agree with all your comments. But Black Swan should win for best score (Tchaikovsky- though he's dead). 127 Hours is only 90 minutes long (but feels oh, so much longer). Loved the Fighter for a couple of reasons: Christian Bale, and the actors managed to get the regional accent mostly right. Such a hard thing to do with movies set here. As for the acting in that movie, it was very true to form for Massachusetts...... a certain "character" of the region, the tough, swearing, lesser-educated characters. You can meet them all day long around here. I'll let know how good True Grit is, seeing it tonight. I have read the book and seen the 1969 version. As for the King's Speech, I'm a Colin fan. Haven't seen it yet though. He was amazing A Single Man last year.

  3. I completely agree with your comments on Annette Benning. I have loved her work for years, and she was fabulous in The Kids are Alright. That scene in the dining room...oh, my. Her face, in such a subtle way, said it all.

  4. If someone made a movie where they discovered a cure for Jennifer Aniston I would give it an Oscar!

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  6. love your movie musings!!

    i did see king's speech and adored it.

    i completely agree with you on the whole firth/bridges bit. and totally agree that way, way too often the oscar is given to an actor not for the role nominated but for a previous body of work.

    that fact that firth was passed over for such an incredible performance last year and bridges was given the oscar for a part he could have done in his sleep really gets me riled up.

    i did see crazy heart - it was alright, the story is a bit over told - i'm sure you and your brother had a category for that story.

    although i'm not fond of fight movies, i will see the fighter. the cast alone is fantastic; then the interview terry gross did with russell and wahlberg sealed it. what a true backstory.

    i big heart melissa leo!

    looking forward to seeing true grit. how can it not be great in the hands of the coen brothers.

    i share your cynicism about the oscars, but i never miss them (of course if i had to work when they are on that's what the dvr is for) in fact, i just started a new tradition last year of going to d.c. to watch them with my movie loving mom....i hope we can carry on the tradition for many years....

  7. Art is definitely all about personal choice. But I can't help but advise that King's Speech was a truly moving story. I felt actual physical pain due to the empathy Colin Firth generated for a man in an impossible situation, with a horrible childhood, and a terrible affliction. It's so easy to laugh at stuttering and stammering (Fish Called Wanda style), but to truly feel for a man who cannot escape the need for public speaking at a critical and unprecedented time in history....was a stunning intimate character movie. Go Mr. Firth.