Monday, January 24, 2011

Oscar Blues

Let me get this out of the way first... I LOVE TORRENTS. I mean, what is there not to love about it? I download everything these days such as America's Next Top Model, Project Runway, and The Amazing Race. And of course some of the latest albums as well.

I even use torrent as a verb now. Like, I torrented Regine Velasquez's Narito Ako album. Example lang, tse!

And thanks to torrents I have been able to catch up on the latest movies that haven't been shown in the cinemas yet.

So tomorrow the Oscar nominees will be announced and I thought I'd say my piece about those so-called Oscar "hopefuls". No, this is not my prediction, after all, I'm sooo not good at being a Madam Auring. Neither are these the best movies I've seen in 2010.

Let's just say I'm going to share my thoughts and impressions on those movies predicted to figure prominently (or already have) this awards season.

And yes, these are ranked, so let's start.

13) Social Network

Thin characters. The movies good, but I won't say it's spectacular... far from it, in fact. And wait, Justin Timberlake? Enough reason for me not to like this movie.

12) 127 Hours

Ugh. This movie is painful to watch for obvious reasons. I had to watch some sections of it as a thumbnail. I even put it on mute. The cinematography is good though, and what is there not to like about James Franco, aber? Other than that, this is just another hyper-stylized Danny Boyle movie.

11) Inception

The script, I think, is clever. And I like Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, and Joseph Gordon Levitt. The music by Hans Zimmer is annoying, it just never stopped. Besides, I don't do action films. I tend to sleep through them, including this one.

10) Toy Story 3

I missed half of this film because I slept through it, too. By the time I woke up the credits were rolling. But from what I've seen of the first half, it was quite charming. I'm still thinking of watching this again. But maybe not because just like action movies I don't like animated ones either.

9) Black Swan

This scared the hell out of me, so in that sense the movie worked for me. Still, the reviews raised my expectations and ultimately I was disappointed. I think this movie is just too hysterical for my taste. I'm not even impressed with Natalie Portman. Well she danced her ass of, so what? Dancing is not acting, love. Her performance is basic. *shrugs shoulders*

8) Rabbit Hole

I'm a sucker for film adaptations of stage plays. The story is obviously touching, the characters are well-explored, and Diane West is stellar in it. But I was distracted by Nicole Kidman's lips. This role was not for her AT ALL. I can see fellow Aussie Naomi Watts doing it best, but not Nicole's over-bloated lips.

7) The Kids are All Right

This I love a lot! Julianne Moore and Annette Bening are perfect for the roles of the lesbian couple. It has a funny script too for such a seemingly sensitive topic. Things were kept very light-hearted while having a good grasp of "modern" and "un-traditional" families.

6) The Fighter

The acting in this film is its strongest asset. I would be damned if Melissa Leo and Christian Bale don't win the supporting actress and supporting actor trophies (duh, respectively). Even Amy Adams made a surprising tough girl act. The weakness of this film is its predictability, like, underdog wins big time, blah, blah, blah.

5) The King's Speech

This one also has a strong cast. While Colin Firth is fantastic in the role of King George VI, Geoffrey Rush stole my heart away. Too bad Christian Bale is going to win this year (well, Geoffrey Rush already has an Oscar anyway). The cinematography and production design also capture well the period. While the movie is a good character study of a leader in crisis, the way it's told, however, is conventional.

4) True Grit

Two words: Hailee Steinfeld. Who's that gurrrl? The first time she came on screen I was dumbfounded. And by the time the movie ended I wanted to bequeath to her my sticker collection from the 80s. She carried that movie and without her I would've just slept through it again. (I don't have an appetite for another drunk Jeff Bridges.)

3) Winter's Bone

Now this is how you do a triumphant combination of character study and unconventional story-telling. The plot is in fact simple, but there's so much texture in the characters and their motivations are clear, yet, not simplistic. And dear god, thank you for sending us Jennifer Lawrence! Please don't turn her into a Miley Cyrus.

2) Never Let Me Go

This is the movie I had been waiting for through 2010. I worship the book it was adapted from and the movie certainly did not disappoint. I'm rarely satisfied with film adaptations of books I love but this definitely did justice to the Kazuo Ishiguro masterpiece. OK, obviously I'm biased why I love the movie, but how can I help enthusing over it when it captures so well the chilling atmosphere of the novel? Love the acting of Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, and Keira Knightley as well.

1) Blue Valentine

I did not have high expectations from this film, after all the critics are not exactly having orgasms writing about it, although they heaped generous praises on it as well. Let's say it's not exactly the movie everybody's talking about. But for me, this is easily the one of most mesmerizing movies I've seen lately. Perhaps it's the heartfelt performances of Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Wait, I think they did a phenomenal job in the movie. Its strongest element, however, is the writing. The characters are so richly-explored and the pacing of the story (with the use of interwoven time frames) brings out the dilemmas and evolution of the husband and the wife very well. It is intimate and believable; and ultimately, without cliches, it tells us that nothing is quite simple in relationships.


Abou said...

nice perspective. i'l keep those in mind when watching these movies.

Lalique said...

visiting you from Turkey
greetings sister

Kiks said...

i so looooove the review, the sweet-brutal honesty.

er, not honesty. but the spunk (for lack of a better word) of it.

torrents over(down)load.

Lyka Bergen said...

So you do have Torrent Syndrome? Glad Michelle Williams made it for Best Actress.

kiel estrella said...

blue valentine at king's speech na lang sa list mo ang di ko napapanood.

i don't know about you, but outside of toy story and the kids are alright, i find all of them depressing. o baka ako lang ang depressed?

jayclops said...

panalo bitaw ang blue valentine gi. sayang u didn't like the social network hehe. and yes, i like the never let me go adaptation. it can stand on it's own. and winter's bone is one of my 2010 faves. amazing si jennifer lawrence.


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