The Oscars : 2011

As far back as I can remember, I have never missed the Academy Awards on television. There was always something completely magical about it, all of these beautiful, awe-inspiring people together in the same room wearing amazing clothes. We have laughed and cried and lived lives with these people on screen. They are all icons, recognizable or not, and it feels like you are watching a congregation of the most important people in the world.

I also have a great time picking the winners for each category, although the Academy usually defies me. So I will make my pick and my prediction.

Before I kick this off let me just say a few things: I think it was Nicole Kidman who mentioned a few years ago that really, the Oscars don’t make sense. The only way that you could legitimately award “Best Actress” or anything of the like is if each actor played the same role as every other nominee. Otherwise, it’s apple to oranges. Comparison in art is fickle, partly since so much of it is subjective. Keep this in mind.

A few notes:

-I do not feel knowledgeable enough to make any comment on Costume Design, Makeup, Sound Mixing/Editing or Visual Effects.

-I admit, I have not seen every movie up for best picture. I missed out on Winter’s Bone, Inception, and 127 Hours

So here we go!

BEST PICTURE:

My Pick: The Fighter

I completely loved this movie. The acting, cinematography, and general plot development really impressed me. The characters were really rich, and played by great actors.

My Prediction: The King’s Speech OR The Social Network

There will be a lot of tension here. Will they choose the Academy favorite or the film whose content defines our generation with freakish accuracy?

BEST ACTOR:

My Pick and Prediction: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

I felt like I had a speech impediment by the end. He was completely convincing and I was yearning to peal away the layers of his character, which is a testament to the beauty of the screenplay and acting.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

My Pick and Prediction: Christian Bale, The Fighter

Completely entrancing as a drug addict and family man. One of the best performances I’ve seen in awhile.

BEST ACTRESS:

My Pick: Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

She played the lovesick college kid and the jaded, hard-working wife/mother simultaneously. And beautifully.

My Prediction: Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Just going off of all the hype surrounding Portman at the moment, I would be surprised if she didn’t win!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

My Pick and Prediction: Melissa Leo, The Fighter

How have I not known about this woman? She was brilliant, she made me completely forget that I was watching a performance, which is the best thing an actor can do.

Also, Hailee Steinfeld? Really? Am I the only one who thought that her performance was fine at best?

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:

My Pick and Prediction: Toy Story 3

I mean, it was just amazing. I have followed the (now) trilogy since early childhood, and this last film definitely did justice to the magic of the first. Mr. Potato Head using a quesadilla as a substitute body? Yes please.

Although I really want to see The Illusionist… Also, where were all of the animated films this year? 3 nominees? Really?

ART DIRECTION:

My Pick and Prediction: The King’s Speech

If nothing else impressed me about this film, the art direction blew my mind. The sets were very inventive and beautiful.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

My Pick: The King’s Speech (for inventiveness) & The Social Network (for inexplicable warm beauty)

My Prediction: The King’s Speech

BEST DIRECTOR:

First of all, I’ve always wondered: How can you gauge this? What are the criteria?

My Pick: David O. Russell, The Fighter & David Fincher, The Social Network

My Prediction: David Fincher

Did you know that he did 99 takes of the very first scene? Oh David…

And here I hit a rock: I have not seen ANY of the documentary features, along with none of the animated or live action shorts (except Day & Night, so great), AND NONE of the foreign films! This is HERESY my friends! Can someone tell me where these films are available? Are they available to the public at all? Do we need to take action?

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

My Pick: The Social Network

I never really noticed the score of the film the first two times I saw it, but by the third viewing I really picked up on the tone and emotional mood that is set up by the very subtle and very cool music.

My Prediction: The King’s Speech?

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

I can’t say I would be confident saying anything, having not read the originals, but I loved the screenplay of The Social Network

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

My Pick: The Fighter

My Prediction: The King’s Speech

I really want to see Another Year…

So there you have it! Whether you agree with me or not, I hope this inspires you to make your own selections from the nominees. And be sure to tune in and hang out with your fellow Sarah Lawrence Oscar fans tomorrow night, February 27, 2011!

(On Campus Editor) is a film kid and hyper-curious about the world in general. Moonlighting as a wedding videographer, she strives to one day become her own boss as a filmmaker and illustrator. Anna is easy to talk to and anyone who knows her knows that free candy is the way to her heart. To see some of her work, check out www.annaquinlan.com

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