I know this post is a little late. You can thank True Grit for waiting until June to hit DVD for that one. Now that I have seen all the nominees, I’m left with a strange feeling in my tummy. I think that’s because I don’t think the best picture won! Hell, I don’t even think the academy came close. So, I thought we’d take a look back at the nominees and figure out what the best picture really was. Below you’ll find my picks and I’d love to hear yours in the comments below.
I wouldn’t normally do a list like this but this year, I felt, had a solid 10 films being nominated and was most open to debate and discussion. That being said, let’s jump in:
10. THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT.
I’m not sure this film should’ve even been in this category. If you want to hear more of my thoughts on this film, you can find them on back episodes of the MILFcast. I find it to be a good film but not a great one. It certainly doesn’t strike me as a best picture candidate. I’m not even sure an acting nomination was in order though I do think Julianne Moore was a bit more deserving than Annette Benning.
One thing that stuck with me for some reason, and maybe you can argue this to help me understand a bit better, was that while the film tried to portrayed gay/ lesbian couples in a positive light (and it did with regards to two mothers being able to raise happy, healthy children in a positive and loving environment), it also sort of did the opposite. When Julianne Moore’s character slept with Mark Ruffalo’s character, didn’t that kind of imply that being gay is a choice and couldn’t that be used as fuel by the anti-gay community out there? Isn’t that, in turn, somewhat irresponsible on the part of the filmmakers? I’d love to hear your opinions on this.
9. 127 HOURS.
Danny Boyle is a great director who makes insanely good films. Typically, even the ones he makes that seem uninteresting tend to win me over. However, in this case, and even with such an interesting story to tell, I found this film to be kind of boring. In all honesty, I thought it was the most overrated film of the films being praised last year. And I’m not the type to say otherwise just because of what all the critics tell me to think. In fairness, it’s hard to maintain an audience’s interest in a 90 to 120 minute film with just a person pinned down by a rock in a crevice. Boyle made good efforts to break up the monotony of that but, still, this film just didn’t connect with me.
8. THE FIGHTER.
I liked The Fighter a lot! It feels strange putting it at only number eight. However, I feel like the film was elevated by two exceptional performances and that the film itself is somewhat flawed. I like this film for the same reason I loved Cinderella Man. It’s a bit melodramatic but manages to tug at your heart strings by using the genre to portray a man who is not only being beaten down by life but in the ring as well. Unfortunately, it lacks the punch (pun intended) of a film like Rocky. And, sadly, until someone develops a new take on boxing films, I fear that this is all these types of films can hope to be in a world post-Rocky and Raging Bull.
7. TOY STORY 3.
I imagine this will get me the most crap out of all the films on the list. And I’ll be honest… I’m not sure the number six spot is the right place for TS3. This is why I hate having animated films in the best picture category. I mean, Pixar doesn’t make bad films. This film probably features the best storytelling on the list. It was certainly an enjoyable film. I guess ultimately it suffers from the fact that it is a threequel and felt like it was just more of the same. It is also hurt by the fact that I thought How to Train Your Dragon was the superior animated film of the year and should be here in it’s stead.
6. THE KING’S SPEECH.
Only number six? I know. Though I don’t really feel like that is a slight on this list of films. This is a damn good movie. I feel like Colin Firth earned his trophy and that Geoffrey Rush deserved one too. He just had the misfortune on being nominated in a tough year. The acting equivalent to 1994 in films where three pictures could have easily been considered “best”. Still, while it was a very good film, I’m not sure it deserved the best picture. Mainly because of the films below…
5. BLACK SWAN.
It seemed everyone in the world was dying to see Arronofsky’s next film. Everyone, that is, except for me. I love Pi, Requiem and The Wrestler. However, The Fountain proved that Arronofsky can miss and the idea of a film centered around ballet certainly didn’t interest a 30 year old man who joneses for the next big summer blockbuster. However, Arronofsky weaved a twisted tale into the psyche of a disturbed woman and delivered, in my opinion, one hell of a film. Portman was also well deserved in her honors.
I imagine this will be the second most debated pick on the list. The cooling off to this film can only be compared in size to the anticipation of it’s release. I even have a hard time placing it too because I don’t feel like I’ve come to fully enjoy it’s potential yet. It feels similar to when I initially saw The Matrix or (another Nolan film) The Prestige. These being films I grew to love more and more with each viewing.
It’s also hard to place because while fans want to see more films like this being recognized by the academy, they are hard to judge against the fair that the Academy typically recognizes. Ultimately, I think, above all other films on this list, Inception will remain in the pop culture vernacular a lot longer and there’s something to be said for the staying power of fan loved Academy award nominees. Star Wars and Indiana Jones anyone? Please save your comments on that last sentence… Inception is NO Star Wars.
3. TRUE GRIT.
This was one of the two surprise films in the bunch. I have to say, the first half hour featured some of the best dialogue I’ve ever listened to in film. No surprise from the Coen Brothers who have a knack in that department. Crafting memorable, fitting dialogue in quirky films like Miller’s Crossing and O Brother, Where Art Thou. By far, this was an underestimated film (even by me) this awards season and features performances that probably should’ve been given more honors than received. I’m also glad to see how good it was because the Coens had been in a bit of a slump (by Coen Brothers standards) as of late and it was nice to see a return to form.
2. WINTER’S BONE.
This was the second film that blew me away this year. It also featured a performance by an unrecognizable John Hawkes that I think deserved a little golden man. He, like Geoffrey Rush, just had unfortunate timing. I think this film suffered from the fact that it was a smaller film and didn’t have the wave of enthusiasm behind it that some of the other films out there had. But you’d have a hard time finding a critic, or anyone that’s seen it for that matter, that didn’t love this little Indie darling.
1. THE SOCIAL NETWORK.
What was the front runner in the months leading up to Oscar, should’ve been the winner on the big night. This film fully cements Aaron Sorkin as probably the best writer in the business. It also features Fincher doing some of his best work in a very non-typical Fincher-esque way. It also featured what I think was the most underrated and least talked about performances of the year. Jesse Eisenberg was amazing in this film. This is the kid with the Jew fro who typically stutters through movies looking like he needs his inhaler or his anti-depression medication and he literally transformed himself into the calculating, douschey founder of Facebook. Not enough can be said about this film that I wanted to re-watch the second it was over.
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So, what do you think?