I was mostly saddened by the Oscars last night. I watched half the nominees for Best Picture and will be checking out the others this week as time allows. I made a point to watch the ones I knew stood a chance; Inception, Black Swan, and The Kings Speech but was also able to catch True Grit and Toy Story 3. All of them were enjoyable but the 1st three were really the only contenders for the big 2 awards, Best Picture and Best Director.
I loved Black Swan and was somewhat crushed that Aronofsky’s beautiful and disturbingly dark film got the brush off. I’ve been watching his films since I was 12 or 13 and had a chance encounter with Pi, which drove me slightly insane for a few hours. That’s how I knew it was fucking awesome .
But back to Oscar tragedy…
I can see why Black Swan didn’t win, it pushed a lot of boundaries and made the viewer uncomfortable which is kind of the point of most of his movies. It gets you so close to the main character Nina (Natalie Portman cannot be given enough praise for her amazing performance and she truly deserved the Best Actress oscar) that you feel you are inside her head and it becomes impossible to tell what is the hallucination and what is reality. That to me is what made it so wonderful and deserving of the award, something that truly captures people and drags them, willing or no into the world of the film and so vividly tells such a harsh story…that’s what movies are for!
Don’t get me wrong, The Kings Speech was a great film. I have a passion for period films and this one fulfilled that passion to a cup of English tea. Colin Firth was excellent as always, the stuttering was painful to watch and the explosive outbursts of curse filled rage at his limitations and the situation were fabulously done. Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush also shone in their respective roles, pleasantly understated in a classically English way. It did drag a bit as a movie about speech therapy and royal politics would tend to do but it clipped along at an appropriate pace for the material. The historical and medical accuracy is not exactly spot on (that tip to PZ Myers for the links) but I still found it enjoyable none the less.
In spite of enjoying The Kings Speech I was still pretty disappointed that the Academy chose to go the safe route and pick the standard period British piece over the more adventurous art film. I’m not sure why I expected differently but I really did.
Although I must say it was entertaining to watch a stoned-as-hell James Franco and giddy Anne Hatheway bumble their way through the show as hosts. They tried so hard!
Any thoughts on what should have won, why it didn’t or anything on the Oscars in general?