As any casual reader of my humble blog knows by now, I love movies. All kinds, from deep, meaningful, critically-acclaimed films to the most pedestrian fright flicks. I actually don't discriminate too much-hardly anything is more delightful to me than an afternoon or evening spent at a movie theater. I am PROUD, not ashamed, of the many times I've gone to see a movie alone. I revel in my exhaustive (I'm not boasting, I really know my stuff!) knowledge of upcoming films and what may or may not be called out at the Oscar podium. As the year comes to a close, I thought I would put together a little list of the movies I am confident will be on my printable ballots at my 2010 Oscar party.
I will guarantee this movie's presence at the Academy Awards this year. It was a huge success at Sundance and the Toronto Film Festival, and praise from critics has been practically universal. I like what a writer from IMDB.com stated about it: "His take (Lee Daniels, writer) on the hardships faced by the titular character is only semi-sentimenal, and it implies that a person's conviction is the one thing that remains when their circumstances are remarkably bleak." I expect supporting actress nods, though not for Mariah Carey!
Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel sits on my desk, where I gaze upon it wistfully and hope for the days when I'll be able to read something for enjoyment rather than necessity. I'm not completely familiar with his work-in fact, I've only read No Country for Old Men. Both novel and film were excellent, and I have high expectations for The Road, even though post-apocalyptic tales aren't usually my cup of tea. It should be known that I also have a soft spot for Viggo Mortensen. A hint of the extent of my admiration? I own the film Eastern Promises.
You should know that I'm not usually drawn to stories involving smarmy men and the downfall of naive young women. This one, however, seems a bit different. There is something more real and thought-provoking behind what could be a stereotypical seduction tale. The whole film world has been RAVING, absolutely RAVING about it, calling Carey Mulligan a "revelation." She does seem lovely, and I find her voice to be tremendously appealing. As of late, the inexplicably appealing Shia LaBeouf shares my sentiments-the two of them have been spending quite a lot of time together outside of filming the sequel to Wall Street. Shoot, did I just undermine my entire recommendation of An Education? Ignore my Shia reference!
I've seen the original Danish film, Br∅dre, and it did not make as powerful an impression as the few minutes we see here, in the American remake. Looking back on it, I think that was mostly because the actors in the Danish movie are beloved favorites for my SH and I. We're used to seeing them in hilarious yet dark and twisty roles (Danish humor is VERY twisted!), so it was strange to see them taking on something so very serious and intense. The new version looks gut-wrenching and suggests exceptional performances from the three leads. I have to admit, I shudder when watching the trailer-Toby Maguire is genuinely frightening.
Up in the Air
I should note from the start that I am not a fan of George Clooney. I do not find him attractive, am not particularly impressed with his acting ability, and am highly suspicious of his inability to sustain a relationship at his age. That said, I trust the instincts and ability of Jason Reitman, director of Up in the Air-he brought us Juno!-and the buzz about the movie has been hugely positive. Setting aside my feelings about George, I can tell the movie is going to be good. It also features Twilight star Anna Kendrick-she was a huge standout in Twilight, and Up in the Air is inevitably going to place her firmly on the map.
The Hurt Locker
This is the only movie on my list that has already made its run in theaters. Nary a negative word was written about it, and though it was a limited release, it was unquestionably a critical success. In our troubled times, war movies are hard to swallow, and are often dicey ventures for filmmakers. I think it's very possible that The Hurt Locker is an exception. It's a contender, mark my words.
Yes, I know this list is quite lengthy, but there will be TEN nominees for Best Picture this year. Don't be surprised if even the delightfully hilarious, so-incredibly-funny-I-have-to-own-it summer hit, The Hangover sneaks into the arena. I should note that in an interesting turn of events, the highly-anticipated Martin Scorsese-Leonardo diCaprio collaboration, Shutter Island, was moved to mid-winter 2010. Very strange move considering the new 10-nominee policy.
I'm going to include one more trailer, for my own viewing pleasure. It's not applicable for my post, because of its 2010 release, but it stars one of my faves, Benicio del Toro, and the always appealing, soon-to-be wife of John Krasinksi, Emily Blunt.
Admit it. It looks SUPER cool.
Source (Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt)