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

08 February 2011

2011's Nominees: Part 5 of 12


HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
2 Nominations:
  · Best Animated Feature
  · Best Score: John Powell

Director: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, T.J. Miller
 
So much fun. Also, this film swept at the Annie awards this year, and though it is expected that Toy Story 3 will win the Animated Feature Oscar (you will recall that TS3 is nominated for five Oscars), the Annie sweep had to feel good for the HtTYD team. Good for them. I liked this film more than TS3 too, so I am with them, although, truth be told, I pretty much love dragons and see all movies with dragons in them, so if you make a movie about different varieties of dragons and that involves a dragon that is basically a giant pet cat, you can bet I am in. I love that this got nominated in the Score category, by the way. John Powell has never been nominated before.

Will Win: N/A
Might Win: N/A
My Rating: #17 out of 50


HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1
2 Nominations:
  · Best Art Direction: Stuart Craig (The Elephant Man, Gandhi, The Mission, Dangerous Liaisons, Chaplin, The English Patient, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and Stephenie McMillan (The English Patient, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
  · Best Visual Effects

Director: David Yates
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Bill Nighy, Fiona Shaw, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes
 
After a couple of stinkers, David Yates hits one out of the park with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. It is not only filled with thrilling sequences and plenty of suspense, but the sensitive moments avoid being cloying, and Yates manages to hit all the right emotional notes. The Potter films continue to be contrived in terms of plot – there is one near-escape after another, and the possibility of magical things happening is always present and a little predictable after a while, but this is rather a good film, and if the plot feels contrived the characters and their feelings do not. HP7 is satisfying, exciting, and surprising. And I never thought I'd say this, but I actually think it deserves both of the Oscars for which it is nominated and also deserved a nomination for Original Score – now that they've moved completely away from Williamsesque composition and down darker paths, the music has become both intriguing and beautiful.

Will Win: N/A
Might Win: N/A
My Rating: #19 out of 50


ANOTHER YEAR
1 Nomination:
  · Best Original Screenplay: Mike Leigh (Secrets and Lies, Topsy-Turvy, Vera Drake, Happy-Go-Lucky)

Director: Leigh
Cast: Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen, Peter Wight, Oliver Maltman, David Bradley, Martin Savage, Michele Austin, Imelda Staunton, Karina Fernandez
 
To say this movie is good is a vast understatement. This is a film by a master filmmaker at the top of his game—it is his fifth nomination for writing. The film is extraordinary: subtle, sensitive, filled with tiny insights about people, and I found it ultimately devastating in a  quiet, disturbing, middlebrow way. It is also filled with fabulous performances and if it had been released in, say, October, it probably would have racked up a few more nominations. Lesley Manville gives the performance of a lifetime here (she is this year's Kristin Scott-Thomas in I've Loved You So Long
) and Ruth Sheen and Jim Broadbent are great as usual. Imelda Staunton, in a smaller role, gives a rich, captivating performance. I also really loved seeing Karina Fernandez in a bigger part when she was so brilliant in Leigh's last movie

Will Win: N/A
Might Win: N/A
My Rating: #6 out of 50