Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'd Like To Thank The Academy...

(Warning: There will be spoilers.)

So it’s that time of year again, when the makers of the films we loved in the past year get together to drink, be merry and award each other statues while looking flawlessly beautiful. Hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway, this year’s Oscars seemed to go off without any drama (pun intended) except perhaps the ironically placed ‘f’ word in Melissa Leo’s speech which wasn’t censored in channel 9’s daytime screening, whoopsy. So here is a tangled web of my thoughts on the nominated films I’ve seen, followed by their Oscar results.

The Social Network

The Social Network is the epic bromance that apparently ‘defines our generation’. Gorgeously shot, The Social Network is far more than just a movie about Facebook, with a stunning soundtrack and a script brimming with witty dialogue that is mostly delivered - very quickly - by Jesse Eisenberg’s Zuckerberg (iceburg?). Andrew Garfield is delightful as Eduardo, Zuckerberg’s heartbroken “one friend” and is also, might I just add, great on the eyes. Oh, and Justin Timberlake was pretty good in it too… He should make another album now.

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Writing (adapted) (win), Best cinematography, Best Direction, Best Actor, Best Original Score (win), Best Editing (win), Best Sound Mixing.

Inspires the following: a comment about it in your Facebook status… ooh, meta.

The King’s Speech

Colin Firth playing a king who overcomes a speech impediment partly through the use of repetitive swearing? Yes please! With Helena Bonham-Carter as his charming queen and Queensland’s own Geoffery Rush as his hero/speech therapist/glorified speech and drama teacher? Hells yeah! Although I have to say, despite his brilliant, flawless performance in this movie, which I’m going to assume will win him the best actor Oscar (if it doesn’t I might cry), I think his performance in A Single Man (which he was also nominated for best actor in) was probably more Oscar worthy, however that is just my opinion (…my opinion is basically that Colin Firth deserves all the awards ever, period).

Nominations: Best Picture (win), Best Actor (win), Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Direction(win), Best Writing (directly for screen), Best Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Mixing.

Inspires the following: a movie marathon of all of the movies Colin Firth has ever been in ever. Except maybe Bridget Jones 2.

Black Swan

There is so much to love about this film; Natalie Portman descending into madness, gorgeous ballet, pretty costumes, Mila Kunis. The whole film is made of beautiful layers and the story delicately weaves elements of the horror genre in with an authentic realism seamlessly. It’s close to being perfect, in my opinion.

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actress (win), Best Direction, Best Editing.

Inspires the following: well, it inspired this video: Black Swan Make Up Tutorial


If it isn’t the Best Film of the year according to the Academy, surely it was “the freaking coolest”. Mind blowing, pun intended (I intend many puns), to say the least, this film was complex, beautiful and almost too clever to actually exist (if it does, actually exist…). The cast was simply brilliant, and the direction was some of the finest of the year. Definitely one of the best films made recently, I'll be getting that one on dvd as soon as funds allow. And Joseph Gordon Levitt has come a long way from 3rd Rock from the Sun, am I right? BABE.

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Writing (directly for screen), Best Cinematography (win), Best Art Direction, Best Sound Editing (win), Best Visual Effects (win), Best Original Score,

Inspires the following: Incredibly crazy, vivid dreams for the following few days. Mine included flying to India to see a wacky theatre piece by a dude I don’t even really like. And then I woke up. OR DID I?

I didn’t write about Toy Story 3, which deservedly won Best Animated Feature, mostly because I didn’t want to be turned into the blubbering mess I always become when I think about that film. Secondly, I was a little disappointed that “I See The Light” from Tangled didn’t win Best Original Song, because it’s a gorgeous song, and I admit I got a little teary at that point in the film… Animated movies tend to make me lose all emotional control and weep openly despite being in a public place. I have a problem. Admitting it is the first step to recovery.

I only saw The Kids Are Alright a few days ago, and it really blew me away; I was entirely unsurprised that it was nominated in so many categories. There have been some really beautiful films recently that deal with gay and lesbian issues and it makes me really glad that I live in a time where movies like Milk, A Single Man and The Kids Are Alright can be, not only made, but watched by a wide audience and appreciated for the art they are.

The Oscars themselves left me with a feeling of joy. Yes, I am the kind of movie nerd who is filled with happiness by award shows, but this is why. I could’ve just as easily been born into Jane Austen’s time (I have the front-curly-rest-straight hair for it) or in the dark ages, or in the future when giant, laser-eyed, cockroaches keep humans as their slaves/pets. But I wasn’t – I live not only in a time of amazing films with special effects that are only increasingly true in their portrayal of reality, in a time of such brilliant performers as Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman’s abs… but also in a time where the host of the Oscars can live-Tweet backstage, where within minutes of the ceremony I can re-watch the speeches from my desk and gawk at the gorgeous red carpet fashions with hundreds of others on the internet. Of all of the time that planet earth has been in existence, I got to be so lucky as to live now.

And for that, I’d like to thank the Academy.

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