Part of being an artist is exposing yourself to different areas of the arts – and one of my favorites is films. Every year, we try to see most – if not all- of the Best Picture nominees and make our own decision before the prize is actually awarded. For the past couple of years – in a move surely designed to drive up box office numbers – they have been nominating 10 movies for this coveted award. Being a bit old-school, I’m sticking with what I consider to be the Top Five. If you haven’t seen these, you really need to!
If they were to let me choose Best Picture this year, here is what I would choose – and why. I’ve included links to their IMDB pages, for those who are interested.
#5. The Social Network – Another very entertaining movie. What was really interesting was the subject – since Facebook is such a phenomenon right now. If this was about the person who started Acme Incorporated, it wouldn’t be nearly as exciting. It just seemed to me like a pretty good movie about an incredibly interesting topic. Not sure if that adds up to Best Picture for me.
#4. True Grit – Now admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of westerns- but Tombstone is probably in my Top 10 All Time (or at least my Top 20). It’s not that True Grit was bad, it just didn’t have the WOW factor that some of the other movies had. Another slight minus is that True Grit was more of a “movie” than a “film.” Its hard for me to define the difference other than a movie is more mainstream audience and a film is more art house crowd -if that helps clear it up at all. Overall a good movie, but no Best Picture. I do think Hailee Steinfeld has a good shot at Best Supporting Actress – for what that’s worth.
#3. Black Swan – First off, this is a great example of a film (vs a movie). When I walked out of the theater, I said “Wow” and was certain I had just seen the eventual Best Picture winner. At the very least, Natalie Portman should be a slam dunk for Best Actress. Watching this is like looking at a good abstract painting. You don’t 100% understand it, but you’re pretty sure the answer is there if you study it long enough. A tough movie to watch – but brilliant. I don’t think it will win BP, but I wouldn’t be surprised or upset if it did.
#2. Inception – Talk about a “wow” movie… this is one of those movies where you are confused the whole time and trust the director to wrap it all up into a semi-logical package at the end. It keeps you just enough off-balance that you think you are following along, but you aren’t positive. Even the ending is fabulous. This is the first time I can remember that I’ve actually been rooting for a Leo movie to win BP, but there is no denying he did a good job in this one. The one thing that I think keeps this one from winning is that it is more of a movie that borders on film. Just too mainstream. Its kind of like an awesome summer movie, but those don’t usually win Best Picture. As a consolation, I think it has a stranglehold on Best Screenplay -for what that’s worth.
which leaves us with
#1 The King’s Speech – I must preface this by saying I am not a huge fan of “period pieces.” If I see someone wearing 1800’s clothing in a preview, I generally give it the thumbs down before we are 10 seconds into the preview. I’m just not into historical movies. The only reason I went to see this one is because so many friends raved about how good it was. This turned out to be a smart move! If I got to vote, this one would be the winner. Colin Firth is my hands-down pick for Best Actor and Geoffry Rush has a good shot at Supporting. Its a feel-good story in a time when people are looking for something to feel good about. I can’t say for sure that it will win, but it would get my vote. In fact, if you haven’t seen it yet – turn off your computer and go see it now. You’ll thank me.