Tag Archives: 2010 movies

2011 Oscar Post-Mortem

My predictions ended up with an iffy 14/24 accuracy. Not great, but adequate, I’d say. And am I disappointed that The Social Network lost to The King’s Speech? Yes, but it seems like my favourite movie of the year is always nominated, but never wins. But now to the telecast, which I thought, for the most part, was pretty enjoyable.


  • Anne Hathaway. She did a much better job hosting than I’d expected (here I was thinking that James Franco would be the one to liven things up…) Her boundless exuberance was just the remedy for a lagging, overly long ceremony (as the Oscars often are). She cheered, she sang, she poked fun at herself, and she had an endless array of gorgeous outfits.
  • The opening. Inception, The Social Network, True Grit, The King’s Speech, and Black Swan all received visits from Hathaway and Franco, and the cameos from Alec Baldwin and Morgan Freeman were nice touches.
  • The unending love for Hugh Jackman. He’s kind of become the new Jack Nicholson. He’s not nominated, he just sits there and smiles and has a good time. The presenters and winners seem happy to see him, and he becomes something of a touchstone for them to play off of.
  • James Franco’s grandma.
  • Kirk Dougals’ epic presentation for Best Supporting Actress.
  • Justin Timberlake’s riff on Kirk Douglas’ epic presentation.
  • Zachary Levi performing “I See the Light” from Tangled. Mandy Moore sounded great, too, but for someone who is not primarily a singer (I didn’t even know he could sing before Tangled), Levi came off as a total pro.
  • “That’s gross” – Cate Blanchett
  • Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law’s presentation for Best Visual Effects. Can they just get married already?
  • No clapping during the “In Memoriam” segment. Good call.
  • Sandra Bullock’s presentation to the Best Actor nominees. It was the perfect balance of wit and respect.


  • The auto-tuned “Year of the movie musical” segment that they created. The Twilight one was kind of amusing, but the others were lazy and tedious.
  • The framing of certain categories with clips from classic movies. It felt a bit forced and random to me, and seemed to unnecessarily lengthen the telecast.
  • Melissa Leo’s speech. Sorry, but I didn’t find it charming. It was kind of annoying and fake, in my opinion. She rambled, and the f-bomb wasn’t interesting.
  • Kind of: James Franco. He had some pretty funny moments (the white unitard, the Marilyn Monroe getup), but he generally seemed out of step with the rest of the ceremony. I don’t think that he was as terrible as some people are saying, but perhaps not the ideal host.
  • The finale. I feel like a heartless bitch, but dragging all those 5th graders up on stage just seemed like the most contrived, obvious finish the show could have gone for.
  • This is kind of a random note, but I would have liked to see a broader scope in terms of the films that they celebrated. Not even in terms of the winners, but just which films got shown/mentioned throughout the broadcast. There were two lengthy montages for the Best Picture nominees, but scarcely a glimpse of any other 2010 films. I get that the show is about the nominees and winners, but the Oscars should also be about celebrating the film industry in general. What about non-winners like The Town, Tron: Legacy, Shutter Island, Easy A, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Kick-Ass, and Jack-Ass 3-D? They all found devoted fanbases and helped make 2010 the year that it was in film.

Best Speeches

  • Colin Firth (Best Actor, The King’s Speech). Always a class act. The wry humour was wonderful, and I love that he’s sang the praises of Tom Ford all season.
  • Natalie Portman (Best Actress, Black Swan). I liked that she thanked the behind-the-scenes people on set, as well as the people that helped her get where she is.
  • Lee Unkrich (Best Animated Picture, Toy Story 3). He gave a gracious, inspiring, economical, and eloquent speech.
  • Luke Matheny (Best Live Action Short Film, God of Love). Matheny probably never thought that his NYU school project would win an Oscar, and his surprise and exuberance was refreshingly sincere. It’s nice to see a “regular” person outside of the big Hollywood machine get recognition.

Best Red Carpet Fashion:


Final 2011 Oscar Predictions!

These are my predictions for the winners in every category at this year’s Oscars. I think I’ve seen more of the nominees ahead of time than in past years, which is kind of nice. This is my fourth year doing predictions, and I’ve always gotten at least half of the winners right, so let’s see if I can keep it going this year.

Best Picture

127 Hours

Black Swan

The Fighter


The Kids Are All Right

The King’s Speech

The Social Network

True Grit

Winter’s Bone

I really want to believe that the game isn’t over for The Social Network, but I also can’t ignore the overwhelming amount of buzz for the admittedly Oscar-friendly King’s Speech.

Best Director

Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan

David O. Russell, The Fighter

Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech

David Fincher, The Social Network

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, True Grit

Who would have guessed that Director would be such an interesting category? From the original nominations (the Nolan stub still stings) right down to the wire, it’s unpredictable and exciting (and it makes me so happy every time I see Aronofsky’s name!) It’s tight between Hooper and Fincher.

Best Actor

Javier Bardem, Biutiful

Jeff Bridges, True Grit

Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network

Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

James Franco, 127 Hours

Not a shred of suspense here.

Best Actress

Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right

Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole

Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone

Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Portman is far and away the frontrunner, but I don’t think that an upset from Bening is completely out of the question, either.

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale, The Fighter

John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone

Jeremy Renner, The Town

Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right

Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

Bale has been dominating the precursors and gaining heaps of praise. Sure, it’s possible that Rush could spoil that, but I certainly wouldn’t count on it.

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, The Fighter

Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech

Melissa Leo, The Fighter

Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Leo’s supposed “antics” are causing some to question her chances (I haven’t really been following it, though). It’s true that Carter and Steinfeld have some traction, and I wouldn’t be shocked if either of them took the win, but my money is still on Leo.

Best Animated Feature Film

How to Train Your Dragon

The Illusionist

Toy Story 3

Best Foreign Language Film

Biutiful (Mexico)

Dogtooth (Greece)

In a Better World (Denmark)

Incendies (Canada)

Outside the Law (Algeria)

I feel like this group of films has a bit of a higher profile than last year’s group, which didn’t seem to get much attention until after the ceremony. But perhaps that’s just because more of these films have had a North American release already. I see Dogtooth as the equivalent of A Prophet last year (in other words, one that film fans love, but won’t win) and Biutiful as The White Ribbon (a grim film by a respected director who has done English language work. Once again, probably won’t win). Perhaps I’m swayed by the amplified coverage that Incendies has received here in Canada, but I think that it could be the winner.

Best Original Screenplay

Another Year

The Fighter


The Kids Are All Right

The King’s Speech

I’m actually not sure about this one. They could give it to Nolan as an apology for the Director snub. But when a film is on a role like The King’s Speech will likely be, it tends to take screenplay, even if it’s not necessarily the deserving winner.

Best Adapted Screenplay

127 Hours

The Social Network

Toy Story 3

True Grit

Winter’s Bone

Best Documentary Feature

Exit Through the Gift Shop


Inside Job


Waste Land

Wouldn’t it be fun if Exit Through the Gift Shop won? (and because I’m an uncultured asshole, it’s the only one of these – or any documentary from 2010 – that’s I’ve seen). But Serious Business will probably win out, and I’m predicting Restrepo for the win.

Best Original Song

127 Hours (“If I Rise”)

Country Strong (“Coming Home”)

Tangled (“I See the Light”)

Toy Story 3 (“We Belong Together”)

Wait, you mean there’s no bearded folkie this year? What is this? I have no clue who will win, then. I’m going to go with “If I Rise”, because if Oscar can’t have a bearded folkie, they will usually settle for A.R. Rahman. And since their Best Song Golden Age of the 1990’s, Disney hasn’t had much luck in this category.

Best Original Score

127 Hours (A.R. Rahman)

How to Train Your Dragon (John Powell)

Inception (Hans Zimmer)

The King’s Speech (Alexandre Desplat)

The Social Network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)

Fack. I dunno. From past experience, the Oscars aren’t cool, so I don’t know if they’re ready for Reznor and Ross’s brooding, minimalist score. And Zimmer and Desplat are BIG names. Whatever, I’m still going for Reznor.

Best Film Editing

Black Swan

The Fighter

The King’s Speech

127 Hours

The Social Network

Best Visual Effects

Alice in Wonderland

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1



Iron Man 2

Best Cinematography

Black Swan


The King’s Speech

The Social Network

True Grit

This is Deakins’ NINTH nomination, with no previous wins. He’s winning the damn category this time.

Best Sound Mixing


The King’s Speech


The Social Network

True Grit

I never know what to do with the sound categories.

Best Sound Editing


Toy Story 3

Tron: Legacy

True Grit


Best Costume Design

Alice in Wonderland

I Am Love

The King’s Speech

The Tempest

True Grit

There’s no Elizabethan period piece nominated. Therefore I am at a loss. I’m going with Colleen Atwood because she’s nominated every damn year and has designed costumes for roughly every movie ever made.

Best Art Direction

Alice in Wonderland

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1


The King’s Speech

True Grit

Best Makeup

Barney’s Version

The Way Back

The Wolfman

And now for the portion where I take wild, uneducated guesses (I literally just watched the trailer for the shorts here, and based my predictions off the 5 second clips):

Best Short Film (Live Action)

The Confession

The Crush

God of Love

Na Wewe

Wish 143

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

Killing in the Name

Poster Girl

Strangers No More

Sun Comes Up

The Warriors of Quigang

Best Short Film (Animated)

Day & Night

The Gruffalo

Let’s Pollute

The Lost Thing

Madagascar, carnet de Voyage

Best Movie Posters of 2010

To compliment my Best Trailers of 2010 post, here are some of my favourite movie posters from the past year.

Other Fetching One-Sheets:

Best Movie Trailers of 2010

I really have no excuse to putting it off until now, but here are my favourite trailers from 2010. This is based solely on the trailers themselves, and not with the context of the film.

1. The Social Network

This is what happens when you combine the perfect song with an impeccably edited selection of the perfect moments from a film. It’s taught, exciting, and racked with emotional fervency. Even after watching it a dozen times, I find myself holding my breath by the end.

2. Somewhere

It plays out more like an abstract short film than a conventional trailer, but from what I’ve heard, the movie itself is just as unrushed and poetic. It’s full of striking images, and Phoenix provides a lovely backdrop. It’s very Sofia Coppola, and that’s probably why I like it so much.

3. Black Swan
This definitely wins the award for mindfuck trailer of the year. And while it does grab your attention with freaky imagery, it’s the ambiguity that really makes it intriguing. We don’t know what’s real and what’s in Natalie Portman’s head. And we also don’t know why Barbara Hershey is so god damn creepy.

4. 127 Hours

I didn’t care for the teaser, but the first full-length trailer for Danny Boyle’s film conveyed the vivacious spirit that the teaser suggested. James Franco oozed charisma here, the use of Band of Horses “The Funeral” is superb, and I found the whole thing incredibly moving. (I haven’t even seen the movie, but since I’ve cried at the trailer, and at this interview with the real Aron Ralston [even Leno’s douchiness can’t ruin Ralston’s amazing story], I’m guessing I might be a bit of wreck when I finally watch it.)

5. True Grit (Teaser)

The full-length trailer is good, too, but I slightly prefer this more sombre approach to the film, rather than the guns-a-blazing action of the full trailer (though the latter is a better representation of the film). The hymn playing behind the teaser is beautiful, and Roger Deakins’ cinematography truly shines.

Honorable Mention: Blue Valentine

I really like the idea of picking one scene as the constant, and interspersing clips on top of it. That does mean that we don’t get to hear much dialogue, which would have given it all a bit more context (but nonetheless, it gets the point across). Ryan Gosling singing always make me happy, and it’s a very well-edited trailer.

Oscar Nominees 2011: My Personal Scorecard

Prepare yourself for a self-indulgent post about how my Oscar predictions throughout the year stacked up with this morning’s nominations. I have no idea if anyone will find this interesting, but since I’ve spent months covering this race, I figured I should at least do some kind of wrap-up to figure out if it was worth it.

Below, I’ve listed the official Oscar nominees. Beside them, I’ve listed the months in which I predicted them to be nominated. If they are in red, that means that I predicted them every month since and including March 2010, which was my earliest round of predictions. If you want to see that original post from March, click here. And prediction pages for each category show which names I predicted each month.

Best Picture

127 Hours: Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

Black Swan: March, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

The Fighter: March, May, June, July, Aug, Nov, Dec, Jan

Inception: March, May, June, Jul, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

The Kids Are All Right: Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

The King’s Speech: Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

The Social Network: March, May, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

Toy Story 3: June,
July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

True Grit: May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

Winter’s Bone: Nov, Dec, Jan

I had four of the eventual ten nominees in my first round of predictions (including The Social Network, which at the time was kind of just “That Facebook Movie”), and by September, I had almost all of the nominees down solidly. But does that make me a genius prognosticator? Not really. It just means that the race was pretty predictable. Who would’ve thought that movies about the founding of a website, a speech impediment, a crazy ballerina, a bunch of toys, and a guy stuck under a rock would make for the most compelling cinema of the year? But once people started seeing these movies, word spread fast and buzz started to build.

Best Actor

Javier Bardem: June, July, Aug, Sept

Jeff Bridges: Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

Jesse Eisenberg: Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

Colin Firth: March, May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

James Franco: Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

This is probably my category that varied the least from month to month. I really didn’t have too many guesses that went nowhere. I briefly predicted Damon for Hereafter (March and May), I had way too much faith in Stephen Dorff (June-Aug), and predicted Farrell for The Way Back (May) and Eckhart for Rabbit Hole (March) once apiece, but aside from that it was always some combo of the main seven actors. I stuck with Duvall through every round of predictions and backed Gosling through to September. But I can’t say that I’m embarrassed to have predicted them for so long, because they did turn out to be major contenders.

Best Actress

Annette Bening: March, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

Nicole Kidman: March, May, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

Jennifer Lawrence: June, July, Aug, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

Natalie Portman: March, May, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

Michelle Williams: March, May, June, Aug, Sept, Jan

Despite the fact that these predictions were more sporadic, I have to say, I’m kind of proud that I correctly guessed four of the five eventual nominees in my very first predictions. Things got a bit wonky in the summer (way too much faith in Hathaway and Lane), but I managed to get things back on track. I shouldn’t have been so steadfast about Lesley Manville (June-Dec) once the precursors ignored her, but at least I dropped her at the last minute.

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale: March, May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

John Hawkes:
Never in my predictions

Jeremy Renner: Dec, Jan

Mark Ruffalo: May, Aug, Sept, Nov, Dec, Jan

Geoffrey Rush: Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

This was a very strange category for me. There were names that I latched onto for no good reason and just would NOT drop. In Bale’s case, it worked in my favour, but I also spent way too long predicting Andrew Garfield for Never Let Me Go (March-July), Josh Brolin for True Grit (March-Aug), Sam Rockwell for Conviction (June-Oct), and especially Ed Harris for The Way Back (good lord, did I really predict him through to November??). In retrospect, I guess I was smart for being sceptical about Garfield’s Social Network chances, but sadly, I did give in by December. Not my best category, that’s for sure.

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams: March, May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

Helena Bonham Carter: June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

Melissa Leo: Oct,
Nov, Dec, Jan

Hailee Steinfeld: Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

Jacki Weaver: Dec

It seemed like I tried anything and everything with my predictions in this category. I was solid on Adams (and I’m glad I stuck with her even when everyone was doubting her and The Fighter over the summer) and Bonham Carter from early on, but some of my other guesses were pretty out of whack. Bryce Dallas Howard (March-July), Miranda Richardson (Sept-Nov), Elle Fanning (March, June-Sept), and several other randoms were poor choices. But considering that I had 4/5 by October, I suppose I did alright, eventually.