Picturing the Oscar Winner

I have a weird, unexplainable attraction to awards shows — I love the anticipation of who will win, what they’ll say, what awkwardness will ensue when they go over their allotted speech time, and what other antics will arise (Hey Kanye, I’m gonna let you finish, but…). I heard recently about how awards shows are somewhat masturbatory – a whole group of people congratulating themselves; I agree, it sounds pathetic that I want to watch these elites congratulate themselves, but there’s something electric about these shows (well, depending on which awards show and who wins; some fall extremely flat).

Last year’s Oscars were a disappointment for me on several levels, mostly because I didn’t like The Hurt Locker at all, and was shocked that it won against a giant like Avatar. Yes, yes, Katherine Bigelow was recognized and I’m very glad that she, the underdog, beat her ex-husband James Cameron, but her film really wasn’t that great, and the win ultimately felt contrived.

So this year’s Oscars are on the 27th of February. I’m excited for the hosts – Anne Hathaway and James Franco! You can check out the whole list of nominees here. I’m trying to decide who I’m rooting for, but I find that in order to do so, I need to be able to say that I’ve seen most of the movies (and thereby the nominees for best actor/actress) in order to pick.

So, I’m making a goal to have watched all of the nominees for Best Picture by Oscar Night. So far, I’ve seen 5 of the 10.

Toy Story 3 – seen it

It would be really neat if TS3 won because it was such an emotional revisiting of many peoples’ childhood favorites! The plot was interesting, and the animation was pretty awesome, too. I like the idea of including animated films in this category (like last year’s phenomenal Up), but I’m not entirely convinced yet that TS3 stands up against the other giants in the category.

The Social Network – seen it

I would call TSN a pretty good movie – it’s got an excellent score, good acting, and a plot that delivers scandal as well as intrigue about the most popular social networking tool on the planet. But yet it also leaves the palette wanting more; in fact, I left the movie sort of deflated, and all of the drama surrounding its accuracy is also disconcerting. Although, it is a fictional adaptation, so perhaps it doesn’t matter how accurate it was. But when you’re drawing in crowds on the promise of a “Facebook movie” the hopes are that it will actually center around real events and real personalities, and not distorted ones. I guess I’m just not entirely sure of the purpose of this movie yet, and thus I can’t claim it to be deserving of this Best Picture win. Maybe it was too soon for a Facebook movie?

Inception – seen it

As of now, my vote hovers at this movie. Not only was it epic in its visuals, score, and intricate, multi-layered premise, but it featured an amazing cast. I still remember seeing every update on my news feed about the film, and it was quite a good conversation piece for quite some time. Was it a dream, or reality? Were parts of it reality? Did the totem falter? Did his children age? Was he insane? Leonard Dicaprio really hit it out of the ballpark, in my opinion, and the rest of the cast was just as good.

True Grit – seen it

If not for Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld (where’s her Oscar nod?), I wouldn’t even know why this movie would be featured in this category. It was a pretty great Western – I liked the humor that the Coen Brothers infused in it, and the acting was sharp, but it certainly isn’t worthy of Best Picture, in my view.

The Kids Are All Right – seen it

I was very excited to see this movie, and I definitely see why it merits the nomination, but as I’ve said for a couple of the other nominees, I don’t know if it has the steam to carry itself through to the win. Acting-wise, it was well above average, thematically – an excellent representation of contemporary family life, but conceptually, the movie was predictable, and a little stereotypical too; I haven’t yet made up my mind about the direction it went in – with one of the moms lusting after the biological dad. Yes, it portays sexuality as fluid and changing, but then does it also risk the message that all a lesbian woman really needs is Mr. Right and she can be ‘turned’? Definitely a thought-provoking film, and I can see why it’s a contender.

So, I’ve got The King’s Speech, Black Swan, 127 Hours, The Fighter, and Winter’s Bone on queue, and I’ll be updating once I do (with my choice for who should win!).

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5 responses to “Picturing the Oscar Winner

  1. I love love loved The Social Network and I really hope that it wins for Best Picture. I’m a huge Aaron Sorkin fan, though, so I may be partial. I don’t see as a “Facebook movie” as much as I see it as a really smart, interesting drama. It could have been about the beginning of baseball or the invention of the tape dispenser, it’s the people and their relationships that I watched the movie for, even if it’s not completely accurate (what movie adaptation is, really?). I would also be happy if The King’s Speech or The Fighter won; I think it’s going to be between The King’s Speech and The Social Network.

    • You’re right, once you exclude the fact that it’s a “Facebook movie” it’s a much stronger film, and the relationships really do stand out. Thinking about it now, I think the reason the accuracy thing bothers me is because the events in question occurred so so recently. With historical dramas set in the ’60s, ’40, or even earlier, the fact that some parts are inaccurate aren’t as evident. But when the people represented are young and able to contradict the storyline, it makes it less appealing to me. But hey, that’s just my crazy take on it; I wouldn’t be too disappointed if it won – it definitely has the potential to! I’m really looking forward to seeing The King’s Speech! What do you think Inception’s odds are?

  2. I really can’t see any of these as the shoe-in for Best Picture, but my money’s on Inception. (Can you imagine what it’ll say about our society if Social Network wins?) I really want Toy Story to win, but I’m totally biased 😛 Highest grossing film of the year, best animated film in years, and of course no animated show has ever won…if an animated film’s got a shot at Best Picture, TS3’s the one to do it.

    Speaking of which, did you see that Despicable Me was totally snubbed for Best Animated Film?? I am sooo annoyed!!! I can’t believe How To Train Your Dragon, a mildly amusing and totally forgettable film, made it and not Gru 😦

    Oh and also (haha) have you noticed that Harry Potter’s never been nominated for best picture? Kind of a slap in the face…I wonder if they’re “saving” a nomination for the last movie next summer. Politics, politics.

    I love your new background and layout!! So nice 🙂

    • Wow, you’re so right about Harry Potter! Now that I think about it, it should have been nominated this year, and at least two or three previous ones! Goblet of Fire would have been my choice. How rude, lol. And same about Despicable Me!

    • Oh and thanks about the background 🙂 My header is sorely misplaced…need to work on updating it lol

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