The Blind Side
The Hurt Locker
A Serious Man
Up in the Air
The expansion of the category has had some impact on the talk around the Oscars, mostly negative. It would appear that you could easily eliminate five films from the top category as being also-rans, if still good films. Where last year it would have served mostly just to allow The Dark Knight its nomination and sate the anger of so many over-hyped fanboys/girls, this year it felt as though the Academy was just reaching further to grab films from all corners, as if to indicate that they are not scared of honouring ‘popular’ films. The fact that they have never really done this and the actual small films almost always get screwed, that was left to the side of the discussion.
Mark Boal for The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds
Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman for The Messenger
Ethan Coen and Joel Coen for A Serious Man
Pete Docter and Bob Peterson for Up
Having taken home the BAFTA, it would seem that The Hurt Locker has positioned itself for a potential clean sweep at the Oscars this year. The film has garnered almost uniformly excellent reviews and its meagre box-office take appears to have had little impact on its chances come Awards season. To get it out of the way at the start, this is going to be the Iraq film to compete for the awards, to The Messenger will have to put up with being the year’s second-best semi-apolitical Iraq movie.
Fantastic Mr Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells
I don’t know that there is even much point in putting anything after the jump for this category. Though other studios in the animation world continue to put out good stuff for the most part, absolutely nobody is close to competing with Pixar on storytelling, complexity of characters or catering to a wide audience in a satisfying and stimulating way. Up will win and, probably, should win purely for the opening ten minute sequence, easily the finest piece of filmmaking in the past year.
It is a really slow week for DVD releases this week. As the featured DVDs I was close to having to review a horror/comedy starring porn stars about a possesed penis where the tagline was: if you see it coming, you’re already dead. Fortunately, I managed to sidestep that natural disaster and instead opted for these four below:
Pixar’s latest offering arrives on DVD after receiving massive critical and commercial acclaim. Having received five Oscar nominations (including Best Picture), expect to hear much more about this movie. While whether this film is better than previous Pixar films is purely down to personal preference (general online consensus seems to be that it is not as good as Wall-E, I am more of a fan of Monsters Inc), the global phenomenon that is Pixar has made this film a complete success. I would also be slightly disappointed if it won Picture – I think Up in the Air and District 9 are more deserving movies – but wouldn’t take anything away from it getting Best Animated.
Up also benefits from the fact that it will lose nothing on DVD by being in 2D, the only other film 3D film I know that does this is Coraline. This DVD will sell by the absolute shedload.
From a multi-award-nominated and critically-acclaimed movie to a big steaming pile of crap. This sci-fi/thriller is set on a spaceship where the crew awaken with no memory of past events. Note: I actually watched this film on a recommendation from a friend, the recommendations from whom I will now ignore. It has drawn comparisons with Event Horizon but comes nowhere near. While the CGI isn’t terrible (the film was made for $40 million and it definitely gets its money’s worth), the story is predictable and the acting is terrible. Probably one for a drunken night’s rental at best.
Horror film starring Elisha Dushku where a tale of a group of friends who play a mysterious game where the losers lose their life in the way the lose in the game.
Ong Bak: The Beginning
Tony Jaa-starring martial arts movie. This is an enjoyable film if you know what to expect. It is never going to win acclaim for storytelling or plot progression; it is simply all about the fighting. Tony Jaa is probably the greatest martial artist since Bruce Lee, and as always Jaa does all his own stunts. And the stunts are ridiculous: a crocodile get punched out, there are backflips off elephants and there are flying knees that are on fire. Turn your brain off, get a few friends and enjoy an entertaining but effectively stupid martial arts masterclass.
Also out this week: Kurbaan – George Carlin: Life is Worth Losing – Borderland – One-Eyed Monster
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.
You can listen to us discussing these films at length on the podcast on the show, but please do check out the list below for perpetuity. Sam’s list is annotated and included below, Tom’s is not annotated and its right here. This just means you will have to check out the podcast to hear Tom’s viewpoints. So check out Sam’s choices after the jump, along with a few choice thoughts and honourable mentions. Enjoy!
So here’s Tommy’s list of the top ten films of 2009. No annotations, so you’ll just have to listen to the podcast to hear his thoughts. For just the list, jump in. Continue reading →
Time to have a little guess again at which films could be nominated for Oscars in a couple of months time, just entirely based on hype and vague attempts to understand the predictable nature of the Academy. So, for debate and conjecture’s stake, enjoy these predictions for the Oscar nominations in 2010, post jump. Continue reading →
As we are prone to do, it feels like to kick-off the Oscar buzz season as awards from major film festivals begin to roll in and the ceremony approaches. I realise that this may feel like the kind of wishing-life-away feeling that it given as you walk into shops in mid-September and see Christmas stock out all over the place, but these will get more frequent as we get closer and can begin to actually predict what could win. This is more to provide an interesting gauge of how buzz works, how it changes and how wrong we could well end up being by the time the awards come around.
So, just for the big few categories, here’s what seems like it’s going to cause a stir this year: Continue reading →
Scott Pilgrim has his very own movie website.
Michael Sheen has joined up with the cast of New Moon, the upcoming sequel to Twilight.
William Hurt is now in the cast of Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood adaptation/reimagining thing.
Un trailer for Gerard Butler in The Ugly Truth.
Watchmen scribe Alex Tse is to write an adaptation of the upcoming Paul Pope graphic novel Battling Boy.
Zac Efron will play Johnny Quest. No nothing about Johnny Quest although, I imagine, fanboys will be furious!
Angelina Jolie is in talks once more for a part in Sin City 2.
Ray Winstone, David Thewlis and the lovely Anna Friel have signed up for William Monahan’s London Boulevard.
The trailer has shown up for Johnnie To’s Vengeance.
Some early, positive buzz has been flowing in for Pixar’s Up.
Adam Shankman could be making Hairspray 2 in 3D, according to reports in First Showing.
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey may well re-team, despite the lukewarm weakness of Baby Mama in my books.
Could the sequel to Tron rack up $300m in budget, or is this another Avatar-Time typo?