June 20, 2013
Written by Mark Schumann, Father of Three
Thursday, 20 January 2011 14:21
Next Tuesday, Jan. 25, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce its nominations for the 83rd Oscars. For movie lovers, this begins a marvelous season of speculation and debate. Here are the Reel Dad’s picks for the Oscar nominations.
Best Picture. The Social Network leads with its thrilling recreation of the founding of Facebook. This perfectly-crafted film about a fundamental change in how people communicate is entertaining and unforgettable. Other likely nominees include the distinguished drama The King’s Speech — about a leader trying to overcome the difficulty to communicate — and Inception — the entertaining roller coaster ride about a man who communicates with people who dream. The intense Black Swan uses the competitive world of the ballet as the backdrop for an amazing display of cinema technique while True Grit celebrates traditional filmmaking in its faithful rendition of the Charles Portis novel. Because the Academy names 10 nominees, smaller films can be remembered, too. The Kids Are All Right reminds us of the importance of family, no matter its makeup; The Fighter reveals what can threaten and bond families; and Winter’s Bone reinforces what it means to have a home. Rounding out the nominees should be Disney’s Toy Story 3, for its dazzling animation and touching story, and 127 Hours, for its inspiring look at an adventurer facing an ultimate challenge.
Best Actor. One year after he was a Best Actor nominee for A Single Man, Colin Firth leads with his superb portrayal of King George VI in The King’s Speech. Jesse Eisenberg is a likely nominee for his multi-faceted portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network and James Franco should be remembered for his harrowing work in 127 Hours. Look for Oscar veteran Robert Duvall to be honored for his thoughtful work in Get Low and last year’s Best Actor, Jeff Bridges, to be back again for his fabulous turn in True Grit.
Best Actress. This category will be the most competitive with Annette Bening and Natalie Portman in strong contention. Bening is a likely nominee for her bravura portrayal of a mother trying to hold her unconventional family together in The Kids Are All Right while Portman shows new dimensions of her talent as the haunted ballerina in Black Swan. Joining the race should be former Oscar winner Nicole Kidman, back in the spotlight for strong work in Rabbit Hole; past nominee Michelle Williams, as a woman trying to hold on to her marriage in Blue Valentine; and newcomer Jennifer Lawrence, as a woman trying to hold on to her home in Winter’s Bone.
Best Supporting Actor. For the first time in his career, Christian Bale is stirring Oscar buzz for his fascinating performance in The Fighter while past Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush is again pitch-perfect for coaching the monarch’s voice in The King’s Speech. Matt Damon, a nominee in this category last year for Invictus, should make a return visit for True Grit as should Jeremy Renner, a Best Actor contender last year for The Hurt Locker, who shines in The Town. Rounding out the list should be Andrew Garfield as the forgotten Facebook cofounder in The Social Network.
Best Supporting Actress. Melissa Leo, a past nominee for Best Actress for Frozen River, is a strong entry for her powerful matriarch in The Fighter, a film that should also land Amy Adams her third nomination. I hope the Academy remembers Hailee Steinfeld, the young lady who brought so much life to True Grit, as well as Helena Bonham Carter, a past nominee who brought so much humanity to The King’s Speech. The fifth nominee will likely be from Black Swan; my choice is past nominee Barbara Hershey who excelled in the tricky role of the domineering mother.
Best Director. Now that the Academy names 10 nominees for Best Picture, the selection of Best Director contenders is watched even more closely. David Fincher will be on the ballot for The Social Network as will Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech and Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan. The remaining slots, to please the Reel Dad, should go to the brilliant imagination of Christopher Nolan for Inception and the creative storytelling of Joel and Ethan Coen for True Grit.
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