Reviews & Previews - Post Oscar Edition

Posted on Monday, February 28, 2011 at 06:00 PM

Post Oscar Edition

By: S. Tran

There were 10 films nominated this year for best picture. Of those 10, I managed to see all of two. This might be the saddest year ever for me in terms of seeing films considered among the best by the grand poobahs of film. Still, of the ones on the list I have to admit that I really was only interested in about three of them and to be honest I have never felt bad about not seeing a lot of nominated films over the years.

Inception was a good film and while technically amazing I did not come away from the theatre thinking I had just witnessed the film of the year. The story became somewhat difficult to follow and the characters did not leave much of an impression on me. Leo and the gang did a good job acting-wise, but I just found the story arc to be so dense that I had little time to try and care about anyone in the film.

True Grit on the other hand was an great film that I found completely entertaining. The acting was great with fantastic dialogue and memorable characters. Having not seen the original I mistakenly credited the Coen brothers with some creative elements that were actually in the original movie. But despite that I think they definitely put their stamp on the film. I also think Hailee Steinfeld was a deserving nominee for best supporting actress this year. Although, given that she was one of the three main characters and narrated the whole thing I don't know why she wouldn't be nominated as best actress.

I have no idea whether The King's Speech should have won. I also don't know if I will ever get around to watching the movie any time soon. IMDB has the plot summarized as follows:

"The story of King George VI of Britain, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it."

Somewhere in there is a story that was turned into the best movie of the year. Somewhere.

Other nominees this year were just strange. Toy Story 3? Really? Did this movie get any votes from the Academy members? Was there even one guy who sat there and said to himself "Man, I really liked the King movie, but Woody and Buzz just crack me up."

This is one of those mysteries about the whole process, much like how an actress playing a main character is considered a supporting actress. This is also why I put little stock in the winners and losers of these awards. At the end of the day its just the opinion of a bunch of people who I have very little in common with except that we love movies.

This explains why some films that win best picture have absolutely no appeal to me. Take for example the 1996 winner, The English Patient which was a complete sleep inducer in my opinion. American Beauty from 1999, an ok movie, but was that really the best film that year? Did anyone except me roll their eyes when that kid started talking about that stupid bag blowing in the wind? I thought that The Green Mile was better by far. In 1996 I would have taken Fargo or even Jerry Maguire, which, all kidding aside, is a good movie and was at least entertaining.

The whole premise of voting for the best film of the year is also fairly meaningless unless you have seen all the films that came out that year. To choose between 10 that were somehow nominated seems pretty artificial. But that is the system they have set up and luckily for me it has absolutely no effect on what I am able to choose to see in those rare times when I can go watch a new movie.


S. Tran also writes at, and


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