Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Movies – 2011 Best Picture Nominees Recap

I have now posted reviews for the ten films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.  I am not done yet.  I intend to write reviews for those pictures I have seen that received other Oscar nominations.  Look for reviews of Iron Man 2, Salt, Unstoppable, Alice in Wonderland, Tangled, and How to Train Your Dragon in coming days.  I might be able to do one or two others, too.

In the meantime, here is how I would rate the ten Best Picture nominees from best to not quite the best.  (Positions four through six are pretty much interchangeable.)

  1. Toy Story 3
  2. Black Swan
  3. Inception
  4. 127 Hours
  5. The Fighter
  6. The King’s Speech
  7. True Grit
  8. The Social Network
  9. Winter’s Bone
  10. The Kids Are All Right

A few more observations now that I have seen all the movies:

  1. There are no epic, three hour long depress-fests.  I’m frankly very surprised.  Even though there are ten nominees, twice that of most other years, Inception is the only movie that clocks in at more than two hours.  The other nine run two hours or less, with, ironically, 127 Hours being the shortest at just over an hour and a half.
  2. I liked all ten movies enough to recommend them.  This also surprised me.  Usually there is at least one major nominee that I dislike, and sometimes I even hate one.  I think the lack of three hour depress-fests has a lot to do with my not hating any of them.
  3. Only six of the ten nominees are rated R.  Inception, The Social Network, and True Grit are all rated PG-13, and Toy Story 3 is rated G.  When there were only five Best Picture nominations you could almost count on all five movies being R rated, since that meant that the directors had not compromised their movies for a bigger box office.  (I was surprised at the ratings for True Grit and Toy Story 3 when I looked them up to write this.  True Grit has R-rated violence in it - i.e. fingers graphically severed, brains blown against a wall - and Toy Story 3 has PG level scariness in places.  Of course, the R-rated The King’s Speech is a G rated level movie with a bunch of curse words in it that have no context and are therefore meaningless.)
  4. As I mentioned in my post on 127 Hours, four of the ten nominated movies are based on true events.  They are The Fighter, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, and The Social Network.  All but 127 Hours made major changes to timelines or events in order to try to create more tension or excitement.
  5. With Natalie Portman expected to win the Best Actress Oscar this will continue a string of 25 straight years, and all but 4 years since 1970, where the Best Actress winner has done nudity.  Many of the winners appeared nude in the role that won them the Oscar.  So much for “real actresses don’t do nude scenes.”

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