Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The 2010 Oscar nominations are an interesting game of cards this time around



Bright and early this morning,I got up to watch the 82nd Annual Oscar nominations live on TV and I must say that it was surprising to see that the E! channel barely bothered to cover the announcement.

They squeezed it in during a showing of "Bank of Hollywood",which really makes me go "huh?" This is one of the biggest awards shows out there and for a network that makes pop culture events it's main reason for being,this seemed a tad off their game there. Who knows,maybe they're still recovering from the Grammys coverage from over the weekend.

Anyway,we certainly have quite an array of Oscar nominees spread out before us this year. For many film fans,the Academy Awards is our cinematic Super Bowl and like those who are preparing for the big game next Sunday,we're choosing sides and planning parties,even placing a few bets on who will win. Since money is tight these days,I won't be entering any Oscar pools myself but am more than willing to share my first impressions about this fresh pack of contenders for Oscar gold and glory in 2010:



IS SANDRA A SAFE BET?

Amongst the expected nominees like Mo'Nique for Best Supporting Actress in Precious and Christoph Waltz for Best Supporting Actor(Inglourious Basterds),Sandra Bullock got her invite to the Best Actress category for The Blind Side,a movie which also picked up a Best Picture nom as well.

Sandra's being projected as the front runner here and I have to say this looks like her year,folks. She has been getting a good number of trophies for this movie,which has drawn a lot of audience love based on the box office numbers. I haven't seen The Blind Side but I could tell from the promos that this film was set to be Sandra's Erin Brockovich and some movies are just at the right place at the right time to be appreciated,so good on her,I say:





GIVE ME SOMETHING TO SING ABOUT

Best Song has been a troublesome category for the past few years but the good news is that they were able to pick five tunes to fill out the section nicely(the last couple of times,we only got three at the most). The downside is that none of them are really memorable toe tappers or bold musical statements that will stand the test of time.

The two tunes from The Princess and the Frog are lovely but Disney has lost it's hold on this category for a sure win and while Nine managed to slip in one of their specially written for the movie songs,this Rob Marshall musical doesn't have much razzle dazzle going for it. To be honest,Loin De Paname from the foreign film Paris 36 bored me so much that I tuned it out within the first few bars.

That clears the way for "The Weary Kind" from Crazy Heart,another movie that has a strong groundswell of support from fans and will no doubt earn Jeff Bridges a Best Actor Oscar along side it(sorry,George Clooney-just not going to be your night). The song has a good homespun vibe to it and while it may not be the flashiest tune on the block,it'll do for a nice performance on Oscar night:





A FEW DISAPPOINTMENTS

I was hoping that Star Trek might get some Academy love beyond the usual technical categories but no such luck. It didn't go away empty handed,with the likes of Best Make-up,Visual Effects and the two Sound sections but come on,guys-would it have killed you to put it up for Best Picture?

You had ten spots open this year and if a savvy sci-fi flick like District 9 fits the bill,so does Star Trek. It got great reviews and plenty of happy movie goers(even with the standard amount of nay sayers in the crowd)to boot. Not cool,Academy,so not of the cool.

Also,why is Julie and Julia not up for Adapted Screenplay? Yes,Meryl Streep is in the running for her excellent performance as Julia Child but this movie used two separate books written from different time periods and perspectives to make one cohesive film and should have been recognized for that. Another shocker is that Emily Blunt wasn't nominated for Young Victoria-movies about royalty are usually catnip to Academy voters,plus Blunt is a good actress who finally has a strong leading lady role here.I just don't get it,folks and maybe it's better that way.



THE BEST PICTURE JUGGERNAUT

A big change for the Oscars this year was the adding on of five more movies to the Best Picture category,in hopes that a wider playing field would allow bigger commercial features to blend in with the arthouse pieces and encourage a larger viewing audience to tune in on March 7.

We got a decent mix of Very Serious Films and Good Old Fashioned Entertainment here,with the likes of Avatar,Precious,The Hurt Locker,Inglourious Basterds,An Education and The Blind Side,altho I do think some of the selected were a tad uninspired. A Serious Man,for one-nothing against the Coen brothers but no one even remembered that movie when it was out in theaters in the first place.

While I still think that Star Trek deserved a nod here,it's wonderful to see District 9 on the list. This small budget science fiction fable was plucked from potential obscurity by Peter Jackson and given a chance to shine via a respectable theatrical run with great word of mouth from critics and fans alike. It may have been tapped for this honor due to the allegorical plot line but District 9 truly earned all of it's accolades and should be enjoyed as a great movie for it's wonderful story telling skills first and foremost:



As the song says,you can't always get what you want and while the Oscar race is not picture perfect,there are some worthy nominees and good films to root for and catch up on. One thing is for certain,the Oscar show is shaping up to be one you won't want to snooze through on March 7th:

5 comments:

Rebecca :) said...

Interesting commentary on the Oscar line-up. I watched the Grammys and they had some killer performances. I hope the Oscars will be as fun to watch, or at least close to it. Oscars are usually a snooze fest to me and I catch up on most categories the next day. I do like the song from Crazy Heart and I hope it wins. And as much as I love Meryl Streep, I do hope Sandra Bullock gets a chance to win this year.

lady t said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg Zimmerman said...

Not too many surprises, right? If anything, I was a bit surprised about Avatar and The Blind Side for Best Picture. Obviously, the new (idiotic, IMO) format allows for more "popular" movies to get nods, but I'm with you, I would've expected Star Trek to get a nod before those two! I'm rootin' for The Hurt Locker, personally, but I'm also with you that it's great to see District 9 get nominated!

lady t said...

Thanks,Rebecca-as much as I loved Streep in Julie and Julia,I really think it's Sandra Bullock's year. I watched the first hour of the Grammys(had to see part two of Emma on PBS)and Lady Gaga's opening number was beyond amazing.

Hi,Greg-I haven't see The Hurt Locker yet,but Kathryn Bigelow is a wonderful directer and bound to get the Oscar there,due to having won the Director's Guild award(a sure sign of an Oscar win).

I figured Avatar would get the Best Picture nod but not District 9,which thankfully was not lost in the shuffle. Plenty of room for Star Trek still,but at least the show should be worth talking about this yer.

Ladytink_534 said...

I'm ashamed to say that there are quite a few Oscar noms that I haven't actually seen this year but I'm still going to watch! Oh I really, really like The Weary Kind.