Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wow, I apparently don't get The Social Network

Back in October my "notes on" post (here) thought it might have a shot a Adapted Screenplay and Editing.

Since then it has received Best Picture awards from critics associations in Boston, Washington DC, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and the National Board of Review which is really just a group, but they always announce first so we all dutifully include them. Director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin have been similarly feted.

I just don't get it. It's a solid movie, one I enjoyed, but it's getting the kind of unanimity in accolades that's fairly rare. LA and NYC often disagree with each other, or throw a bone to a second film by honoring its director (the movie Carlos was runner up in the top categories from LA, you remember Carlos, right). I thought for sure one of them would have said Toy Story 3-D.

So expect a big chunk of love for The Social Network come Oscar nomination time. I think that will carry Jesse Eisenberg into a Best Actor nomination. I like Eisenberg's work there a lot, but I thought acting like me (smug, know-it-all, poor social skills) might not translate well to Oscar voters, but good news: MY PERSONALITY DEFECTS COUNT AS AN OSCAR-ELIGIBLE HANDICAP (like My Left Foot or Children of a Lesser God or Philadelphia). I need to figure out a ribbon for this.

When asked what I thought should be named Best Picture this year, I didn't have a good answer. I think I saw stuff I liked, but I'm not sure. Maybe that's what's happening. I know back in 98, LA Confidential carried nearly every critics group only to hit an iceberg called Titanic. I don't think Black Swan is it, though.

Here's what I am sensing: Colin Firth, Best Actor, The King's Speech (biopic, physical disability, British, long overdue for an Oscar, JUSTMISSED last year)--he's on a roll. James Franco (127 Hours) and Jeff Bridges (True Grit) are looking solid. And Eisenberg.

Natalie Portman (Black Swan) and Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone) are out strong for Best Actress. Annette Bening (The Kids are All Right) is ignoring my advice and running as as lead, so I kinda want Hillary Swank (Conviction) to grab her nomination (oh yes, I can be a bitch) but that seems unlikely. Rabbit Hole earned Cynthia Nixon a Tony for a really dramatic role of a mother who loses her child (like died, not like at the mall), and Nicole Kidman might not totally fuck it up in the film version, putting her in contention.

On the Supporting side of the equation, both Melissa Leo and Amy Adams are receiving glowing reviews for The Fighter and appear to both be heading for nominations. Newcomer Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) is a lead role running in supporting, which I think helps her considerably (Oscar voters overrode this ploy from Kate Winslet a few years ago, and rightly so, but Steinfeld's youth makes this a little more credible). Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdon), an actress I've never heard of in a movie I've never heard of, is getting a lot of critical acclaim, so I hope that means 1) that's she's genuinely good, and B) that gets her a nomination. Mila Kunis and Barbara Hershey have both been mentioned as possible for Black Swan. I feel like Kunis is stronger for a nomination, but Hershey would be stronger to win (although from this list, Melissa Leo may be the one to beat). Helena Bonham Carter is out there, in The King's Speech, but her inability to get more than 1 nomination before undermines her chances for some reason. Of course if Julianne Moore downgrades her role in The Kids are All Right, she's suddenly ahead. Crap, Marion Cotillard, Inception, I said her name, so that counts.

Christian Bale (The Fighter) has the makings of the early favorite to win at the Oscars. Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech) and Jeremy Renner (The Town) are strong for nominations. I'm not sure if Mark Ruffalo can pull an Oscar nomination out of The Kids are All Right, but that movie is doing well in awards season so maybe. I was unimpressed with Justin Timberlake in The Social Network, so that probably means he'll win. And Michael Douglas is SUPPORTING in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps... and he has cancer. Since I didn't think he deserved an Oscar for Wall Street, it will be really awesome for me if he wins TWO for the same role (unless, of course, he's really good in this one... like Mo'Nique good).

I also think Red has a chance at sneaking a nominee into one of the supporting categories.

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