It's Oscar Sunday. In what has become a tradition that I am in no way excited to participate in, I will be working again this year. Which means I'll watch the Oscars on mute in the bar of the restaurant I work in. It's not so bad. I mean, at least I can see what they're wearing. Plus, this year I sorta dropped the ball. There were sooooo many amazing movies that came out, and while I saw 6 of the 10 nominees for Best Picture, I'm still woefully behind. I will now offer my opinion on the ones I DID see.
1. The King's Speech. Wonderful. A truly endearing, sweet film with two of the best performances all year. Colin Firth was flawless and heartbreaking and Geoffrey Rush was his usual level of Def-Con 5 awesomeness. What is the deal with Australians, by the way? I swear to God they're all insanely talented, gorgeous, and badasses. I'm not saying all of them meet all three of those criteria, but I can guarantee they meet at least one. Even the old guy in Crocodile Dundee could wield a machine gun like he was born holding it. I'm just saying...by the way, Colin Firth is my pick for Best Actor. By a landslide.
2. Black Swan. Just flawless, in my opinion. I know some people said they felt this film was predictable, but I didn't (which is maybe just commentary on my naivete more than anything). I thought it was gripping, scary, creepy, sexy, weird, amazing, and thought-provoking. You don't even really know what happened in the end! And for the love of God, Barbara Hershey as the creepy stage mom? Brill factory. Seriously, an epic performance from a woman whose face alone scared me from the beginning of the film. And Natalie Portman should definitely win Best Actress. I have the hugest crush on her talent. Sick. This movie is also my pick for Best Picture.
3. Inception. Clearly this was a year when directors really brought the A-game as far as storytelling goes. This was another movie I loved. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a standout for me in this film, and I would've loved to see him get a Best Supporting nomination. It's also pretty bizarre Christopher Nolan got left out of the Best Director category with a Best Picture nod, but whatever. This movie won't win the award, but it is cool it got nominated. Immensely entertaining, and a great cast all-around. Plus, those special effects were nutty. The whole time-slowing-down aspect was pretty cool, to say the least. My only complaint about this film was Ellen Pompeo's performance. Ugh, get outta there, Juno!! I felt she was totally miscast and came off as whiny and boring. A shame, since she was the only chick in the thing.
4. The Kids Are All Right. In my eyes, Annette Bening can do no wrong. The woman just embodies this character and is so comfortable in her skin that from the beginning you're invested in the story. Julianne Moore's performance felt a little contrived to me, but not so much that I didn't enjoy it. Plus, she's kind of the bad guy, so that piled onto the fact that she's the cliched free-spirited one in the couple is a bit much to handle. I thought the movie overall was great, and Ruffalo as a slightly smarmy sperm donor was totally on-point. Also, it's so great to see gay couples with families portrayed as regular people having the same struggles and life experiences everyone has. Now, we just need to give them the same rights as everyone else and let them get married if they want to. Seriously, America, this is 2011. Lock it up!
5. The Social Network. Let me first start by saying that the powerhouse duo of Fincher and Sorkin is like a freight train. Those dudes are scary smart, and it shows in the directing and writing of this film. I love the way Sorkin handles dialogue, and clearly facebook is a huge hot button topic at the moment, which made this movie more relevant than almost any of the others. Jesse Eisenberg was perfect. Those hot tall twins (actually played by one dude) were great, and the performance by Andrew Garfield was really touching. That being said, Justin Timberlake had no business WHATSOEVER being cast as the Napster guy. I mean, seriously. JT, you know I love you, and your music/dancing/beat-boxing skills are unparalleled, but this was a movie filled with pros, and you just didn't make the grade. My other bone to pick with this movie was that it felt a little long for me. Other than that, I thought it was great. I hope it wins for Best Original Score, and I think it'll probably take Best Adapted Screenplay.
6. Toy Story 3. Ugggggggggggggggggggh. Who didn't cry at least once in this installment of the Toy Story franchise? Oh heavens. I mean, I don't want to give anything away, but the nostalgia this movie evoked was just almost unbearable. And it's just such a clever film, that ends up being so sweet and tender. I loved it, and found it so entertaining, and I think it'll definitely win Best Animated Film. Pretty cool that technology has advanced enough to make an animated film a contender for Best Picture. Although, since they have 10 nominees again this year (still annoys me), there's a broader net I suppose.
To sum it up, here are my picks for the winners in the big categories:
BEST PICTURE - Black Swan
BEST ACTRESS - Natalie Portman, Black Swan
BEST ACTOR - Colin Firth, The King's Speech
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - Christian Bale, The Fighter
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Melissa Leo, The Fighter
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE - The Social Network
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY - The Social Network
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - The King's Speech
BEST DIRECTOR - Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan