Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

06 February 2011

2011's Nominees: Part 4 of 12


THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
4 Nominations:
  · Best Picture
  · Best Original Screenplay: Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg
  · Best Actress: Annette Bening (The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julia)
  · Best Supporting Actor: Mark Ruffalo

Director: Cholodenko
Cast: Bening, Julianne Moore, Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson, Yaya DaCosta, Joaquín Garrido, Kunal Sharma
 
I loved this film. I know that it is kind of homophobic and, well, I guess I forgive it for that because I just enjoyed the picture so much. In a sense, I suppose I forgive the film's homophobia because I bought into the story so much. And once I bought in, the film became for me about so many things. I am on a parenting kick this year: some of my favorite movies this year have been about raising kids and watching them grow up and getting older. I am getting older, too, I suppose, and these — I hate to call them issues — let's call them moments of feeling become more and more important to me as I do. I have more to say about The Kids Are All Right, actually. Annette Bening is just masterful. She also gives a superb performance in this year's Mother and Child (see it!). Ms. Bening also has never won an Oscar before and sincerely deserves to win this one. Mark Ruffalo, I should also mention, is fantastic in this movie. All that to say: I don't think The Kids Are All Right is going home with any Oscars on the 27th, but I am crossing my fingers.


Will Win: N/A
Might Win: Actress
My Rating: #4 out of 44

ALICE IN WONDERLAND
3 Nominations:
  · Best Art Direction: Robert Stromberg (Avatar), Karen O'Hara (The Color of Money)
  · Best Costume Design: Colleen Atwood (Little Women, Beloved, Sleepy Hollow, Chicago, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Memoirs of a Geisha, Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Nine)
  · Best Visual Effects

Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Crispin Glover, Anne Hathaway, Leo Bill, Francis de la Tour
 
I see why this was nominated for things. The look of the film is cool for parts of it. That might be all that there is to say about this film that is positive. I really did like the costumes and the make-up. Really. But everything else? Most of the time I was just trying to figure out what was going on. And not in a fun, Lewis Carroll kind of a way; in an I-don't-get-why-they-are-going-over-there kind of way. The movie's chief problem, though, is that it isn't funny. There's barely a laugh in the whole thing! And it's Lewis Carroll! There should be jokes a plenty.


Will Win: N/A
Might Win: Art Direction
My Rating: #40 out of 44

BIUTIFUL
2 Nominations:
  · Best Actor: Javier Bardem (Before Night Falls, No Country for Old Men)
  · Best Foreign Language Film: Mexico (Amores Perros, The Crime of Father Amaro, Pan's Labyrinth)

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Cast: Bardem, Maricel Álvarez, Hanaa Bouchaib, Guillermo Estrella, Eduard Fernández
 
This is a big success story. Bardem was not really expected to get nominated for this, although the Foreign Language nomination was not a surprise. I haven't seen the movie yet, but Iñárritu's films are challenging and occasionally difficult to watch. His previous films are Amores Perros, 21 Grams, and Babel. In  other words, they have not been consistently good, but they have a style and a look and an interesting — at least to me — world-view. I am very excited for this.
 
Will Win: Foreign Language Film
Might Win: N/A
My Rating: Not Yet Rated