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Oscars 2012: Part One

February 15, 2012

So, it’s award season and that means the Oscars are coming up (February 26th). While I don’t always agree with Oscars’ nominations or winners, more often than not. I still do like to watch it and sigh at all the things they get wrong. This post is for the films and actors that I belief deserve to win:

(note I haven’t seen all the films nominated so this might change. I haven’t watched The Artist and it’s pretty certain that will win big this year)

Best Cinematography

  1. The Artist
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  3. Hugo
  4. The Tree of Life
  5. War Horse

And the winner is…The Tree of Life. This is an absolutely beautiful and mesmerising looking film. Emmanuel Lubezki imbues the camera with a sense of personality; the camera, at times feels like it’s floating, it acts both as a confessional to the characters’ deepest moments and also as an observer of events. The film does have all the hallmarks of a Malick film, such as the copious amounts of nature shots but there is a sense of wonderment and playfulness in the handheld movements. And even if you didn’t like the film (not his best, still think The Thin Red Line is his masterpiece) you cannot deny the sheer power of the cinematography.

Best Screenplay (Original)

  1. The Artist
  2. Bridesmaids
  3. Margin Call
  4. Midnight in Paris
  5. A Separation

And the winner is….Midnight in Paris. This has to be Woody Allen’s best film in years, believe the hype! It’s a glorious journey down the world of ’20s Paris in the time of Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds, Stein and more. While it’s not exactly laugh-out-loud material, Allen does have fun with our perceptions of writers and artists.

(I can’t do adapted screenplay, haven’t read all the books)

Best Actor

  1. Demian Bichir
  2. George Clooney
  3. Jean Dujardin
  4. Gary Oldman
  5. Brad Pitt

And the winner is…Gary Oldman. He gives an extremely assured and measured performance in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He generates so much power and pathos in such a quiet, precise role that it is exhilarating to watch. He probably won’t win as his performance is too low-key, there’s no grandstanding moment for viewers to latch onto. Yet, he acts as the pillar for the film. It’s a performance where the entire body is part of it; his voice, the way in which he moves, the quiet, steadiness of how he works. It is a masterclass of acting.

 

 

Part Two will come in a bit, after I’ve watched all the Best Picture nominees.

 

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2012 11:23 pm

    I have Tree of Life out from Netflix. I haven’t seen the Thin Red Line but I really liked The New World.

    I saw 50/50 recently and was slightly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I wish it had been nominated for screenplay and that Levitt had been nominated for best actor. But I haven’t seen any of the best actor nominees so I don’t know how he compares there.

    I don’t know why War Horse got nominated for Best Picture, except that Spielberg did it and it was a war film and it had some good cinematography. But it was just too soppy for me in most parts.

    • February 19, 2012 11:39 am

      I’m going to have to watch Tree of Life a second time. It’s probably his most abstract, and the narrative is structured in a non-traditional way. There’s not much direct dialogue mostly just voice-over but it is beautiful combination of image and music. My main criticism of it is that it is too unstructured, unlike say The Thin Red Line which has the same qualities but has a structure that allows you to fully appreciate what the film is trying to say. The Tree of Life is often too lofty and aloof that it’s hard to cling onto anything substantial. I suppose I have to watch it again. I suggest you watch The Thin Red Line before watching Tree of Life, or actually Days of Heaven, which is similar in tone to Tree of Life.

      Haven’t seen 50/50 yet but I do quite like Seth Rogen and I think Gordon-Levitt is a great actor. He should have been nominated for Mysterious Skin or even Brick.

      War Horse had to be nominated for the reasons you said. It’s a typical Oscar choice.

      • February 26, 2012 9:49 pm

        I watched Tree of Life this afternoon and the cinematography was indeed amazing. It reminded me of Andrei Tarkovsky’s film The Mirror, especially with the luminous shots of the mother. It took me a while to get into Tree of Life. The best parts were a little past the middle, I think, when the film focuses more on the family interactions.

  2. gaskella permalink
    February 20, 2012 12:03 am

    I do hope Oldman wins – his stillness, but you knew he was watching, absorbing, making connections, thinking all the time – and the one scene where he let go and talked about Karla to Gwillam was magnificent. Dujardin got the Bafta though …

    • February 20, 2012 12:13 pm

      exactly great scene

      also Kathy Burke needs to return to acting

      Bafta just tries to be like the Oscars as much as possible, I can’t believe Olivia Colman wasn’t nominated for Tyrannosaur and that Meryl “overacting” Streep won

      • gaskella permalink
        February 20, 2012 1:53 pm

        Agree re Kathy Burke totally. Loved the office party scenes too – very revealing. The casting was so spot on in Tinker Tailor for everyone. (though Ricky Tarr will always be Hywel Bennett for me, never Tom Hardy with his weird big lips).

        Sadly being a single Mum, I don’t get out to the Cinema to see grown-up films enough, but Tyrannosaur is on my DVD wishlist – I’d heard Olivia Colman was brilliant (nice feature on her in the Times last weekend).

        I’m sort of curious about The Iron Lady though, but I think it can wait until available cheaply. πŸ™‚

      • February 20, 2012 3:44 pm

        lol, every time he was on screen I couldn’t stop staring at them…they look those gummy lip sweet things

        Tyrannosaur is tough to watch and I think, tbh, it wouldn’t be as good without the acting talent (can’t say I would want to watch it again)

      • February 20, 2012 3:47 pm

        supposedly they focus on Thatcher’s home life rather than her politics which is daft as Margaret Thatcher = politics, it’s such an intrinsically important part of her. then again haven’t seen the film

        oh and thanks for the email sub

  3. February 20, 2012 6:47 pm

    I was really bummed several years ago when Avatar didn’t win best picture and have kind of lost interest since then–kind of paying attention but not really. I’ve seen some of the nominated shows this year but probably not the ones that will win big (The Artist from what you say!). I REALLY need to watch Midnight in Paris. We actually rented it but as soon as I saw it was a Woody Allen movie I told hub to turn it off since I knew he wouldn’t like it–but from talk it sounds like I was a bit hasty and overgeneralizing.

    • February 21, 2012 6:27 pm

      Midnight in Paris is a charming, whimsical film…well worth a watch. How can you not like Woody Allen? He’s done so many films there must at least be one πŸ™‚

      • February 21, 2012 6:40 pm

        I adored Vicky Cristina Barcelona–my husband not so much. πŸ™‚

      • February 21, 2012 10:36 pm

        perhaps try one of his more comedic films like Manhattan Murder Mystery or even The Purple Rose of Cairo which is one of his best

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