I braved the Oscar nominations last Tuesday with one groggy eye open and a large cup of joe at my side. Thankfully Iâ€™ve fully recovered and after a couple of therapy sessions I think Iâ€™ve come to terms with the fact that this yearâ€™s nominees are crapola. My plan to rectify the situation is to come up with my own list of Best Picture Nomineeâ€™s; they say itâ€™s part of the healing process.
There wonâ€™t be ten.
I have listed my top Oscar picks and will not only validate their nomination but also list any possible flaws that may rule them out for the win.
(I will be mailing out a gold statue to the lucky winner)
AND THE BEST PICTURE NOMINEEâ€™S ARE:
1.) ”Public Enemies” Directed by Michael Mann
Michael Mann meets infamous bank robber John Dillinger. Need I say more? Apparently so, since it wasnâ€™t nominated. Reasons for Nomination: The shots were beautifully done and added the perfect depth to the film. A prime example is the great OTS shot near the beginning of the film when all of the prisoners are walking in line, it gives me chills just thinking about it. The dialogue was somewhat sparse but also had some great one liners that were delivered well by Dillinger. Another bonus was the chemistry between Dillinger and Billie; it seemed really natural yet packed with sexual tension. Lastly, the action scenes were visually stunning and kept my interest.
Flaws: The only problem I had with this film were a few select lines that didnâ€™t sound natural, yet they were barely noticeable. Also, I wasnâ€™t very convinced with Christian Baleâ€™s performance, even though Iâ€™m a big fan.
Other than that, I wanted to see it again right when it ended.
2.) ”Star Trek” Directed by J.J. Abrams
Iâ€™m not a trekkie. Iâ€™ve never been one but if anyone could convert me, itâ€™s J.J. Abrams and holy shit did he ever. Made for newbies and die hards alike, this film was a blast!
Reasons for Nomination: The beginning of the film sucked me in harder than a Hoover. The characters were well cast and played off each other easily. The dialogue was fun, the plot line was decent and moved quickly. Zachary Quinto did a brilliant job of portraying Spock and made me fall in love with the character. (I also love him on Heroes but Iâ€™m trying to ignore that fact and not let it influence my decision)
Flaws: The story line for the villain was weak and not interesting, not to mention Eric Banaâ€™s performance was cheesy as hell. Second problem, when Kirk gets stuck in the water pipe, why ?? Exactly. It didnâ€™t accomplish anything. Last complaint: Kirk on the snow planet running away from the strange icy monster, again, eh, seemed like it was just put there to put it there, I know he needed to run into future Spock, but couldnâ€™t that have just happened anyway?
Otherwise, I saw this bad boy three times in the theater because all the good things about the film far outweighed the bad.
3.) ”Funny People” Directed by Judd Apatow
Why this movie didnâ€™t get more notice is a mystery to me.
I think Judd Apatow is a great writer and with this film he didnâ€™t deliver his typical lighthearted comedy such as â€œKnocked Up,â€ instead Apatow got a little bit serious and I have to say I think it really worked for him. The film had a lot of heart and nothing could be better then living in a couple hours of Apatow.
Reasons for Nomination: This film had a great, fun setting and a decent storyline; I enjoyed every minute of living in the stand-up comedy world. The story was almost entirely character driven so the lead was important and Adam Sandlerâ€™s performance was definitely notable. I really enjoyed the build-up for his character, which was necessary and made the character likeable and relatable. By the time the credits rolled, I wanted George Simmons to be my best friend. I really just adore Apatowâ€™s writing and think the execution of the script was grand.
Flaws: There were minor flaws within the film and one would be Seth Rogen. Donâ€™t get me wrong, I like Seth Rogen but I donâ€™t think heâ€™s really that great of an actor, he seemed a little stiff with some of the more natural dialogue. I think he could have cast someone a lot stronger in that role even though he probably wouldnâ€™t have wanted to. Some may say it dragged on for a little bit, but again, I really think he needed that time for the characters to develop and for the audience to feel such a strong relationship to them.
4.) ”Inglorious Basterds” Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Iâ€™m delighted to see that they got one nomination right and this is it!! There are few people who could get away with killing off Hitler with a thousand bullets to the face, luckily, Quentin Tarantino is one of them, if not the only one.
Reasons for Nomination: The script was extremely well done. There were also some great tension scenes that had me hanging off the edge of my seat such as: the first twenty minutes of the film, the scene in the pub and yet again in the scene with Hans and Shoshanna in the restaurant. I admit when I first saw the trailer I thought Brad Pittâ€™s accent and demeanor was going to annoy the shit out of me, luckily it didnâ€™t. Instead I found out it was a great performance followed by an entire cast of great performances. I donâ€™t even know what else to say I was so pleased with this film. The shots were great, the script was great, and everything was done incredibly well.
Flaws: Iâ€™ve racked my brain for hours and holy shit, I canâ€™t think of any! Everything came together so damn well. He pulled it off with Finesse and I will be chanting and rooting his name come Oscar night.
5.) ”An Education” Directed by Lone Scherfig:
Ok, I know, another actual nominee, (there are ten ya know, at least they got two right!) but this Oscar Nomination is rightly deserved in my eyes. Maybe itâ€™s because I love French Music, maybe itâ€™s because I long to go to France, or maybe itâ€™s because of Carey Mulliganâ€™s perfect portrayal of the character Jenny, either way I thought this movie was delicious.
Reasons for Nomination: I tip my hat to Nick Hornby, he did a great job with the script and lets face it, not all great novelists make great screenwriters, but he definitely convinced me. This story was also very character driven so casting the character Jenny well would have definitely either made the film or killed it. Good thing they nailed it with Carey Mulligan. The story moved pretty quickly and kept me interested during the duration of the film.
Flaws: Peter Scarsgard was the only flaw in this film and while he did a decent job, I just donâ€™t think he had the right face for it. I would have liked to see someone a little more charming when they smile, whereas Scarsgard just looks a little creepy. I think maybe if they would have cast Jude Law it would have eliminated any problem I had with this movie, he can be a little bit more charming while still maintaining the tone that there might be something untrustworthy about the character.
AND THE WINNER IS â€¦
This film wins not because it was the most fun for me to watch personally (even though it was, but perhaps not as much as some of the others) or even because it raked in the dough. Technically speaking, it contains all the components of the best film. Itâ€™s well written, itâ€™s well shot, and the performances were great. Now isnâ€™t this what the Oscars are supposed to be about?