Will This Be The Year of Colin? Only Oscar Knows.

27 02 2011

Nominated For Nothing. More than it Deserved.

A year goes by surprisingly fast. Especially a year in cinema.

It only seems like last week that I was pontificating about the whole Avatar vs Hurt Locker contest, that 3D was a new and exciting kid on the block and that I was still looking forward to the remake of Clash of the Titans. But here we are, at the end of February already and the 2011 Oscar winners are about to be announced.

I can hardly wait, my palms are sweaty with feverish excitement and I shall be glued to another televised evening of polite applause as yet another group of nominees go home with nothing but a branded goody bag.

Upon reflection, 2010 wasn’t a bad year for movies.

Oscar nominations notwithstanding, there were some distinct highlights presented on celluloid or on DVD (due to failure to watch a movie at the cinema in the 3.5 weeks that it seemed to be showing).

Kick-Ass introduced us to the shadowy world of “real-life superheroes” and brought a jaw-dropping use of the C-word by a 12-year-old girl. Shutter Island was Scorsese at his best although the film seemed to shuffle off the cinema screens with indecent haste and Iron Man 2 allowed Mickey Rourke to showcase his full range of mumbling dialogue. Green Zone affirmed Matt Damon as a genuine action hero, Scott Pilgrim vs The World turned out to only be one film and Salt was a pleasing distraction.

Red was worth watching for Helen Mirren with a machine gun, Four Lions was the funniest movie about failed islamic terrorists ever (not hard when you are in a category of one), Despicable Me was the only film worth watching with Russell Brand in, Andy Serkis was awesome as Ian Dury (Sex, Drugs & Rock n’Roll) and Robin Hood gave me my annual Ridley Scott fix.

Of course, for every great movie experience that keeps the viewer entertained comes a plethora of releases that give rubbish a bad name – so many last year that I cannot be bothered to go into any detail but I would like to thank whoever decided that Topher Grace (remember him, was in That 70’s Show) was suitable for a part in Predators thus ruining the chance to resurrect an ailing franchise.

But tonight is about awarding the films that didn’t suck, that have some merit and deserve the adulation.

Once again, the Academy has chosen 10 movies for Best Picture and once again I have only seen half of them. Three will be seen asap – Black Swan, 127 Hours, True Grit – and I will make an effort to see Winter’s Bone. The Kid’s Are Alright (a film about a same-sex couple, their curious kids and a sperm donor), I can wait for it to be on Netflix.

The Kings Speech is tipped by many to be successful, rightly so as the cast are great and Colin Firth is in top form as the stuttering royal who would become George VI. It is beautifully shot, well paced and Geoffrey Rush’s portrayal of an Australian speech therapist is the best one I’ve seen. Factor in that Tom Hooper (the director) was responsible for The Damned United (film about Brian Clough) and it being so English, I should want this to win.

But I am torn between wanting Inception (Chris Nolan’s vision of dream manipulation) and The Fighter to take the crown. Inception is my favorite movie of last year, a fabulous piece of film-making that will set a standard. The Fighter is a true story about a boxer from Lowell, Massachusetts and his struggles to become independent of his vaguely dysfunctional family. It is also the latest vehicle for Christian Bale to prove how good he is and his performance as Dicky Eklund (crack-addict, once knocked Sugar Ray Leonard down – unless he slipped) beats Geoffrey’s therapist into a corner.

Then there’s Toy Story 3 and The Social Network. Both great movies. Loved them to bits. They won’t win. TS3 will take the animation prize, Social Network may get Best Director and Best Score (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross). But the film may just be a little too Facebook-y for the Academy, it speaks to a younger dynamic and whilst Jesse Eisenberg is very good as Mark Zuckerberg, he is actually quite annoying – a bit like Mark Zuckerberg.

But tonight is not just about who wins and loses, it’s about a celebration of film-making, great acting, believable characters and stunning cinematography.

Which is why I am hoping that Tron: Legacy gets the one award that it was nominated for – Sound Editing.

Because it deserved to have some recognition for resurrecting a seminal movie that was one of the reasons why so many films rely on CGI to provide visual impact.

Plus it has two Jeff Bridges in it. And you can never have too much of Jeff.

And the winner is…………




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