Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oscar Nominations!

I didn't post yesterday because I couldn't think of anything to say. I've been working so much on the book that my brain is kind of fried. The good news is that I've made a ton of headway - the manuscript is totally formatted and ready, including pictures, I got my ISBN number (that's the identifying number every book has, usually with the bar code on the back), and now all that's left is to find someone to review the book and supply a blurb for the cover (I did get someone cool to agree to read it, but I don't know yet if he'll like it) and get the cover designed. I'm not doing the cover design myself because I'm not an incredibly visual or artistic person and I want it to actually be good. =)

Somebody took a picture of me at the LA Actor's Tweetup on Monday night:


That's me and my new jacket (second from left, y'all).

I've been rather boring in the health department. Eating my three-fried beans, some of this:

(That would be salad) And some of these:

(Veggie burgers)
And lots of spinach, for some reason. Loving spinach. Oh, and edamame! I've been eating that like crazy because it's so easy to take on the go.

For workouts I've been riding the exercise bike, doing Pilates, walking, and lifting weights. I actually did a bunch of side bends yesterday so I'm sore in weird places.

But anyways, that's all kinda boring. And I'm not here to be boring, so let's talk movies! The Oscar nominations came out yesterday, and I've seen all but a couple of the major contenders.

Best Picture:
127 Hours: I just saw this tonight. OMG. OMG. Hyperventilating just thinking about it. This movie was so stressful yet amazing. The directing is fantastic and interesting, and some of the visuals are just mind-blowing. You know it's a good movie when you're totally drawn into the story even though you know how it ends.
Black Swan: I wrote about Black Swan when I saw it on Christmas and now I've actually seen it twice. I think it's an incredible movie and Natalie Portman is absolutely amazing in it. It explores the gruesome apex of perfectionism. I saw some of my worst characteristics reflected in Nina, which was a little disturbing.
The Fighter: I regret that I haven't seen this yet. I'll fix that soon.
Inception: Ah, this movie is amazing. Unfortunately, because it came out this summer and didn't get much of a marketing push, it's largely being overlooked this awards season. That's really unfortunate because this movie is not just a visual stunner, it also has an engaging story and some incredible emotional acting (Leo DiCaprio and Marion Cotillard especially). And come on, that zero-gravity fight scene in the hallway is amazing.
The Kids Are All Right: I saw this back in August. I still don't get this title, but the movie is good. It's a nice story of a marriage, and I like that it admits that relationships don't have clear rules. Do you leave someone because they cheat on you? Can you feel an attraction to someone of a gender you're not usually attracted to?
The King's Speech: I just saw this last week and I liked it. But it's kind of a sweet, small movie, and not really what I would classify as BEST picture.
The Social Network: I haven't seen this! I suck!
Toy Story 3: Ditto!
True Grit: I definitely liked this movie. It's like a tall tale come to life, and it's shot beautifully. The performances are great as well as surprising. Rooster Cockburn (Jeff Bridges) talks constantly, LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) is quirky, annoying, and endearing, and Mattie (Hailee Steinfeld) is like a 14-year-old going on 40. And the ending is oh-so Coen Brothers.
Winter's Bone: I wrote about this a couple months ago. The story is very dark, the setting is bleak, and the acting is great - you can't believe that a couple of them are actors and not actually the characters (especially Dale Dickey). There's also an interesting twist at the end.

There was some controversy last year when the Academy expanded the Best Picture race from five nominees to ten, but I'm glad they did. I think it makes it more interesting, spices up the race, and includes some deserving pictures that might otherwise have been overlooked (like Inception).

Highlights of the other races:
Best Actress: This needs to be Natalie Portman. She is so fully committed to this character that it's unbelievable. I haven't seen Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole or Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine (though I hear great things about that movie and hope to see it soon), but I can't imagine anyone deserving this more. Jennifer Lawrence was good in Winter's Bone, but no way was it better than Natalie Portman. Same for Annette Bening. I like her, and a lot of people are saying it's her year, but I think that is more because she's been in the business a long time, made a good movie, and people want to recognize her. That is not how the Best Actress race should be decided.

Best Actor: I'm at a bit of a handicap because I haven't seen The Social Network or Biutiful. But from what I've seen and heard, both are impressive performances. Jeff Bridges is very fun in True Grit, and Colin Firth is one kick-ass stammerer in The King's Speech. But I have to root for James Franco in this. His performance was so incredible because he's the focus of the entire movie, crammed in a little crevice, and he's captivating. His emotional journey is exhausting and a revelation. And of course, he makes a great pain face. Seriously, holy shit. He deserves the Oscar.

Best Supporting Actress: I really want to see The Fighter to see Amy Adams, who I've heard is great. Helena Bonham Carter is certainly fine in The King's Speech, and it's nice to see her not being Tim Burton-ed out, but it wasn't earth-shattering. C'mon. Hailee Steinfeld was not actually a supporting actress in True Grit (she's in every scene!) but oh well, that's political.

Best Supporting Actor: Once again, I need to see The Fighter. John Hawkes is amazing in Winter's Bone, so I'm glad he got nominated. He's just so believable, you forget he's acting. He's also menacing and frightening, which is different from the last movie I saw him in, Me and You and Everyone We Know. Geoffrey Rush is good. Jeremy Renner is good. Mark Ruffalo is adorable in The Kids Are All Right, but he's still Mark Ruffalo. You could have transplanted him from that Reese Witherspoon ghost movie. I really wish Leonardo DiCaprio could have been nominated for Inception instead (though it's kind of a leading role, but whatevs! He actually should have gotten nominated for Lead Actor for Shutter Island and bumped out Jeff Bridges...).

So much to discuss!
Have you seen any of the Oscar contenders? What are your thoughts? Who are you rooting for? Did any movies or actors not get nominated that you thought were more deserving? I want to know!


  1. Oh, I am so out of touch. I honestly can't remember the last time I went to the cinema! The only one of those I've seen is Toy Story - a lovely tearjerker, but doesn't feel Oscar-y.

    I absolutely adore Amy Adams and Natalie Portman, so I would love to see them do well. I can't help but feel that the Colin Firth nomination is a bit bandwagon-ish. It strikes me as similar to the reaction to Jennifer Aniston in The Good Girl - when an actor plays exactly the same role in every movie for a long time, people tend to overreact when they do something different.

    The Kids are Alright is one I am itching to see, but it might be the sort of thing I won't be able to persuade anyone else to see with me!

  2. Becca - I definitely agree with you about "bandwagoning" on to a performance. Also, so much of it is political... You should see The Kids Are All Right. I saw it with my mom and grandma and they both really liked it.

  3. Ugh, to be honest, I hated the Kids Are Alright. While would be open to an exploration of the fluidity of attraction and sexuality, I thought it was a variation on the overdone theme that deep down, every lesbian is craving hot hetero sex. I think it's getting a lot of acclaim because of it's portrayal of a same sex family, but I don't think it has done much to further the LGBT movement or to question stereotypes. Separately from that, I thought the acting was brilliant. Gorgeous photo! I thought I saw you at TJ's on Sunday...Santa Monica and Fuller (is that the cross street?) close to the Target on Santa Monica and La Brea...but I could have been way off!

  4. I totally get your point. That's how I felt about the movie before I saw it, and I guess when I actually saw it I got sucked into the characters enough that I overlooked it. I've been trying to remember if I was at that TJ's on Sunday... it's entirely possible...