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And the Oscar goes to…

February 17, 2011

by Editorial Staff , STAFF?REPORT

What began as a private dinner in Hollywood’s Hotel Roosevelt in 1929 to honor the previous year’s most notable film achievements has grown to become one of the world’s largest entertainment events. Millions of people tune in every year, hours before the ceremony even begins, to watch their favorite nominated actors and directors walk the red carpet, shielding their eyes from barrages of camera flashes, waving to cheering fans and talking fashion with Joan Rivers, before heading into the elaborately decorated and painstakingly prepared Kodak Theatre, home to the ceremony since 2002.

However, beneath all of the glitz and glamour, lay the core of the ceremony’s existence: a special night set aside to recognize the past year’s best works, to show how lights and sound, conventional effects and editing tricks and man and machine come together to create one extraordinary work of art and reflection of life.

 

BEST PICTURE

Black Swan

The Fighter

Inception

The Kids Are All Right

The King’s Speech

127 Hours

The Social Network

Toy Story 3

True Grit

Winter’s Bone

 

OUR PICK The Social Network

Though a close race, “The Social Network” emerged as the prime contender for winning Best Picture. While other biopic nominees presented strong performances, no story affected such a wide audience as the rise of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the launching of a revolutionary communication site. Directed by David Fincher (“Fight Club”), scored by Nine Inch Nails’ mastermind Trent Reznor and featuring a top-notch cast, “The Social Network” is a dark, fast-paced and cleverly-written revelation of the treacherous seeds under one of modern society’s biggest phenomenons.

 

LEAD ACTOR

Javier Bardem

Jeff Bridges

Jesse Eisenberg

Colin Firth

James Franco

 

OUR PICK James Franco

Although surrounded by exceptional members in his field, Franco is the only nominee who virtually carried an entire film single-handedly. His flawless depiction in “127 Hours” of mountain climber Aron Ralston and his harrowing tale of resorting to desperate measures to escape death easily places him ahead of the competition.

 

LEAD ACTRESS

Annette Bening

Nicole Kidman

Jennifer Lawrence

Natalie Portman

Michelle Williams

 

OUR PICK Natalie Portman

Portman’s performance as an obsessed and deranged ballet dancer was unanimously chosen not only for her memorable acting, but also the depth of preparation she took to get into character, going so far to learn to dance en pointe. The sapphic sex scene with snubbed supporting actress Mila Kunis may have helped, too.

 

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Christian Bale

John Hawkes

Jeremy Renner

Mark Ruffalo

Geoffery Rush

 

OUR PICK Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo’s role as a father working to become part of a family he never knew in “The Kids Are All Right” earns recognition because of the ease in which Ruffalo delivers, even bordering as a possible contender for best Lead Actor.

 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams

Helena B. Carter

Melissa Leo

Hailee Steinfeld

Jacki Weaver

 

OUR PICK Helena B. Carter

In “The King’s Speech,” Helena Bonham Carter dignifiedly portrays Queen Elizabeth and how she supported her husband, King George VI, as he struggled to overcome a stammer before delivering his first speech as ruler of Britain at the outbreak of World War II.

 

BEST DIRECTOR

Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan

David Fincher – The Social Network

Joel & Ethan Coen – True Grit

David O. Russel – The Fighter

Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech

 

OUR PICK Darren Aronofsky

Following his twice-nominated film “The Wrestler” at the 2009 ceremony, Aronofsky returns with a masterful and haunting portrayal of a young woman so desperate for the limelight, she unravels and begins a spiral toward self-destruction, becoming the personification of the evil she is meant to oppose. 

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

How to Train Your Dragon

Inception

The King’s Speech

127 Hours

The Social Network

 

OUR PICK The Social Network

A master of dark tension, director David Fincher enlisted the aid of former Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor­ and his longtime collaborative partner, Atticus Ross, to create the electronic atmosphere needed for the dramatic biopic of the world’s largest networking site. The mellow, calm tones act as a perfect counterbalance to the incredible tension Mark Zuckerberg faced as he simultaneously fought friends, enemies and lawsuits. Combined with a composed performance by Jesse Eisenberg, the score is almost a character in itself.

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