Posts Tagged ‘Film’

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Oscars 2011

March 1, 2011

Howdy folks, it’s that time of year again where anyone who’s sat in a movie theatre at any point in time during the past 12 months thinks they’re a damn expert on cinema, and coincidently knows what it takes to be a “good film”. Well we here at The Mug Rack are no different. So that’s why I’m taking this opportunity to feel like a pretentious movie aficionado and give my picks for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards Ceremony tonight. In fact, I’ll even through in the possible upsets that could occur. I’m not going to go through the full list because quite frankly…who the hell seriously has the time to read through the best foreign film that no one has seen? Anyway, here we go!

Best Actor: Colin Firth from “The King’s Speech”. Say what you will, Colin Firth has always done a hell of a job so it’s going to be good to see him get this. If he doesn’t win it for some strange reason, Jesse Eisenberg will most likely take it from his role in The Social Network.

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale from “The Fighter”. Hands down he’s got this, if not, pick up your jaw and give Geoffery Rush or Mark Ruffalo the applause they could very well receive for their respective roles in “The King’s Speech” and “The Kids Are Alright”.

Best Actress: Natalie Portman for her fantastic role in “Black Swan”. Truth be told this is going to be a runaway W for the Portman camp, but in the event the academy had a bout of amnesia and forgot how great she was, Annette Bening would be the next best choice from “The Kids Are Alright”.

Best Supporting Actress: Helena Bonham Carter of “The King’s Speech”. If not her, Amy Adams of “The Fighter” would take this.

Best Animated Film: “Toy Story 3”. No need for an upset choice here because let’s face it…it’s a Disney/Pixar film.

Best Art Direction: I really want to see “Alice in Wonderland” take this, but it’s going to be “Inception” or “The King’s Speech”.

Best Cinematography: “Black Swan”. If not, “Inception”.

Best Costume Design: This one is always a toss up, but “The King’s Speech” has a good shot. I want to see “Alice in Wonderland” walk away with the Oscar, but we shall see.

Best Director: This one is going to David Fincher of “The Social Network” as much as I want to disagree with that, I can’t. If he doesn’t get it, Darren Arnofsky of “Black Swan” should give David a run for his money.

Best Original Score: This goes to either Hans Zimmer for his work on “Inception” or Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for “The Social Network”.

Best Picture: It feels like the academy decided to include every freaking movie released this year, but “The King’s Speech” will be the won who takes this. If this film doesn’t, “The Social Network” will most likely pull the upset.

Best Adapted Screenplay: This one is another toss up, but the Cohen brothers always do a damn good job of film adaptation. So don’t be surprised to see “True Grit” to get this one. Otherwise it’s up in the air as to who could get the toss up, maybe “127 hours” or “The Social Network”.

Best Original Screenplay: This goes to “The King’s Speech”. Otherwise “The Kids Are Alright” would be the best option to pull the upset.

So there are my picks. It’s ultimately up to the Academy, but these are pretty safe bets if you’re a betting man and/or woman and you happen to put money on an Oscar spread…If you’re into that kind of thing, but I digress, round up the bros and girlfriends, get a dirty 30 of High Life and have yourself an Oscar party tonight!

-Walt

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Black Swan

January 31, 2011

The story revolves around Natalie Portman’s character Nina. Nina is a ballet dancer in a New York City ballet company, and her life is completely devoted to dancing. She lives with her controlling ex-ballerina mother Erica (played by Barbara Hersey) and is exactly what her mother wants her to be. Vincent Cassel’s character Thomas is the artistic director of the company and chooses Nina to be his next prima ballerina, replacing the former prima named Beth, played by Winona Ryder (yea, I know…didn’t think she was doing movies anymore either). Thomas announces that the company’s next season will begin with Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. For those not familiar with Swan Lake, the main character (The Swan Queen) needs to embody the White Swan and Black Swan. Nina is the embodiment of the White Swan, delicate, sweet and innocent. Unfortunately, the Black Swan needs to be the opposite, she needs to be seductive and embody all that is sensual and wrong. At this point Lilly, played by Mila Kunis, steps in. She’s a new dancer to the company from San Francisco and is the human representation of the Black Swan. The two dancers become rivals forcing Nina to learn to shed her innocence and embrace her dark side.

Simply stated, this film blew me away! Natalie Portman’s portrayal of the perfectionist ballerina was absolutely convincing. She embraced and became that character and did it very well. The same can be said about Mila Kunis. She looks the part, walks and talks the part of the rebel and the chemistry between the two actors on screen is nothing short of magical. The story line can be described as absolutely beautiful in a sick and sadistic manner. Nina’s journey into her dark side takes the viewer on roller coaster ride filled with twists, turns and moments where you are literally asking yourself, how far can someone really go to achieve perfection? Darren Arnofsky, the director, has built a career around making films that leave you questioning the psychology of the world that we live in. His earlier films such as Requiem for a Dream and The Wrestler are perfect examples of that. This time around you’re left with a list of some of the same questions about how dark the human psyche is willing to go to achieve what it wants.

Overall, I highly recommend this film. It was well put together, well directed and very worthy of the Golden Globe Nominations that it received (Best Director, Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress). In short, if you don’t see this film, you better have a damn good reason because you’ll be missing out on one of the best films to come out of 2010.

-Walter