Thursday, February 24, 2011

Oscar, Oscar Time is Here!

Time for Joy!  And Time for Cheer!

That's right boys and girls, Kate's Second Christmas has arrived!

I planned on doing a little Oscar Round-Up series like I did last year {here, here, and here}, but between work obligations and general so-tired-I-mustn't-use-any-more-energy-than-that-which-is-required-to-halfheartedly-tweet-about-Teen-Mom-2-ness, time just slipped away from me.  

Then, as I waited for Biutiful {the last of my Oscar Selection Viewings, unless we make it to The Fighter this weekend} to start today, I thought to myself... Oscar Round-Up... in Haiku Form?  That'd only be, like, 170 syllables?  Which doesn't seem like it'd be all that time-consuming but then I sat through two previews about war-torn Algeria {really?  two?  necessary?} trying to figure out how to either add or subtract one syllable from "Brava Mr. Darcy" before I realized that plan wasn't going to fly.  No Japanese poetry this year, readers - sincerest apologies. 

Other things that won't be occurring this year... un Fete de Oscar.  Every January I begin the internal debate... to invite people over for The Big Event or to fly solo(ish with husband and pup).  I mentally plan cutesy, themed menus {Winter's Bone-in Pork Chops!  Shrimp-n-True-Grits!} and download pretty printables for guests to keep track of their predictions.  

And then I remember that I turn into a total know-it-all asshole the minute Ryan Seacrest pops on to the red carpet like a fucking tuxedoed whack-a-mole.  Lord help the guest who is Not. Paying. Proper. Attention. to the opening monologue {or dialog, as the case will be this year - Yay for Anne & James!}.  Or the friend-of-a-friend who didn't really "get" "that ballet movie" but really "dug the muff-diving scenes." {RAGE}  

So. Yeah. It's just going to be Oscars: Party of Three over here at la Casa Nueva.  

But, since it is the Second Most Wonderful Time of the Year, I couldn't let the season pass by without posting a few of my predictions and a little blurp about the nominated films... And so, away we go**...

{in no particular order}


Biutiful.  Let me tell you, if you'd like to feel better about your own life, go spend one-hundred-and-forty-six minutes of it watching this movie.  Biggie may have had Mo Money, Mo Problems, but My Main Fantasy Island Man Javier Bardem has No Money, Mo Problems.  He's got nasty bloody urine, a cracked-out bi-polar wife, and a dickhead for a brother.  There are huge ass moths on his bedroom ceiling.  He communes with the dead.  He's all mixed up with some drug dealers from Africa and some human traffickers / faux-Chanel-bag-manufacturing dudes from China.  His space heaters?  Boy do they ever not work properly.  He lives in one of the most fabulous cities in the world, but, as far as I can tell, doesn't spend any time reading Pablo Neruda in Parque Guell.  And Hair & Makeup gave him the Worst Haircut Ever {AGAIN}.  Oh, yes, and he's dying.

Bottom Line:  This is a performance piece. Did I enjoy Bardem?  Very much so.  Did I enjoy listening to gorgeous Castilian Spanish for 2.5 hours when I spend my workdays speaking something not-quite-so-gorgeous?  Por supuesto.  Did I enjoy the film overall?  Meh.  I don't think I did.  Although it did contain a scene a the Most Oddly Themed Strip Club in Barcelona.  That was entertaining.


Toy Story 3: Cute, cute, cute for a kids' movie that adults can actually enjoy as well.  Made my childhood guilt of "ignoring" certain toys in favor for others return.  Bottom Line:  I still think the whole franchise is a rip-off of The Christmas Toy.  And I still think the Academy made a major mistake in enlarging the Best Picture category just so an animated film would always be included.


True Grit:  Jeff Bridges plays another lovable drunk.  I don't care if he repurposes (at least parts of) The Dude in every single one of his future roles... he'll charm me every time.  Hallie Steinfeld is adorable - if not a bit too STA-CCA-TO in her delivery.  Matt Damn had us saying "Ady-Ohse" for months.  Bottom Line:  Fun characters; energetic plot.  Daddy Jim would have loved that we saw this on Christmas night.  I wish he could have been with us.


Black Swan:  This year, God Skyped Darren Aronofsky and said "let's release a movie just for Kate."  And so that's what they did.  I couldn't have loved it more if Hannibal Lector was Natalie Portman's pas de deux partner.  Bottom Line: Portman should and will win Best Actress. 


The Social Network:  Entertaining / compelling because it's so relevant and because it's {mostly} true.  Stories are always more fascinating if you lived through them.  I still want to print tee-shirts that proclaim I Joined Facebook When It Was THE Facebook.  Bottom Line: A good movie indeed, but perhaps a tad overrated?  Although, the Winklevoss Twins might be my favorite ancillary characters of 2010.


Winter's Bone:  Another downer.  I mean, it was like an Easter Egg Hunt through Meth Lab Village.   Bottom Line: Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic and I expect great things from her, but I found the plot lacking.


The Kids Are Alright:   I really just love that this film was made... and that it was made without making the subject matter a farce.  The entire cast was superb, and the script was equal parts thoughtful and humorous.  Overall, I think this lands in my Top 3 Favorites of the year.  Bottom Line: I love a comedic Oscar darling! And I'd love to see Ruffalo on stage for Best Supporting Actor if only I didn't think it was Geoffrey Rush's year! {Although he already earned a win for Shine, and poor Mark's mantle is all empty... Hmmmmm.... No, no, my vote's for Rush.}


Inception: So fun!  It's the only Oscar feature we've seen twice, and it was just as thrilling of a ride the second time around.  Bottom Line:  Pure entertainment.  Also, Joseph Gorden-Levitt should be in at least 3 movies per year and he should be wearing a vest in 87% of all scenes.


127 Hours:  When one solo actor can keep my attention for an hour and a half, I deem them Quite Talented.  Bottom Line: But we already knew that about Franco. 


The King's Speech: Much like Crazy Heart last year, this film stole my heart by surprise.  It seemed like a quiet little flick that just all of a sudden exploded, and I'd say it's my overall favorite of 2010.  Bottom Line: If the Academy is as smart as I am {remeber: Oscar Asshole Mode}, Rush will take home Best Supporting Actor, Mr. Darcy will add Best Actor to his resume, and The King's Speech will bring down the proverbial big buck. 

** still on my list: Blue Valentine {will rent as I've had enough of the Total Downer Movies Only Worth the Individual Performances category}, The Fighter, and Animal Kingdom {actually waiting for me in my mailbox}.

Are y'all Oscar Ready?  Any favorites or predictions?  What's in the mix for Sunday night?


  1. My thoughts on the contenders are thoroughly eclipsed by your use of "fucking tuxedoed whack-a-mole" as a Ryan Seacrest description.

    Love it.

  2. I 100% agree to the following statement:

    "Joseph Gorden-Levitt should be in at least 3 movies per year and he should be wearing a vest in 87% of all scenes."

    Yes, yes yes yes yes yesyesyesyesyes YES!!!!

    When did he get so hot? He was cute as Tommy in 3rd Rock from the Sun, but he's like... DREAMY now! I loved him in (500) Days of Summer, but Inception is like... whoa!

    (I think I just drooled on myself... how embarassing.)

  3. Matt Damon as a Texas Ranger. Surprisingly WAY TOO SEXY. I think I'm mostly impressed with his delivery of so many varied US dialects. But also, SEXY.

  4. I've always been a lurker, but I have to say that I agree SO much with what you have to say about Winter's Bone - my mom and I saw it together and were really excited because of all the Oscar buzz about it, but we both left feeling really disappointed in the story. The most exciting part for us (as Missouri residents) is that it was filmed in Missouri...although I guess it didn't really show Missourians in the best light...

  5. Oy, I'm seeing Biutiful tomorrow and I'm dreading it. But it will be preceded by a good dinner and some vino, so I'm hoping that will take the edge off? But my vote in that category is for In A Better World. We shall see. I'm thinking Social Network will win for Director, Screenplay and hopefully Original Score. Big ups to Trent Reznor for a hauntingly beautiful job well done on that front. Seems like King's Speech will sweep for most other big categories, for sure Best Picture. I'm also pulling for Melissa Leo in The Fighter. She's my hero.

    This is the first Oscars I've been excited about in some time and I'm dying to see what Natalie and her baby bump will be wearing!

  6. We are identical when it comes to watching the Oscars. I stopped having big parties b/c inevitably someone would spend the entire time saying "who's that?" or "I hated that movie!" or "Is this thing over yet?". I now ask an elite group of friends over, and people can leave whenever they want. Add in wine and fancy popcorn and I'm a happy camper :-)

  7. As you and I have already discussed the Oscars, how about this woe-is-me tidbit: When Nole and I left the theater after seeing Blue Valentine the other night, we hugged, made our goodbyes, and walked to separate trains. While trapped on the train, I opened Twitter on my phone, and what did I see?

    "Mark Ruffalo stepping out of a film and greeting fans right now at the E Street Cinema!"

    Could have died. Still kicking myself that I didn't stay and scarf down candy or something, just because, then run into the 1/3 of my fantasy island that's represented by this year's Oscar films (Bardem, Damon, and Ruffalo, natch).

    This kid is not all right.

  8. Also, ps: I really liked Winter's Bone.

  9. Good call on waiting on Blue Valentine. I don't know what it was about that movie but it knocked me on my butt. It hit me really hard. I think it's because it shows just how fragile life and relationships really are.

    Only movie I still have yet to see is Biutiful. Also, I am all in for The King's Speech.


  10. Thoughts:
    Totally agree on King's Speech winning.
    Would buy said facbook tshirt probably.
    Must be the only person alive who really didn't enjoy The Kids Are Alright.
    Ugh, skip Blue Valentine, or at least take Prozac first.
    I have a patient who looks EXACTLY like Joseph Gorden-Levitt and I get all nervous whenever he comes in. He may or may not be 22.

  11. For the first time in, like, ever, I've only seen one movie that's nominated. The King's Speech. I just ran out of time/motivation to see the other ones, but Black Swan is on my list to see ASAP. BUT, I did LOVE The King's Speech. It was one of those movies I thought about for days afterwards. I'm getting together with a few girlfriends to watch, which should be fine since I'm not too invested in it this year. I really just want to cling to every funny word that comes out of Anne Hathaway's mouth. But I digress.

  12. It's like we were born to be friends. I love that you love the Oscars so much. And I loved the commentary on the movies.

    I have yet to see Black Swan (I know, I know, so sad), but I've seen the other 8 nominations for best picture with the exception of The Fighter which we're going to see tomorrow night at my snobby "film" theater where there is one screen. I am hoping to see Black Swan when it's playing there next weekend.

    Only 2 more days :)

  13. Blue Valentine, while a BIT of a downer, was probably the best, most REAL movie I've seen in the past 5 years. LOVED it. I think I cried 6 times, and that, to me, is a good thing.

  14. I have been meaning to comment on this for days but a certain newborn has kept me busy. I just wanted to say that I used to have big fat Oscar parties until I finally had to quit b/c people did not take it seriously enough. Um, hello! It's the sound editing guy delivering his acceptance speech! Everyone shut up! So yeah, I totally get it.

  15. agreed on almost all fronts. adored king's speech and was really pulling for a mr. darcy win! social network was mediocre in my book, mostly because it was so overrated before i got a shot at it. joseph gordon-levitt + vests + 3 times a year = most scrumptious idea i've heard in ages.


happy little comments!