Oscars 2011: 10 out of 10 for Best Pictures

I have managed to achieve what would seem impossible and watch all ten of the best picture nominations before the Oscar ceremony. Usually this is not possible due to UK release date. But this year a lot of the films seem to have been earlier than usual in the Oscar race. With the help of LOVEFiLM for a couple of Blu Ray’s to make sure I achieved the goal of seeing each film before the ceremony. I am still no further forward in being able to predict the winner the Academy will choose. I mean we know they have made some mistakes in the past.

This is the second year in row which has seen 1o films being nominated for Best Picture. Which allows a few films into the category which would not make the final 5 in the old format. I guess this is just a way to make some films more well-known. Or for the more seen films to receive a nomination. Who can really tell . . . but does that mean they have a better chance of winning? Probably not.

The ten films which have been nominated this year all bring something very different to the Oscar stage. I have to say out of them the ones I have enjoyed the most have to be Black Swan and Inception, with True Grit and The King’s Speech following them.

Black Swan and Inception both had very similar impacts on me as I was still thinking about them days after seeing them at the cinema. They really get into your head and stick in there too. Make you really think about the film, and keep you trying to figure out how you perceive them.

127 Hours (Review)

Stuck between a rock and a hard place. A man must keep himself alive by any means possible after having his arm trapped by a bolder.

Black Swan (Review)

A Ballet dancer trying to take on the difficult role in Swan Lake, whilst trying to deal with her life at the same time.

The Fighter (Review)

The rise of Micky Ward as a boxer, looking into his family life and relationships with his brother, mother and girlfriend.
Inception (Review – not yet written)

A very interesting look into what could happen if you could plant ideas or take them away, by entering someone’s dream.
The Kids are All Right (Review)

A look into how the family dynamics differ in a same sex marriage with children.
The King’s Speech (Review)

A look into how King George VI overcame his speech problems after his older brother abdicated the thrown.
The Social Network (Review)

A look back at how Facebook came into being during Zuckerberg’s time at Harvard and the lawsuits which followed.
Toy Story 3 (Review)

We go on another adventure with our favorite toys, when Andy is now leaving for college.
True Grit (Review)

A remake of the classic John Wayne film, but with the Coen Brothers edge on it. Brilliant story of retribution.

Winter’s Bone (Review)

A young woman trying to find out what exactly happened to her father, leads her into very dangerous territory.



Oscars 2011 – Best Actor in a Leading Role

One last look at the five men who are up for the best actor in a leading role award. Team Firth!
Javier Bardem as Uxbal in ‘Biutiful’
I have not seen this film, so cannot comment on the performance.

Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn in ‘True Grit’

Bridges is just incredible as Cogburn, he really is just incredible. After his win last year, he has followed it up with another nomination. He mumbles and acts drunk brilliantly. Manages to be so likeable at the same time!

Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg in ‘The Social Network’

Exhausting is the word I find best to describe this performance. Eisenberg is brilliant as Zuckerberg who is just way too smart for his own good, and likes to use an incredible amount of words in his general conversations. Must have been very difficult to really nail this character but that was more than achieved.

Colin Firth as King George VI in ‘The King’s Speech’

We keep hearing that it is Firth’s time, well I thought that should have come for his role in ‘A Single Man’ last year! But his performance in this film really is just incredible, we feel sorry for him, we want to help him. All just so incredible!

James Franco as Aron Ralston in ‘127 Hours’

Possibly the most difficult performance from all of the nominee’s considering it is just Franco in the film for about 80% of the time. He really takes us on the journey with him and the emotions to being trapped. Incredible performance, if it wasn’t for Firth I would have thought Franco would be walking away with the Oscar!

Oscars 2011 – Best Actress in a Leading Role

One last look at the five women nominated for best actress in a leading role. Team Portman for this one!

Annette Bening as Nic in “The Kids Are All Right”

Bening is Nic a woman trying to balance her working life, with the family she has with her longterm partner Jules. Who have two teenage children. Her world is turned upside down when the sperm donor is back in the picture, and Jules’ infidelity. Very well acted performance (as usual) from Bening.

Nicole Kidman as Becca in “Rabbit Hole”

I have not managed to see this film, so cannot comment on the performance. Only heard good things about it!

Jennifer Lawrence as Ree in “Winter’s Bone”

Brilliant performance from the young actress, in such a difficult role. Having to overcome so much and still manage to keep her heard held high, while searching for the truth from people she should not be mixing with.

Natalie Portman as Nina in “Black Swan”

Incredibly haunting performance in a film with exactly the same feel. She really does become both the white and black swan. That is Nina’s life and she must then transfer it onto the stage, feeling the pressure from everywhere. She is a very mixed up young woman who needs help more than anything!

Michelle Williams as Cindy in “Blue Valentine”

Unfortunately I have not seen this film either, has not been released here yet. Looking forward to seeing it, when we eventually get it!

Oscars 2011 – Best Actor in a Supporting Role

One last look at the actors and the roles they were nominated for best supporting! I guess I am Team Bale for this one!

Christian Bale as Dicky Eklund in “The Fighter”

The has-been who believes that he is making his boxing comeback, while attempting to help his younger brother train and do something he never did. Become champion, whilst battling with drug addiction which has taken over his life. We see him fight his demons and eventually help his brother out. Larger than life and totally crazy, brilliant performance from Bale.

John Hawkes as Teardrop in “Winter’s Bone”

A very haunting performance in a very haunting film. At times very difficult to watch but Hawkes put in a very good performance, eventually helping out his niece.

Jeremy Renner as James Coughlin in “The Town”

Missed seeing this film, so cannot comment on the performance.

Mark Ruffalo as Paul in “The Kids Are All Right”

I have to admit that when I found out Ruffalo was nominated for an Oscar I was very shocked as seeing his previous performances didn’t think it would be something he would ever achieve. But in this he does put in a very honest performance as Paul, managing to make us feel sorry for him when we really shouldn’t.

Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Louge in “The King’s Speech”

Rush gives a fantastic performance and helps Firth bring out his character. They have fantastic chemistry and bring out the very best in each other. If anyone is a threat to Bale I really think it’s Rush!

Oscars 2011 – Best Actress in a Supporting Role

One last look at the five actresses up for the supporting role Oscar! I am Team Steinfeld for this one!

Amy Adams as Charlene Fleming in “The Fighter”

Tough talking girlfriend of boxer Mickey who is not afraid to stand up to his mother or sisters. Is very much behind Mickey is his fight to really make it as a boxer. The Academy seem to like Adams who has a few nominations to her name now.

Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth in “The King’s Speech”

A very good solid performance from Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth who is the rock to King George VI and really helps her husband when he becomes King, and must deliver the important speeches at a very difficult time for England.

Melissa Leo as Alice Ward in “The Fighter”

Melissa Leo has been picking awards up left, right and center for her role as Alice Ward in the Fighter. Being the pushy manager and of course mother to Mickey and Dicky. Not taking no for an answer from anyone, including her husband. She has been the front runner for this award from the start.

Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross in “True Grit”

Incredible performance from the 14 year old in such a good film. She owns the film and should never been in the supporting role category after leading the film the way she did. But apparently the studio figured this the best approach! I really do hope that she picks this Oscar up tonight, fantastic performance.

Jacki Weaver as Janine Cody in “Animal Kingdom”

This film has not come out at my cinema yet. Therefore I cannot comment on the performance.

Spirit Awards 2011 – Winners

Black Swan picked up 4 Independent Spirit Awards last night, which was just fantastic to see! The film seems to have been forgotten about in the Oscar race, other than the leading role for Natalie Portman. The Spirit Awards seem to just love Aronofsky and his films.

The King’s Speech picked up another award, this time for Foreign film. Obviously no Colin Firth allowed James Franco to receive a very well deserved award for his role in 127 Hours.

Best Feature: “Black Swan”
Best Director: Darren Aronofsky, “Black Swan”
Best Screenplay: Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko, “The Kids Are All Right”
Best First Feature: “Get Low”
Best First Screenplay: Lena Dunham, “Tiny Furniture”
John Cassavetes Award: “Daddy Longlegs”
Best Female Lead: Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Best Male Lead: James Franco, “127 Hours”
Best Supporting Female: Dale Dickey, “Winter’s Bone”
Best Supporting Male: John Hawkes, “Winter’s Bone”
Best Cinematography: Matthew Libatique, “Black Swan”
Best Documentary: “Exit Through the Gift Shop”
Best Foreign Film: “The King’s Speech”

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