Friday, February 25, 2011


The Oscars are on Sunday! Holy cats!
Who will win? Who should win? Who cares? (I do! Apparently!)

  • And the winner will be: Colin Firth, The King's Speech
  • Better choices: Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine / Michael Shannon, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done

  • And the winner will be: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
  • A better choice: Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine (A pair of crazy good performances in that movie.)

  • And the winner will be: Christian Bale, The Fighter
  • A better choice: Nope. Bale was the best this year, by far.

  • And the winner will be: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit (At least I hope it will be her. Taking a bit of a hopeful risk here...)
  • A better choice: Jacki Weaver is downright scary in Animal Kingdom. I'll be pleased if either she or Steinfeld wins.

  • And the winner will be: Toy Story 3
  • Better choices: How To Train Your Dragon, or Despicable Me, or The Illusionist, or...

  • And the winner will be: The King's Speech
  • A better choice: I Am Love (Not even nominated! What?!)

  • And the winner will be: Roger Deakins, True Grit
  • Better choices: Adam Kimmel, Never Let Me Go / Jeff Cronenweth, The Social Network | (Deakins is amazing, and has deserved an Oscar many times over, but True Grit mostly pales in comparison to his proven capabilities. See The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford for some of Deakins' best stuff.)

  • And the winner will be: The King's Speech
  • A better choice: I Am Love

  • And the winner will be: Inside Job
  • A better choice: Restrepo

  • And the winner will be: Poster Girl (Sure! Why not?)

  • And the winner will be: The Social Network
  • A better choice: Maybe Inception? I still can't believe it was snubbed in this and the Directing categories. Ridiculous.

  • And the winner will be: In a Better World
  • A better choice: I've only seen one of the nominees(Biutiful), so I'll withhold judgment on this one. [Note: The First Beautiful Thing may be a great film--I don't know. But had Italy submitted I Am Love as its contender for Best Foreign Language Film, they might very well have won. Dummies.]

  • And the winner will be: The Wolfman (Seriously.)

  • And the winner will be: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, The Social Network
  • A better choice: Hans Zimmer's Inception score was integral to the film, but I'm 100% behind The Social Network on this one. Paired with Aaron Sorkin's script, that score is the film's backbone. Watch it again with the sound up, you'll see. (PS: How was Daft Punk not at least nominated for their TRON:Legacy score? Highway robbery!)

  • And the winner will be: "We Belong Together," Toy Story 3
  • A better choice: The one Ryan Gosling's character sings in Blue Valentine.

  • And the winner will be: Madagascar, carnet de voyage(?)
  • A better choice: I still haven't seen them! I know, I'm the worst! (Should I be fortunate/industrious enough to see them this weekend, I'll edit accordingly.)

  • And the winner will be: Na Wewe(?)
  • A better choice: (See "Short Film - Animated".)

  • And the winner will be: Inception

  • And the winner will be: Inception

  • And the winner will be: Inception

  • And the winner will be: The Social Network

  • And the winner will be: The King's Speech
  • A better choice: My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done

  • And the winner will be: David Fincher, The Social Network
  • A better choice: Depending upon how much (if any) of Exit Through the Gift Shop was constructed by its maker(s?), Banksy might deserve this award more than anyone. But that's also assuming Banksy is the actual director of that film, so.... | Werner Herzog for My Son, My Son..., Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio for Alamar, Charles Ferguson for Inside Job, and the royally-snubbed Christopher Nolan for Inception are all worthy. But all of that said, I'm totally down with Fincher taking it home.

  • And the winner will be: The King's Speech
  • Better choices: Any of these. (The Social Network definitely has the best chance of pulling the upset, and I'm hoping it does just that.)

Ranking the Best Picture noms:
  1. The Fighter
  2. The Social Network
  3. True Grit
  4. Inception
  5. Winter's Bone
  6. Toy Story 3
  7. The King's Speech
  8. 127 Hours
  9. Black Swan
  10. The Kids Are All Right (Don't want to launch into too much of a rant here, but The Kids Are All Right is one of the worst movies I've seen in years. That it received a Best Picture nom really cheeses me off. If it wins any Oscars at all, I'll be quite unhappy. That is all.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Top 10 of '10

I'm done calling my year-end film lists "Best of". I don't buy it anymore. There are simply too many diverse criteria at play for it to be safe to call one great film better than the next great film. These movies are all great, but for wildly different reasons. This list should really be called: "Colin saw these films during 2010 and liked them a lot based on their possessing some combination of Social Significance, Visual Beauty, Excellent Storytelling, Skillful Filmmaking, Literary Merit, Honesty, His Having Connected With It On a Personal Level and Nearly Having Cried While Watching It, Fascinating Undefinability, Great Acting, Etc. Also, he may have just been in a particularly receptive mood when he saw them." But "Top 10" seems less cumbersome. You're welcome.

Notes regarding this list:
...If it was released in a theatre near me in 2010, it's eligible. This does not include reissues of 50 year old films like Breathless, but does include movies like A Prophet which was 'officially' released in 2009 but didn't actually make into theatres for general viewing until February.
...Each title--save one--is linked to its Wikipedia page. I have linked to IMDb in the past, but IMDb's new format is garbage so Wikipedia gets the nod. Besides, should you feel so inclined, a link to the film's IMDb page is available at the bottom of its Wikipedia entry.

Cutting to the chase...

1. Restrepo
...And this is why I can't call this list a "Best of". By pure cinematic standards, Restrepo wouldn't touch the top of this list. But it's the most important movie I've seen in quite a long time, and the only movie concerning the ongoing war in Afghanistan that doesn't have an agenda. It is documentary filmmaking at its best: no narration, and no filmmakers trying to make themselves famous by stepping in front of the camera. Restrepo is a rare thing--a pure, uncorrupted document of life (and death) for real American soldiers in Afghanistan.
2. A Prophet
3. My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done
...To my knowledge, very few people have seen this film, and that's a shame. Directed by Werner Herzog, produced by David Lynch, and starring Michael Shannon (for my money, the most talented actor currently working) among other greats, My Son, My Son... saw strangely limited distribution. It's on Netflix now; you can even watch it instantly! Seriously, go watch it right now.
4. Exit Through the Gift Shop
5. Alamar
...Hey, I just blogged about this one! Just below this post! Or, if you can't find it there, you can be magically teleported to it by clicking right here!
6. The Fighter
...The best film in serious Oscar contention by leaps and bounds. And it's still in theatres most everywhere, so go see it while you still can.
7. I Am Love
8. Lebanon
9. Inside Job
...The two most stomach-turning images from Movie Year 2010 were almost carbon-copies of one another. In one, Donald Rumsfeld & Co. smile and pat each other on the back after successfully deflecting blame for the death of Pat Tillman in The Tillman Story. In Inside Job, similarly scummy assholes deflect blame for the economic collapse during congressional hearings then go home to the billions they made off with. These buck-passing thieves and murderers-by-proxy are the supervillains of today.
10. It's a tie! Between: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1, The Social Network, & True Grit (and probably some others, too. Sorry.)