Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oscar and Social Network are now friends

There will be plenty of time for in-depth discussion later. For now, these are just initial impressions. Here are this year's ten nominees for Best Picture.

127 Hours
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

Ten contenders instead of five again yields nice results for movies that otherwise would have been denied this sort of recognition. Inception's inclusion is a nice continuing apology to Christopher Nolan for leaving out The Dark Knight back in 2008...after all, that whole incident is the reason the rules changed, so it's fitting. This is a pretty respectable group. The only one that kinda pisses me off is The Kids Are All Right. There's good acting in it, but also some really lame plot twists that turned a movie that seemed unpredictable into something extremely predictable. Hard to explain more without spoiling, but it's a stretch to even call it "all right," let alone worthy of the top Oscar.

Still, the real question is....can anything beat The Social Network? Facebook's origin story has been such a behemoth in the pre-Oscar playoffs that these other movies might as well be Friendster or Myspace. I'd say only two of its fellow nominees have any chance. First is The King's Speech, which has the most total nominations and that never hurts. It's a lot more of a crowdpleaser than it looks on first glance, and I could see a scenario where it pulls a Shakespeare in Love over the next month or so and manages an upset. The other major player is The Fighter, which is already poised to lay waste to the acting categories. Start your uninspired boxing puns now. It's a "contender!" It could "TKO" the competition! Etc etc so on and so forth.

Let's take a quick look at Animated Feature since I know a lot of people who read this are interested in that. Here are those nominees.

How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Hey, we got to find out the two movies who get to lose to Toy Story 3! In terms of quality, How to Train Your Dragon is a worthy opponent...but it's still going to get blown away. The Illusionist is a bit of a surprise...sorry, Rapunzel. I'm a big Sylvain Chomet fan, so I'd love to see it. It just has to open somewhere within 100 miles of me first. Hopefully soon.

You know the drill. More detailed predictions closer to the event.

All nominees here.

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