Justin’s 2011 Oscar Picks

Justin’s 2011 Oscar Picks

I was excited at the prospect of dusting off my Lonely Reviewer cap and jumping into the fray again by discussing this year’s top Oscar nominees and my predictions and hopefuls. If you’re going to make a triumphant return, why not dive back in during one of film’s busiest, buzziest times? Then I got the list of nominees and realized that I’m really more qualified to discuss film during its other busiest, buzziest time, tent-pole season. Damn, I missed the boat on a lot of these films in the top categories. So unfortunately, my discussion may not be the most informed (really, more Oscar nominees need to star Spider-man), but here’s a popcorn flick perspective on this year’s frontrunners.

Best Picture – Actually, of the now-exploded-to-10 list of nominees, I’ve got a pretty good beat on the category, as I’ve seen 4 of the 10 flicks (sadly, this is the best record I’m going to have for this whole discussion). To-date, I have seen Inception, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, and Winter’s Bone. Of these films, my gut, my core, the nerdiest fiber of my being wishes, nay, demands that Inception take the statue home. Was it the best film of the category? Probably not, but Hollywood should be rewarded for putting out a film that was not only innovative, gripping, and interesting, but also had mass-appeal and cultural cache for a good amount of time. Almost everyone thought this movie was great and the whole world watched and celebrated it. Should that not be the best picture of the year? Well, stifling the nerd in me for a moment, no, it probably shouldn’t. Inception was a great movie, it was well acted, well directed, well written, well shot, a beautifully executed movie, but it lacked emotional depth. It hooked you with its premise, but its hook was the puzzle, not the characters. And for a film to be the best, I think it needs to have that human element as well. Which is why my pick for Best Picture is going to be The Social Network. Here, the point of the film was the main character’s lack of emotional depth. Fincher’s film was a looking glass into the making of one of our culture’s most prevalent trends: social networking, and for a film about the creation of a website, it was gripping from a character standpoint, and it was technically subtle and brilliant at the same time (the execution of creating the Winklevoss twins was such a technical marvel and most [including myself] didn’t even realize they were witnessing something beyond what they were seeing). The Social Network had mass appeal, interesting characters, emotional depth, excellent execution, and was just a great, great movie. Come on, Academy, give Fincher his due!

Best Director – I’ve only seen The Social Network in this list, but I can absolutely see an argument for Fincher to take home the Oscar here. He’s often accused of being a cold, calculated observer in this movies, but in the case of The Social Network, it actually works, given the story and the characters. Not so much a vote for nor prediction, but I wouldn’t be displeased if Fincher took home the gold. Also, random question: How does your film get nominated for Best Picture but you don’t get nominated for
Best Director? Does the film succeed despite you?

Best Actor in a Leading Role – Again, hobbled by the fact that I’ve only seen The Social Network, this category only leaves me with the opportunity to talk about Jesse Eisenberg. Eisenberg’s performance was stellar, his delivery of Sorkin’s script was great and fun to watch. That being said, it didn’t quite strike me as an Oscar performance. I don’t think he’ll win this one. Which is probably ok, as Eisenberg is growing more and more interesting to me as an actor. I don’t think I’m ready to see him laden with an Oscar just yet.

Best Actress in a Leading Role – Of the nominees, I have only seen Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone. However, I firmly believe that her performance is the reason that Winter’s Bone has landed in the Best Picture category. Lawrence was the weight of this film and she absolutely stole the show (amongst other great performances). I would not be at all surprised if the celebration of this film ultimately came down to Lawrence on Sunday night as she accepted this award.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Having only seen The Town, I can say that Jeremy Renner’s performance was good and certainly captivating, but I don’t think its captivation lingered beyond the film. He served his purpose in the film and did it well, but I have to admit that I was surprised to see his name listed here. My guess is that the award will come down to either Bale or Rush. Definitely not Renner, though.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role – I have seen none of these! So I’m going to go ahead and blindly pick Hailee Steinfeld because I haven’t picked a Coen brothers-related choice yet, and I love me some Coens.

83rd Annual Academy Award Nominees


So, is anyone really surprised by whose gotten nominated for what this year? Minus Christopher Nolan being missing a Direction nod, there weren’t too many surprises. I was really happy to see John Hawkes nominated for Winters Bone (though the category belongs to Christian Bale, Hawkes’ role in this film was outstanding), but very upset to not see Shutter Island up for one prize. Shutter Island is probably my favorite film of 2011, and I’m really bummed to see it ignored.

The ceremony is February 27th, make sure you check back for the results.

BEST PICTURE:
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

DIRECTING:
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
David O. Russell, The Fighter
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
David Fincher, The Social Network
Joel and Ethan Coen, True Grit

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:
Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawks, Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jackie Weaver, Animal Kingdom

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
127 Hours (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing), Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Michael Arndt. Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
True Grit (Paramount), Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone (Roadside Attractions), Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
Another Year (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Mike Leigh
The Fighter (Paramount), Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson. Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
Inception (Warner Bros.), Written by Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right (Focus Features), Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Seidler

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
Biutiful
Dogtooth
In a Better World
Incendies
Outside the Law

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

CINEMATOGRAPHY:
Black Swan (Fox Searchlight) Matthew Libatique
Inception (Warner Bros.) Wally Pfister
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company) Danny Cohen
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing) Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit (Paramount) Roger Deakins

FILM EDITING:
Black Swan (Fox Searchlight) Andrew Weisblum
The Fighter Paramount Pamela Martin
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company) Tariq Anwar
127 Hours (Fox Searchlight) Jon Harris
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing) Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

DOCUMENTARY:
Exit through the Gift Shop (Producers Distribution Agency) Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz A Paranoid Pictures Production
Gasland Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic A Gasland Production
Inside Job (Sony Pictures Classics) Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs A Representational Pictures Production
Restrepo (National Geographic Entertainment) Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger An Outpost Films Production
Waste Land Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley (Arthouse Films) An Almega Projects Production

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Killing in the Name (dir: Jed Rothstein)
Poster Girl (dir: Sara Nesson)
Strangers No More (dir: Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon)
Sun Come Up (dor: Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger)
The Warriors of Qiugang (dir: Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon)

ORIGINAL SCORE:
How to Train Your Dragon (Paramount) John Powell
Inception (Warner Bros.) Hans Zimmer
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company) Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours (Fox Searchlight) A.R. Rahman
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing) Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

ORIGINAL SONG:
Coming Home from Country Strong (Sony Pictures Releasing (Screen Gems)) Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
I See the Light from Tangled (Walt Disney) Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
If I Rise from 127 Hours (Fox Searchlight) Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
We Belong Together from Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney) Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

VISUAL EFFECTS:
Alice in Wonderland (Walt Disney) Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Warner Bros.) Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
Hereafter (Warner Bros.) Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
Inception (Warner Bros.) Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
Iron Man 2 (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment, Distributed by Paramount) Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

ART DIRECTION:
Alice in Wonderland (Walt Disney), Robert Stromberg (Production Design), Karen O’Hara (Set Decoration)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (Warner Bros.), Stuart Craig (Production Design), Stephenie McMillan (Set Decoration)
Inception (Warner Bros.), Guy Hendrix Dyas (Production Design), Larry Dias and Doug Mowat (Set Decoration)/span>
The King’s Speech (Paramount), Eve Stewart (Production Design), Judy Farr (Set Decoration)
True Grit (Paramount), Jess Gonchor (Production Design), Nancy Haigh (Set Decoration)

COSTUME DESIGN:
Alice in Wonderland (Walt Disney) Colleen Atwood
I Am Love (Magnolia Pictures) Antonella Cannarozzi
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company) Jenny Beavan
The Tempest (Miramax) Sandy Powell
True Grit (Paramount) Mary Zophres

MAKEUP
Barney’s Version, Adrien Morot
The Way Back, Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
The Wolfman
Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

SHORT FILM, ANIMATED
Day & Night (dir: Teddy Newton)
The Gruffalo (dir: Jakob Schuh and Max Lang)
Let’s Pollute (dir: Geefwee Boedoe)
The Lost Thing (dir: Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann)
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)

SHORT FILM, LIVE ACTION
The Confession (dir: Tanel Toom)
The Crush (dir: Michael Creagh)
God of Love (dir: Luke Matheny)
Na Wewe (dir: Ivan Goldschmidt)
Wish 143 (dir: Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite)

SOUND EDITING
Inception, Richard King
Toy Story 3, Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
Tron: Legacy, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
True Grit, Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
Unstoppable, Mark P. Stoeckinger

SOUND MIXING
Inception, Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
The King’s Speech, Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
Salt, Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
The Social Network, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
True Grit, Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Inception Trailer Circa 1949

It’s amazing how much the style of trailers have changed since the early days of motion pictures. Even looking at trailers from the 80s, things have a completely different look and feel. So these clever fellows have cut together a fan trailer of Inception, using sound clips from Rear Window, Vertigo, and Spellbound, the result, a cool concept to what things might have looked like if Inception came out in in the late 40s early 50s.

Cool Stuff Friday! Inception NES Game

Cool Stuff Friday! Inception NES Game

Check out this cool NES artwork made by artist Jeff Bartell, if only it were a real game!

Have a great weekend!


Second Teaser Trailer for ‘Inception’

Second Teaser Trailer for ‘Inception’

Christopher Nolan is one of the few new directors whose work almost always gets me excited. ‘Inception,’ Nolan’s first film since ‘Dark Knight’ has had me excited since I first heard about it. Nolan is a tremendous talent, and something tells me there is a lot more coming from this director.

Check out the second teaser for ‘Inception,’ which gives you a little more detail into the new film starring Leonardo DiCaprio & Ellen Paige.

[flashvideo file=http://www.lonelyreviewer.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/inception.flv /]

“Inception” Trailer Released

If you go see “Sherlock Holmes,” this weekend, you’ll see this trailer, but consider this an early gift.  Here’s the trailer for Christopher Nolan’s latest movie.  “Inception,” which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and comes out this summer.  Oh, because it hasn’t been released officially yet, it’s in French.  But you get the gist of it.