Evaluating the nominees

Sabin
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Postby Sabin » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:37 am

Just to be clear because I don't think I was, this is not judging the quality of the film but merely its worthiness of an Oscar nomination. I don't even know if I would call Melissa Leo's a bad performance, just one that is inconsistent and belongs nowhere near a nomination. I would allot Inception, The King's Speech, and 127 Hours roughly a "C+" review in possible "B-" territory. If it's not good to recommend, it gets one star. Likewise, the only film that I can in good conscience give more than *** is Winter's Bone. The Social Network is a *** film with ***** editing and scoring. Had the script a functional third act, at least one more scene to ballast the narrative, I could give it the bump up the tart dialogue certainly deserves. Michael Gebert (RIP) had a very fine system set up. He would review the films, the two winning lead performances, another film or performance that warrants mention for its sweep, and then the winner at Cannes, Berlin, and a few other films or performances of note for its domination throughout the year.


...and we're looking at a star average of (**1/2)
Best Picture - The King's Speech (*)
Best Director - Tom Hooper (*)
Best Actor - Colin Firth (***)
Best Actress - Natalie Portman (***)
Best Supporting Actor - Christian Bale (***)
Best Supporting Actress - Melissa Leo (*)
Best Original Screenplay - The King's Speech (*)
Best Adapted Screenplay - The Social Network (***)
Best Cinematography - Inception (***)
Best Film Editing - The Social Network (*****)
Best Original Score - The Social Network (*****)

***

Let's say that 2010 technically caps the new decade (as it does...)...

BEST PICTURES
1. No Country for Old Men
2. The Hurt Locker
3. The Departed
4. Million Dollar Baby
5. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
6. Chicago
7. The King's Speech
8. Slumdog Millionaire
9. Crash
10. A Beautiful Mind

BEST DIRECTORS
1. Joel & Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
2. Roman Polanski, The Pianist
3. Martin Scorsese, The Departed
4. Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
5. Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby
6. Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
7. Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
8. Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
9. Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
10. Ron Howard, A Beautiful Mind

BEST ACTORS
1. Sean Penn, Milk
2 Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
3. Denzel Washington, Training Day
4. Colin Firth, The King's Speech
5. Adrien Brody, The Pianist
6. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote
7. Jamie Foxx, Ray
8. Sean Penn, Mystic River
9. Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
10. Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland

BEST ACTRESSES (yeesh...top three are interchangeably solid, everything below is either interchangeably bad or especially wretched)
1. Helen Mirren, The Queen
2. Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby
3. Natalie Portman, Black Swan
4. Charlize Theron, Monster
5. Nicole Kidman, The Hours
6. Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line
7. Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
8. Kate Winslet, The Reader
9. Halle Berry, Monster's Ball
H/S - Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

BEST SUPPORTING ACTORS (awesome. Bottom three are merely mediocre.)
1. Chris Cooper, Adaptation.
2. Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
3. Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
4. Christian Bale, The Fighter
5. Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
6. Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby
7. Jim Broadbent, Iris
8. Tim Robbins, Mystic River
9. Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine
10. George Clooney, Syriana


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESSES
1. Mo'nique, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
2. Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
3. Cate Blanchett, The Aviator
4. Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener
5. Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
6. Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
7. Melissa Leo, The Fighter
8. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago
9. Renee Zellweger, Cold Mountain
10. Jennifer Connelly, A Beautiful Mind


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAYS
1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2. Talk to Her
3. Gosford Park
4. The Hurt Locker
5. Lost in Translation
6. Milk
7. Juno
8. The King's Speech
9. Little Miss Sunshine
10. Crash


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAYS
1. No Country for Old Men
2. The Departed
3. The Social Network
4. The Pianist
5. Sideways
6. Brokeback Mountain
7. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
8. Slumdog Millionaire
9. A Beautiful Mind
10. Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire


BEST ORIGINAL SCORES
1. The Social Network
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
3. Up
4. Atonement
5. Slumdog Millionaire
6. Frida
7. Brokeback Mountain
8. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
9. Finding Neverland
10. Babel


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
1. There Will Be Blood
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
3. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
4. Inception
5. Road to Perdition
6. Slumdog Millionaire
7. Avatar
8. Pan's Labyrinth
9. The Aviator
H/S - Memoirs of a Geisha


BEST FILM EDITING
1. The Departed
2. The Social Network
3. The Hurt Locker
4. Black Hawk Down
5. The Aviator
6. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
7. The Bourne Ultimatum
8. Slumdog Millionaire
9. Crash
10. Chicago




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ITALIANO
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Postby ITALIANO » Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:45 pm

My turn now.


BEST PICTURE
*Black Swan (****)
True Grit (***)
Winter's Bone (**1/2)
The King's Speech (**1/2)
The Social Network (**)
The Kids Are All Right (**)
The Fighter (*1/2)
Inception (*1/2)
127 Hours (*)

BEST DIRECTOR
*Daniel Aronofsky (****)
Joel & Ethan Coen (***)
David Fincher (**)
Tom Hooper (**)
David O. Russell (*1/2)

BEST ACTOR
*Colin Firth (***1/2)
Javier Bardem (***)
Jeff Bridges (***)
Jesse Eisenberg (**1/2)
James Franco (*1/2)

BEST ACTRESS
*Natalie Portman (****)
Michelle Williams (***1/2)
Annette Bening (**1/2)
Jennifer Lawrence (**1/2)
Nicole Kidman (*1/2)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
*Geoffrey Rush (****)
John Hawkes (***)
Mark Ruffalo (**1/2)
Jeremy Renner (**1/2)
Christian Bale (**)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
*Jacki Weaver (***1/2)
Melissa Leo (***)
Helena Bonham Carter (***)
Hailee Steinfeld (**1/2)
Amy Adams (**)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
*True Grit (***1/2)
Winter's Bone (***)
The Social Network (**)
127 Hours (*)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
*The King's Speech (**1/2)
The Kids Are All Right (**)
Inception (*1/2)
The Fighter (*1/2)

Haven't seen Toy Story 3 (and never will) and Another Year.

Bruce_Lavigne
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Location: Boston

Postby Bruce_Lavigne » Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:39 pm

I'll go with Sabin's rating system:

Best Picture
Toy Story 3 (****)
The Social Network (****)
Winter's Bone (****)
The Fighter (****)
True Grit (****)
Black Swan (***)
The King's Speech (**)
Inception (**)
The Kids Are All Right (**)
127 Hours (**)

Best Director
David Fincher, The Social Network (****)
Joel & Ethan Coen, True Grit (****)
David O. Russell, The Fighter (****)
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan (***)
Tom Hooper, The King's Speech (**)

Best Lead Actor
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network (****)
Colin Firth, The King's Speech (****)
Javier Bardem, Biutiful (****)
Jeff Bridges, True Grit (***)
James Franco, 127 Hours (***)

Best Lead Actress
Natalie Portman, Black Swan (****)
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone (****)
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine (****)
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole (***)
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right (***)

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, The Fighter (****½)
Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech (****)
John Hawkes, Winter's Bone (****)
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right (***)
Jeremy Renner, The Town (**)

Best Supporting Actress
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit (****) (N/A - lead)
Melissa Leo, The Fighter (****)
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom (****)
Amy Adams, The Fighter (****)
Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech (***)

Best Original Screenplay
Another Year (****)
The Fighter (***)
The King's Speech (**)
The Kids Are All Right (**)
Inception (*)

Best Adapted Screenplay
True Grit (****)
Winter's Bone (****)
The Social Network (***)
Toy Story 3 (***)
127 Hours (*)




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Sabin
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Postby Sabin » Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:15 pm

Taking a cue from Michael Gebert.

*****
One of the great all-time picks.

****
A great choice above the competition.

***
A satisfactory pick; if not the best of the pack, then nothing to complain about. Worthy of a nomination.

**
Some good, some bad; substantially better work elsewhere. The success is either the role, the story, with little singular brought to the table. Not bad, but we can do better than this.

*
Fraudulent.

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

BEST DIRECTOR
*David Fincher, The Social Network (****)
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan (***)
David O. Russell, The Fighter (***)
Joel & Ethan Coen, True Grit (**)
Tom Hooper, The King's Speech (*)

BEST ACTOR
*Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network (****)
James Franco, 127 Hours (***)
Colin Firth, The King's Speech (***)
Jeff Bridges, True Grit (**)
Javier Bardem, Biutiful (**)

BEST ACTRESS
*Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone (****)
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right (****)
Natalie Portman, Black Swan (***)
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole (***)
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine (**)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
*John Hawkes, Winter's Bone (****)
Christian Bale, The Fighter (***)
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right (***)
Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech (**)
Jeremy Renner, The Town (**)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
*Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit (****)
Amy Adams, The Fighter (***)
Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech (**)
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom (**)
Melissa Leo, The Fighter (*)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
*Another Year (***)
The Kids Are All Right (**)
The King's Speech (*)
The Fighter (*)
Inception (*)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
*Winter's Bone (****)
The Social Network (***)
Toy Story 3 (***)
True Grit (***)
127 Hours (*)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
*The Social Network (*****)
How to Train Your Dragon (***)
The King's Speech (***)
127 Hours (**)
Inception (*)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
*Black Swan (****)
The Social Network (****)
Inception (***)
True Grit (**)
The King's Speech (*)

BEST FILM EDITING
*The Social Network (*****)
Black Swan (***)
The Fighter (**)
The King's Speech (**)
127 Hours (**)
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Uri
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Postby Uri » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:16 am

A cousin of mine, who's exactly the same age as Ethan Coen (both born in '57), is a big Western fan because as a kid, growing up in a provincial town, she was following around her brother, who's a few months older than Joel Coen, and they saw countless of now forgotten westerns in the local cinema. In 1968, when television broadcasting was finely allowed in Israel, Bonanza was a huge favorite. Damien, born 1956, for the first time actually liked(!) a Coens movie this time. Though I'm a few years younger, I think I recognize kind of generational sensibility in True Grit. There is a layer of pure, basic cinematic joy in TG not filtered by the brothers' trademark accumulated knowledge, intellectual judgment and artistic alienation (for which I love them). By choosing a relatively non revisionist source (from what I gather – I haven't read the book), which was written exactly during that formative timeframe I was referring to and by deliberately being faithful to it in a way that "reclaim" it from the memory of a somehow mockingly earlier version, they are, in a way, reconnecting with or channeling their authentic younger selves. Of course they do do it having all that accumulated baggage. There are plenty of other, intellectually conscious layers to it, but that very personal core is there, and in a way it's more autobiographically reveling than all the (fun) stuff in A Serious Man.

And this is why TG is such a box office phenomenon. Throughout their career they were methodically observing the very fundamental essence of the American culture, but they did it through a prism of those who don't naturally inhabit these values, those who forever are outsiders. In a way their opus could be read as a fascinating dissertation on resentment. Here, for the first time I sense they surrender to the organic Americana within themselves. They did it, I believe, from a very authentic place, but by doing so they strike a very wide spread, popular cord.




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The Original BJ
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Postby The Original BJ » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:18 pm

Uri wrote:1. True Grit– B. The Coens' most unguarded film ever, and in a way their most personal, film-making vise.

I would be interested to hear more about why you feel this is the Coens' most personal movie to date. As a relatively faithful adaptation of a novel written by someone else (and one that has been filmed before) it wouldn't seem to be the most obvious candidate for this classification, particularly given the idiosyncratic nature of much of the Coens' work.

Uri
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Postby Uri » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:37 pm

I guess I've earned my Oscar buff wings today - I made a Herculean effort and saw Biutiful at noon (may be the greatest film ever made, unfortunately misery is not one of my fetishes), Blue Valentine at 5 pm (I liked it for the performances, the characters and the way they are set in a recognizable realm, had problems with - for lack of better term - the story line) and at 8 pm, for a dessert, I had stake tartare, sorry, 127 Hours. So amazingly I will be watching the Oscars after seeing all 10 nominated pictures and 18 nominated actors.

My rating: A- the ultimate best of the year, B- very good, would make a decent, worthy winner, C- a nomination should suffice, D- not necessarily bad, but not award material, F- a failure.


Best Picture
1. True Grit– B. The Coens' most unguarded film ever, and in a way their most personal, film-making vise.
2. The Social Network – C. A grand masterpiece? No. An entertainingly intelligent, or rather intelligently entertaining take on recent events? Certainly.
3. Toy Story 3 – C/unranked. I'm a puritan purist. It's a cartoon so it shouldn't be on this list, but still it's a very pleasant movie.
4. The Fighter – D. Doesn't really know what it's aiming at – probably because of the "true story" confinements, but there's almost enough good stuff in it to promote it to C.
5. Winter's Bone – D. Sincere and well intentioned but isn’t really being elevated beyond the national geographic niche.
6. The King's Speech – D. Might be enjoyed for what it is - slight and pleasant fluff - as long as it's not taken seriously.
7. The Kids Are All Right – D. It moves along efficiently, but it does it in such a banal, contrived way so I really didn't care.
8. 127 Hours – D. Self indulging gimmick.
9. Black Swan – an F-ish D. Too little-girlish for its own good. Lacks any real (or really fake) grandeur for it to work on any level.
10. Inception – F. A constipated mess.

Should've been: Another Year.

Best Director
1. The Coens – B. They managed to make a film which simultaneously corresponds with the wide eyed movie going boys they were in the '60s and their (some would say over) sophisticated present selves.
2. David Fincher – B. Maybe it's my preconditioned affection for his work, but I did get what I believe is his social and cultural attitude beyond what I feel was on page.
3. David O. Russell – D. I wish he had the chance to tell a better version of this story.
4. Darren Aronofsky – D. Whether one likes the end result or not, his presence is kind of undeniable.
5. Tom Hooper – D. A rather non entity, cinematically vise.

Should've been: Mike Leigh.

Best Actor
1. Jeff Bridges – B. He might have had more challenging roles along his career, but still this is such a confident, smart, gentle and generous performance I wish he won his belated career award for this one.
2. Colin Firth – C. He's good. Was much better last year.
3. Jesse Eisenberg – C. He does exactly what he needs to do here.
4. Javier Bardem – C/unranked. First, I don't allow foreign languish films blah, blah, blah. And if I did - the grotesque film he's in isn't worthy of his talent.
5. James Franco – D. I like him, but I guess the fact that he really didn't have anything to work with here was totally overshadowed by the cosmic/divine/karmic need for him to be nominated this year. A pointless nomination.

Should've been: Jim Broadbent, Ryan Gosling, Geoffrey Rush, Mark Wahlberg.

Best Actress
1. Michelle Williams – B. A lovely, lived in performance.
2. Jenifer Lawrence – D. She definitely displays at least some promise. Unfortunately she didn't suggest that her character could ever evolve into the kind of older people who surround her, which I believe should have been a crucial element in her performance.
3. Natalie Portman - D. A for effort.
4. Annette Bening – D. Other than in her 1990 output, I never believe her.
5. Nicole Kidman – F. Ok, I haven't seen Rabbit Hole, so I really shouldn't comment on that Eleonora Duse from Down Under. But since she is such a fundamentally non-actor, I'm sure there is no way I'm wrong here.

Should've been: Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manvile, Katie Jarvis, and if there's no other choice - Hailee Stienfeld.

Best Supporting Actor
1. Geoffrey Rush – B/unranked. He's a lead and better than Firth.
2. John Hawkes – C. When I first saw it I felt he was good, but I wasn't blown away, but when I realized he was the same guy from Me and You and Everyone we know I must admit I became much more appreciative. That's range.
3. Jeremy Renner – D. Like the film he's in, his performance is generically fine in a good way.
4. Mark Ruffalo – D. He's likeable here and should have been nominated before so I'm not resentful, but nothing in TKaAR is really award worthy.
5. Christian Bale – F. One wants to grab him and shout at him to loosen up but one is afraid.

Should've been: Michael Fassbender, Andrew Garfield. And Matt Damon is always welcome in my book.

Best Supporting Actress
1. Melissa Leo – B. I'm standing by my initial evaluation – a subtle over the top turn. A fine performance.
2. Helena Bonham Carter – C. It's her persona which makes the queen intriguing rather than the character as writen.
3. Hailee Stienfeld – C/unranked. A commendable lead performance.
4. Amy Adams– C. A good turn. Reinventing acting? No.

Unfortunately I haven't seen Weaver.

Should've been: This is the best lineup of the year by far. And while it's not a lot more than a cameo – Imelda Staunton in Another Year.

Best Original Screenplay
1. Another Year – A!
2. The fighter – D.
3. The Kids are All Right - D.
4. The King's Speech – F.
5. Inception – F.

Best Adapted Screenplay
1. True Grit – A.
2. Toy Story – B.
3. The Social Network – C.
4. Winter's Bone – D.
5. 127 Hours – F.




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