Sunday, February 28, 2010

Best of 2009

I am getting tired of Best of 2009, and want to rid myself of it. I did Best Supporting Actress and Lead Actress in separate posts, but I feel I will never finish if I keep doing it like that. So, without further ado, here is my best of 2009!

Best Picture

1st place: (500) Days of Summer
2nd: An Education
3rd: Up in the Air
4th: Inglourious Basterds
5th: Avatar

Best Director

1st: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
2nd: Marc Webb, (500) Days of Summer
3rd: James Cameron, Avatar
4th: Lone Scherfig, An Education
5th: Jason Reitman, Up in the Air

Best Actor

1st: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, (500) Days of Summer
2nd: George Clooney, Up in the Air
3rd: Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
4th: Logan Lerman, My One and Only
5th: Sam Rockwell, Moon

Best Actress

1st: Carey Mulligan, An Education
2nd: Zooey Deschanel, (500) Days of Summer
3rd: Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
4th: Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
5th: Renee Zellweger, My One and Only

Best Supporting Actor

1st: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
2nd: Peter Sarsgaard, An Education
3rd: Brad Pitt, Inglourious Basterds
4th: Dominic Cooper, An Education
5th: Christopher Plummer, The Last Station

Best Supporting Actress

1st: Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
2nd: Mo'Nique, Precious
3rd: Marion Cotillard, Nine
4th: Rosamund Pike, An Education
5th: Melanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds

Best Cast

1st: Inglourious Basterds
2nd: An Education
3rd: Nine
4th: Up in the Air
5th: Duplicity

Special Award
Up - I couldn't fit this into my limited categories, so I will give it a special award because it truly is fantastic.

An Education 7 nominations, 1 win
Inglourious Basterds 5 nominations, 2 wins
Up in the Air 5 nominations, 1 win
(500) Days of Summer 4 nominations, 2 wins
The Hurt Locker 2 nominations, 1 win
Avatar 2 nominations, 0 wins
My One and Only 2 nominations, 0 wins
Nine 2 nominations, 0 wins
Precious 2 nominations, 0 wins
Up 1 nomination, 1 win
Duplicity 1 nomination, 0 wins
Julie & Julia 1 nomination, 0 wins
The Last Station 1 nomination, 0 wins
Moon 1 nomination, 0 wins

Boy do I feel relieved. What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Share!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Oscar Presenters

With all the news floating about that Twilight stars Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart, and the rest of the boring under-25 gang will be presenting at this year's Oscars, I thought I'd like to share who I'd like to see present each award. For the acting awards I'm pretty sure they aren't doing the "five past winners" idea, so I have only one person listed.

Best Supporting Actress
Celeste Holm

Why? She's always been a supporting player, and the Best Supporting Actress Oscar she won more than 60 years ago helped her to launch a film career. And I love the Old Hollywood stars that are still around. Who better to invite somebody to the club than 92 year old Holm?

Fun-fact: Penélope Cruz and Celeste Holm's birthdays are only one day apart (April 28th and 29th, respectively!).

Best Supporting Actor
Gene Hackman

Why? Well, he's pretty much 100% done with acting, so it would be nice to see Hackman up and about.

Best Actress
Julie Christie

Why? I feel she represents this year's Best Actress line-up pretty well. She's practically always better than the films she is in (Darling, Shampoo) and the actresses this year, for the most part, are better than their respective films. Despite the all around terribleness of The Blind Side, at least Sandra does her job well.

Best Actor
Maximilian Schell

Why? Because I'm big on sentiment, that's why.

Best Director
Nicole Kidman

Why? I really want a woman to give Best Director to Kathryn Bigelow. Then maybe the Academy will finally understand that woman do other things than act, design costumes, and make documentary shorts.

Best Picture
Lauren Bacall and Roger Corman

Why? The Honorary Oscars were cut from the telecast, and it would be nice to have two Hollywood legends presenting the Academy's highest honor. I mean, how much more prestigious can you get?

Best Original and Adapted Screenplay
Tina Fey & Steve Carrell

Best Animated Feature
Reese Witherspoon & Christian Bale

Best Foreign Language Film
Penélope Cruz & Pedro Almodóvar

Best Documentary Feature and Short
Ann-Margret & Rita Moreno

Best Live Action and Animated Short
Will Ferrell & John C. Reilly

Best Original Score
Julianne Moore & Mark Wahlberg

Best Original Song
Renee Zellweger & Ewan McGregor

Best Sound Editing and Mixing
Jennifer Aniston & Kevin Bacon

Best Art Direction
Amy Adams

Best Cinematography
Taraji P. Henson

Best Makeup and Costume Design
Marisa Tomei & Mickey Rourke

Best Film Editing
Thelma Schoonmaker

Best Visual Effects
Robert Downey Jr.

Who are your dream presenters?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Oscar Trivia

Click over to In Contention, they have a pretty witty and charming graph that breaks down the Oscars by numbers..

For example-

According to the graph, 21% of actors had their careers plummet after winning the Academy Award. It's easy to name a few, isn't it? Gwyneth Paltrow, Halle Berry, Helen Hunt, Kevin Spacey, Kevin Costner, and Nicole Kidman are just a few of the many many actors who saw their careers take a dip (for some, a dip that still hasn't ended) after winning the much-coveted Academy Award.

So what are you waiting for? Click!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Just kidding! Come March 7th, I feel there will be no big surprises in the acting categories. Mo'Nique, Christoph Waltz, Sandra Bullock, and Jeff Bridges will all make their millionth way to the podium, look all teary-eyed and elated (you should be, it's an Oscar!) and then go backstage to the "Thank You" cam and the press.

But wouldn't it be nice if the Oscars were filled with more surprises? This is not a new thought, but it is true. Regardless of performance merit, wouldn't it be a much better show if the winners looked a little something like...

Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air (who should win, but that's beside the point)
Christopher Plummer for The Last Station
Gabourey Sidibe for Precious
Colin Firth for A Single Man

Wouldn't those be more exciting choices? None of them are going into the Kodak and thinking "Oh it might be my name!" And that's a shame, too. There are way too many precursor awards, and while I love the Oscar season, if I were a nominee I'd love to know I had a 20% shot of winning. I mean, what's the point of Maggie Gyllenhaal getting all dolled up to go to the Academy Awards, be critiqued by E!'s snippy fashion police, and then watch Mo'Nique win?

Wasn't Adrien Brody's win (and subsequent speech) more thrilling to watch than Javier Bardem's? Of course Javier would win! Snooze. Spread the wealth, people! And if you want to give the Oscar to Javier Bardem, then okay. But why not use one of those other awards (like SAG for instance) to honor somebody who isn't going to win the Oscar. I mean, the SAG Award isn't a very prestigious prize but it's still a nice honor. I'm sure Anna, Colin, Gabourey, or Christopher would have appreciated it after being dragged out to every single award's ceremony this side of the Atlantic (oh wait..BAFTAs are tonight! Never mind!)

At least this year's race is a teeeeeeeensy bit more unpredictable than last year. The Academy hates women, so heavy-favorite Kathryn Bigelow could lose out to the more traditional choice of James Cameron. And for Best Picture there is a bit of a race, so that should be more fun than last year's Slumdog insanity! Add that to the locks of Kate Winslet, Sean Penn, Penelope Cruz, and Heath Ledger and it was pretty boring. People tried to make the race exciting by predicting the likes of Mickey Rourke and Viola Davis, but we all knew how it would end up. Hell, the biggest shock last year came when Departures won Best Foreign Language Film. Let's hope we have much bigger surprises in store for us this year!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Blind Side

I finally finished The Blind Side! Whether that's something to be happy or sad about I'm still trying to determine. There's no use in me lying to myself by saying "Oh but come Oscar night Carey Mulligan will win! You'll see! And so will Anna Kendrick!" It seems pretty set in stone that Sandra's taking the gold.

I have nothing wrong with her performance. Her being nominated doesn't irk me at all, especially since Abbie Cornish's performance in Bright Star fell flat with me (I have not seen Julia with Tilda Swinton yet). But to be a winner of an Academy Award for this? That's a little much. Consider the company this performance would be joining...

Katharine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter
Frances McDormand in Fargo
Susan Sarandon in Dead Man Walking
Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind
Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets

All of the above are of course stellar performances, and not many can match them, but Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side doesn't even come close. The greatest of all of the Oscar nominated performances this year and the only one truly worthy to stand with these women is Carey Mulligan in An Education. But oh well. Oscar has a history of being unfair.

Don't get me started on the Best Picture nomination. If it could get a nomination for Best Picture, then I'm genuinely surprised that Jae Head and Kathy Bates didn't nab supporting nominations. Or Quinton Aaron himself for Best Actor. I mean, honestly, people must really love The Blind Side in order to give it a Best Picture nomination. They had to see past John Lee Hancock's in your face directing and overly sentimental moments (and, perhaps most difficult to overlook, Jae Head himself).

So overall, congratulations to Sandra on a deserved nomination, but can't I dream that she won't win?

What are your thoughts on The Blind Side?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Muse...

One of my favorite story-lines for movies is the muse who inspires the artist...

What are some of your favorite story-lines?

Best Performances of the Decade

I just had to share this video of a few actors' favorite performances of the past ten years...

In case this doesn't work, here's the link. And special thanks to In Contention for showing me first!

It's funny to see which actors choose which performances.

Jake Gyllenhaal chose all of Peter Sarsgaard's performances of the last ten years. I agree that he was phenomenal, but he's not my brother-in-law. I can't argue the validity of his statement. Sarsgaard is incredibly underrated, but it does seem a little odd to choose from your family. Ah well, at least somebody's giving him the recognition he deserves.

Tobey Maguire, good ol' buddy to Shutter Island star Leonardo DiCaprio, chose Leo's performance in The Aviator as the best. Yet again, no arguing from me about the value of Leo's amazing performance in the film, but it is odd that Maguire and Gyllenhaal chose their buddies/family.

Foreign Language
Woody Harrelson opted for Ulrich Muhe in The Lives of Others. If you haven't seen that, then IMMEDIATELY place it on your queue. It's not to be missed. I never would have though of Harrelson as somebody who would sit through The Lives of Others, it's weird isn't it?

George Clooney chose Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose. He's somebody I could see loving foreign cinema, but I am surprised that he chose this performance as one of the best of the decade. I honestly thought he would have picked something much more unknown.

She does it herself!
Julianne Moore hailed Sean Penn's work in Mystic River as one of the best of the decade. She loved how he humanized the grief of his character. This is coming from the woman who practically wrote the book on breakdowns in movies. If anything, Penn looked at Moore's work in Boogie Nights in order to do his role in Mystic River.

What do you think of the actors' choices? I thought it was pretty cool seeing these actors praise each other (I mean, outside of the Academy Awards, SAG Awards, Emmys...).

What are your favorite performances of the decade? Any actor you wish could have done this interview? Shocked by any of the choices? Do share in the comments!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Little Golden Guy...

Have you ever heard of Little Golden Guy, the website that allows you to vote for the Oscars and see how others voted? It was down for awhile, but it's back now! But the votes are really odd... I'll break it down by category, and into the "what the hell?" and "the right on the money" categories.

But before we go onto "what the hell?" let's talk a little about the site. The main purpose of it is to say "okay, here's who won, but this should have happened according to most." And a lot of the time they are right on the money.


Cate Blanchett winning Best Actress for Elizabeth
Montgomery Clift winning Best Actor for From Here to Eternity
Billy Wilder winning Best Director for Double Indemnity

It does have a good track record, but...

What the hell?

Best Picture Avatar received the most votes, and that certainly makes sense. In second place with only six fewer votes? District 9. But this is ordinary people's favorites, so that might explain why The Blind Side is in sixth place. Yes, you heard me, sixth place. According to this website's voters, The Blind Side is more worthy of being named Best Picture than Up in the Air, Precious, A Serious Man, and An Education. Let's pray that The Blind Side is actually the tenth worthiest of the nominees when the members of the Academy get to their ballots.

Best Supporting Actress Surprise, surprise, Mo'Nique is in first here. But second place goes to...

Penelope Cruz, in Nine! Wow. I knew there was some love for Penelope (if not for the picture alone), but second place? Are these voters going by "most-deserving" or, like the Academy, what's hot right now. Hell, on the Youtube video of A Call from the Vatican, one of the comments says "I love her, another Oscar!!!"

Side-note: In this case, what's hot to the Academy actually is hot. Mmmmmmmmm.. Penelope.

Best Adapted Screenplay Maybe it's my hate of District 9 that makes this so shocking, but it got 79.8% of the vote for Best Adapated Screenplay on Little Golden Guy. This site seems to be more of the People's Choice Awards than I remember.

Right on the Money

Best Director Kathryn Bigelow inches out James Cameron by less than twenty votes, but she still does it.

Best Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz waltzes (so clever) away with more than 84% of the vote. Christopher Plummer is a sentimental favorite and comes in second with 7.7% of the vote. That's a bingo!

Best Actor Jeff Bridges and Colin Firth lead the pack, and boy are they close. Jeff has just two more votes than Colin, but in the race for the actual Oscar Jeff Bridges seems unstoppable. I haven't seen Crazy Heart yet, is it good?

Best Actress Unfortunately Sandra Bullock is in the lead here, but there's no used crying over spilled, rotten, unfortunate milk, is there?

And now for your viewing pleasure...

Pinch your cheeks til you say "ow!"

object width="320" height="265">

Monday, February 15, 2010

Best Actress Winner

Time for the winners of this year's Katharine Hepburn Leading Actress Award!

5th place goes to...
Renee Zellweger in My One and Only

4th places goes to...
Gabourey Sidibe in Precious

3rd place goes to...
Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia

2nd place goes to...
Zooey Deschanel in (500) Days of Summer

And the winner is...
Carey Mulligan in An Education

Who are your favorite leading ladies of '09?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Best Actress - All That Film Style

Best of 2009, and this time we're talking leading ladies. Like the last award, this one will be named after a great thespian, too.

And this will be called the Katharine Hepburn Leading Actress Award! For those lovable leads. (Naturally "Katharine Hepburn" is standing in for the regular "Best.")

The nominees are...

Zooey Deschanel, (500) Days of Summer
For simultaneously being the girl we loved, and wanted to kill ourselves over.

Carey Mulligan, An Education
For irritating and charming us as a woman of the world and a confused school girl.

Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
For giving a voice to someone so often forgotten.

Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
For being a delight on the big screen in a big way.

Renee Zellweger, My One and Only
For flirting not just with tons of men, but the audience.

The winners will be in a separate post later on! Comments? Please, do share!

(And there aren't any pics. this time guys, sorry! It's kind of complicated to get them in the post, does nobody else have this problem? Hm...)

The Delights of Un-Camp

It's amazing how something so susceptible to camp doesn't quite go there. Moulin Rouge! really is in a league of its own.

It's easy to go into camp territory:

1) get some far-fetched story (the life of a dying courtesan in 1800s France who is dying falls in love with a penniless Bohemian writer, and it takes place in the Moulin Rouge, perhaps?)
2) mix in crazy songs (combining Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend with Material Girl anyone?)
3) have actors slavishly devote themselves to their roles
4) insane colors and sets galore (an elephant that doubles as a love nest, maybe?)

But through all of this, Baz never goes there. There is hard to describe, but it's the point of no-return. Silliness over quality, absurdity over poignancy.

What this is all leading up to is... How the hell was Baz not nominated for an Oscar for directing this film?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Best Supporting Actress Winner

So, you've all (all 2 of you?) read my nominees for the Rita Moreno Supporting Actress Award!

Time for the winners!

5th place goes to...

Melanie Laurent in Inglourious Basterds

4th place goes to...
Rosamund Pike in An Education

3rd place goes to...

Marion Cotillard in Nine

2nd place goes to...
Mo'Nique in Precious

And the winner is...

Anna Kendrick in Up in the Air

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Best Supporting Actress - All That Film Style

Best of 2009 time! One by one, I'll be posting the nominees, followed by the winners. First up we have BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS.

But what good is a category if it doesn't have a name? In honor of one of the best supporting actress performances of all time, I will dub this category the...

Rita Moreno Supporting Actress Award! What a mouthful, eh?

And the nominees are...

Marion Cotillard, Nine
For showing Luisa's heartache with voice, expression, and dance.

Rosamund Pike, An Education
For every little micro-touch and nuance she gives Helen.

Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
For humanizing Natalie to unimaginable extents.

Melanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds
For creating a heroine who could not be more vulnerable.

Mo'Nique, Precious
For creating a monster all too real.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Oscar Nomintations!

Of course, you aren't reading the news on this blog first, but who said being late was a bad thing? I'm still trying to get my best of 2009 ready! So many afterthought, so little time...

Barreling through the nominations I have these conclusions:

Ten Best Picture nominees was a positively horrid and awful awful awful idea. The Blind Side...?

Sandra Bullock...? No thanks. Carey Mulligan? Thank you very much!

Best Actor/Supporting Actor had zero surprises. Boring. Good job Christopher Plummer!

Penelope Cruz over Marion Cotillard? Damn Weinsteins and their stupid campaigning process that tried to get Marion for lead.

Maggie Gyllenhaal, thanks for being a surprise. Anna Kendrick, please try and win this category! It seems rather impossible to beat Mo'Nique though, but we can pray.

No (500) Days of Summer? This sucks.