Tag: Black Swan


Our Oscar Picks

February 22nd, 2011 — 9:27am

Like everyone else we have our favorite for the Oscar choices .We did not yet see three of the 10 nominees True Grit , Inception or Winters Bone but we still would like to weigh in on our choices. We also have some differences of opinion as to the best of the best. Here are our picks for the major categories

Best Picture & Director of 2010 (we both feel these should be lumped together and they usually go together)

MB: It is interesting that the two favorites The Kings Speech and Social Network as well as The Fighter and 127 Hours are based on true stories. At least part of their appeal is that the movie recreates and provides insight into actual events. It turns out that Kings Speech while correct in the overall theme did take a fair amount of poetic license in laying out the time sequences and the actual timing of his dramatic speech. (He apparently had been seeing the speech therapist for many years at the time of the famous speech and it was not a dramatic moment as depicted.)  For me, no matter how well done the movie may be, that does take away from the value of the film. I also find myself asking the question about Social Network – if it were not a valid depiction would I think the movie was that good and would I care about the characters? As far as I know, it was close to the truth but I find that  the main value of the film is that it satisfies my curiosity about how this world changing phenomena  came about. That by itself for me is not enough for the first place award and aside from that, I believe we are left with a very good movie but not the best. 127 Hours was gripping but it didn’t have enough depth to win the prize. Similarly The Fighter was done well but it is not another Rocky even though based on a true story.  Incidentally, as far as true stories that were made into great films this year, I am sorry that Conviction was not nominated, but as good as I think it was, it wouldn’t win my first prize. The Kids Are All Right was top notch and  a game changer  in many ways. It may even deserve to win as the best screen play but as much as I liked it and also enjoyed Toy Story 3 – they weren’t in the league of my first choice as best film .  This leaves Black Swan as my choice for the best picture of the year. This film combines a fascinating story, a horror film, beautiful dancing, fantasy, psychological intrigue and great acting. In my opinion Director Darren Aronofsky combined them all with wonderful effects and camera work to come out on top for this year’s best picture and director

SB: I thought Social Network takes the prize this year. It had the combination of a fascinating subject, great writing and acting which made it a mesmerizing movie. I really cared about the characters and could understand their point of view . The movie made me feel that I was actually present at the birth of a very important event in our lifetime.

We both were in agreement on the following four categories

Best Actress:

Natalie Portman captured the mystery, agony, fear, horror with the love and beauty of ballet all in this stunning performance of Black Swan.  The other nominees whom we saw were excellent especially Nicole Kidman as the grieving mother in Rabbit Hole but Portman excelled in each of the genres which her film touched.

Best Actor:

While Colin Furth with his poignant portrayal of the stammering King is probably the one to beat, we think Javier Bardem in Biutiful turned in just about a perfect performance of a man living on the edge, strong, sensitive, facing death with a tender caring for others. Bardem deserves his second Oscar

Best Supporting Actor:

Christian Bale earned the Oscar here. Not only did his portrayal of  the character of the older self centered brother who was almost was the champion grab the attention of  The Fighter but in a clip at the end of the film  of the real brother  showed how Bale also nailed his speech and mannerisms . Veteran actor Geoffrey Rush who has been nominated for an Oscar four times and won in 1997 for Shine was wonderful as the eccentric speech therapist but we don’t think he will knock out Bale.

Best Supporting Actress:

Melissa Leo as the mother of the two brothers in The Fighter in our opinion was a run away for this category. She exuded the persona of this character and her misguided view of her two sons and her own entitlement.

The results of the Academy of Motion Pictures will be known in a few days but we will always welcome your comments below.

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Black Swan

January 31st, 2011 — 5:34am

*****

Black Swan rm–  This movie is about ballet and there a good amount of ballet in it. It is also about competition, jealousy and the desire to be perfect. There is no better place for these feelings to be played out than when the decision is made for the lead role in the beautiful and powerful Swan Lake Ballet. In the background is the sweeping majestic music of Tchaikovsky which is brilliantly used  by the film’s music  composer Clint Mansell to capture the u underlying theme of the movie. The theme is one of losing touch with reality to the point of psychosis. This allows director Darren Aronofsky to skillfully turn this movie into a horror fantasy where you are never quite sure when Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) has fallen into the abyss of insanity. Once you are into the crevices of the unconscious, repressed sexual wishes are fair game to examine. Portman rises to the occasion in showing all aspects of the  inner self of her character as well as projecting magnificent graceful dancing skills. She well deserves the multiple nominations for best actress of the year which she is garnering. She is supported by an excellent cast which includes Barbara Hershey who plays her mother. The story by Andres Heinz and screenplay by Heinz, Mark Heyman and John McLaughlin along with the outstanding direction of Aronofsky with his technical staff provide a film you won’t be able to get out of your mind. Interestingly, the film ends  as did one of our favorite ballet movies, Red Shoes.(2010).

Comment » | 5 Stars, Drama

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