I've been an Oscar lover forever and religiously watch the show every year. I have always, however, questioned how much they really matter. To be honest, ever since Diane Lane lost the Best Actress award for Unfaithful to Nicole Kidman's portrayal in The Hours in 2003, I thought about boycotting the awards all together. A lot of the votes may seem like they're not based on talent, but around politics. With just under 6,000 voting members though, a win signifies that for the most part, the awards go to the people who deserve them. Maybe.
You probably already know what's nominated this year, but the list is below in any case. For Best Picture, the nominees are:
The King's Speech
The Social Network
The Kids Are All Right
Toy Story 3
My favorites from the nominees are Inception and The Social Network. (Please note though that I haven't yet gotten the chance to view True Grit or Winter's Bone but have heard good things about both.)
The King's Speech is most likely going to win, and it will be a surprise, and probably labeled as an "upset" if it doesn't. Does it deserve the Best Picture award? Depends on what you like, and on a lot of things, really. I thought it was a really good film... well done and kept my interest. I don't think I was as in love with it as other people who saw it. So, maybe I'm in the minority for liking it, and not loving it.
The Social Network has a ton of excellent elements. David Fincher took a story based around a brilliant computer geek's face-smash/thefacebook/facebook (failures and accomplishments) and manipulated it into a dark, sophisticated, intriguing film. The cinematography and music complement the film even further. In my eyes, Fincher deserves the Best Director award.
Inception was the other favorite of mine because it was so different from any other film and because it was just awesome. (It's definitely a little confusing and extremely intense, so if you haven't seen it yet but plan to, I'd recommend not talking or having any distraction throughout the entire movie.) As the viewer, you're immersed in all levels of this dreamworld and even if you have no idea what level you're on (or even any idea about what the hell is going on), it's so worth every minute. The ending was brilliant, and left everyone wondering "does the spinning top fall or keep spinning?" i.e., should I feel happy or is this poor guy still in limbo?! (Christopher Nolan was not nominated in the Best Director category for this film. Um... s-n-u-b!)
Some quick reviews on the other films nominated not already mentioned above...
Black Swan - actually liked this a lot more than I thought I would based on the very strange preview. Really well done and super intense.
The Fighter - I think anyone could like this movie. Great story.
The Kids Are All Right - loved this one! Superbly acted and scripted.
127 Hours - think Cast Away without Wilson. Some people hesitate on this one because of the ending, but it's got a lot going for it, so you can shy your eyes away for a few minutes and enjoy the rest.
Toy Story 3 - totally cute and fun for the whole family.
Now, onto other debatable categories...
For Best Actress in a Leading Role - can this award please be given to Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right? That woman is so talented and totally deserves this award for her incredible performance. Natalie Portman, also very good in Black Swan, will most likely win.
For Best Actor in a Supporting Role - this is the hardest category to pick a winner. The award should either go to Christian Bale for The Fighter or Geoffrey Rush for The King's Speech. Both of their performances were top-notch. Bale once again literally becomes his character and Rush's incredible subtleties are so wonderful that while I was watching The King's Speech, I was thinking "he better get the Oscar for this role!" Then again, watching Christian Bale as a burnt-out crackhead versus him as Batman really shows how amazing his acting range is. So, we'll see! I'm torn on this one completely... good luck to both!
For Best Music (Original Score) - for those of you who know me well, I'm trying to take my bias (okay, okay, total love and obsession) for Trent Reznor out of the equation. But, Reznor's score with Atticus Ross for The Social Network was phenomenal. This award belongs either to them, or to Hans Zimmer for his equally phenomenal score for Inception.
I don't have any hands-down favorites for many of the other categories. Can't wait for Sunday to see all the beautiful celebrities and talents presenting the great films of this year and accepting their awards.