This Oscar-nominated film tells the tale of Jenny, a 16-year-old girl who is seduced by a 35-year-old man. If you are reading this after the Oscar results have come in, then you will already know that Sandra Bullock has robbed Carey Mulligan of a deserved Best Actress Oscar (my prediction of events anyway – (ed. well played, sir)). Carey’s turn is without doubt completely deserving of an Oscar win and even with a strong supporting cast, she manages to totally steal the show. The film contains a great story, is completely involving and as mentioned features without doubt the best actress performance of 2009. I cannot recommend An Education enough.
Julie and Julia
Another Best Actress Oscar-nominated, this time for the most consistently amazing actresses in Hollywood. Which makes me feel bad to say – I don’t think she necessarily deserves an Oscar for this performance. Whether it’s because I didn’t enjoy Julie and Julia as much as I was hoping or whether it is because Meryl Streep has acted better in other movies and has set the bar so high I am unsure. This film has had a LOT of great reviews and that Streep has received a nomination for Best Actress probably indicates that this is a good movie, I didn’t find it outstanding and at times found it a little annoying. This opinion is probably not shared by a hell of a lot of people, but I think for this year Carey Mulligan has out-acted Meryl Streep and An Education I found to be a better film.
As this is another quiet week for DVDs, I have decided to mention a couple of horrors due for release that sound quite similar in plot to other horror films
Starting with CUT, a slasher that stars (and I use the term as loosely as possible) Danielle Lloyd! The plot follows 5 friends who are returning from a party. They discuss how urban legends are a load of rubbish before the night takes a horrible turn (Urban Legends anyone?). What interests me in this one is that the entire movie is one continuous shot!! Now the presence of Danielle Lloyd makes me feel like this will be godawful, but the one continuous shot sounds fantastic. I will be getting round to watching this movie soon (being a british horror, I wasn’t able to get my hands on an early import) and will possibly do a mini review in the near future. Next up is THE GRIND, the tale of a man heavily in debt to a mexican mob who sets up a voyeuristic Big Brother style website to generate revenue, which sounds not too dissimilar to BigBrother.com and My Little Eye. Inevitably for a horror/slasher, things don’t go to plan. Finally IMURDERS (probably not an Apple inc official product!). This stars Tony Todd and Billy Dee Williams, which can’t be a good sign. Members of an online website are murdered one by one. While I am not aware of a niche social network based horror, but for examples of killer websites look no further than tv series Killer net or the absolutely terrible Untraceable (or Unbearable as it should be known).
Matt Damon for Invictus
Woody Harrelson for The Messenger
Christopher Plummer for The Insider
Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds
A few months ago, this would have been a serious race between two of the contenders. Really, up until anyone with a Twitter or blog saw The Lovely Bones, Stanley Tucci was the major frontrunner to take the prize. After seeing that performance, I would argue strongly for his inclusion, but for his role in Julie & Julia instead. Due to the poor reviews for Peter Jackson’s horrendous film, Tucci will have to give up his leading place in the category to Mr Waltz.
I did predict a few little while ago, but much has changed in the interim and I feel it necessary to update my prediction season for the nominees, something I will do again in early February just before the nominations are announced.
The primary change is the fall of Nine, previously considered a shoe-in for most categories, which looks likely to win absolutely nothing outside of a possible couple of technicals. Add to that the rising popularity of Inglourious Basterds and the seemingly-unstoppable attention being given to The Hurt Locker, plus the apparently disastrous The Lovely Bones, and some things have to change.
Below then are my predictions for the top few categories, with some explanation as to why and, bold as it may be, my predictions for the likely winners in each category.
Outside of the painfully awkward intro from Peter Jackson at the top of this trailer, this looks to be a pretty solid effort. The trailer seems to try and fit in everything and the kitchen sink into its runtime. The story, about a young girl who is murdered and the aftermath of her death for her family and friends, seems to be nearly wholly included in the two-and-a-bit minutes of the clip.
Jackson has certainly not tried to shy away from tacking the puratory-representations which are likely to cause a very, very minor stir here and there, although on the small screen of the trailer it looks like a better attempt than achievement.
The worry originally for most would have been the replacement of Ryan Gosling as the father with Marky Mark Wahlberg. Argue for eternity, if you see fit, that he was good in Boogie Nights and The Departed (the latter most just shouting and the former primarily playing dumb), but Wahlberg just ain’t the actor Gosling is. However, the trailer puts him in quite a reasonable light and, given his own parenthood, could allow him to bring something to the role which Gosling would have had to create rather than draw upon.
The book is one of my co-host’s favourites from the past few years so I’ll be interested to gauge his opinion when he returns from his Spanish sojourn, but for now I’ll give some backing to this. The cast is strong and, although the trailer plays up the melodrama and latter thriller elements a little too much, this has solid stock and should prove a good bet.