Six days of Oscar. Day five.

In this year’s Best Supporting Actor and Actress categories, there is some seriously stiff competition. My mind is pulling me in one direction and my heart is pulling me in the other. For Best Supporting Actor I feel that if Christian Bale doesn’t win it, then Geoffrey Rush will. This doesn’t mean that I want Christian Bale to win. Don’t get me wrong, Bale was phenomenal in The Fighter. He was the best I’ve ever seen him. However, Geoffrey Rush totally blew me away in The King’s Speech. A performance so wonderful that it’ll bring a tear to your eye. And maybe even another tear to your other eye.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Geoffrey Rush in a role that I didn’t like him in. His role in The King’s Speech as Lionel Logue was all heart. He played a man who you want to be friends with. He was endearing, charismatic, kind, and loyal. To see him ascend the stairs and accept his Oscar on Sunday night would warm my heart. Here’s to you, Geoffrey. My pick for Best Supporting Actor and a man who I wish I could be friends with in real life.

The Best Supporting Actress category gets a little complex for me. I have a pretty good feeling that Melissa Leo will win. She is quite worthy. However, the young Hailee Steinfeld was outstanding in True Grit. The 14-year-old held her own on-screen with greats Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. Oh, and then we have Amy Adams. Adams talked for a while before The Fighter came out about wanting to shed her goody two-shoes persona and step into a darker role. She succeeded with flying colors. The only problem is that her role was a bit understated. She acted the hell out of it, but it was a less prominent role nonetheless.

This is where Melissa Leo comes in. In The Fighter, Leo plays a chain-smoking, potty-mouthed, overbearing mother. She’s pushy and outspoken and quite often a bit crazy. But she does all of those things so well. Her bad attitude paired with her bleach blonde hair make her the character we love to hate. To be honest, when the credits rolled and I saw that it was Melissa Leo in that role I was totally stunned. The transformation was a drastic one. But the Academy loves when attractive actresses turn into unattractive characters, don’t they? As much as I loved Hailee Steinfeld and Amy Adams, I believe this one goes to Melissa Leo.

Six days of Oscar. Day six.

With all of the tall, dark, and handsome men in Hollywood, it is kind of funny that the most sought after is just over a foot tall and gold. This year, our king and queen are quite predictable. For best actor, I have decided that Colin Firth is the obvious choice.

The brilliant and charming Mr. Firth gave a performance so deserving of Oscar gold in The King’s Speech that one is likely to hear “I’m just happy to be nominated” from the other four Best Actor nominees as they walk the red carpet. With a body of work that could make even the most accomplished actor stand up and take notice, it is Colin’s turn this year. I am not very fond of that notion. That it is someone’s “turn” to win an Oscar, but it just is in this case. I can’t wait to see him grace the stage this Sunday night. Good on you, old boy.

As far as our queen goes – our Swan Queen, that is – the winner of the Best Actress award is painfully obvious as well. Of course there have been upsets in the past and I love a good surprise on Oscar night, but Ms. Natalie Portman has a special place in my heart and I am truly excited for her.

This gorgeous gal with the most perfect eyebrows in all of Hollywood may look like she is glowing just as brightly as Oscar is on the big night. Don’t adjust your television, the stunning and talented actress is pregnant. In about a year’s time, she became engaged, learned she is pregnant with her first child, and got on the fast track to going home with that gorgeous golden man. This woman has been working since she was 13-years-old. I would liken her to the magnificent Audrey Hepburn in her grace, sophistication, and beauty. A woman who is destined to have what could be the best year of her life, cheers to Natalie Portman!

Ten big movies. One big night.

I set a goal for myself two months ago that I was going to see and review all ten of the Best Picture nominees before the Oscars air. I am proud to say that exactly one week before the big night, I have reached that goal.

Well, dear readers, which picture is destined to take home that coveted gold man, hm? Here’s a look at the ten nominees. Click on the text below the photos for my thoughts on each film, and click on Oscar at the bottom for a full list of my picks for the 83rd Academy Awards.

 

 

 

 

The King’s Speech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Swan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

127 Hours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inception

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kids Are All Right


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Social Network

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fighter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toy Story 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

True Grit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter’s Bone


 

My first published review!

Today, readers, I was on the train coming home and picked up yesterday’s RedEye because, for some unknown reason, I did not read it yesterday.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw my tweet (I am @katiekapoww on twitter, if you hadn’t figured that out already) quoted in the paper! Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on my glorious first published review!

Cheers to you, RedEye, for making this girl’s day.

 

Oscar Nominees 2011: And the Oscar goes to…

Cinephiles unite! It is that time of year again! The Academy Awards have returned with some wonderful surprises, some well-earned nominations, some nominations that were not so well-earned, and some downright shocking snubs. Matt Pais of the RedEye covered all of the bases very nicely here.

Let’s get on with it already! Here, ladies and gentlemen, are my picks. Twenty-four categories, twenty-four educated predictions.

Actor in a Leading Role:

Javier Bardem –  Biutiful
Jeff Bridges – True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network
Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
James Franco – 127 Hours

And the Oscar goes to…

Actor in a Supporting Role:

Christian Bale – The Fighter
John Hawkes – Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner – The Town
Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush – The King’s Speech

And the Oscar Goes to…

Actress in a Leading Role:

Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine

And the Oscar goes to…

Actress in a Supporting Role:

Amy Adams – The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo – The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit
Jacki Weaver – Animal Kingdom

And the Oscar goes to…

Animated Feature Film:

How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

And the Oscar goes to…

Art Direction:

Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Inception
The King’s Speech
True Grit

And the Oscar goes to…

Cinematography:

Black Swan
Inception
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

And the Oscar goes to…

Costume Design:

Alice in Wonderland
I Am Love
The King’s Speech
The Tempest
True Grit

And the Oscar goes to…

Directing:

Black Swan – Darren Aronofsky
The Fighter – David O. Russell
The King’s Speech – Tom Hooper
The Social Network – David Fincher
True Grit – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

And the Oscar goes to…

Documentary (Feature):

Exit Through the Gift Shop
Gasland
Inside Job
Restrepo
Waste Land

And the Oscar goes to…

Documentary (Short Subject):

Killing in the Name
Poster Girl
Strangers No More
Sun Come Up
The Warriors of Qiugang

And the Oscar goes to…

Film Editing:

Black Swan – Andrew Weisblum
The Fighter – Pamela Martin
The King’s Speech – Tariq Anwar
127 Hours – Jon Harris
The Social Network – Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

And the Oscar goes to…

Foreign Language Film:

Biutiful – Mexico
Dogtooth – Greece
In a Better World – Denmark
Incendies – Canada
Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) – Algeria

And the Oscar goes to…

Makeup:

Barney’s Version – Adrien Morot
The Way Back – Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
The Wolfman – Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

And the Oscar goes to…

Music (Original Score):

How to Train Your Dragon – John Powell
Inception – Hans Zimmer
The King’s Speech – Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours – A. R. Rahman
The Social Network – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

And the Oscar goes to…

Music (Original Song):

Coming Home – Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
I See the Light – Alan Menken and Glenn Slater
If I Rise – A. R. Rahman, Dido and Rollo Armstrong
We Belong Together – Randy Newman

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Picture:

Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

And the Oscar goes to…

Short Film (Animated):

Day & Night – Teddy newton
The Gruffalo – Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
Let’s Pollute – Geefwee Boedoe
The Lost Thing – Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary) – Bastien Dubois

And the Oscar goes to…

Short Film (Live Action):

The Confession – Tanel Toom
The Crush – Michael Creagh
God of Love – Luke Matheny
Na Wewe – Ivan Goldschmidt
Wish 143 – Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

And the Oscar goes to…

Sound Editing:

Inception – Richard King
Toy Story 3 – Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
Tron: Legacy – Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
True Grit – Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
Unstoppable – Mark P. Stoeckinger

And the Oscar goes to…

Sound Mixing:

Inception – Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
The King’s Speech – Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
Salt – Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
The Social Network – Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
True Grit – Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

And the Oscar goes to…

Visual Effects:

Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Hereafter
Inception
Iron Man 2

And the Oscar goes to…

Writing (Adapted Screenplay):

127 Hours – Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network – Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 – Michael Arndt
True Grit – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone – Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini

And the Oscar goes to…

Writing (Original Screenplay):

Another Year – Mike Leigh
The Fighter – Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson
Inception – Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right – Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech – David Seidler

And the Oscar goes to…

_________________________________________________________________________

Click on the photos below to read a bit about why I think they deserve to take home the coveted Academy Award of Merit.

The King’s Speech

This is the story of King George VI and the speech impediment that very nearly got the best of him. Seeking elocution lessons that will remedy his stutter, the Duke of York is faced with hopelessness. Nothing appears to be helping. His adoring wife, Elizabeth, is by his side through lesson after lesson. A lesson in which he is told to fill his mouth with marbles and read from a book ends in frustration as he is losing patience and his proverbially marbles.

Elizabeth gets wind of someone she thinks might be able to help her downtrodden husband. The two meet with Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) and the first session is not exactly a promising one. The Duke of York — Bertie, as he is known to his family — is manifestly troubled by this, but goes back to meet with Lionel anyhow. The connection between Lionel and Bertie is instant. One would imagine them to be the best of friends.

The sessions go on and we are treated to a brilliant training montage in which the audience gets to see gentle improvements and a friendship, too. The good doctor knows all kinds of tricks to cure the stammer. One of my favorites is the singing. When you sing, you don’t stall.

With his father, King George V (Michael Gambon) ailing and likely to pass sooner rather than later, Bertie and his brother Edward (Guy Pearce) brace themselves for the loss and for new rule of the United Kingdom. Edward takes the throne to become King Edward VIII. Shortly thereafter, King Edward VIII abdicates the throne leading to the sudden and reluctant ascension of King George VI.

Facing the dawn of World War II, it is now of paramount importance that Bertie overcome his troublesome stutter and take his place as King by warning his country that they are at war with Germany.

I have to say that of all of the times we see Lionel and Bertie working together, the parade of profanities is one of the most entertaining. There are many times where the audience gets to see the more human, less regal side of Bertie. Take note of the story that he tells to his daughters, the relationship he shares with Elizabeth, and the darling friendship he builds with Lionel. At one point, Lionel tells Bertie that he was sublime after a lesson. I’d say they are both sublime.

Director Tom Hooper has a real gem on his hands here. With immaculate A-plus performances from Colin Firth as Bertie, Geoffrey Rush as Lionel, and Helena Bonham Carter as the exquisite Queen Elizabeth, Hooper was set up for success and ran with it.

Full of classic architecture, great halls, and marvelous costumes, The King’s Speech radiates excellence and has Oscar written all over it.