Midweek Break: Oscar the Grouch Predicts the Oscars

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards are Sunday. By now every critic and film blogger under the sun has announced their predictions of the night’s winners. Frankly, everyone sounding off on why The Social Network should win but instead The King’s Speech will can get old pretty fast. So I give you Oscar the Grouch’s Oscar predictions. He was disappointed at first that there was an award named after him. But when Oscar realized that the film industry puts out some of the greatest trash he has ever seen, he was fine giving his thoughts on the nominees.

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A Best Picture Challenge

The Academy Award nominations have been announced. Now it is time for some fun.

There are 10 films nominated for Best Picture. Can you include all of their titles in one sentence? This is my attempt:

In the 127 Hours before the Inception of The King’s Speech, The Fighter learned that The Kids Are All Right because they had True Grit during Winter’s Bone when the Black Swan joined The Social Network to watch Toy Story 3.

The rules are simple: it can only be one sentence and you have to include all ten.

Ready, go!

The 2011 Academy Award Nominations

The Oscar nominations are in!

The King’s Speech, Tom Hooper masterful period film about King George VI and his st-st-stammer scored 12 nominations. After being shut out at the Golden Globes, Joel and Ethan Coen’s revamped True Grit followed with 10 nods. The Social Network received just eight nominations, as did Christopher Nolan’s Inception. Toy Story 3 became the third animated feature nominated for Best Picture. The complete list of nominations is available here.

After The King’s Speech topped the Producer’s Guild Awards this weekend  and the Academy’s  lack of showering The Social Network with accolades, skeptics are questioning whether or not 2010’s critical darling will win big on Oscar night. (Deep breath, TSN fans. The Facebook-saga will do just fine.)

Other notable omissions are Julianne Moore for The Kids Are All Right and Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine. Their on-screen spouse (Annette Bening and Michelle Williams, respectively) both received best actress nominations. For performances that are so symbiotic, it is a shame the other half was left off the ballot.

I was also secretely hoping Barbara Hershey’s performance as the wonderfully creepy arand manic stage mother in Black Swan would score a supporting actress nomination.

Are you satisfied with the Oscar nominations? What do you see as the biggest Oscar snubs? Sound off below.

Continue reading “The 2011 Academy Award Nominations”

Melissa Leo and the Best Supporting Actress Race

Of the six main Oscar categories, the only race still up for grabs is the best supporting actress race. After winning the Critics Choice Award and the Golden Globe, The Fighter‘s Melissa Leo seemed the obvious front runner. But when the BAFTA nominations were announced yesterday, Leo was noticeably absent from the ballot. Leo may have the lead in American critics circles, but across the pond Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech), Miranda Richardson (Made in Dagenham), Amy Adams (The Fighter), Barbara Hershey (Black Swan), and Lesley Manville (Another Year) are who made the cut.

In a way, I am not surprised. Leo is one of the best actresses working in Hollywood. She is on par with Meryl Streep, Annette Bening and Julianne Moore. Her tendency to take on gritty and unflattering roles, most notably Ray Eddy in Frozen River, also makes her one of the most under-appreciated actresses.

Compared to her The Fighter co-star Amy Adams, whose performance is remarkably and wonderfully against type, Leo is her always hard-edged self. There are few actresses who could play Alice the way that Leo did and it is a character that works into her character actress strengths. This is why Leo’s performance can easily be lost in the shuffle.

I have read some rumblings that Leo’s award winning streak is in some ways making up for her not winning the Oscar for Frozen River. I could not disagree more. Leo’s performance in Frozen River did not receive 1/3 of the accolades that she has received for The Fighter. As far as independent films go, Frozen River did have the momentum going into the Oscars that Winter’s Bone has. Moreover, I do not believe that Frozen River has been seen by a large enough audience, even though it has been two years since its critical success.

The best supporting actress race is still a three-way race between Helena Bonham Carter, Amy Adams, and Leo. If Leo wins the SAG, the Oscar is likely hers. But I am still skeptical because Leo is always the consummate character actress. For some reason, I believe this works against Leo while Adams’ extreme likability factor works in her favor. (There are endless possibilities in this category that I am just wrapping my head around.)

I’ll leave you with this thought of mine from the Golden Globes that sums up my understanding of Melissa Leo’s acting career:

So what are your thoughts on Melissa Leo and the best supporting actress race? Sound off below.

These kids probably love Rachel Getting Married

Oscars host Anne Hathaway surprised the kids of the P.S. 22 chorus yesterday and told them that they will be performing at the Oscars. Cue screaming (seriously, you’ll want to turn down the volume) and some blank stares. It really is precious.

Their reaction throws some life into the Oscars. If these kids can get this excited for some stodgy awards show, why can’t the rest of us?