Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar Results: My thoughts

Hmmm, it's over. I'm sad, but it wasn't too exciting of a year, so I'm not as crushed as I am for some. Anyway, I'm fine with The King's Speech winning Best Picture, though I need to see it again, and I'm happy for Portman, and Baale. Leo's swearing was a bit rude, and her speech is phony, but really , is she really that bad of a person for doing it? No. It was weird, but not deserving of all this hate. Anyway,Oscar season is over, but not for us, of course. It'll go on forever. Best Actress 2010 will be finished this week, and a new project may be coming up soon as well, once I take a look at it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscar Predictions

So, it's the final day! Oscar season is nearly over.n I have to say I think 2010 was a good year. Much better then last year. I'm reallly sorry I've been sooooooooo slowwwwwwww this year, on my B.A profiles and on regular posts. I've just been loaded with a ton of stuff since September. Anyway, I'm planning to try harder! Here's my predictions:

Best Picture: The King's Speech is on a roll and i feel it'll win. I personally really liked it, but I need to rewatch the film soon, more for Firth's performance then anything else. The Social network stil has a chance, but I somehow don't see it. I personally would hate to see it win. I understand why The king's Speech's frontrunenr status angers a lot of people, but I think it's a worthy film. So, Will Win: TKS Should Win: TKS (Though I haven't seen Inception, or 127 Hours yet)

Best Director: This is harder to call then BP. Tom Hooper won the DGA, which makes him a very, very possible winner. David Fincher though will probably win, because he won the BAFTA, which is huge, since The King's Speech is a british film, that swept several other awards, but couldn't win Director. plus, the academy will want to honor The Social Network, besides Screenplay, and Fincher is much more overdue then Fincher. Will Win: Fincher Should Win: Darren Arfonsky, his direction was fantastic, despite the over the top special effects at the end!

Best Actor: Colin Firth is the biggest lock here, because he's overdue, lost last year, and has swept all the precursors. Early, early, on, James Franco was the runnerup, but Firth is now a total lock. Will Win: Firth. Should win: As I've said, I need to see Firth again. I found Jesse Eisenberg pretty good in retrospect, but i haven't seen the others, so I really am undecided here.

Best Actress: Natalie Portman is still the hot favorite, and the only thing really going against her is that Black Swan didn't do as well on the nomination tally as most thought, which could help Benning, who is overdue, but I think that that wasn't played up as well as it could have been this season and Bening just lost too much of her momentum to Natalie. I guess if they split, Lawrence could pull an Adrien Brody, but it's unlikely, and Williams and Kidman don't have much of a chance here. Will Win: Portman. Should win: I'm in the process of deciding that! Expect Kidman's profile by today!

Best Supporting Actor: Thoug Rush did win the BAFTA, I don't think he'll win the oscar. Bale is too big of a favorite to lose. i'll be happy to see him win. Will Win: Bale. Should win: I wouldn't mind if Bale, Hawkes, or Rush won, they were all fantastic. But in the end, it's Rush who I'd pick, though he's really a lead in my opinion.

Best Supporting Actress: Leo was the clear favorite for much of this race, but it was always somewhat open, and now that she put that add up, it is unpredictable. Steinfeld has been gaining speed, but hopefully she won't win, although it would be cool,I guess, since she's so young, But I don't think it will be her. HBC has been getting a lot of bets as well, and although she has a chance, I feel that she won't win either. Her performance isn't very Oscar-worthy, and The King's Speech will no doubt be honored in other places. I know this might sound stupid, but I really have a gut-feeling it'll be Jackie Weaver. Look at the facts: It seems to be a juicy role, but more importantly, it parallels the 2000 B.S.A race in not all, but some crucial ways: Hudson was the favorite, but seemed to lose speed (Leo), Dench won the SAG for a performance which wasn't considered that great (Helena), Frances McDormand split the vote with Hudson (Adams), and then Marcia wasn't considered much of a threat, but won anyway, and I just think that'll happen to Jackie Weaver. Will Win: I know it's silly, but Weaver! Should Win: Ironically, I've seen everyone but Weaver, and though I need to see Leo again, I really felt Adams gave the best job. A badly written part in some ways, but gives it the sould it needs and puts a lot of life into the movie. But my hope is that she'll get a lead role/win in the future, which may be possible, since she's supposd to play Janis Joplin!

Best Original Screenplay: The King's Speech will win this one, unless Inception pulls an upset, but I think the academy will favor TKS instead. Will Win: The King's Speech Should win: The King;s Speech, though I haven't seen Inception or Another Year yet.

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network is a sure thing,unless the impossible happens like last year when Up In The Air lost to Precious.If that happens, then I guess Toy Story 3 will surprise? Will Win: TSN Should Win: TSN, I didn't care for it very much, but it had a brilliant, if annoying script.

So, there it is! I know Best Supporting Actress could be wrong, but I'm confident about the rest!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Best Actress 2010: Natalie Portman in Black Swan

Natalie Portman received her 2nd Oscar nomination and is currently the frontrunner to win the Oscar tomorrow tonight for her performance as Nina Sayers in Black Swan.

The first time I saw Black Swan was over two months ago. I found it to be great, though not perfect. This time, I found it wonderfully directed, but about I don't like. Maybe it's because it's more of a vechicle for Portman who doesn't disappoint.

Nina is a very frigid, nervous person who has been isolated from everyone her entire life, presumably (More on that later). But she has great ambition as a dancer and when she finally gets the part of the Swan Queen, she is thrilled. But her insecurities start to takke toll and the film begins to plunge straight within her disturbed, paranoid mind. Throughout the whole film, the camera is focused on Nina, which is sort of strange, but actually is very effective and this really helps Natalie's performance. It is very subtle work, and so much of Natalie's expressions are facial. She remarkably shows how Nina develops, how happy she is when sge gets the part (A great moment!), how tightly wound she is, how she starts to realize she wants to escape the life she leads with her mother, ect. Natalie Portman is an actress who was terrible in the last two Stars Wars movie (Don't remember much of her in the first one), but here she excels in creating a unique character that goes from being incredibly trapped within herself to getting high on drugs and having sex with men she doesn't know.

The ending of the movie is rather campy and unbelievable for my taste, but Portman plays it with riveting strength and disturbing, yet breathtaking beauty. A fantastic performance which gets

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Best Actress 2010: Annette Benning in The Kid's All Right

Annette Benning received her 4th Oscar nomination for playing Nic, a lesbian doctor who feels that her family is falling apart due to her children's discovery of they're sperm donor, Paul (Mark Ruffalo) .

I've now seen The Kids Are All Right three times, and the first I found it good, the 2nd time bad, and the third time, good, but flawed in a lot of respects. It's flawed because the script is trying to tell us that people have natural urges.feelings but it comes across as random and just doesn't work. Paul, Lazer (the son), and Joni (the daughter) are all rather one-dimensional, though the actors try they're best.

Which leads me to Annette Benning. Her performance has been very mixed with me, but now I have some newfound respect and admiration for her work. First of all, the most impressive thing about it is that bshe puts so much energy and effort into her performance. Nic is a very talkative character, and Benning has so much presence on screen. One thing that worked with me that didn't before was she and Julianne Moore. They're chemistry is fantastic, both are believable as a couple, and they're scenes are the best in the movie. During the middle of the film, Benning subtly shows Nic's need for control, and how angry she is that Paul is seeming to be taking control of her life. She also does great in her humorous scenes too. But her best moment is when she is singing at the dinner table: We're finally seeing her let loose, and Benning nails this scene.

The problem with Benning's performance is that though she tries her absolute best, the material just doesn't give her a strong enough character. It could have been amazing, if only the script had given her a more three-dimensional character. It's like the scrript is a box entrapping Benning inside: She's pushing with all her might to get out, but she just can't. Julianne Moore though gets a more developed character and and is able to be excellent as well. Both could have been amazing with a much better movie. But I still find her extremely impressive, but I just can't really love it. She gets

Monday, February 14, 2011

Best Actress 2010: Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine

Michelle Williams received her 2nd Oscar nomination for playing Cindy, a depressed, beautiful, selfish person stuck in a bad marriage.

Blue Valentine is a unique, well made film that is worth seeing due to, as I said, it's uniqueness and the fact it features two excellent perfotrmances by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.

Michelle Williams gives a very subtle, natural performance that is quite impressive. She uses her face and body movement to convey her feelings, whether they may be. She shows us that Cindy is a selfish, rather bitter person who only thinks of herself in most situations, but is still sympathetic given the fact that she is often trapped in bad relationships and can never seem to be liked for anything except her body. She completely disappears into her character, which is a huge acheivement because this role could have been terribly obvious. She has many extremely emotional moments, my favorite being the one where she is in the process geting an abortion. It's shattering, and sad, and revreals a lot about the character. Her chemistry with Ryan Gosling is fantastic as well, they just work so well together. But I had a problem with this performance and it's just that her character never seems to take off. No doubt there is a character varc, but the script doesn't give her enough dialogue mainly or character work to make Cindy a really interesting character.

But Williams still delivers a comletely realistic, and brilliantly done performance that was certainly worthy of it's nomination. I give her

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Best Actress 2010

The next year I'll be doing a ranking/profile on is this year, 2010, and the nominees are:

Annette Benning in The Kids Are All Right

Nicole KIdman in Rabbit Hole

Jennifer Lawrence in Winters Bone

Natalie Portman in Black Swan

Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine

So who will be my choice? Will they lineup with the winner, or the frontrunner? Who are you rooting for?

Ranking of the nominees and years so far

1. 1974

2. 1969

3. 1968

4. 1976

5. 1988

6. 2006

7. 1977

8. 2002

9. 1993

10. 2003

1. Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven (2002)

2. Judi Dench in Notes On A Scandal (2006)

3. Maggie Smith in The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)

4. Liv Ullman in Face To Face (1976)

5. Katharine Hepburn in The Lion In Winter (1968)

6. Charlize Theron in Monster (2003)

7. Kate Winslet in Little Children (2006)

8. Holly Hunter In The Piano (1993)

9. Diane Keaton in Annie Hall (1977)

10. Sissy Spacek in Carrie (1976)

11. Glenn Close in Dangerous Liasions (1988)

12. Faye Dunaway in Network (1976)

13. Liza Minnelli in The Sterile Cuckoo

14. Gena Rowlands in A Woman Under The Influence (1974)

15. Ellen Burstyn in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)

16. Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

17. Patrcia Neal in The Subject Was Roses (1968)

18. Faye Dunaway in Chinatown (1974)

19. Valerie Perrine in Lenny (1974)

20. Genenieve Bujold in Anne Of The Thousand Days (1969)

21. Joanne Woodward in Rachel, Rachel (1968)

22. Jane Fonda in Julia (1977)

23. Jodie Foster in The Accused (1988)

24. Jane Fonda in They Shoot Horses Don't They (1969)

25. Meryl Streep in A Cry In The Dark (1988)

26. Diahaan Carol in Claudine (1974)

27. Angela Basset in What's Love Got To Do With It? (1993)

28. Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl (1968)

29. Renee Zellweger in Chicago (2002)

30. Jean Simmons in The Happy Ending (1969)

31. Diane Lane in Unfaithful (2002)

32. Vanessa Redgrave in Isadora (1968)

33. Marsha Mason in The Goodbye Girl (1977)

34. Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give (2003)

35. Penelope Cruz in Volver (2006)

36. Emma Thompson in The Remains Of The Day (1993)

37. Marie Christine-Barrault in Cousin, Cousine (1976)

38. Signourney Weaver in Gorillas In The Mist (1988)

39. Helen Mirren in The Queen (2006)

40. Anne Bancroft in The Turning Point (1977)

41. Naomi Watts in 21 Grams (2003)

42. Keisha Castle Hughes in Whale Rider (2003)

43. Nicole Kidman in The Hours (2002)

44. Shirley Maclaine in The Turning Point (1977)

45. Samantha Morton in In America (2003)

46. Debra Winger in Shadowlands (1993)

47. Melanie Griffith in Working Girl (1988)

48. Stockard Channing in Six Degrees Of Separation (1993)

49. Talia Shire in Rocky (1976)

50. Salma Hayek in Frida (2002)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Best Actress 1977: The Results

5. Shirley Maclaine in The Turning Point: Shirley Maclaine is excellent at first, but as the movie becomes a mess, her performance weakens and is just okay, sometimes verging on annoying or simply "Shirley Maclaine'' style.

4. Anne Bancroft in The Turning Point: Anne Bancroft's role is really supporting, but she still is able to deliver an excellent performance of an extremely interesting character. The movie might put a stick in her ability to give a great performance, but she makes Emma an incredibly bitchy and interesting character.

3. Marsha Mason in The Goodbye Girl: Marsha Mason delivers a wonderful, very funny performance that brightens up the film and has fantastic chemistry with Richard Dreyfuss. A few flaws, but wonderful all the same.

2. Jane Fonda in Julia: Jane Fonda gives one of her best that I've seen. She adds depth, beauty, and overall greatness to Lillian Hellman and is impressive all the way through.

1. Diane Keaton in Annie Hall: Diane Keaton gives a luminous, funny, completely natural performance that is comic gold. A memorable and perfect comedy performance.

A very good year, but a bit weaker then I expected. Still, Diane is the best, closely followed by Jane. It really could have been either of them, I wouldn't have minded. Marsha was great, though not as quite as good as Fonda and Diane. As for Anne, I think she should have nominated and I think she should have won there too, since the nominees I've seen from Oscar's lineup so far are disappointing, but I';ll have to see the other two to decide for sure. And Shirley wasn't worthy of a nomination, but that's the film's fault. Gosh, The Turning Point was terrible! Anyway, I've already decided on the next year and it's not that big of a surprise what it is. Any guesses?

My ranking of the nominated films:

1. Annie Hall

2. Julia

3. The Goodbye Girl

4. The Turning Point

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Best Actress 1977: Jane Fonda in Julia

Jane Fonda received her third Oscar nomination for playing famous playwright Lillian Hellman in Julia.

Julia is an intelligent, beautifully made film that I really enjoyed. It is about Lillian Hellman, a playwright, who has a lifelong friendship with a woman named Julia (Vanessa Redgrave). But they seem to have lost touch over the years, because Lillian decided to become a playwright and go to America, while Julia prefered to stay in Europe, fighting against the Nazi movement. The film is basically about how they both move further and further away from each other, and how Lillian is affected by her friend's choices over the years.

As I've said, Jane Fonda plays Lillian, and she does so wonderfully. Fonda makes Lillian a very real person, someone who is very intelligent and sophisticated, yet is naive about what is going on in Europe and Julia's situations . Fonda lets us know that Lillian really cares about Julia and is more and more saddened each time they see each other. Fonda also shows a lot of different sides to Lillian, such as the fact that she is easily angered or frustrated, and can be tough on others. One of her best moments is the cafe scene with Vanessa Redgrave. Redgrave may be the more interesting character in the scene, yet Fonda is remarkable in showing how Lillian reacts to what Julia tells her. And the way she looks back at her right before she leaves is amazing. Fonda completely controls this movie, and she does so such confidence, and excellent delivery. Plus, I don't think I've ever seen her in a movie where she is more beautiful then she is here, in some moments she's simply gorgeous.

The only slight issue I have is that the script doesn't develop the friendship between them enough. I knew they were isolated from each other for years, but I simply wanted more. I also found it unbelievable(SPOILER ALERT) that Lillian would have agreed to raise Julia's baby, just like that. I simply didn't believe it.

But this is more of a complaint about the film, and it doesn't change the fact that Fonda gave a fantastic performance, that is one of her best, which gets