Best Picture Oscar Contenders ... and the Nominees are...
I love movies and I try to see all the Oscar contenders prior to the Awards Ceremony-- here is a breakdown of the Best Picture nominees.
1. WINTER'S BONE-- This indie movie may surprise alot of people... it is one of my favorites of the year. It has garnered four Oscar nominations for picture, actress (Jennifer Lawrence), supporting actor (John Hawkes) and adapted screenplay. Ree Dolly (Lawrence) sets out to find her good-for-nothing father in the cold and sparse Ozarks.
2. 127 HOURS--Based on Aaron Ralston's memoir about five days he spent trapped in a mountain crevice and his gnarly escape. James Franco also received a nomination for his portrayal of Aaron. I'm looking forward to seeing this one!
3. THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT-- A lesbian couple deal with children and the tension brought on by finding and re-connecting with their anonymous sperm-donor. Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo were nominated for their performances. For me, this movie did not live up to its hype.
4. TOY STORY 3-- This top-grossing film of the year earned nearly unanimous critical acclaim plus Oscar nominations for animated feature, adapted screenplay, sound editing and original song (Randy Newman's "We Belong Together'). Another one I want to see-- but probably not until it comes out on DVD.
5. BLACK SWAN-- This psychological thriller with a ballet back-drop may propel Natalie Portman into Oscar winner territory. I am really looking forward to the twists and turns and crazy-psycho pirouettes promised from Black Swan!
6. INCEPTION--Picking up eight nominations, mainly in craft categories, the director Christopher Nolan failed to be nominated. This mind-bending dream inside a dream inside a dream thriller was beyond what many people could follow. Keeping up with the story was a mental workout-- but watching Leo made it all worthwhile!
7. THE FIGHTER--Sports movies are finding their stride after Blind Side's success last year, The Fighter has a ton of heart and Whalberg and Bale play off of each other like real brothers. With seven nominations including those for director David O. Russell and actors Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. I wish there was a category for period hair-styles... because the sisters in this movie would win hands down!
8. TRUE GRIT-- With ten Oscar nominations this re-make of the John Wayne original has connected with both audiences and the academy. I would never have known it was a Coen brothers movie... and found it pretty disappointing. After seeing the original recently it is clear that this movie is mostly a wonderful vehicle for John Wayne. Newcomer Hailee Stanfield was nominated for her first starring role-- and she does a good job.Today's version played very close to the original, minus The Duke. Matt Damon was wasted on this role and Jeff Bridges mumbling his lines through the movie just didn't do it for me.
9. THE SOCIAL NETWORK-- Facebook inventors and their meteoric rise from cramped dorms at Harvard may just run away with best picture. Jesse Eisenberg nails the nerdy genius who lacks people skills and actually makes you like him. With 8 nominations it surprised us all with it's popularity... kind of like Facebook!
10. THE KING'S SPEECH--With 12 Oscar nominations The King's Speech is the front-runner for best picture... based on a true story with strong actors and a sentimental feel-good story about a real-life figure battling a severe disability. Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush are antagonistically beautiful together and Helena Bonham Carter is a natural for her supporting role. I liked it more than I thought I would!
Go see the movies and let me know who you think will win!