Tag Archives: Oscars

Oscar Picks 2010

Okay, here are my Oscar picks for 2010, we’ll see how I do! (Who I think will win.)

Leading actor – Jeff Bridges

Supporting actor – Christoph Waltz

Leading actress – Sandra Bullock

Supporting actress – Mo’Nique

Animated feature – Up

Art direction – Avatar

Cinematography – Avatar

Costumes – The Young Victoria

Directing – Hurt Locker – Catharine Bigalow (totally spelled it wrong)

Documentary feature – The Cove

Doc short – China’s Unnatural Disaster

Film editing – Hurt Locker

Foreign film – White Ribbon

Makeup – Star Trek

Score – Up (the same guy does Lost – he’s awesome!)

Song – Crazy Heart

Short animated – Logorama

Short live action – the New Tenants

Sound editing – Avatar

Sound mixing – Avatar

Visual effects – Avatar

Screenplay adapted – Up in the Air

Screenplay original – Inglourious Basterds (dark horse against Hurt Locker)

Best picture – Hurt Locker

Some of these I’m sure of, some I am iffy on, so we’ll see!

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Final Oscar Thoughts

Just some final Oscar thoughts/tidbits.  I’m going to try to get on-line and post my final Oscar predictions before the show starts tonight.  We’ll be watching from a friend’s house.  I’m looking forward to the show!

  • I’m totally Team Gabby!  I loved her and Carey Mulligan the most out of the actresses I watched this year, and I know neither will win, but I wish they could.  If you aren’t aware of how awesome Gabourey Sidibe is, read about how she slapped Chris Rock.  She is AWESOME.
  • I feel bad for the people in the NYC area who are without ABC due to cable negotiations gone bad.  The good news is that the AP will be streaming the awards tonight so people can still watch.
  • I agree with Roger Ebert: there is something in the air this year that just tingles of a surprise or two.  With the weird new way voting worked for Best Picture, I’d love hear the gasps when something like Up actually wins.
  • I’ll admit, I haven’t seen The Blind Side. But I have read a lot about it in the race to the Oscars, and I was so glad to read Mark Harris say what I (and I imagine plenty of others) are thinking about it.  It is especially interesting to hear about the things left out from the book.  This quote, from the end of the article, gets to the heart of it, “The Blind Side is a fable of exceptionalism about a kid who’s worth saving because he might become a superstar. Precious is about a kid who’s worth saving simply because she’s a human being.”
  • I read somewhere (so bad to actually say that but I don’t have the time to find it) that Alec Baldwin has some of the 30 Rock writers writing for the show tonight.  If this is true, the jokes are bound to be better than the usual bad Oscar jokes.
  • It’s not Oscar related, but Neil Patrick Harris is narrating a PBS show about service dogs. LOVE.
  • If I could pick who I WANTED to win tonight, I would vote Dug in every category!

Enjoy the Oscars if you watch, and if not have a great Sunday!

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Best Short Film – Live Action

I made it to the theatre yesterday to see all 5 live action shorts.  In the interest of time, I won’t recap them, just give my thoughts.  Recaps can be found on the interwebs; Rope of Silicon came up in a search.  IFC also has descriptions.

  • “Kavi” is one of those “important” films making a “statement.”  I wouldn’t be surprised if it wins tonight.  But I was just kind of eh about it.
  • “The New Tenants” was my personal favorite.  I’m sure part of that stems from my love of David Rakoff, who plays one of the two new tenants, but it is a funny, crazy 20 minutes.
  • “Miracle Fish” was good – the end was surprising.
  • “The Door” was sad, but I had a hard time staying interested and I never came to care about the characters. My least favorite of the five.
  • “Instead of Abracadabra” was quirky, cute, but nothing amazingly so.

I’m glad I watched them; I enjoyed the animated shorts a lot more.

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3 Oscar Nominated Documentaries

Of the five nominated documentary films, I have only been able to see three (the other two are not out on DVD yet).  The three that I have seen are all fantastic and different.  I recommend seeing them.

Food, Inc. is available on DVD and Netflix has it on Watch It Now.  The film takes a look at the food industry and where our food comes from.  The viewer might already be aware of some of the information, such as meat coming from factory farms, but the film lets you see what is actually involved in the treatment of animals at factory farms.  What I really liked about the film is that it is not pushing a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle; instead it wants the viewer to start asking about the origins of our food.  The film even brings attention to the soybean industry and a company who is pushing small farmers out of business by bullying them with their genetically modified soybeans.  My favorite part involves a Virginia farmer who raises his animals in the fields, eating grass, and sells the meat himself.  He talks about the quality of the animals’ lives and the quality of the meat.  I would love to be a patron at his store!  It’s a very well done film.

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers is currently showing at my local indie theatre.  It tells the story of Daniel Ellsberg, who started out helping the government build a case for the Vietnam war.  As time went on, he changed his mind about the purpose of the war and turned against it.  He believed the amount of information the government was hiding from the general public was corrupt and decided to release top-secret documents to the press.  He was accused of being a traitor.  A case went to the Supreme Court over the involvement of the press.  It was the beginning of the end for Nixon and the war.  This is a fascinating look at the inner workings of the government, the freedom of the press, and the power of the individual.  This would be a great film for teens to show them what just a few people can accomplish.

The Cove is also on DVD now.  It investigates the dolphin industry in Japan where dolphins are captured and sold to aquariums.  The dolphins not purchased are slaughtered.  One of the men who fight the practice was the dolphin trainer on Flipper.  The treatment of “Flipper” after the show ended opened his eyes to the problems of dolphins in captivity.  He has devoted himself to fighting it since he believes the show helped created the dolphin performance industry.  The movie talks about the intelligence of dolphins, the way they respond to humans in the ocean, and the stress they undergo when living in captivity.  The group of people who facilitate the capture and slaughter in Japan are terrifying.  They fight to keep people and cameras away, knowing that what they are doing is not right.  (The end result of the dolphin meat is also extremely shady.)  The filmmakers manage to hide high-def cameras in the area and capture the slaughter on film.  This part of the movie is not for anyone who is squeamish at the sight of blood.  This movie gets in to the viewer on an emotional level that the other two films do not, appealing to the connection between humans and animals.  Because of this, I feel the need to check into the film’s claims, but if the film is fact, I do not think I can ever patronize a Sea World-type place or swim with dolphins without compromising myself.

All three films are great and I recommend them.  I wish I was able to watch the other two before the ceremony, but they are not out on DVD yet.  I’m not sure yet which win I think will win, but any of these three would make me happy.

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Best Short Film – Animated

Let’s continue with Oscar posts and make this Oscar week!

At this point, the one category in which I have seen all nominees is Best Animated Short.

Surprisingly, the weakest nominee, in my opinion, is the Wallace and Gromit short, “A Matter of Loaf and Death.”  It is cute, but usual Wallace and Gromit – nothing new.  I predicted how the plot was going to play out within the first few minutes.  Predictable plots are okay for cartoons aimed at kids, but not Oscar winners.

“French Roast” was funny and clever, although not enough has stuck with me to really say more than that.

“The Lady and the Reaper” was great.  It reminded me of an old Bugs Bunny cartoon with the music, the bosomy nurses, strong-chinned doctor, squinty old lady, and hooded Death.  The reaper and the doctor fight over the end of the old lady’s life – Death pulling her into the light, only to have the doctor yank her back.  Not my favorite, but definitely a lot of fun, with great music.

“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” was my personal favorite as far as what tickled my fancy.  Granny terrorizes her grandkid with bedtime fairy tales.  The animation is fun, and I enjoyed the dark humor.  It is from Ireland, which also might make me a little biased towards it.

“Logorama” is the final short and right now I think it is the contender for the Oscar.  (This is based solely on my opinion of the shorts, not on any buzz I have read.)  “Logorama” is set in a world built completely out of company logos.  Buildings, cars, even the people are crafted out of well-known images: the AOL man, the Pringles guy, Best Buy, McDonald’s.  I don’t want to explain the plot because it’s great to just let it unfold.  I have read on-line where people don’t understand how the creators got away with the use of so many logos, but I think this falls under Fair Use.  I can only imagine the licensing fees involving in that amount of logos would probably equal Avatar‘s budget.

If you can take the time to watch these shorts, I think it is worth it.  As I shared before, some of these are available on-line.  “A Matter of Loaf and Death” is available through Netflix (DVD only, not on Watch it Now), and some theatres are carrying all the shorts together as a feature.  In the past, iTunes has offered them for purchase, but so far I haven’t seen them on there.  I am hoping to see the live shorts at my local indie theatre before the Oscars on Sunday.

Have you seen any of these?  What are your thoughts?

Coming tomorrow, my thoughts on Best Documentary, based on the three out of five I have seen!

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One Week till the Oscars

We are one week away from the Oscars!  I’m excited about them, although less than other years because so many of the races have pretty obvious winners already.  Nevertheless, I love the Oscars. I have been trying to see as many of the movies as possible.  I’m still working on that, hoping to cram a few more in before Sunday.  So far, my favorite movie of 2009 continues to be Up.  I know if does not stand a chance at Best Picture, but if it doesn’t win Best Animated, I’ll be very angry!

Do you like to watch the Oscars?  Are you excited about any of the races this year?

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Oscar Nominated Shorts

I try to see as many of the Oscar nominated films  as possible (for me) before the awards.  ITunes usually has all the nominated shorts available for purchase at some point before the show, but a few of the animated shorts are currently available on You Tube!  If you would like to watch some, this post on Oh No They Didn’t has them, plus clips/trailers for most of the other shorts.  So far, my favorite is “Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” but I might be biased because it is from Ireland.

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