Claire Weiner>History and Film Studies>Junior>GWU
It’s Oscar season! And with more nominations per category than ever before, many of you might be wondering who is nominated, but more importantly, who’s going to steal the show. Here are some of CM’s predictions about Hollywood’s biggest night:
Performance by an actor in a leading role: Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker” (Summit Entertainment) – think Clint Eastwood in the other kind of desert. Renner is rugged, raw, and addicted to the thrill of victory, no matter how small. Renner’s performance is both a heartfelt character study and also representative of the millions of other soldiers fighting in Iraq.
Performance by an actor in a supporting role: Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds” (The Weinstein Company) – What a wonderful character this was – a snake in the grass with the charm of a schoolyard bully. His constant, haunting, Cheshire-cat smile stays with you even after the movie ends; making him one of the most memorable characters in the film and in this category.
Performance by an actress in a leading role: Carey Mulligan in “An Education” (Sony Pictures Classics) – Playing a sixteen year old engaging in a whirlwind relationship with an older man, Mulligan captures both the wild restlessness of a bored schoolgirl with the cleverness that makes her relationship, despite her age, seem credible.
Performance by an actress in a supporting role: Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Lionsgate) – An incredibly haunting performance from a relatively not-so-serious actress. Playing the title character’s abusive mother, Mo’Nique is truly monstrous – without remorse or compassion, she aggressively destroys the lives around her. The unraveling of emotions at the final scene indicates profound ability, to be able to gain sympathy for such a sinister character. Monique’s performance is challenging, strong, and captivating.
Best animated feature film of the year: “Up” (Walt Disney), Pete Docter – Heartfelt and uplifting, Up was this year’s best feel-good movie. With incredible animation and a universal message, this movie appealed to people of all ages.
Best Director: “The Hurt Locker” (Summit Entertainment), Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker was many things all at once: stunningly truthful, incredibly gritty, tense, and everything that must make a good war movie. Her decision to film on location captured all the intensity of the area (the crew was even shot at on numerous occasions). If she wins, she’ll be the first American female to do so.
Best foreign language film of the year: “The White Ribbon” (Sony Pictures Classics), An X Filme Creative Pool/Wega Film/Les Films du Losange/Lucky Red Production, Germany – stark, harrowing, and beautiful all at once. Set in Germany on the eve of World War I, it can be most closely compared to Renoir’s Le Corbeau, dealing with the mysterious terrorism that has hit a small town.
Best motion picture of the year: “Precious: Based on the Novel Push™ by Sapphire” (Lionsgate), A Lee Daniels Entertainment/Smokewood Entertainment Production, Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers – It’s the little movie that could. Bold, heartfelt, unflinching and extremely enjoyable to the end, with some ferocious performances by Mo’Nique and Sidibe. A brilliant and poignant film, that resonated with millions.
Adapted screenplay: “In the Loop” (IFC Films), Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche – The wit is so quick it makes your head spin. Unbounded hilarity unfolds in this story about US-UK relations on the brink of the Iraq war.
Original screenplay: “Inglourious Basterds” (The Weinstein Company), Written by Quentin Tarantino – The colorful dialogue in the film is one of its best elements. The scrip itself is innovative, clever and packed with enough force to fire a gun.