Monday, August 30, 2010

2011 Oscar Watch! 24 Films to Keep Tabs On

As September starts up, school commences once again, and another season comes to an end. The Season of the Mediocre Summer Blockbuster: 2010 Edition. Finally, it’s over! Now begins the new fall lineup and movies of “high merit” or in other words: Oscar Season is upon us!

That's unfortunate. Seriously!
Look what he's wearing!
Overalls are sooooo yesterday.
Sure there were a few good films on the summer roster. Films such as Toy Story 3How to Train Your DragonScott Pilgrim vs. The World, and Inception come to mind, but let’s be honest, with the majority of films being sequels, reboots, and remakes, the summer lineup got mundane and rather repetitively uninspiring. Not so with this year’s upcoming fall films lineup. To be fair, there will be some movies that just should never have been made: Saw 7 Bazzilion (THIS TIME IN 3D!!!!!!! /eternal facepalm), Resident Evil: Whatever, and the usual Halloween teens-do-it-then-die gambit, along with family oriented films such as MegamindDawn Treader, and Tron: Legacy (aka LightBike). However, the next 24 films are sure to garner (at the very least) Oscar buzz, be it as Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best, well, you get the point. Let’s go!

127 Hours directed by Danny Boyle, starring James Franco

The American directed by Anton Corbijn, starring George Clooney

Biutiful directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, starring Javier Bardem 

Black Swan directed by Darren Aronofsky, starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis

Blue Valentine directed by Derek Cianfrance, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams

Company Men directed by John Wells, starring Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Tommy Lee Jones, and Chris Cooper

Fair Game directed by Doug Liman, starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn

The Fighter directed by David O. Russell, starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams

The Ghost Writer directed by Roman “Rape” Polanski, starring Ewan McGregor

Hereafter directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Matt Damon and Bryce Dallas Howard

Inception directed by Christopher Nolan, starring a lot of stars

The Kids Are All Right directed by Lisa Cholodenko, starring Annette Bening and Juilanne Moore

Love and Other Drugs directed by Edward Zwick, starring Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal

Never Let Me Go directed by Mark Romanek, starring Keira Knightley, Andrew “Spiderman” Garfield, and Carey Mulligan

The Rum Diary directed by Bruce Robinson, starring Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, and Amber Heard

Shutter Island directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Michelle Williams, and Ben Kingsley

The Social Network directed by David Fincher, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew “Spiderman” Garfield 

The Tempest directed by Julie Taymor, starring Alfred Molina, Helen Mirren, Felicity Jones, and Russell Brand

The Town directed by Ben Affleck, starring Ben Affleck, Blake Lively, and Jeremy Renner (and Don Draper)

Toy Story 3 directed by Lee Unkrich, starring (voice cast) Tom Hanks and Tim Allen

Tree of Life directed by Terrence Malick, starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn

True Grit directed by the Coen Brothers (Joel and Ethan), starring Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges, and Josh Brolin

The Way Back directed by Peter Weir, starring Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, and Saorise Ronan

Winter’s Bone directed by Debra Granik, starring Jennifer Lawerence
Now, you don’t think I’d just leave you with the names, do you? Of course not! Later (hopefully the wait won’t be too long...), I’ll skim the surface of these films in three installments of eight, and cover what all their Oscar buzz is about and if it’s even warranted of all the award show attention. And, along the way, there will obviously be other films that will pop-up in the Oscar talks, so this list is not at all an exclusive one; it is merely a starter kit for the Award Season.
With the expansion of the Best Picture category for the 82nd Academy Awards to a whopping 10 (!!!) films, more opportunities are given to movies that may have been overlooked in the past. The 83rd Oscars will also feature 10 films in the Best Picture category. What does this mean? Well, expect more drawn out introductions of the nominations, which end up stalling the program and rushing the actual announcement of the Best Picture winner... so much for “running a tight ship” last year. 

I felt bad, so I looked for
a poster... 
this is it.
However, last year’s Oscar program pulled in the television viewers (surprising because how many people were actually riveted to know if The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner would win Best Documentary Short). This may be attributed to the hosts, funnymen Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, or perhaps the Oscars finally were able to tap into that previously ignored tween demographic when they had Disney clones Zac Efron and Miley Cyrus and the who’s-who of Twilight, Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart, present some random awards and share awkward award show banter betwixt them and their equally awkward presenting partner. 

Won a bunch of stuff.
I am actually curious to know who hosts this next year’s Oscar show because that does seem to make a huge difference. I am also curious to know which film will turn out to be the Blind Side of this year (aka a film that’s incredibly mediocre, but a media darling that somehow gathers enough Oscar momentum to win awards), or which movie will be this year’s Lovely Bones (aka a film that would look so promising, but eventually tank miserably), or perhaps which film will be this year’s Hurt Locker (aka a film that no one ever saw in the summer and stayed afloat long enough to squeeze into the Oscar buzz machine, and then storm the gates from there). Maybe Monsters will pull a District 9 and earn some nominations. Or maybe another indie sci-fi film, Skyline, or intriguing thriller, Buried, or Swedish-ripoff, horror flick, Let Me In, will garner Oscar attention. I am certain that there will be Oscar snubs. But which films will get shafted? Who will be recognized? Who shouldn't have been recognized? 
Who knows. It’s definitely a bit too early to see clearly, but either way, the fall line up is  certainly a breathe of fresh air, and heaven knows we need it with all the smoke and explosions of this summer’s popcorn flicks. 



  1. blackthorneesquireAugust 30, 2010 at 10:47 PM

    Blind Side was always going to succeed, come on. It's a White Guilt Assuaging Machine of a movie, you only have to look at the poster to realize that millions of morons are going to gush over it. I am a little shocked that anyone involved in it won anything, though, since the Academy's brand of idiocy is generally a little more highbrow.

  2. I immediately started geeking out when I read in succession The Coen Brothers, Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges, and Josh Brolin. And then I went and found the premise. And geeked out some more.

  3. Dude, I was reading through the Eagleeye and I came across an article written by none other than our own J. Bernard about films to watch for, and True Grit was on it. Dude, I can hardly wait.

  4. Eagle eye Joseph? Feeling a bit nostalgic are we?


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