Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar retrospective

Okay, I promise this is my last Oscars post. Let's see what happened.

Visual Effects
My pick: Inception
The Academy's pick: Inception

My pick: 127 Hours
The Academy's pick: The Social Network

My pick: The King's Speech
The Academy's pick: Inception

Screenplay based on material previously published or produced
My pick: 127 Hours
The Academy's pick: The Social Network

Screenplay written directly for the screen
My pick: Inception
The Academy's pick: The King's Speech

My pick: Black Swan
The Academy's pick: The King's Speech

Supporting Actress
My pick: Jacki Weaver
The Academy's pick: Melissa Leo

Supporting Actor
My pick: Christian Bale
The Academy's pick: Christian Bale

Lead Actress
My pick: Michelle Williams
The Academy's pick: Natalie Portman

Lead Actor
My pick: James Franco
The Academy's pick: Colin Firth

Best Picture
My pick: The King's Speech
The Academy's pick: The King's Speech

Well, the Academy and I agreed on three out of elven picks. I don't care that they didn't agree because it's my opinion so therefore I'm right. Anyway, there's always the political aspect of any vote, and that makes me sad. I won't go over what we agreed on, but I'll take a quick look at where we differed.

The Social Network. We disagreed on this movie. It took home editing as well as screenplay based on previous material, which, if it had to take home awards, I'm okay with. It was one of my less favorite movies for editing, but for screenplay, it may have had a chance if I hadn't liked 127 Hours so much. I wasn't particularly a fan of the screenplay for either Toy Story 3 or Winter's Bone. I had the problems with Hailee Steinfeld's character, so that probably would have given the edge to The Social Network over True Grit. I can't disagree too strongly with the Academy on that one.

Cinematography went to Inception instead of The King's Speech. As I said before, the CGI killed that one for me in a cinematography sense. It's too bad, because it certainly would have been an interesting pick, I just don't know that I agree with it.

Screenplay written for the screen went to The King's Speech instead of Inception. Maybe I just don't know the difference between cinematography and screeplays, right? No. I really liked The King's Speech in this category, so I can't really complain that it picked up the win. I just thought that Inception had to be crafted so perfectly to succeed at all, and the fact that it did succeed meant that it must have been crafted pretty well.

Directing was, of course, not given to Aronofsky and Black Swan. Instead it went to The King's Speech. Again, I can't complain too much. I probably would have slotted The King's Speech in second. It was my best picture choice, so for it to take directing home as well shouldn't come as a shock.

Now we come to the first and only real major beef I have with the awards this year: supporting actress. Melissa Leo beat out a field that included Hailee Steinfeld and Jacki Weaver. I understand Steinfeld is only fourteen and, thus, had no realistic chance to win. Jacki Weaver, though, played a character very similar to Leo's, but she turned it up to eleven. If Leo's type of role or performance is what you think is great, then you should think Weaver was stupendous. It's like saying Keanu Reeves is a better action star than Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes, Reeves stood out in the Matrix trilogy, but, really, this isn't up for debate. Weaver simply performed better in a role similar to Leo's. I would be less upset if anyone else had won. Heck, even Amy Adams who did virtually nothing for me would have been better simply because, despite not being very good to me, she did something different. This category is a shame.

That leaves only the lead acting roles. I changed my mind from Portman to Williams as I was writing the best actress entry. Firth and Franco were essentially a coinflip based on Franco not having costars. More than any other awards, I can disagree with these the least because I almost made the same picks.

All of that said, the Academy and I were in agreement in three of eleven categories. There were only three categories, however, where the winner wasn't a fairly clear second choice for me. Of those three, I was unsure of the runner up in one (cinematography), one was a "minor" award (editing) and one was a crying shame (supporting actress). Ultimately, I feel like the awards I reviewed ended up with good representatives in almost everything with only one entry really upsetting me.

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