Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscar Picks

For those of you who weren't aware, I'm a bit of a movie buff. Games may be one of my passions; but as crazy as I am with them, the shelves of DVDs and tapes in my house attest to just how crazy I am over cinema. Thus, I decided to put together a quick list of my picks for tonight's Academy Awards - not that anybody was clamping at the bit to know; but oh well!

So who do I think will be walking away with the coveted Oscar tonight?

Best Motion Picture of the Year
The King's Speech - "The King's Speech" is just that classic award-winning film. Beautiful sets, beautiful costumes, amazing performances, and a gripping tale. This is one that will hold up with time and I can see myself revisiting in the years to come.

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Natalie Portman (Black Swan) - Portman's portrayal of the tortured Nina in "Black Swan" was one of the most gripping of her already amazing career. Throughout the movie, the subtle nuances to her performance kept me hooked just as much as the stunning visual effects.

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges (True Grit) - Bridges is one of the actors whom everyone loves. I have yet to find a single person who cannot be put under this man's spell. His performance as the rough, alcoholic Rooster Cogburn is mesmerizing in its ruggedness. As with most Bridges movies, it's impossible not to watch him anytime he is on the screen and the Coens' direction compliment him perfectly.

This category was the most difficult for me to choose. All the men up for Best Actor this year blew me away. I think it may be Bridges long and storied career that tips the scales for him, though.

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech) - Rush as Lionel Logue is nothing short of brilliant. Every expression or movement is made with expressed purpose. Even the way he'd deliver lines in simple conversation left me captivated. I'd be incredibly surprised if Rush didn't walk away with this trophy.

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) - For a young actress to bring such capability and intelligence to a character is a huge task. Yet, from the moment she appears on screen, you believe that Steinfeld is an intelligent young woman who can do far more than her age and appearance would have one believe. Yet, she also knows how to switch on the vulnerability, making her endearing. An incredible performance.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Toy Story 3 - I bawled like a little bitch. Need I say more?

Achievement in Directing
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) - Few directors know how to bend and provoke the mind quite like Aronofsky. The twisted world of ballerinas and swans he created in his masterpiece, "Black Swan", is both beautiful and frightening. It's moving art.

Best Documentary Feature
Exit through the Gift Shop Banksy, director (Paranoid Pictures) - I was a fan of Banksy's prior to this film and always had an interest in street art. I went into this documentary simply expecting it to be a look into how he accomplishes some of his amazing pieces. What I got out of it was so much more and one of the best documentaries I've ever seen.

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
127 Hours (A.R. Rahman) - I love A.R. Rahman's scores. He knows how to compliment the landscape of a film perfectly with instruments and rhythms from his native India. Truly special and unique.

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)
"If I Rise" from 127 Hours Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong - See above.