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My Top Ten List – 2010

February 15, 2011 1 comment

Last year, I can remember the huge uproar against the AMPAS extending the amount of Best Picture nominees to ten. I can also remember, that through it all, I was one of this notion’s strongest supporters. I recognize the faults in the logic. It allows for lesser films that have no business being considered one of the year’s best to fight their way in due to endless campaigning and the votes of stupid people. This flaw took shape last year in the form of “The Blind Side” getting nominated for Best Picture.

However, the upsides of the expansion are far greater. It gives the field a more diverse look, for one. It’s nice to see films from a wide range of directors and collaborators. If allows also a mix of both intelligent box office hits and scrappy indy favorites. More than anything else, however, is that five films is just two few to sum up a year in cinema. Had the Academy enacted this ruling ten years ago, one would look back on certain films and think it a crime had they not been nominated, which they haven’t. Imagine a world if films like “The Wrestler,” “The Dark Knight,” “WALL-E,” “Into the Wild,” “Once,” “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” “United 93,” “Little Children,” “Children of Men” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” could have been Best Picture nominees, and that’s only the last five years.

It must be for that reason that critics, for over fifty years, have been issuing top ten lists of their favorite films, rather than top five lists. It’s about that time, therefore, for The Edge of the Frame to release its own list for the 2010 year. I have now seen sixty films from 2010, which is low for me and not quite an respectable amount. Over the years, I’m sure that this list will change a spot or two as I see more, but for now, I believe that I’ve seen an acceptable sum to create an adequate list.

This has been a good year for film, but not really a great one. Out of sixty films, I gave only two films “A” grades. The year has had its high points and low points. For instance, it has been a great year for lead acting performances, but a rotten year for cinematography. For sure, I will always remember 2010 as the year that the Oscars snubbed its nose at great film and went home to their comfort zones. More than anything else, however, 2010 has been the year of the documentary. Never have I seen a year in cinema in which so many documentaries have captured my interest, let alone made it into my top ten.

As always there are a few stragglers that, even though they don’t qualify for my top ten, they still deserve an honorable mention. Therefore, this next selection of films are all very good, but just not good enough. They may be packed with amazing moments, but there’s also one too many flaws that have kept them down. So without further adieu, here are the films that just didn’t quite make it:

THE RUNNERS-UP


“127 Hours”

Directed by Danny Boyle
Written by Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy

Click HERE to see the rest of the list

Read more…

“King’s Speech” and “Social Network” Win at BAFTAs

February 14, 2011 Leave a comment

It kind of went without saying that “The King’s Speech” was destined to rape the living hell out of these awards since September when the film debuted at the Venice Film Festival. Apparently, it’s the most widely popular and acclaimed British film since, I don’t know….”Lawrence of Arabia,” though I surely don’t understand it. This is a big moment for our English brethren across the Atlantic to pat themselves on the back. A pretty strong example of this is how the British Academy Awards actually have two awards for Best Picture: Best Film and Best British Film. For years they have made it so that no film wins both awards, but rather spread the wealth. Guess what’s the first film ever to take home every Best Picture award on the market?

“The King’s Speech” ended up taking home seven awards, total. Aside from being the first film to achieve the accolade above, the film also became the first film in BAFTA history to take home three awards for acting. Colin Firth, of course, nailed the Best Actor win (not even the real King George risen from the dead could stop Firth from sweeping straight to Oscar glory). However, the film also won supporting awards for both Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. While Geoffrey Rush is definitely picking up a bit of steam, don’t expect a repeat in the American Academy Awards. If anyone can unseat Melissa Leo, it will be Hailee Steinfeld (sadly).

Despite all of the above, “The King’s Speech” was not the only big winner of the night. Many believed that “The Social Network” was TKOed, not just for these awards, but for year, as well. Some of this ideology was attributed to the film only garnering six nominations (compared to “The King’s Speech”‘s fourteen) or perhaps the heavy American sentiment laden in the work. However, all of this was rendered false, last night, when “The Social Network” won three very substantial awards: Best Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director for David Fincher. If the Brits won’t even give their award to newcomer Tom Hooper, I can’t see any reason why the American awards circuit would stoop that low.

Check out the full list of winners, below:

BEST FILM: “The King’s Speech”
BEST DIRECTOR: David Fincher – “The Social Network”
BEST LEADING ACTOR: Colin Firth – “The King’s Speech”
BEST LEADING ACTRESS: Natalie Portman – “Black Swan”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Geoffrey Rush – “The King’s Speech”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Helena Bonham Carter – “The King’s Speech”
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: “The Social Network”
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: “The King’s Speech”
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: “True Grit”
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM: “The King’s Speech”
OUTSTANDING BRITISH DEBUT: “Four Lions”
BEST EDITING: “The Social Network”
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: “The King’s Speech”
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: “Inception”
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: “Alice in Wonderland”
BEST SOUND: “Inception”
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: “Inception”
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIR: “Alice in Wonderland”
BEST SHORT FILM: “Until the River Runs Red”
BEST SHORT FILM, ANIMATION: “The Eagleman Stag”
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
BEST ANIMATED FILM: “Toy Story 3″
RISING STAR AWARD: Tom Hardy

Does “The Social Network” Still Have a Chance?

February 5, 2011 Leave a comment

I recently read an article written by Steve Pond over at The Wrap, who is in the same boat as 95% of awards pundits in believing that this race is pretty much called for “The King’s Speech.” However, he outlines that there still are some outs left for “The Social Network,” particularly if it changes and ups its campaign in these last few weeks.

The film is having a great weekend, having won the USC Scripter Award last night and all but locked to win the WGA award for Best Adapted Screenplay tonight. What’s better for it is that since “The King’s Speech” wasn’t eligible for the WGA awards (even though its the best bet to win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay), it will be a weekend in which “The King’s Speech” will actually be out of the news.

Pond’s article makes some good points. I’ve highlighted a small section of it below where he discusses how “The Social Network” might have a shot in the balloting:

“The question that’ll face “The Social Network” on Sunday morning is whether it can capitalize on the small shot of momentum that comes from a pair of expected victories – and if so, how.

Columnists have been offering scenarios in recent days, ranging from S.T. Van Airsdale’s suggestion that David Fincher show that he actually wants the award to John Lopez’s theorythat the preferential system of ballot-counting – in which a film can win if it picks up enough number two and three votes from movies that are eliminated from contention – will help a critical favorite like “TSN.”

In fact, I’d guess that the preferential count will help “TKS” or even “The Fighter” or “Toy Story 3″ more than “TSN.” The question to ask: among voters whose first choices are “Winter’s Bone,” “127 Hours,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “Inception” and “True Grit,” which film is likely to be ranked second? If the majority of those voters go for “Social Network,” it can pull off an upset; if they split their votes or rally behind something else, the Facebook flick is in trouble.”

You can read the full article here. And here’s to holding out hope:

First Oscar Winner Predictions

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s time for phase 2, ladies and gentleman. Things aren’t going as well as I would have liked, but they almost never do. As Sasha Stone at Awardsdaily quotes “All the President’s Men,” in regards to the Oscar race, “The trick is not minding.” You’ve got to roll with the punches and accept that even if the deserving film doesn’t win, hopefully your predictions are still right. Therefore, at least your pride is still intact.

I have “The King’s Speech” down for the big win, sadly. Maybe later on, if there’s a potential change in vibe, I might make an alteration back. But for now, one has to put the money where the money’s gonna win. I have, meanwhile, kept David Fincher in the frontrunner position for Best Director. I simply cannot imagine a world in which Tom Hooper wins that trophy from him. It’s simply unnatural that the Academy could be that ridiculous.

You can pretty much take all of the acting wins to the bank. Melissa Leo is the only one who’s kind of flimsy, at this point, but I have a feeling her age and fantastic personality will help her beat out the unworthy newcomer.

Going over this, it still boggles me that Lee Smith missed an editing nomination for “Inception.” It really makes no sense. I have the “The Social Network” down, and my God, it deserves it. Yet, the nomination feels flimsy, and yet I can’t figure out what could possibly take it down.

With that, here are my first winner predictions for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, complete with all of the nominees ranked in order of their chances. I will keep them posted and, hopefully, updated in the “PREDICTIONS” tab at the top of the homepage.

Click “Read More” to see the full list and tally.

BEST PICTURE
1. “The King’s Speech”
2. “The Social Network”
3. “The Fighter”
4. “True Grit”
5. “Black Swan”
6. “Toy Story 3″
7. “Inception”
8. “127 Hours”
9. “Winter’s Bone”
10. “The Kids Are All Right”

Read more…

The DGA and the SAG: Now It’s Time to Vent…

February 1, 2011 1 comment

Well folks, Tom Hooper has just won the DGA and the cast he directed took home Best Ensemble at the SAG. Coupled with the PGA win last week, “The King’s Speech” has now emerged as not only the frontrunner, but pretty much the inevitable winner of the Best Picture award at the Oscars. As this film has picked up speed in the last few weeks, I’ve tried to keep an open mind. I’ve tried to tell myself that this kind of healthy competition will make for a better Oscars and would make “The Social Network”‘s eventual victory all the more sweet. However, now that the race has shifted from a neck and neck dogfight to a potential sweep for “The King’s Speech,” it has become impossible to suppress my rage.

This situation is, more or less, a travesty for American cinema. For the last half of the previous decade, the AMPAS showed that they had the potential to change with the times. By awarding films like “The Departed,” “No Country for Old Men,” and “The Hurt Locker,” the Academy has proven that they have the ability to not only award phenomenal films, but ones that represent a shift in the balance of power. These are films that show a new Hollywood, emerging from the ashes, making art for a new generation and ultimately changing movies for the better. With “The Social Network,” the AMPAS were given an opportunity to crystalize this new reputation by awarding not only the best movie of the year, but one that is an absolute game-changer in the world of filmmaking. Instead, they are willing to flush it all down the drain.

“The King’s Speech” is not a bad film. It is simply a good film. It has good acting, good writing, good direction, good production quality and good music. In case you haven’t noticed, “good” is the key word, here. I don’t think there is a single aspect of this film that achieves a level of “greatness.” It is an iconic example of middle-of-the-road filmmaking, directed straight at a block of people yearning for that warm and fuzzy feeling in their stomachs. It’s “triumph of the human spirit” pornography. More than anything else, however, it is straight-up Oscar fodder, and they are eating it up, hook, line and sinker. They’re all too willing to vote their souls away for a chance to award this heart-warming work of mediocrity.

“The Social Network” is the best film of the year. Even if people’s opinions cannot agree with or grasp this concept, the title still pretty much remains the same. Never in history has a film garnered so much recognition and awards. Never has the population of this nation’s film critics solidified so strong and unanimous an opinion about a single film. However, it’s more than just a critical tally or mantlepiece full of statues. This is a film that resonates so strongly with this societal climate, much in the same way did “Network” in 1976, “Bonnie and Clyde” in 1967, and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” in 1939. When looking down the road, it is a film that will be remembered, not only for it’s cultural impact, but for the flawless nature of its filmmaking prowess. And since I am one such person who can actually make this statement from a position of age and experience (I started college only a year after “The Facebook” was created, back when it was just a college thing), this is, in fact, the movie that defines my generation.

The Academy Award is called that for one reason: it is awarded upon the voted decision of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It’s their award and they can technically do whatever they want with it. However, I really have to ask just what the hell is wrong with these people? Are they really that much an organization of pure saps? Are they really that cynical that they would deliberately snub the frontrunner for an inferior underdog just because their sick of the unanimous praise? Have they really not gotten tired of having Harvey Weinstein’s lips wrapped around their you-know-whats?Can they really not look beyond four weeks from now and consider what history will judge as the more educated and lasting decision? Most importantly, has the Academy really gone back to its old ways? God, let us hope not.

So is the race over? The answer is no. Even when things get to their bleakest point of flat-out certainty, the race is never over until the last envelope is opened. However, it’s really not looking good for David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s masterpiece. With the combined weight of the SAG, PGA, and DGA, anyone who has spent any time in the industry of awards prognostication would be a fool to not call it for “The King’s Speech.” After all, the actors and producers, put together, make up nearly half of the Academy’s voting block. Hope is not lost, completely, but I would now peg “The Social Network”‘s chances at around twenty to twenty-five percent.

At points like these, one can only find comfort by constantly reminding themselves of the most important lesson the awards season has ever taught us: as many fantastic films have won the Oscar for Best Picture, there are exponentially more amazing films that have lost it. “The Social Network” may soon join the ranks of films like “Fargo” and “Saving Private Ryan,” “Pulp Fiction” and “Goodfellas,” “Raging Bull” and “Apocalypse Now,” “Taxi Driver” and “All the President’s Men,” “Chinatown,” and “Jaws,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?” and “The Graduate,” “Vertigo” and “Rear Window,” “Double Indemnity,” and, yes, “Citizen Kane.” Coupled with the movies I mentioned previously in this article, this is not exactly bad company to be kept with. However, if you listen very closely, you can clearly hear Orson Welles rolling over in his grave, that after seventy years of history, lessons have yet to be learned.

Listen to the Best Original Score Nominees

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

One of the better categories among this year’s Oscar nominees has to be that of Best Original Score. Sometimes, the composers are a bit finicky with their nominations, usually going the safer route and not expanding out of their comfort zones. However, there’s some truly astounding work on display in this particular crop.

If I was to do any voting in this category, I would definitely have to go with “The Social Network.” Reznor and Finch’s score is truly sublime, incorporating experimental electronic elements with traditional themes and modern beats. The music is innovative, pleasing and ultimately game-changing, much like the movie itself.

After that, my runners-up would be a close call between “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Inception.”  Both films contain music that open your eyes and raise your heartbeat. I actually don’t think that there is an element of “HTTYD” that comes close to staying with me as strongly as the score. “Inception” gets a lot of bad word-of-mouth that Hans Zimmer simply recycled music from “The Dark Knight,” but I never thought of it that way. Zimmer’s music always follows similar tones and rhythms, but his work on “Inception” has the ability to stand on its own as a work of power and beauty.

As far as the Oscar goes, this is how I would rank the films’ chances of winning this particular award:

1. “The Social Network” – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
2. “The King’s Speech” – Alexandre Desplat
3. “Inception” – Hans Zimmer
4. “127 Hours” – A.R. Rahman
5. “How to Train Your Dragon” – John Powell

Ryan Adams at Awardsdaily has dug up this showcase of all five nominees. Check it out below and see for yourself.

The Nominations – My Thoughts and Reactions

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment

The nail-biting is over, at least for a few weeks. The Oscar nominations are here, and I believe that for the first time in years, my joy outweighs my sorrow. I suppose its appropriate to get into the bad news, first.

One thing’s official. As much as the Academy seems to have the most outrageous hard-on for Stephen Daldry (3 films made, 3 Best Director nods), they seem to have an everlasting grudge against Christopher Nolan as a director (3 DGA noms, no Oscar nods for Director). I just don’t understand what the man has to do to get their recognition. You can’t feel completely bad for him, pulling down two nominations for producer and writer, but are those the types of roles that any great director wants to be remembered for? I’m sure it wasn’t good enough for Stanley Kubrick. Honestly, Christopher Nolan is one of the most talented directors in Hollywood. Who else can take a film with such originality, intelligence, grandeur and finesse and bring in 300 million dollars with it or more. And on top of that, do it twice in three years. Nobody since Steven Spielberg, I’ll tell you that much.

The second-most disturbing snub has got be the exclusion of Andrew Garfield in the Supporting Actor category. Ridiculous. Definitely one of the best performances of the year, Garfield’s portrayal of innocence-lost is the soul of “The Social Network.” Though, while I bemoan the lack of Eduardo Savrin, I simply could not be more thrilled about the inclusion of John Hawkes for his turn in “Winter’s Bone.” People who’ve visited this site often must be aware of my penchant for this particular acting job, and this morning’s news of his inclusion is the crowning jewel of almost a year’s worth of supporting him on my part.

Since I’m ever so thrilled about Hawkes, I can’t blame him for the Garfield snub. Therefore, I’m gonna have to just go ahead and blame Jeremy Renner. I never thought that in one year, I could turn so much on this performer. In “The Hurt Locker” he was phenomenal, truly deserving of a lead actor nomination. Here, he is an average performance in an average film. I don’t think I ever considered him a candidate for my supporting actor picks, not even back in October. I was genuinely shocked and confused when accolades and Oscar talk began surfacing a few months ago. It baffled me then and it truly baffles me now.

At least its consolation that Renner was “The Town”‘s only nomination, missing out on that Best Picture nod that everyone was predicting….well almost everyone ;). The fact that “Winter’s Bone” took its place could not be more gratifying, as well. What a glorious film that more than deserves all of its bestowed nominations.

Let’s look at how some films made out on the whole. “127 Hours” defied pundits with a huge 6 nomination comeback, including yet another double category nomination for A.R. Rahman (Best Original Song, Best Original Score). Meanwhile, maybe the biggest shocker of the day, was “Black Swan” achieving only 5 nominations. For a while now, many people have been projecting Aronofsky’s film to be the potential nomination frontrunner, amassing perhaps ten or twelve. Instead, the film missed out on Supporting Actress (for both of its contenders), Original Screenplay, Art Direction, Costume Design and both Sound categories. I didn’t have it predicted in all of those, but it certainly had potential. Perhaps the biggest crime here is its Sound Effects exclusion. The work done on the sound of pattering feet and flapping feathers was phenomenal.

The worst overall snub of a film had to be Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island.” Not an amazing film, by any standards, but certainly one in which at least its technical achievements deserved some recognition. It should have easily made the grade for both Cinematography and Art Direction. Some of the best work of the year. I’m also depressed that Ryan Gosling missed out on a more than deserving nomination for Best Actor in “Blue Valentine.” It’s very nice to see Michelle Williams nominated, but not enough of a consolation. I’m sure that when I see “Biutiful” this weekend, however, Javier Bardem will wow the living shit out of me and I will be able to praise his surprise inclusion.

Let’s move on to some of the brighter aspects of day. The big story in the news is “The King’s Speech” being the nomination leader, but “The Social Network” really did have a pretty damned good day. 8 nominations, tied for the third highest, including four technical nominations, not an easy feat for a contemporary comedy/drama. It’s true that we definitely have ourselves a race now. Yet in terms of the race, “The King’s Speech” may have gained ground, but “The Social Network” hasn’t lost any of its.

One thing that’s really got me happy is the semi-snub of “Alice in Wonderland.” True, it did receive three nominations, yet I call it a snub for the one award it had almost always been not only a lock, but a frontrunner: Best Makeup. It appears that this branch of the Academy really does know the difference between makeup and CGI. Some very interesting choices replaced it, including “Barney’s Version” and “The Way Back.”

Without a doubt, the biggest joy for me, this morning, was seeing the results that the Doc branch rolled out. This has been one of the best years I’ve ever seen for documentary films. Lately, it’s seemed as though the lackluster “Waiting for Superman” was lined up to sweep the Oscar after wins at the BFCA and PGA. However, that belief was certainly swayed when the movie did not even show up among the nominees. The Academy also chose to avoid “The Tillman Story,” a pretentious and jumbled look at the soldier’s tragic story. Instead, among the nominations, are my three favorite documentaries of the year: “Restrepo,” “Inside Job” and the glorious “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Well done, guys.

My predictions were some of the best of my time doing this gig. out of 109 nominations, I correctly predicted 82. Not bad at all. If you were to ask my girlfriend, I was inches away from predicting Bardem at about 2 o’clock this morning. Oh well. Got to stick to your guns.

This race has gone from being a one trick pony to a cutthroat race to the finish. It is going to be “The Social Network” vs. “The King’s Speech” right to the last note. While, for sure, I have a favorite, it’s refreshing to have a very close race. While last year was a nice David and Goliath battle, looking back, it was always “The Hurt Locker”‘s for the taking. And before that, it was two years of no competition. Now we have a race the likes of “The Departed” vs. “Little Miss Sunshine” or “Million Dollar Baby” vs. “The Aviator.” However, in reality, I don’t think we’ve ever had a race quite like this one before. Should be a good time. Stay tuned.

My FINAL Oscar Predictions – 1/22

January 23, 2011 6 comments

This is it. Last call before closing. Nominations for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards will be announced this Tuesday, January 25th, at 7:30am CST (and you can bet I’ll be up hours before then, pumping myself up). For sure, there is a science behind the whole prediction game. A combination of elements, including what’s been happening with the critics groups awards, the different guild nominations and, in some cases, the film’s box office success. Along with that, there’s likability in each contender, how many times they’ve previously been nominated and won, a pseudo-mathematic question of their overall “due” status. Dozens of factors take shape in hugely methodic process, and this is all before anyone even takes into effect how good each contender is. Crazy, huh?

Well, a year-long process has now come to a close, and it’s time for me to nut up and offer my final predictions. The Best Picture line-up is basically down to 11 contenders, with two films vying for the final slot. It’s possible that either “Shutter Island” or “The Ghost Writer” could stage a massive coup and fight their way in their, but I doubt it. Some predictions that I’m sticking my neck out on? I’m still holding on to my convictions (and hopes) that the incredible John Hawkes can beat out Jeremy Renner in the Best Supporting Actor category. I’m also holding out hope that both of “Blue Valentine”‘s stars will outdo their older competition for leading notices. I’m also really hoping that “Exit Through the Gift Shop” can actually tickle the documentary branch’s funny bone (a feat not easily accomplished). Finally, here’s to “Winter’s Bone” edging out “The Town” for Best Picture. In fact, I’m predicting an across-the-board snub of the film. It’s only a slightly above action feature that has no business in the top ten. I have a strong feeling, though, that it will be this year’s “Blind Side.”

Without further adieu, here are the nominees (and once again, these are ranked in order of their chance of getting nominated, not winning):

BEST PICTURE
1. “The Social Network”
2. “The King’s Speech”
3. “The Fighter”
4. “Black Swan”
5. “Inception”
6. “Toy Story 3″
7. “True Grit”
8. “The Kids Are All Right”
9. “127 Hours”
10. “Winter’s Bone”

Alt 1: “The Town”
Alt 2: “Shutter Island”

Click READ MORE to see the rest.

Read more…

The Producers Guild or “At least we’ve got a race, now.”

January 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Well, there you have it folks. The Producers Guild of America chosen “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network” loses its first major Best Picture award this year. This is a major coup in the race for this year’s Oscars, easily the biggest (if not the only one that’s occurred this season). So I guess the question on everyone’s mind is, how upset am I?

Not really. I mean, let’s face it. Even I think that an Oscar race with absolutely no suspense whatsoever really is kind of boring. As exciting as it is to see your favorite film drive a clear path to big night, winning every award in sight, the Academy Awards are a bit more exciting when you’re biting your nails when the envelope is opened. I wish the award could have gone to a little bit more worthy of a film, like “Toy Story 3,” “The Fighter” or “Inception,” but c’est la vie. The only thing that I do have to worry about is that my biggest fears of only the critics, and not the industry itself, embracing the film.

Well, a bit of history. While the PGA has managed to line-up with Oscar the last three years, before that it wasn’t always such a lock. “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “The Aviator” and “Moulin Rouge” all won the award without going on to win the Oscar. Also, the last three films to win the award also swept at least two of the other three major guilds, which “The King’s Speech” will certainly not be able to do.

It’s interesting that after all the critics awards, after all of the propaganda and the pundits, it comes right back down to what do many said it would be back in October: “The Social Network” vs. “The King’s Speech.” It’s the generation-defining landmark film vs. the Oscar-pedigree heartstring puller. It’s Rudin vs. Weinstein. Even though “The Fighter” is definitely poised to take down the Screen Actors Guild ensemble, it doesn’t have the same type of steam that either of the two frontrunners have. I’m even using the same picture that I concocted almost 4 months ago when I posted this blog’s very first Oscar predictions of the year. Bottom line is that even though “The Social Network” is still the favorite, it’s not over yet.

In closing, on a completely different note, GO BEARS!!! Gave it a hell of a run. Especially you, Forte. And I would be delighted to see Caleb Hanie at the helm next season.

The Shape of Things and Those to Come

January 22, 2011 8 comments

We’re now down to just over a month left until cinema’s biggest night, the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, and only three days left till the nominations are released. It’s a very exciting time for movies and an equally exciting time for The Edge of the Frame. I’ve got a lot of great stuff planned for the coming weeks.

First off, now that all of the guild nominations are complete, I will try to be as prompt as possible at announcing the winners as they are awarded. First off will be the Producers Guild which is holding its ceremony tonight. Many believe that, with the DGA and WGA all but locked up, the Producers are the last big hurdle that “The Social Network” needs to vanquish before it can be considered a virtual lock for the Best Picture Oscar. Or, put another way, if “The King’s Speech,” “Black Swan,” “The Fighter,” “Inception,” or even “Toy Story 3″ wants to put up any kind of a fight, this should be their last stand. I mean these are producers we’re talking about, so massive box office success may be taken into account here. And all of the above-mentioned films have much more exciting box office turn-ins than the frontrunner (not that “TSN” fared badly, bringing in just shy of $100 million off of a $40 million dollar budget). As far as money goes, my own is still squarely behind David Fincher’s masterpiece. It doesn’t help having one of Hollywood’s most loved and successful producers behind the curtain, in the form of Scott Rudin.

On top of the guilds, I’m going to attempt to not wait until the last possible moment to announce my predictions for this year’s Academy Awards. I’m hoping that by tomorrow evening, I will be ready for my final guess. While, it’s true, there’s virtually nothing between today and Tuesday morning that could change what’s in the envelopes (especially since the AMPAS’ polls closed over a week ago). However, it’s all about the vibe, and for that, I have to take my time.

Along with continuing awards coverage, I am also drafting a few feature articles. I’m currently in progress on my next addition to The Lists series, focusing on the greatest addicts in movie history. Meanwhile, I’m also planning two articles in support of “The Social Network.” One, countering arguments that the film is overrated due to its historic inaccuracies and possibly another that defends Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as one of the year’s best, if not the best of the best.

You know, I take a lot of guff from people who say that I have a huge bias for the Facebook film; that this site is simply all “Social Network” all day long. Well, let’s face it folks. This awards season, let alone the year in cinema has been all “Social Network” all day. As the tagline states, “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.” Well, you don’t get to win 30 out of 33 awards for Best Picture of the Year without being a pretty goddamn good movie, so I really don’t think I’m alone on this one.

Finally, as the 2010 film season comes to a close, it’s about time I conclude my critical coverage of the season. Soon, I will be rolling out my “Best of the Year” series. There are still four more films that I absolutely must see before I feel comfortable posting a valid list. David Michod’s “Animal Kingdom” is in my Blu ray player waiting for me when I get home from work, today. I’ve scheduled a screening of Mike Leigh’s “Another Year” tomorrow afternoon. I should have some time to check out Peter Weir’s “The Way Back later this week, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Biutiful” opens in Chicago on the 28th. On that time table, I should be able to assemble my Top Ten List by February 1st. I may just have time to sneak “Repo Men,” “Mother and Child,” “The Virginity Hit” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” into consideration, pending on how fast I can work my way through my Netflix DVD queue.

Shortly after I post my Top Ten of the Year, I will begin preparing the nominations for the Conroy Film Awards, or “The Connies” for a certain few who have chosen to refer to them that way. These are my own personal Academy Awards. I believe I have a set of them for every year going back to 1940. They’re tailored with the same nominees as the AMPAS, along with a few other fun categories, including Best Ensemble Cast, Best Heros/Villains, and Best Ending (with no spoilers included, of course).

All in all, it should be a good time. So keep reading, folks, cause the fun is about to begin.

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