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I wish I cared. This is the first Oscars in memory where I am not passionate about ANY of the categories. And by passionate I mean I don’t even hate anything (*cough*TheBlindSpot*cough). Last year I wanted “The Hurt Locker” and Kathryn Bigelow to win and thank God, they did.
Sometimes it’s even more fun to root against something. So I’ve decided the best I can do is root against Melissa Leo for Best Supporting Actress in “The Fighter.”
To me, Christian Bale was the only good thing about that movie. I not only grew up in the Boston area, I lived in Lowell, Mass., for five years. He was great. Melissa was over the top. And I normally love her. She’s amazing. Not this time. And then there’s that whole thing with putting out “for your consideration” ads for herself. Not cool.
Why Amy Adams is even on the list is beyond me. Hailee Steinfeld should win. I’m not even into “True Grit,” but she was the best thing in it and it was a lead role.
I would be happy if Natalie Portman lost Best Actress to Annette Bening or Jennifer Lawrence, but that’s a pipe dream.
“Social Network” vs. “The King’s Speech”? Meh. I liked both. I’d be OK with both. I prefer “Social” mostly because it’s very right now, whereas “King’s Speech” is evergreen. But I’m shrugging either way.
I just want Ricky Gervais to host. Then I’d care.
Anyway, on to the fashions. I admire Jennifer Lawrence for going for a simple red dress with little makeup and jewelry. I love what Sharon Stone is doing — and that Sharon Stone is still very much Sharon Stone, know what I mean?
No one does this. No one just wears a simple red dress without the frills, without jewels, without smoky eyes or whatever. Love this. Jennifer Lawrence is showing a lot of confidence to do this. Good for her.
I really like Hailee Steinfeld. She knows how to dress for her age (14) and act her age, without being obnoxious. I want to see her in something better than “True Grit.”
Frankenstein’s bride meets Cruella De Vil meets Sharon Stone, who is a goddess. I just love her. And I miss her. Not as much as I miss Cher, but still. (And, yes, that’s meant to be a compliment. Take it or leave it!)
Wow. Matthew McConaughey has never been my cup of tea, but he has great taste in women. His girlfriend, Camila Alves, looks insane. Definitely the best significant other of the night.
I like the simple stuff. This is what I like about Reese Witherspoon. It’s actually one of the only things I like about her. She doesn’t do anything for me as an actress. But she has great style. And I love her hair in this ponytail.
I love this. Jennifer Hudson should just be “Jennifer” or “Hudson” now since she lost half of herself in the past few years. This is tangerine, I guess. It should clash with the carpet, but it doesn’t. Even the side boob isn’t too much.
Halle Berry is timeless. And if Halle Berry can’t find a decent boyfriend/husband, I’m thinking no one else should even try.
Is Melissa Leo trying to be the new Helena Bonham Carter? Because she can’t pull it off. She can’t pull off HBC or Tilda Swinton. Or Bjork. So she should stop trying. Melissa is awesome and actually quite beautiful, but she makes the oddest choices.
I expect Anne Hathaway to wear something simple and classy and instead she wears a busy dress that clashes with the carpet. She’s co-hosting, so I’m sure she’ll wear 100 things before the night is done, but this is the red carpet dress. I’m disappointed.
I’m too lazy to look it up, but many moons ago Cate Blanchett wore this amazing metallic dress to … I think it was the Oscars. Now she’s wearing this. She and Michelle Williams seem to be channeling the same brain and unfortunately I’m on a different wavelength. I trust that they know better, but I’m just not impressed.
I don’t mind Marisa Tomei. Sometimes I even like her. But this dress is incredibly unflattering.
Ugh. Nicole Kidman is always a lock for the best dressed lists. Now she’s just … wtf? Why do hip wings exist? And I’m not into the ruby slippers.
I like the simplicity of Jennifer Lawrence’s red gown, but I don’t like this on Sandra Bullock. Not only is she missing the required, uh, assets upstairs, she looks pale-in-a-bad-way and her face looks too tight. I don’t like her hair either. Sorry.
Mark Wahlberg’s wife, Rhea Durham, wins for worst-dressed significant other.
I love Penelope Cruz, but this dress — with her ta-tas hanging out — is a little too night-out-in-Vegas for me. The color is great on her, but it looks kinda cheap. I feel like I could buy this down the street.
I think my problem is with the stuff over the boobs. When she was talking to Ryan Seacrest on the carpet, I kept thinking that lace stuff was going to give a wardrobe malfunction. I do love the color, though. It’s not her, though. I don’t see this kind of romantic thing for her.
I like this dress for someone else, just not Hilary Swank. That’s all.
Christian Bale needs to shave and his gorgeous wife, Sibi, needs to come up with a second hairstyle. She has worn her hair in this center part forever. There’s nothing wrong with mixing things up every so often.
I don’t like Scarlett Johansson’s messy hair, but at least she’s not doing the Hillary Clinton helmet anymore. The top of her dress looks too sheer. It looks like we can see her bra. Why do men just wear tuxes? So boring.
I don’t know. Fine. Sure. Whatever. Natalie Portman. Color is good.
Busy Philipps and Michelle Williams were holding hands as they arrived on the red carpet. I don’t know how I feel about Michelle’s very simple, color-less, fitted dress. I wish she would do something exciting for once. On the red carpet, I mean. Beyond holding Busy’s hand.
“Winter’s Bone” just robbed a bank. I love it.
Not only did it get itself one of the 10 Best Picture nominations — and it wouldn’t if we were back to the much more reasonable 5 — it got a well-deserved Best Actress nod for star Jennifer Lawrence and a very surprising Best Supporting Actor nod for my boy John Hawkes.
I can’t even tell you how happy I was to see his name.
He was astounding in “Winter’s Bone,” but he’s great in everything. He’s one of those journeyman actors I just sort of take for granted and never expect to see on a nominations list because he’s not flashy.
He’s not pushing for an Oscar like Christian Bale (who will probably win) or Natalie Portman (who will win). He’s just awesome. “Deadwood.” “Lost.” “The Perfect Storm.” “American Gangster.” “Eastbound & Down.”
The guy’s been in everything. Just check out his IMDb profile. You’ve seen him.
Of course, some people are calling Andrew Garfield of “The Social Network” an Oscar snub, saying he should’ve gotten one of the supporting actor nods. Bull. I loved “The Social Network,” but bull. I’m not seeing the “It” factor with Andrew Garfield and I even sat through “The Red Riding” trilogy.
I loved “Winter’s Bone” and it’s a helluva lot better than “True Grit,” even though I give Hailee Steinfeld all the credit in the world … for a leading performance.
She’s in just about every scene, so why did they stick her in the Actress in a Supporting Role category? Bull again.
But maybe they figured she could win over the supporting ladies when she can’t beat Natalie Portman. No one can.
“True Grit” is one of the most overrated films of the year, I’d say, although there are still plenty of films I need to see.
This is not the year to stick with the 10 Best Picture nominees, especially when there are still only five Best Director slots. Yes, “Inception” directed itself.
I loved “The King’s Speech” but should it win Best Picture? Should it win as much as it probably will? I’m not sure. It’s kind of an evergreen film. You could pop that out at any point. It’s not timely. “The Social Network” is very right now. And it’s amazing how David Fincher turned a story about guys sitting at computers into something exciting, urgent and even emotional. I think that’s the film of this year, as opposed to any year.
Here are the top films I still have to see, if they ever come near me or to Netflix:
Blue Valentine (dying to see this)
127 Hours (dying to see this)
Animal Kingdom (What the hell is this? I only heard of it when I saw Jacki Weaver’s name on the supporting actress list)
Rabbit Hole (although I’m not really dying to see it; it was already a play and once it’s been done… just like “True Grit,” I guess)
Biutiful (Go Javier Bardem! This is Colin Firth’s win, but good for the Spanish hottie)
Here’s the full list of nominations:
“Black Swan,” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
“The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
“Inception,” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
“The Kids Are All Right,” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
“The King’s Speech,” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
“127 Hours,” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
“The Social Network,” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán, Producers
“Toy Story 3″ Darla K. Anderson, Producer
“True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“Winter’s Bone” Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers
Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”
James Franco in “127 Hours”
Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone”
Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech”
Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone”
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”
Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech”
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”
Animated Feature Film
“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3″ Lee Unkrich
“Alice in Wonderland”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1″
“The King’s Speech”
“Black Swan,” Matthew Libatique
“Inception,” Wally Pfister
“The King’s Speech,” Danny Cohen
“The Social Network,” Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit,” Roger Deakins
“Alice in Wonderland,” Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love,” Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King’s Speech,” Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest,” Sandy Powell
“True Grit” Mary Zophres
“Black Swan,” Darren Aronofsky
“The Fighter,” David O. Russell
“The King’s Speech,” Tom Hooper
“The Social Network,” David Fincher
“True Grit,” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
“Exit through the Gift Shop,” Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz
“Gasland,” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job,” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo,” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
“Waste Land,” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley
Documentary (Short Subject)
“Killing in the Name”
“Strangers No More”
“Sun Come Up”
“The Warriors of Qiugang”
“The King’s Speech”
“The Social Network”
Foreign Language Film
“In a Better World,” Denmark
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi),” Algeria
“Barney’s Version,” Adrien Morot
“The Way Back,” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
“The Wolfman,” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
Music (Original Score)
“How to Train Your Dragon,” John Powell
“Inception,” Hans Zimmer
“The King’s Speech,” Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours,” A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network,” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Music (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong,” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from “Tangled,” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours,” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3,” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Short Film (Animated)
“Day & Night,” Teddy Newton
“The Gruffalo,” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let’s Pollute,” Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing,” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois
Short Film (Live Action)
“The Confession,” Tanel Toom
“The Crush,” Michael Creagh
“God of Love,” Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe,” Ivan Goldschmidt
“Wish 143,” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite
“Inception,” Richard King
“Toy Story 3,” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy,” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit,” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable,” Mark P. Stoeckinger
“Inception,” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
“The King’s Speech,” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt,” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
“The Social Network,” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit,” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
“Alice in Wonderland,” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1,” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter,” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
“Inception,” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
“Iron Man 2,” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“127 Hours,” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
“The Social Network,” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3,” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
“True Grit,” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Winter’s Bone,” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
Writing (Original Screenplay)
“Another Year,” Written by Mike Leigh
“The Fighter,” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
“Inception,” Written by Christopher Nolan
“The Kids Are All Right,” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
“The King’s Speech,” Screenplay by David Seidler
In my fantasy land, I’m wearing a green dress to the Golden Globe Awards. And the Oscars. And the SAG Awards. And everywhere else. Because green is the way to go, as Scarlett Johansson proved at the MTV Movie Awards.
Thankfully, Hollywood paid attention. Lots of green. And lots of red. (Thanks Sofia Vergara, January Jones and Christina Hendricks!)
Unfortunately they also went for nude/blush tones and I have never been a big fan. Natalie Portman even tried to combine the blush and red in an epic fail. (But I still don’t think she looked as bad as Heidi Klum.)
See below for my best and worst from the night.
Catherine Zeta-Jones upstaged her not-that-sick-anymore husband, Michael Douglas —which is probably how he likes it and why he married her — in arguably my favorite gown of the night. I had forgotten how gorgeous she is. She reminded me.
I think January Jones is the most consistently interesting person on any red carpet. She was my favorite at the Emmys (except her hair) and I love her bold statement here. She is so confident when it comes to fashion, so why does she suck so bad as a “Saturday Night Live” host? She’s even dating the hottest SNL guy, Jason Sudeikis. I don’t get it. Anyway, I love this look. She is beyond stunning.
Angelina Jolie wore emerald earrings to the Oscars … was it last year? No, I think maybe the year before. Can’t remember. Anyway, she wore those gorgeous earrings with a bland black dress and this time she’s covering up her scrawny frame in a full green dress. At least she looked good while Ricky Gervais trashed her film, “The Tourist.” Awkward! He really knows how to get the groans.
Mila Kunis, the other hottie from “Black Swan,” also wore green. She looks just like the elder daughter from “Modern Family.” I think it’s funny that both Mila and her “Black Swan” buddy, Natalie Portman, have almost identical movies coming out. Mila’s is called “Friends with Benefits” and Natalie’s is “No Strings Attached.” That trend sucks.
I love Elisabeth Moss, even if she is a Scientologist. What do I care. She looks great and looking great is the best revenge. (Take that, Fred Armisen!) This is not my favorite green dress, but I’m all-in when it comes to green tonight.
Miss Hailee was amazing in “True Grit” (which was otherwise just OK to me) and looks gorgeous here. Sleek hair! I love sleek hair.
I like Amy Adams, even if I wasn’t that into her in “The Fighter.” But I was only into Christian Bale in “The Fighter.”
Speaking of Christian, why is he all of a sudden always gushing about his wife?
Actually, I know the answer: He’s trying so hard to win an Oscar for “The Fighter.”
So can we love him now? I miss loving him.
And what did he say to Roberto De Niro?
She knows. She knows exactly what she’s doing. Look at her. When is “Mad Men” coming back? By the way, look at what they’re doing to Johnny Depp in this shot. AP recalled this but I’m keeping it.
Sofia! Always looks good. Doesn’t know how not to. Love the back. Baby got back, for sure. Love or hate? Hit up FabSugar’s poll.
Holy crap. When is Halle Berry going to look just average? Her perpetual beauty is getting to be annoying.
See. This is how good it looks when you keep it simple. Granted, Claire Danes is a bit too thin, but I looooove this simply chic look.
Sandra Bullock has given up. The hair. The dress. So far from her big Oscar moment. Sad.
Natalie Portman is pregnant but for heaven’s sake, she’s not THAT pregnant. She recently got even tinier for “Black Swan” so it’s kind of funny how in the same 365 days she’ll probably be at her smallest (ballet dancer) and largest (preggers!) as an adult woman. Anyway, the dress is ugly.
There are at least three dresses in this one dress. Oh Hope. The blue is nice, anyway.
This is one of my biggest disappointments. Juliana Margulies is not Tilda Swinton, I don’t expect her to look bad. She’s gorgeous and this dress does not flatter.
Jennifer Lopez does not look good here. She normally does, but it doesn’t work this time. Blah. I don’t like how she overdoes her face.
How did Lea Michele end up on the worst list? She’s usually so good at keeping it simple and glam, but she goes overboard here. And it keeps bunching in the wrong places.
Look, no one loves Michelle Williams more than I do. But this cute hippie look is just not right. And it’s not flattering. Frown.
The one and only. The woman. The myth. The legend. The Tilda.
How could I forget Helena Bonham Carter! She is the new Bjork. I adore her. The SHOES! Watch “The King’s Speech” and join me in wishing you lived in Geoffrey Rush’s office.
Olivia Wilde was one of the first ladies to hit the red carpet. I loved her Cinderella dress and didn’t even mind her bangs. But the shoes. Too much for me.
Scarlett Johansson is definitely going old Hollywood, but I’m not sure about the sleeves. And the color. I just want color. Why is that too much to ask?
Check out my“ “Golden Globes” archive and scroll down for whatever-the-hell I said about last year’s event. I can’t even remember.
I’d rather be stabbed to death than give a speech in front of anyone — never mind thousands of people in front of me and broadcast to however many millions more at home.
I also think I’d be willing to stab someone for a shot at living in Geoffrey Rush’s speech therapist’s office in “The King’s Speech.”
Why am I so stab-happy? No idea. But I just saw “The King’s Speech” and not only was it incredibly well shot and acted, it was partially set in the most glorious shabby chic early 20th century British factory/warehouse/apartment space.
I want the windows. I want the ugly walls. I want the creaking floors. I want that fainting couch type thing. And I really want the tiny model planes hanging from the ceiling.
It’s glorious. Go see.
That is all.
**Update** Actually, it’s not all. I just read this E! Online story about the office:
“We’re not sure if this is going to help or hurt its chances for an Art Direction Academy Award, but the office of King George VI’s speech pathologist Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush) also just so happens to have served as the main, um, action hub of several online films for the website UK Naked Men.”
Leave it to me to fall in love with the site of man-on-man porn! I know how to pick ’em.
By Gina Carbone
Note: To be read when you are trying to fall asleep and “The Golden Girls” reruns aren’t working.
I’ve never been very good at “selling” myself, which sounds too much like the world’s oldest profession to be given such high value by my mother.
(Sidenote: Prostitution should be legalized. If it’s legal to drink too much and make an ass of yourself *cough*likemyneighborseveryweekend*cough* then it should be legal to get something in return for sleeping with someone you may not be attracted to. I thought that was what marriage was about anyway and people pay thousands of dollars for the ceremony.)
But I’m now going to try to “sell” you my film reviews … while giving them away for free. Everything must go!
I already feel slimy, and not the same kind of slimy I feel when I find myself rooting for Zeljko Ivanek on “Big Love.”
I’ve been writing film reviews since freshman year at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y.
I left after the first year, but I wrote maybe one or two reviews while at Northeastern University in Boston and was actually PAID to write reviews at Curtin University in Bentley, Western Australia, when I studied abroad there. ($50 Australian dollars, which was about $35 American at the time. This was “Titanic” era, 1998.)
Since December of 2000 I have been writing film reviews for Spotlight magazine, aka the Portsmouth Herald, aka Seacoast Newspapers, aka Seacoast Media Group, aka Seacoastonline, aka The Ship That Is Sinking Fast So Grab The Nearest Lifeboat.
I started posting to Rotten Tomatoes in 2002 and I still post my Spotlight reviews there once a week.
So if you find yourself with an epic amount of time on your hands, visit my Rotten Tomatoes page and read my reviews.
WARNING: No promises that the reviews are any good. Then again, what makes a review “good”? Discuss.
You can also visit my Seacoastonline columnists page, which has the reviews as well as film-related non-reviews that I didn’t know what to do with. It’s like my virtual version of the “everything” drawer in your kitchen.
I tend to spend most of my time on this blog obsessing over The Bachelor writing about TV, but I do have a few film stories in my archive that you can check out, if you have free time.
By the way, I’m not getting paid any extra if you read my reviews, I’m just mentioning it because I am bored and tired and I have nothing else to write about and the aforementioned “Golden Girls” episodes aren’t doing the trick.
And I’ve been told I should “market” myself more. This is the only way I know how to do that without feeling like a skanky sellout.
So there. I did it. No street corners required.
(Having said that, if Timothy Olyphant drops me a line, I am willing to offer a great deal.)
By Gina Carbone
Weird that there wasn’t more fuss when Barbra Streisand said “the time has come” and announced Kathryn Bigelow’s name as the first woman to win best director.
Then again, why fuss? She was the best director of the year. “The Hurt Locker” was the best picture of the year. No need to make even more of a fuss about how she’s the first woman ever to win. (I’ve done enough fussing about that.)
I’m thrilled for her.
The rest of the Oscars went pretty much as expected, except — to me — for “Precious” winning the best adapted screenplay over “Up in the Air,” and “Avatar” getting best cinematography over absolutely anything else.
What cinematography, I wonder? That’s just a bad sign for film when a CGI behemoth is counted as best cinematography.
I’m posting a full list of winners below. “The Hurt Locker” crushed “Avatar.”
List of winners at the 82nd annual Academy Awards:
— Motion Picture: “The Hurt Locker.” (YES!)
— Actor: Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart.” (Happy for him, although part of me was quietly rooting for Jeremy Renner, especially after Colin Farrell’s sweet and funny tribute.)
— Actress: Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side.” (I did not like her film but I do like her and she gives the best speeches. Ever.)
— Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds.” (His speeches are incomprehensible but he was the one person who 100 percent deserved his win with no question. There was no competition at all.)
— Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” (What was that about how her win proved politics don’t matter? And you sometimes have to do something that isn’t popular because it’s right? What does she mean? She’s been incredibly popular and supported through this, so she must mean something else. I’m tired of her speeches, but she gave a brave, bold performance. Still wish Vera Farmiga won, even with that odd “vagina” comment in her clip.)
— Director: Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker.” (Yeah, I guess so. … Kidding. Ecstatic. Obviously!)
— Foreign Film: “El Secreto de Sus Ojos,” Argentina. (Guess I have to see this now. Netflix, can you set me up?)
— Adapted Screenplay: Geoffrey Fletcher, “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” (I expected “Up in the Air” to win, since the “Precious” screenplay was a bit overpowering, not always in a good way.)
— Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, “The Hurt Locker.” (Glad for this.)
— Animated Feature Film: “Up.” (Yes)
— Art Direction: “Avatar.” (CGI art direction, you mean)
— Cinematography: “Avatar.” (What cinematography? It was digital. This is total bull. I would’ve put this last on the list. Give it to “Inglourious Basterds” or even “The White Ribbon” (which I haven’t seen) or the “Harry Potter” film (or “The Hurt Locker”) but not flipping “Avatar.”
— Sound Mixing: “The Hurt Locker.” (Yay! This was expected to go to “Avatar.”)
— Sound Editing: “The Hurt Locker.” (Same as above. Yay!)
— Original Score: “Up,” Michael Giacchino. (This score is so beautiful, it made me put my hand on my heart whenever they played a clip.)
— Original Song: “The Weary Kind (Theme From Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart,” Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett. (Perfect. Really good choices this year, I must say.)
— Costume: “The Young Victoria.” (Always put your money on the royal corset drama. Even the lady who won felt kind of embarrassed for winning again for the same kind of film.)
— Documentary Feature: “The Cove.” (So glad to see this. More people expected “Food, Inc.” to take it — and “Food, Inc.” was great — but “The Cove” was so impassioned and disturbing, yet strangely exciting as an action film.)
— Documentary (short subject): “Music by Prudence.” (Guess I’ll have to try to see this.)
— Film Editing: “The Hurt Locker.” (Nice.)
— Makeup: “Star Trek.” (Nice.)
— Animated Short Film: “Logorama.” (Guess I’ll have to try to see this, too.)
— Live Action Short Film: “The New Tenants.” (Same as above, although I recall this was one of the films the Concord, N.H., fans picked as their favorite.)
— Visual Effects: “Avatar.” (Fine. I have always acknowledged the visuals in this film were stellar.)
By Gina Carbone
So far the 82nd annual Academy Awards is looking pretty good.
And very white. (Or off-white. Or just pale. Sometimes it’s hard to get the exact colors from the computer.)
The top acting awards seem fairly set-in-stone going in (bank on Christoph Waltz, Mo’Nique, Jeff Bridges and … probably Sandra Bullock), but the fashion aspect was always up in the air.
Speaking of “Up in the Air,” I loved Anna Kendrick’s pink dress, although I wasn’t overly fond of her performance in the film. On the other hand, I loved Vera Farmiga in the film but wasn’t in love with her ruffly hot pink or whatever outfit.
So here are my best and worst so far on the red carpet.
By Gina Carbone
From now on, “The Blind Side” is my Alamo.
Whenever anyone tries to justify the new 10-film best picture Oscar system, I’m going to remember “The Blind Side.”
I never liked “A Serious Man” but I can understand why others did, and it made the awards circuit rounds before the Oscar nominations were announced today.
“The Blind Side,” on the other hand, is clearly a “filler” nominee. Someone probably flipped a coin and there it landed. Wonder if “Star Trek” or “Bright Star” or even “Invictus” was on the other side.
If you feel compelled to support a saccharine feel-good movie, why not “Invictus”? Or go for the full romantic comedy effect and pick “(500) Days of Summer,” one of the most overrated films of the year, but at least it has been recognized for other awards this year.
Up to this point, only Sandra Bullock had been recognized — and how — for “The Blind Side,” despite Quinton Aaron being the actual main character.
Anyway, other than “The Blind Side,” the only other real eyebrow raiser was Maggie Gyllenhaal as best supporting actress over Diane Kruger for “Inglourious Basterds.”
I like Maggie, but Diane had a larger, stronger role in her film. She should’ve been a lock for a nod, if not the win, which is already going to Mo’Nique (real name Monique Imes).
Read below for all of the top nominations and my thoughts/rants.
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Avatar — No. DO NOT LET THIS WIN!
The Blind Side — I don’t know whether to laugh that this is here or sob; I’ll go with laugh.
District 9 — I loved this film, so I’m glad to see it recognized.
An Education — Good film.
The Hurt Locker — MUST MUST MUST MUST WIN! Fantastic film
Inglourious Basterds — Good film with some truly great moments; Christoph Waltz is a rock star.
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire — “Important” film and like so many of its kind, it’s hard to watch.
A Serious Man — Seriously lame; Coen Brothers’ naked emperor.
Up — Beautiful, touching, funny. Belongs here.
Up in the Air — To me, this is “The Hurt Locker’s” closest competition. I refuse to recognize “Avatar” as a serious threat.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart — Will win; love him, always will.
George Clooney for Up in the Air — Too close to his “Michael Clayton” performance. I like Clooney, but he’s not exactly Daniel Day-Lewis.
Colin Firth for A Single Man — Great performance in a good film.
Morgan Freeman for Invictus — Good performance in a good film.
Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker — Great performance in a great film; I want him to win, but I doubt it will happen.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side — Likely to win, sadly.
Helen Mirren for The Last Station — So glad she was nominated for this; did you see it? She’s magic.
Carey Mulligan for An Education — This will not be Carey’s only nomination, mark my words.
Gabourey Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire — I feel bad that she’s been looked over while Mo’Nique has had all of the awards glory.
Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia — Seriously, she’s just here because she’s Meryl Streep.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Matt Damon for Invictus — No. Come on. Matt Damon is a good actor, but as a South African rugby player? No. Must’ve been a slow year for supporting actors.
Woody Harrelson for The Messenger — Subtle acting in a quiet film.
Christopher Plummer for The Last Station — This was more of a lead role, but he and Helen Mirren were fantastic together.
Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones — I guess this means I have to see “The Lovely Bones.” Dang it.
Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds — Will win. If he doesn’t, I may pitch a fit.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Penélope Cruz for Nine — Out of everyone in “Nine” (which was pretty lame), I would’ve chosen Marion Cotillard for a nod. Penny just gets nominations for showing up now. She’s the young Meryl.
Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air — Love her in this. The best one in her film.
Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart — Strange to see her here.
Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air — Overrated, but I’m happy for the Maine girl.
Mo’Nique for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire — Will win. I’m tired of hearing her speeches. She, Christoph Waltz, Sandra Bullock and Jeff Bridges are going to give their umpteenth acceptance speeches and I have no real interest in hearing them again.
Best Achievement in Directing
Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker — PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE make her the first woman to ever win best director. She directed the best film of the year and that is still the only thing that matters.
James Cameron for Avatar — No
Lee Daniels for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire — No
Jason Reitman for Up in the Air — No, but I can see it
Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds — No, but I can sort of see it
Details on Oscar stuff
From an ABC press release:
Academy members from each of the branches vote to determine the nominees in their respective categories – actors nominate actors, film editors nominate film editors, etc. In the Animated Feature Film and Foreign Language Film categories, nominations are selected by vote of multi-branch screening committees. All voting members are eligible to select the Best Picture nominees; this year that category features 10 nominees instead of 5, as had been the case since 1943.
Nominations ballots were mailed to the 5,777 voting members in late December and were returned directly to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the international accounting firm, for tabulation.
Official screenings of all motion pictures with one or more nominations will begin for members this weekend at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Screenings also will be held at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood and in London, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area.
All active and life members of the Academy are eligible to select the winners in all categories, although in five of them – Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject and Foreign Language Film – members can vote only if they have seen all of the nominated films in those categories.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2009 will be presented on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5:00 p.m., PT / 8:00 p.m., ET.
By Gina Carbone
I don’t often guffaw, but today I guffawed at least half a dozen times over the genius writing and delivery of “In the Loop.”
Have you seen it? See it. But only if you appreciate British humor and especially if you believe — as I do — that the original version of “The Office” is 100 times better than the American usurper.
“In the Loop” is a political comedy about U.S. and U.K. government underlings debating a war with an unnamed Middle Eastern country.
James Gandolfini is the Big Star, but he’s a supporting player. The key actors are on the British side, especially Peter Capaldi as a foul-mouthed Scot named Malcolm Tucker.
I would marry this man.
Steve Coogan also makes a cameo. Fitting since the director and co-writer, Armando Iannucci, was also a writer/producer/director on Coogan’s genius projects, “I’m Alan Partridge” and “Knowing Me, Knowing You With Alan Partridge.”
“In the Loop” is a kind of spinoff of the British TV series “The Thick of It,” which I can’t seem to get through Netflix.
But you can get “In the Loop” from Netflix and if you haven’t seen it, DO IT NOW. Seriously. It’s January. It’s cold. Don’t pretend you were going to have a wild night on the town.
I want “In the Loop” for a best screenplay nomination, if nothing else. Hard to say if it’s adapted or original, but it’s fecking gorgeous.
Capaldi deserves a best actor or supporting actor Oscar nomination, but I know he won’t get anything. I just want it on the record that he deserves something and to leave him off the ballot is S star-star T.
By Gina Carbone
This is what I wanted to happen:
- “Hurt Locker” wins best pic and best director for my hero Kathryn Bigelow. (Which would make her the second woman to win this award, after Barbra Streisand for “Yentl.” It’s time for Babs to be dethroned, no?)
- Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”) or Jeremy Renner (“Hurt Locker”) for Best Actor in a motion picture drama.
- “Mad Men” gets anything and everything it’s nominated for, including Jon Hamm for Best Actor TV drama and January Jones for Best Actress TV drama.
- Christoph Waltz for best supporting actor for “Inglourious Basterds”
- “The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart” for best original song.
- And I want host Ricky Gervais to do something shocking to make everyone in the audience uncomfortable.
But as the sun now stands, Julianna Margulies won over January Jones (and Anna Paquin of “True Blood”), which upsets me, although Julianna looked GORGEOUS.
Michael C. Hall won over Jon Hamm and Hugh Laurie and I have to say, that head wrap is a good look for him. Not happy about why he has to wear it, but at least his cancer is in remission. He is quite the cutie and we need him (and “Dexter”) around for a long time.
“The Weary Kind” did win best song, but T Bone Burnett couldn’t find my new crush, Ryan Bingham. Was he in the “loo,” like Toni Collette was, way back when?
And everyone who won said they worked with the best people in the world and they have the best jobs in the world and it made me want to take their awards away. If you have the best job in the world, that should be reward enough.
In this lousy economy with countries falling apart, you don’t deserve major gift bags and free liquor at the table and fancy dresses and jewelry AND the best jobs in the world. Pick one.
Now let’s get to the arrival pics. These are all AP photos. Sorry, in advance, for any weird formatting issues.