Welcome to my episode on the Oscar Decision this year, 2011.
My mind is just overwhelmed with thoughts that I am having trouble speaking.
I just feel like Colin Firth now when he is giving The King’s Speech.
Colin Firth becomes confident by the end of the movie and so have I now, even though this isn’t the end of this blog but only an Inception.
But before we go any further I think I may have to make sure of one thing.
Am I really typing this blog or am I asleep? Am I in a dream? Or dream within a dream for that matter.
I don’t see some extractor like Leonardo, also not see his beautiful wife or the kids.
I just hope that The Kids are All Right.
I am not sure if they are but suddenly it seems to me now that I am all right.
But I may be delusional. Its the middle of the night and I am a little unsteady that I feel like I am dancing in a ballet, more gravitating towards becoming a Black Swan than being a white one.
But my mind has always been a Fighter and I know I can get out of my delusions and illusions and display my True Grit.
Because when I am considering my mind going wrong, it doesn’t pretty much seem like a Toy Story. It seems like I am toying with my life.
But I am feeling sane now mainly because I feel connected to the The Social Network and when I think how close we are, to the big night, the OSCAR’s nite, so close, that we may be even seem to have only 127 hours to it.
This Winter seems to be chilled me to the bone.
And I thought aloud… “WOOOW!”
I could form a stupid story out of some ten random phrases. I feel that I could give myself a little pat on my back even if you wouldn’t but never you mind that.
Lets get to some serious business.
I know you are as excited as I am when you are reading this blog as to which movie is going to be winning the Oscars this year. The clock is ticking and my heart rate is increasing.
Below is the formal list of nominees to the best picture this year.
The Kids Are All Right,
The King’s Speech,
The Social Network,
Toy Story 3,
Below are my votes for different Categories even though I may have to wait until Feb27th to validate these.
WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
Christopher Nolan for Inception
Oh Nolan! Another year without Oscars. You will have to suck it up once again!
WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network
Attaboy, we got this right, Didn’t we?
Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb for Inception
Right again, Cool!
Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley for The King’s Speech
Sadly Inception bet you to it! My highness.
Richard King for Inception
Oh we know Richard King is the real King 😛
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
My mind seems to be in a tie here. I shall list out both of them. Lets see who wins. (An Evil Grin)
Hans Zimmer for Inception (or) Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network.
Our Tie seems to have worked. Trent, Atticus, Bravo!
Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter for The Social Network
A Definite Nod from the Oscars
David Fincher for The Social Network
Oh David, BAFTA sees you better. If I had wanted anybody else to win in this category, then it would have been Tom, Excellent Choice!
Jenny Beavan for The King’s Speech
We are wrong once again, Alice in Wonderland here. People seem to like Helena with a big head rather than a small one.
Matthew Libatique for Black Swan
Oh, Inception again. Seems the Cameraman needn’t learn ballet to win Oscar here!
Eve Stewart (Production Design); Judy Farr (Set Decoration) for The King’s Speech
Alice in Wonderland again, or should i say Eve and Judy in wonderland.
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
How to Train Your Dragon
Toy Story 3, a movie which was nominated to the best picture, heaven knows why, won here.
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Melissa Leo for The Fighter
Added Feb27: I knew it Melissa, you are one tough *****.
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Natalie Portman for Black Swan
We saw this coming didn’t we? A child in real life and a child in Cinema life, Double congratulations, Natalie!
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech
Oh Christian Bale just beat you to it man.
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Colin Firth for The King’s Speech
OK, The king is a king is a king.
I am in a tie here again.
The King’s Speech or The Social Network.
Long live the King!
The above list only states my opinion not necessarily yours or the Academy’s.
Now it also validates with the academy’s)
The above statement is a disclaimer and is bound to make me look silly but I had to add it nevertheless.
Anyway this year, all the nominees seem great to me and I would be absolutely pleased with anyone winning and anyone winning from the above list would be my price for watching all of these. 😛
Now, all after this is said, the one thing you can do is vote. So, Vote away.
Even after this exercise of voting for our favorites we have got no choice but to wait.
So lets do just that.
Today we are gonna let our minds journey to the world of Ozark mountains, through the life of an young girl, trying to break free of her clutches and go on a dangerous quest.
Yes, we will be looking at Debra Granik’s “Winter’s Bone”.
The one thing about the movie, that hits you square in the face is the authenticity.
I am not sure if the movie was actually shot in the Ozark mountains but it feels very real and terrifying.
The movie begins with the poor 17 year old girl, Ree, supporting a crumpling family.
An ailing mother, a younger brother and a little sister.
Her life becomes worse when she learns that her father had put their house as collateral for his bail and if he doesn’t stand his trial, which is in a week by the way, she loses her house.
Threatened by the local sheriff and afraid that her family could be out in the streets in seven days, she sets out on a determined quest to find her father, a known felon, drug-maker.
Teardrop, her father’s brother advises her to abandon the quest, in his own way. (Doesn’t look pretty)
But Ree is not a person who relents. If she did, they wouldn’t have made a movie about it. 😛
The lengths that Ree goes to find her father is petrifying.
But as the movie goes on, the people whom you hate the most in the first half metamorphose into the ones you respect. They are the ones who are going to have an effect on you after the movie’s credits close.
I wouldn’t say that the movie had this “profound” effect on me but I would say that I held pity for Ree and respect for Teardrop and happy that the movie-people these days recognize sheer audacity and essential purity.
Jennifer Lawrence plays Ree the 17 year old.
Jennifer is subtle, never over-reacting but always at her best throughout the film.
And her Oscar nomination comes as no surprise.
John Hawkes pulls off a convincing performance as Teardrop and is nominated for the biggie as well.
In my personal opinion this movie might not get academy’s attention this year quite frankly because you don’t get to feel the characters even though we have some admirable performances here.
Its a close call this year and I would consider it luck if the movie even grabs a single one.
John Hawkes is the only person who even has a go at it and is highly overpowered by Christian Bale (The Fighter) and Geoffrey Rush(The King’s Speech).
But anybody who loves movies that leave through the lives of real people with real difficulties would definitely hold this movie dear.
Good Effort Debra. Keep up the good work.
127 Hours in about 127 Minutes.
Well, what can I say, Danny Boyle is getting better and better every year.
People who saw the movie earlier told me, “This man, the so-called hero, Aron Ralston, goes to the Canyon and isolates himself from everybody and has a rock crush his hand in the middle of nowhere and is stuck for life and that’s about it”.
Even though it appears that there is a lot of “and”-s in the above statement, the story (if you can even call it one) appeared too thin for me.
How could one write a screenplay for this movie that is produced for the big screen and retain the audience in their seats for almost two hours?
And later did I hear that not one but two people wrote the screenplay together and the movie is a success. 😛
Quite frankly I sat the whole two hours admiring something or the other about what I was watching rather than dropping into a void, devoid of anything, even though that was what the whole movie was about.
The movie is about a man realizing what he is, realizing more than what he is.
Its about the way our minds function when we are desperately craving for something.
Its about the courage that we get when we are thrown into an ocean of difficulties.
Its also about love that drives us from our hearts even though there are moments in which we cannot feel its touch.
Its about the gravest fear that a person could possibly have, not about losing his life, no, but about losing his loved ones forever and ever.
When this fear becomes as a sort of an acceptance, our hearts, lets just say that nobody can stop them from doing what they do. (Pumping blood?? 😛 Should have used the word, our minds? Never mind!)
All these self-inspiring statements! Did I feel all these during the movie? The answer would be “Yes” if I could attach myself to James Franco and “No” if i couldn’t and my compass seems to stagger in the middle without knowing which way to go. James Franco, my heart has become like you, “Stuck”!
James is a dedicated actor, capable of going lengths to perfect his character, but one thing would be…
I wish he could linger a little longer in our minds but sadly he doesn’t.
I, for one, considered him great during the movie and forgot him immediately afterward.
After watching this movie, I think I can safely say that he had a screen presence, which is another way of saying that he is the only one you get to see in the screen most of the time in the movie, except for maybe the couple of cute girls who vanish in a poof.
Its all his hard-work toward this role that has gotten him the Oscar nomination, that’s the important thing.
“James! I am not your great fan but I do have immense respect for you, Congratulations, even though Colin (My King) appears to suck your glory up this year, What can I say, Tough Competition, my friend, Ear to Ear!”
An affectionate pat on the back for Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy for the screenplay.
You really brought in Aron Ralston’s life and his feelings in front of us.
A kudos to AR Rahman. The music is light and goes along the lines of the movie. Nothing special but very good nonetheless.
I would gladly recommend this movie for you if you are one of the fans of movies of physical and mental struggle and survival, not in a “Jurassic Park”-ish way but in a “Cliff-Hanger” ish sort of a way.
But this movie relies mostly on emotion than action which is its upper side.
I wouldn’t consider this my personal favorite. But I can appreciate the good intentions and effort towards making this good motion picture.
Good Luck with the awards!
Today let us evaluate Focus Features’ one more different venture, a FOCUS in a different angle in looking at the lives of American people.
The Kids Are All Right.
This motion picture is very appropriately named.
The kids in the movie are fine, the parents are the ones that aren’t.
Annette Benning and Julianne Moore are together for their lives.
Their children, Josh and Mia are conceived by Artificial Insemination and they live with their “Moms”.
The movie pans through the lives of these people and the movie takes a sudden turn when the kids try to find their biological father, Mark Ruffalo.
I am still not sure why this movie is categorized as a Comedy when all we see is serious stuff.
There wasn’t a single moment when I could laugh out heartily.
And there wasn’t much dark comedy either.
Josh finds Mark to be supportive and encouraging, even though he is not much into him the first time they meet him.
Mia immediately gets along with Mark but finds hatred towards him at a later stage.
Julianne Moore is attracted by Mark and during the course of the movie, succumbs to his charms.
Annette is the only one immune to Mark and her story is a constant struggle to peel Mark off her family when he is becoming closer and closer, her whole family moving farther and farther from her.
Mark, a jolly, not very responsible, person feels that he has found a family at last and tries to strengthen the relationship.
The cast is great. Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo playing irresponsible is a very different track for them and both of them have done well, very well indeed.
Josh and Mia are rising stars and they both do their parts well, Josh better looking and performing than Mia.
But all our hearts would definitely go to Annette Benning.
She is so subtle and so perfect that makes us feel close to her.
She is one of the actresses that have the great capability to replicate her feelings inside of the viewer.
Even though the movie is got a great cast, I wouldn’t say the movie is great.
Mark Ruffalo hangs by a thread in the end.
Julianne Moore is not convincing that she is back for real.
Only Annette and Josh prevent the movie from an otherwise bad ending.
“The Kids are All Right” is a good one-time watch but nothing more.
No regrets but no high regards either.
On a final note what One could understand would be, “However crazy it can be, Family is family.”
This week its time for us to look at the early life of an ordinary person who is capable to doing extra-ordinary things.
When such a portion of a life of a person, his transformation into greatness, is made into a movie for everyone to see, it feels great.
The movie that we are talking about, the movie that has gotten 7 Oscar nominations in this year, 2011, David O. Russell’s “The Fighter”.
The Fighter is a not a film which portrays the life of a hero. It’s about becoming one.
Mark Wahlberg is this ordinary person, Micky Ward. A guy who paves roads, in the suburbs of Lowell, Massachusetts and works out in a gym in a dream to becoming a big time boxing champion like his brother.
But sadly, Micky doesn’t have a doting family but a DOPING one. His brother, Dicky, is a former boxing champion but currently an umemployed person, doper, who tries to live off by getting Micky some petty fights.
The film even starts with HBO running a feature on “Dicky Eklund” portraying him as a bad example of what happens to a person who runs on dope.
This role, as horrendous as it might sound, is played beautifully and meticulously by Christian Bale and is rightly nominated for the Best Supporting Actor category by the Academy.
Amy Adams plays the role of Charlene, Micky’s girlfriend. I can assure that this is not her usual child-like innocent roles. This is different and she is different. The Academy has nodded toward her yet again.
Micky’s mother, Alice is a show-runner and a chain smoker. She, in her hard-mannered self, is the manager for Micky and she decides which match is he gonna be participating in and which he won’t.
She adores Dicky and always supports him. She is a woman that her husband dare cross and she is the mother of so many children with Micky and Dicky as the only boys.
This contemptuous role is played by Melissa Leo and her portrayal makes me want to say, “Melissa! Where were you all this time? ”
She is a natural actor and has proved once again that she can virtually take up any role and bring the character out gracefully.
There is a very good chance that Christian and Melissa might take home the Oscar this year.
The Fighter is not a movie of the growth of a person.
It’s a movie about self realization. It’s about a person’s priorities, importance to one’s family while satisfying his own desires.
It’s about his family realizing how important that person is to them.
It’s about the people who love that man in spite of their own differences and stand by him in his success and unify in their pure love towards that one person who represent all the good that they have in them.
It’s about you overcome your own desires and place your heart and soul in one person and bring him up to bring yourself up.
It’s about being a ladder rather than a climber and the hand that supports the climber.
Finally its about that person as well in balancing everything around him, trying not to disappoint anybody who has placed faith in him.
The Fighter is about coming together and being together as one.
This movie wouldn’t motivate or impress you in any way.
But, if you are a person who likes a good story, told as it actually is, plainly, without exaggeration, then this movie is definitely for you.
Go see it. You will feel SATISFIED.
A warm welcome to read and review a fantastic movie of all times, Christopher Nolan’s own, Inception.
There were several adjectives that were popping-up in my mind while and after watching this movie and the one word that I found to be perfect to fit this movie’s description was “Spec-ta-cular!”
For a start, consider the name of the movie.
The name in itself, means several things to me.
Although, in its original sense, it is the beginning of a new fully formed idea in one’s mind.
But it seems to me that it means the beginning of an ERA of a new genre in movies, “Nolan”, as I would call it, as this movie can be classified under twister, thriller, action-buster, Mystery, Sci-Fi and several others.
This movie also marks the beginning for a great career for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page and Tom Hardy.
This movie is and will be a fore-runner for several other movies to come.
This movie is a very welcoming change after we were awed by the 3D effects of the Avatar last year. This movie, being in 2D, gives us an equivalent or even higher surge than Avatar.
Leonardo Dicaprio is a natural conman. No wonder, Christopher Nolan chose him to play Cobb.
A man who can not only steal ideas from others’ minds, but can also plant one when needed.
He plays a dark character who is defined by his own guilt and trying hard to free himself.
He assembles a team and leads them into an abyss of his own mind to do so.
One might consider him selfish, but not so selfish after all when one learns his past.
Good Acting my man, but not Oscar-worthy!!
I thought, Marion Cotillard looked like an angel in dreams. Later during the course of the movie I discovered that she is not real, she is indeed a part of Leonardo’s dream. Can’t blame him, poor fella!!
Joseph has done justice to his role as Arthur, the hitman. He is precise and amazes us with his great effort in intense fighting sequences.
Tom Hardy! Just one question in my mind, “Where were you all this time?”
This witty but serious British actor has gotten critical acclaim in this movie and its deserving.
Ellen Page is wonderful as usual, as she plays the whiz-kid, Ariadne.
Cillian Murphy has underplayed a tough role with plenty of ease.
And the best thing about the movie, the one that you would never forget, would be the spinning top.
Leaves you blind, that snotty little ******* 😛
Great original screenplay written directly for the big screen.
Makes you think, “Man’s Mind can move in mysterious ways”.
Makes you ask, “Oh Nolan!, How does your mind form a complex idea on ideas or Did someone plant this idea in your mind?” LOL!!
The movie’s tagline read, “Your mind is the scene of the crime”.
But I wanted to say, “Your mind is your ultimate foe”, considering Cobb’s version of his wife, Mal, who is the reason for all the tantrum in this film. No fun without though!!
And now, its time for me to make some personal acknowledgments.
I would bow low and salute to three extra-ordinary people without whom the movie wouldn’t have accomplished so much.
Hans Zimmer – The whole movie hall reverberated with his wonderful original score. Gives me the goose-bumps.
Wally Pfister – The cinematographer who has made Christopher Nolan’s dream into an enchanting reality
Lee Smith – The editor who has edited this movie into perfection.
You have done a great job guys!!!
I am happy that the movie has received 8 Oscar Nominations this year.
But I am really unhappy as Lee Smith is left out of the race.
The worthy competitors in this category for Lee would be Angus Wall & Kirk Baxter (The Social Network) and Andrew Weisblum (Black Swan).
I am not even sure as to why people such as Pamela Martin (The Fighter) has gotten nominated in the Best Film Editing Category, “No offense Pamela!”.
I would be very happy if this movie is presented with an academy award for the Best Screenplay, Background Score and Cinematography, even though, the competition is tough.
Good Luck and Oscar or not, Inception Rocks!!! (without dispute).
An Unrivaled Truth.
I wouldn’t have imagined in a very distant dream that a movie, about a prince (who stutters) and a friendly teacher, is going to be nominated for the highest number of awards in 2011.
It is un-imaginable when one hears that the movie has got 14 BAFTA nominations and 12 Oscar Nominations.
Oh! What’s so huge about this movie that it deserves all this credit, one might ask and wonder. (I am typing single handed as my other arm rests on my chin, wondering :D)
I have been seeing the rise of a shining star in the British Horizon and the star is Supernova now.
He is bright (“Harry Bright” in “Mamma Mia” ), virtuous (“Mr.Whittaker” in “Easy Virtue”) and accomplished. (“George” in “A Single Man” in which he received his first Oscar Nomination and won the BAFTA award)
Colin Andrew Firth. An Actor who has, how do I put it, learnt the trick.:P
I would love to go on and on about Colin, but that’s not what my blog title says. So, with a deep bow, let me trod into the deep realms of my mind to extract some meaningful and interesting thoughts about “The King’s Speech”.
On a factual note, This movie is about the English Prince Bertie(Albert Frederick Arthur George) and his ascension to the British throne after his father’s death.
Now, One might ask, “Oh! Come on…. When the father dies, the son, OBVIOUSLY (snort), has to become the King. Whats so surprising about it?”
One, Bertie is not the first son to King George the Fifth. He is the second.
Two, he lacks one of the mandatory qualities that is required to a successful monarch. Eloquence.
With a hard task at hand, we enter into the life of Bertie. (King George the Sixth)
The excellent artwork in the movie literally transports us to the good old city of London, 1930.
Cold Mist surrounds London and Bertie’s mind is as fogged as the city as he is in a position that requires public speaking as a mandate.
Bertie’s wife, Elizabeth (played by the exquisite Helena Bonham Carter), wants to perfect his speech. She tries to push him to speak better but all her attempts end in vain. And when all her options are exhausted, she finds hope in a common man, an Australian, living in London, Dr.Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush).
The Prince is not immediately pleased with Lionel. But he understands Lionel’s methods after a comical incident. Even though the Prince’s heart doesn’t approve of Lionel’s ways, he wills himself to be treated by Lionel.
Lionel ultimately discovers that Bertie’s lack of eloquence is not just because of his speaking abilities but of his mental abilities and he realizes that his cure lies in building a confidence inside of Bertie in addition to the current Voice-improving methods.
Lionel has to gain confidence to the Prince, the now-King in order to boost his confidence.
But his best intentions and sincere attempts go wrong and the training sessions stop.
But eventually Bertie comes around with the help and support from his wife, Elizabeth and gets back on track with Lionel.
The movie ends with King George the Sixth (Bertie) making his first and successful wartime broadcast with the help and support from his friend and trainer, Lionel.
My heart says, “Not so quick!”. But I were to say more, then one would not be able to see a single statement without spoilers. And I would really hate to spoil one more if I haven’t done so already.
Colin Firth stutters and make our hearts stutter, makes the theater halls shudder.
Helena Bonham Carter pulls off a quiet and dignified performance as Elizabeth.
Geoffrey Rush. Rush, rush, rush.
All the good words would come rushing out of our hearts when we think about Mr.Rush.
This Australian is cast to play an Australian doctor who doesn’t consider himself as one.
And he has done beautifully.
Overall, Tom Hooper has shown us all an extract from the British Lives from the earliest 19th century.
Bravo! And, Good luck fellas. The competition’s too thick this year. (As Always :P)
See you soon with another episode as we traverse through the Oscar List. Arrivederci!
Well, Lights On, Camera and Action.. We are back with yet another episode of “A Glimpse at the Oscars 2011”, this time featuring Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan”.
Oh! How to begin this blog, to start writing about this extra-ordinary movie…. I am just as confused now, as I was, as everybody was, in the aftermath of the movie.
It’s kinda become my habit to come out, paralyzed, after watching one of Darren’s creations.
I did not even recognize Darren’s name as the movie began, Did I?
But, (I say this with an evil smile) It was all good. Because, if I had known, I would have predicted something, would have been prejudiced even.
It would have spoiled the whole thing.
It would have prevented me from having an out of control experience.
“Oh! But I did have one”.
OK, I guess we have had enough of the “Prologue”.
Lets get this review under way..
Nina Sayers is a perfectionist.
She has a quiet normal life.
She is a dedicated dancer at a Ballet Company.
She lives with her mom who completely adores her.
No Boyfriends, No Commitments.
Her whole life is about her being the White Swan, a timid but noble princess who has been cursed to lead a life of a swan, who tries to redeem her lost love to become whole again.
But we wouldn’t let her be the White Swan, Would we? 😛
When the main ballerina in the company, Beth is forced to retire, Nina is chosen to play the lead role, the Swan Queen, a role that requires her to play both the White Swan and the Black Swan.
Needless to say, Black Swan is a dark character who should seduce Prince Charming away from the White Swan.
As Thomas the lead instructor of the Ballet company puts it, Nina is a perfect choice for the White Swan.
But can she really be the Black Swan? That is the real question.
Nina wants her to be perfect in both the roles but how far would she go to achieve this perfection?
As she gravitates towards her being a Black Swan in the play, Is she becoming one in her real life?
The movie takes us into the deepest and darkest corners of Nina’s mind.
Her ambitions, her obsessions, her illusions, her delusions.
As you are watching the movie, at a certain point, you won’t be able to explain what is happening on the screen.
You would only become numb and hold on tight to your seats to seek a sane explanation for what you are seeing.
In the end, when Nina parades through the stage as the Black Swan, all you wish to do would be to clap, clap hard.
The whole theatre was reverberating with thunderous applause, both on screen and off screen.
As the movie closes, Nina says “I was perfect”.
And my pulsating heart said to me, “The movie was perfect”.
After all this is said, if I don’t comment and commend on performances, I would consider myself mad.
Natalie Portman pulls off a stunning performance as Nina Sayers.
Her metamorphosis from the White Swan to Black Swan is absolutely terrifying.
As every time you see the movie, you would see Natalie differently.
As I was watching this movie, a crazy thought crossed my mind.
I know for sure that Natalie Portman had learned Ballet to play this role.
But if i were to give the best Ballet Dancer award to someone who worked in the movie, I would rather go for Matthew Libatique.
If you are not aware who Matthew is, he is the movie’s cinematographer.
Do not think I am going loopy here but as Natalie dances, the camera literally dances alongside her in the movie.
“Matthew, You and your camera are the best Ballet Partners, man!!”
Last but not the least, we should not be forgetting the poor guy who patiently sat with the video and audio and edited the movie into perfection, Andrew Weisblum.
You are my hero, Andrew!!
To conclude, This is one of those movies that can never tire a viewer even after several viewings.
Darren, Congratulations on pulling all this together into a wholesome master-piece.
This is a highly bet race horse at the oscars, this year! Alas, we will have to wait till Feb17th to know.
Go watch this movie if you haven’t seen it yet and anything might happen.
You may even come to face the dark side inside of you. (Oh! Do not ask me if I did, LOL)
Au Revoir!! Meet you soon with yet another master-p-p-piece soon.