Monday, February 28, 2011

6th Annual My Thoughts As I Had Them During the Oscars

Wow.  I can't believe that this is the sixth year that I am writing this post.  This is my way of commenting on the Oscars; it is done in a snarky and facetious way.

*EDIT*  Basically, I give you the thoughts I had in the order they occurred, the way they occurred as I was watching the Oscar telecast.

Usually, you are stuck with only my thoughts on the Oscars, but this year, I am adding in the thoughts of Justin of the outstanding Cavemen Go (which incidentally just celebrated its one year anniversary for which I wrote an anecdote) and of Amy of If It Bleeds... (which is an exciting and ambitious new blog that will chronicle and review the year's album releases, and we still like her even though she wasn't very fond of the amazing new Cake album, Showroom of Compassion).

So, without further ado, here is the 6th annual My Thoughts As I Had Them During the Oscars...

Almost time, but first a new trailer for Source Code.  I was actually intrigued by this trailer, when I saw it in theaters, even before I realized it was the new film from Moon director Duncan Jones.

Morgan Freeman even narrates Adam Baldwin's dreams!  Hey, I just said that.

And, the tradition of stealing my jokes continues.

In the Black Swan portion of the dream, it appears that James Franco is a little insecure about his package.

Hey, I also dream that I'm in Back to the Future!

I was really hoping that the DeLorean  would be behind the screen.

Amy- You'd better not smile, Colin Firth.  You aren't going to win.

Justin- Everyone wants him to win.

Amy- Not me.

That's Academy Award Winner Mr. Stephen Spielberg to you Anne's mom.

Amy- James Franco's grandmother is adorable.

And she had the line of the night.  You can never go wrong with a Marky Mark reference.

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn about this movie.

But the Picture that will probably win Best Picture isn't up for Art Direction, Tom Hanks, so you might be blowing this a little out of proportion.

And now that Alice in Wonderland won, you definitely blew it out of proportion.

Justin- Does this mean that Alice in Wonderland is now going to win Best Picture?

First category, first surprise.  I can now pretty safely say that The King's Speech won't win Best Picture.

You can't dedicate the Oscar to your dad!  A few seconds ago in this speech you told someone else that it was theirs!

Amy- Pfister?  That's what she said.

I can't believe that Deakins didn't win Best Cinematographer again.  I'm starting to think that its some kind of conspiracy.  Unbelievable.

If Christopher Nolan was a true master, wouldn't he have been nominated for Best Director?

Amy- Rude.

I'm just saying.

Justin- Oh! Escape From the Academy Awards!

Amy- Um, wrong person.  Kirk Douglas, not Kurt Russell.

Justin- I always get them confused.

Spartacus, not Snake Plissken.  Although, "I am Snake Plissken" has a nice ring to it.

It's a little creepy the way he's hitting on Anne Hathaway.

Amy- How can anyone even tell what he's saying?

Justin- There's a thing in Anne Hathaway's ear where she has someone translating him.

Wow, the mom from The Fighter looks way different in real life.

"Everybody in Australia thinks I'm funny."

One taste of the spotlight again, and Kirk Douglas does not want to give it up.

Second Surprise of the night.

He just told her that she looks way better in person then she did in the movie.  We were all thinking it, Kirk.

Justin- Kurt Russell is the voice of America.

Still Kirk Douglas, Justin.

This is why you write an acceptance speech even if you don't think you have a shot to win.

And she just got bleeped.

But they let her say Dick.

Justin- That was someone's name.

Uh huh.  Likely excuse.

"I am Bansky."  Very low percentage joke, but hilariously awesome.  Nice job, Timberlake.

Now he's making fun of Kirk Douglas!  Clearly an unscripted joke.  Not many of those on Oscar night, and that one was hilarious.  I have to say, I am a fan of Justin Timberlake.

Amy- Justin, it's like you and me.

Justin- 'Cause of the height differential?

Amy- Yeah!

Amy's the tall one.

"I never thought I'd say this, but thank you to the Academy."  And now you'll never win another one.

Sure, he probably meant that he thought he'd never say it because he thought he'd never win, but it totally came out as if he didn't think it was ever worth thanking the Academy.

Justin- Anne Hathaway could replace Vanna White.

No Country For Old Men reunion.  Where is Tommy Lee Jones?

Okay, who is harder to understand: Javier Bardem or Kirk Douglas?

This is for you, Sports Night!

I assumed his speech would be a walk and talk down the corridors of the White House.

And The King's Speech finally wins something.

"My dad always said I'd be a late bloomer."  It's funny because he's old.

Damn it, Castle commercial.  Spoiler alert!

I wonder who Anne Hathaway could be singing about here?  Hugh-ge Jackass?  Retractable claws? Total mystery.

Does Canada really count for Foreign Films?

Justin- The announcer stammered.

A sign for The King's Speech?

Amy- No, it's cause it's Reese Witherspoon.

Someone should Trash Christian Bale's Beard.

Amy- No one is interrupting his speech.

Because they are scared of another tirade.

Instead of a musical cue to tell him to wrap it up, they should send someone in to mess with the lights.

Apparently, the advent of musical scores can only be equated to John Williams.

And Trent Reznor is an Oscar winner.

Amy- "I was writing songs about how stupid the man was; now they gave me an Oscar."

Wow.  They were right.  This is the year of the Lesbians.  Girl on girl kiss in the audience.

Amy- She might be British.

Justin- True.  The British can kiss other girls without being gay.

Justin- Nope.  They just said our wives, as in all of them have wives.

Amy- Some nasty stuff will be said on the Baptist websites tonight.

Why didn't they let the Lesbian say anything?  Homophobes.

I do love me some Howard Shore.  Lord of the Rings was a great score.

I just saw a picture of Charlie from LOST!

And The Wolfman is an Oscar winning film.

Not the worst movie of the year, of course.  That honor still goes to Skyline.

Justin- But the transformation into the wolf was good.

Amy- But still, the whole film should be damned.

Costume Design also goes to Alice in Wonderland.  That's another award that The King's Speech should have had without question.  It is in real trouble.  At this point I feel very confident that The Social Network is going to win Best Picture.

How did she fit so much on that little card?

Chuck was in Tangled?

Amy- And he can sing!

Well, the Intersect can make him do anything.

"What a great year for Docs."  Um, she knows that they give out an award to documentaries every year right?

Amy- Did she say a great year for Ducks?

Holy crap.  The Oscars just made Twilight awesome.  That is amazing.  The power of Autotune.

I might just have to cheat on Felicia Day with Anne Hathaway.

Inside Job wins best documentary.  Told ya.  Still should've been Exit Through the Gift Shop.

Justin- I saw Wall Street 2, so I didn't have to see this movie.

Amy- Don't bring him out!

You don't like Billy Crystal?

Amy- Actually, I love him, I just don't want to see him like that.  All old.

He just looks like he did in the Princess Bride.  Only without the makeup.

Justin-  Is this the Hugh Jackman roast?

Amy- That's what he gets for making a bad movie.

Justin- He made a new bad one?

No.  We're talking about Wolverine.

Justin- We're still bagging on Wolverine?

It was that bad.

Amy- Yeah, it really was.

Justin- When there are no good original songs, you might as well give it to Toy Story.

If we ever go to war with Canada, it will be because of the crime against humanity known as Celine Dion.  (Sorry Shannon)

Irvin Kershner will be missed.  He directed one of the greatest films of all time, The Empire Strikes Back.  I'm wearing an Empire Strikes Back shirt in his honor.

Hillary Swank has won two Oscars, but what we all want to know is how was one of them not for The Next Karate Kid?

Wow!  After The King's Speech gets embarrassed in the technical categories, Tom Hooper wins Best Director?  I suppose it has a shot now, where it didn't appear to before.  That is surprising.

Natalie Portman is an Oscar winner.  Good on you, Padme.

Amy- She is totally preggers.

Justin- Is it Mila Kunis's?

No.  It's Luke and Leia.

Justin- Nice.

Justin Timberlake and Kevin Spacey found that Facebook joke way funnier than Jesse Eisenberg did.

The King's Speech was completely shut out early, then it came back and won the four big ones, Actor, screenplay, director, and picture.  Unbelievable.

Oh, how nice, all the winners are coming back out on stage while these kids sing.

Amy- Somebody should trip the guy that won for Wolfman.

Until Next Time, a surprising finish to the Oscars.  Anne Hathaway and James Franco did a pretty good job.  I can't wait to do it all again next year!  Special thanks to Justin and Amy for joining in the fun.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Top Ten of 2010

All year long I have been upset at the lack of good films this year.

My joke for much of the year was that the year in movies was so poor that Hot Tub Time Machine had a legitimate shot to make my Top Ten.  (Thankfully, it didn't turn out that poorly, although I did enjoy the movie, it shouldn't ever be in a year ending Top Ten.)

Last year, I did a Top Twenty (any of the films in it, incidentally, probably would have made the Top Ten this year) due to the fact that the Oscars had upped their nominations to ten.

I won't be doing a Top Twenty this year.

There also won't be any honorable mentions.

On to the list...

10. The American

George Clooney is fantastic in this slower paced action/thriller that is far more character driven then the typical spy/assassin film.  It is beautifully shot and keeps your attention despite the slower pace.  Thanks to the interesting story, the fantastic acting, and the beautiful cinematography, this is one of the better films of the genre in quite some time.  It reminded me of another movie to make one of my Top Tens, The Constant Gardner.

9. Shutter Island

Leonardo DiCaprio has become one of our generations most fantastic actors, due in large part to his relationship with one of the greatest directors of all time, Martin Scorsese.  In any other filmmaker's hands, this might have been a convoluted mess, but Scorsese makes it a masterpiece.  Twists and turns that are completely character and story driven rather than just for the sake of twists and turns makes this a film that stays with you long after it is over.

8. Toy Story 3

Each successive Toy Story film has been better than the ones that came before, and this is no exception.  Chronicling the painful yet inevitable end of the toy and kid relationship, while keeping the door open for future instalments, Toy Story 3, like the two films that preceded it, mixes laughter, tears, joy, sadness, and excitement in equal parts.  A beautiful and moving film, but what else can you expect from PIXAR?

7. 127 Hours

Driven largely by the unbelievable performance of the star (and this year's Oscar co-host) James Franco, 127 Hours manages to captivate despite the close quarters of most of the films setting and the fact that it focuses on only one character.  It is a harrowing experience and the film puts the viewer directly into that experience.  This is a powerful movie, and proof that James Franco is an undeniable talent.

6. The King's Speech

While the film is overly emotionally manipulative, and it often feels more like a stage play than a film in terms of camera movement, it is still a moving story and an overall good film.  Like 127 Hours, the film is definitely strengthen by the performances, and it will probably be rewarded by Oscars for Firth and Bonham Carter.

5. Exit Through the Gift Shop

One of the most original films I have ever seen, and by far the best documentary this year, Exit Through the Gift Shop is a movie that defies explanation.  When you find someone else who has seen it, however, I guarantee that you will have tons of lively discussion about the film. 

4. Social Network

A movie that by all rights should have been terrible was handled by the exact right creative team.  Ultimately, this is a story of the times in which we live, and it is a story that desperately needed to be told.  I am glad that it was Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher who told it.

3. Black Swan

One of the most disturbing films of all time, definitely on a level with the very disturbing Requiem For a Dream (also directed by Aronofsky).  Natalie Portman is unbelievable, and Mila Kunis continues to surprise me and shed the image of Jackie from That 70's Show.  Almost a horror film at times, the movie manages to make you live with obsession and desire while also showing the dangers of wanting something too much.

2. Inception

Christopher Nolan continues to make unbelievable films.  While I'm not entirely sure that he is the right fit for producing and writing the new Superman film, I can't deny that his films are always fantastic.  Again, DiCaprio performs flawlessly as the troubled protagonist, and the rest of the cast is terrific as well.  The whole movie works on every level, as this is a movie that you have to watch more than once.

And the number one movie (and the "Should Win" for Best Picture from my Preview and Prediction Post) is...

1. True Grit

Rarely are remakes far and away better than the original, but rarely are remakes handled by Joel and Ethan Coen.  Jeff Bridges continues his unbelievable run, and Hailee Steinfeld steals every second of the film (making it quite a crime that she is nominated as a supporting actress instead of as a lead actress).  While I am not a huge Matt Damon fan, he is incredible in this movie.  I always used to say that Matt Damon was only good in The Talented Mr. Ripley, now I have to add True Grit to that list.  Roger Deakins does an amazing job as always, as he is, in my opinion, the best cinematographer working today.  The script is perfect, and the Coen brothers' direction is impeccable.  Not only is this the best film of the year, but it also is among the best films of the entirety of the last decade.  While 2010 was a down year, this film certainly keeps it from being a total disappointment.  I also might put this as the best Coen brothers' movie ever, and that is certainly saying something.

Until Next Time, I hope that you enjoy the Oscars on Sunday!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rest in Peace, Brigadier

Yesterday, Nicholas Courtney passed away after a short illness related to cancer.  For years, and alongside five different Doctors (although most famously and consistently with the 3rd Doctor) Nicholas Courtney played UNIT officer and erstwhile friend of the Doctor, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.  He was 81.

If you've watched any classic Who, especially any of the 3rd Doctor episodes (some of the best in the series, in my opinion), you might be familiar with the character.  He was very capable and had his own ideas of how problems needed to be handled.  This could often lead to situations where the Doctor and the Brigadier butted heads, and yet it was clear that the characters had a great deal of respect for each other.  He has long been one of my favorite characters in the long history of the show, and I hoped that with the reemergence of the show and the occasional appearance of UNIT that Courtney would reprise his role on NuWho.

While that never happened, he did get to appear as the Brig one last time on the spin off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures.

The Doctor Who Universe lost a great man today.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family in this difficult time.  He will be missed.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Oscars Preview and Prediction Post! The 2010 Edition!

The nominations are out and the 27th of February is fast approaching!  Time for us to look a little deeper at the categories and look at who will win (as well as who the winner should be) in the annual Oscars Preview and Prediction Post!


While I am a huge fan of most of the actors on this list, and I would love another Dude-like acceptance speech from the Dude (aka Jeff Bridges), it seems like this Oscar is going to go to Collin Firth for The King's Speech.  The only question is, does he stutter while giving his acceptance speech?  James Franco is probably the most deserving, his performance in 127 Hours literally makes the movie what it is, but his time will certainly come.  It's not as if he won't be getting lots of exposure considering he's hosting these very Oscars!

Will Win- Colin Firth
Should Win- James Franco


Natalie Portman should and will win for her amazing, gritty, and disturbing performance in Black Swan.  I'm okay with that since I love Portman.  But part of me is rooting for Michele Williams, since she is starring in a movie produced by a friend of mine's brother.

Will Win- Natalie Portman
Should Win- Natalie Portman


As much as my admiration and appreciation for Christian Bale has waned over the last few years, partly because of his over the top gravelly Batman voice which was the only negative thing in the entirety of The Dark Knight, and especially because of his Trashing Your Lights tirade, his dedication to his craft (that being acting) has never been questionable, and the way he disappeared into this role will probably reward him with an Oscar.  Of course, that will probably only make him more difficult to work with, but what can you do?  The only other possibility in this category is that Geoffrey Rush wins for his performance in The King's Speech.  Ultimately, I think that the statue will go to Bale, however, because his performance was much more challenging than Rush's, even though Rush was fantastic in this film.  John Hawkes is one of my favorite actors, I absolutely love him in Eastbound and Down, and he was very good in Winter's Bone, a film that I really didn't like that much, but the acting is terrific.  Mark Ruffalo was probably the very best part of the very good The Kid's are All Right, and I'm looking forward to him as Bruce Banner in The Avengers.  I'm also glad that Jeremy Renner is getting more and more notoriety.  On a side note, I think that Justin Timberlake probably deserved a nomination here for his portrayal of the creator of Napster in The Social Network.  But again, what can you do?

Will Win- Christian Bale
Should Win- Christian Bale


Without question, this award needs to go to Hailee Steinfeld.  In fact, she should have recieved a Best Actress in a Leading Role nomination.  She was definitely in a leading role, as her character was without a doubt the main character in the piece.  However, she had to settle for a supporting nomination.  Unfortunately, I doubt that she will win, even though she deserves to.  I think that Helena Bonham Carter will probably walk away with the award, and were Steinfeld in the Lead Actress category where she belongs, I'd probably agree with Helena winning here.

Will Win- Helena Bonham Carter
Should Win- Hailee Steinfeld



These technical categories always give us a sense of where we'll end up at the end of the night.  If True Grit is going to give the Coen's the second best picture win in four years, they'll start by taking this one away from The King's Speech.  It wouldn't shock me if it happened, especially because even with all the nominations, I don't think that The King's Speech is going to be the big winner tonight.  That being said, safe money is on The King's Speech taking this award.

Will Win- The King's Speech
Should Win- True Grit


Again, a category where the two Best Picture faves, The Social Network and The King's Speech aren't going against each other, so no clues on who will come out on top there, but if an interloper is going to enter the fray, we could get a clue here, and again that possible entrant is True Grit.  The award will probably go to The King's Speech, but it wouldn't be a shocker if True Grit pulls off the win, since the film probably deserves the win anyway.

Will Win- The King's Speech
Should Win- True Grit




Usually the winner of these awards is a genre picture.  Most of the time that genre picture isn't nominated for Best Picture.  I'm not sure that you would really call Inception a genre picture, but in reality, it is science fiction.  It is also an action pic on many levels, and it will win both of these awards while also being up for Best Picture.

Will Win- Inception
Should Win- Inception



The same pretty much goes for this category.  It is hard to deny the amazing effects in Nolan's masterful film.  A possibility here, however, is Hereafter.  The Academy loves them some Clint Eastwood, and the effects of the opening Tsunami is pretty much the only praise worthy thing in this film, so it wouldn't surprise me too much if it won here.

Will Win- Inception
Should Win- Inception


It's a shame that True Grit isn't up for this award.  I always hope that Roderick Jaynes will win this Oscar since he doesn't exist, but is actually the pseudonym of Joel and Ethan Coen.  Of those nominated, I think that The Social Network is going to win the award, but it probably should go to Weisblum for his work in Black Swan.  The frenetic feel of that film, the confusion and horror were due in large part to the editing.

Will Win- The Social Network
Should Win- Black Swan



The two scores I enjoyed the most of those nominated this year are Inception and The Social Network, but I really felt that Clint Mansell's score for Black Swan should have been nominated.  I'm actually a big fan of Alexandre Desplat, as I think his score for The Fantastic Mr. Fox was among the best scores last year.  HP7 was great this year as well, so Desplat definitely is deserving of winning an Oscar, but I don't think he should win for The King's Speech.  The score, as beautiful as it was, was a little too on the nose, leading the audience toward the obvious emotion that they were supposed to feel, rather than simply subtly setting the mood the way an Oscar winning score should, in my opinion.  So, as it is, I think that Trent Reznor is going to be an Oscar winner.

Will Win- The Social Network
Should Win- The Social Network



There is no runaway favorite this year, and there isn't a movie that has multiple songs up for this award either.  I think the award will go to Tangled.  It's a good song, and a lot of voters felt the film should have received more nominations then it did.

Will Win-"I See the Light" Tangled
Should Win- "I See the Light" Tangled


I still think that it is a shame that MegaMind and Despicable Me weren't nominated in this spot, and a lot of others feel the same way about Tangled.  As it is, it wouldn't really have mattered much in the grand scheme of things, since Toy Story 3 will win this hands down.

Will Win- Toy Story 3
Should Win- Toy Story 3


A lot of people are shocked that Waiting For Superman didn't end up getting a nomination, myself among them, but I think the best documentary of the year ended up being nominated.  Exit Through the Gift Shop is a very odd film, however, so I am not sure that it will actually win.  I'm definitely hoping it does, but seeing as this award usually goes to the political film, I doubt that a movie about such odd characters and such an odd subject like street artists fits that mold.  It is the best film of the bunch though, so I'm holding out hope.

Will Win- Inside Job
Should Win- Exit Through the Gift Shop


Without question, the best Cinematography this year was that of Roger Deakins in True Grit.  It is an utter crime that he hasn't already won an Oscar.  He certainly deserved it a couple of years ago for No Country For Old Men if not for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford that same year.  He was also the DP for recent Best Picture nominees Doubt, The Reader, and A Serious Man.  I can't believe he hasn't won an Oscar already.  Thankfully, I think that drought ends this year.

Will Win- True Grit
Should Win- True Grit



The winner of the Best Picture almost always wins for its Screenplay as well.  The two overwhelming favorites for Best Picture this year are in separate categories for Screenplay, so no clues here this year.  We'll have to wait for Director.  That being said, I would probably pick different winners than the two that will win this year, but I can't complain about Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing and Sports Night, winning an Oscar!

Will Win Adapted- The Social Network
Should Win Adapted- True Grit

Will Win Original- The King's Speech
Should Win Original- Inception


Most years, the winner of this award also directed the film that wins Best Picture.  The only time that doesn't happen is when the votes are very close between the top two films for Best Picture.  In those cases you can sometimes see a split.  A split wouldn't shock me this year, but I'm not going to pick the split.  I feel very confident that I'm right on the Best Director, so if there is a split, I think it will be because I'm wrong on Best Picture.  Of course, I think that Darren Aronofsky actually did the best directing job this year with the dark and troubling Black Swan.

Will Win- David Fincher
Should Win- Darren Aronofsky


Black Swan

Although the themes in this film and Aronofsky's last, The Wrestler, were very similar, this film was far better than that one.  The characters were much more intriguing to me, and the story was exhilarating, heartbreaking, and quite scary all at the same time.  Definitely worthy of the nomination. 

The Fighter
I'm not really a fan of sports movies in general, and boxing movies are often the worst of the lot.  There really aren't that many stories you can do with boxing, and most of the time they are only attempting to recapture the magic of Raging Bull when we don't need another Raging Bull. This film was fine, I enjoyed it, but it certainly isn't best picture worthy.  Bale's performance is unbelievable, but the story is as predictable as you might expect from a sports movie.  Most of the problems are overcome a little too easily, and the only character arc I really bought in the entire film is Bale's.  Plus, it is pretty annoying for a film that takes place in the 90s to have a car with a 2011 registration sticker being driven by the main character.  Those sorts of things shouldn't happen in films that get best picture nominations.

For most of the year, this movie topped my Top Ten.  (Whether it ultimately finished there or not, you will have to wait until later this week when my Top Ten is released to find out).  It is an incredibly imaginative film and has a "I need to see that again" quality that is rare in cinema these days.  Christopher Nolan is unquestionably a genius, and once again Leo proves that he is far more than just a pretty face.  The beautiful ending moment that left everyone talking was just icing on an already scrumptious cake.  (That last sentence was primarily written because I really wanted to write the word scrumptious, but the point stands.  Even though the ending got a lot of the notice, the film was brilliant long before that moment.)

The Kids Are All Right
This film was very well made.  The performances are fantastic and the story is great.  I was very disappointed with where Mark Ruffalo's character ends this film (especially since his character and his performance as that character really make the movie as strong as it is).  Upon thinking about it though, I think that it makes sense to leave his character where the film does, and that maybe we aren't supposed to like it.  I find the film very believable, even with the unsettled feeling I have at the end where Mark Ruffalo's character is concerned.

The King's Speech
It's a very good film, and if it does end up winning the night, which it very well might, I won't feel as bad about it as I have some other recent winners.  The reason that it wouldn't be my choice is primarily the fact that it force feeds the sentimentality a little too much in my opinion.  The score in particular is working overtime to pull your heartstrings at the "appropriate" moments.  It's, as I said, a very good film, and in a year where there aren't too many very good films, it certainly stands out.  Had it been a little less heavy handed in its use of emotional manipulators and been more subtle instead, I probably would have liked it a lot more.  While I do believe that this has a very good chance of being named the best picture of the year, I think that Tom Hooper has a much smaller chance of taking Best Director in some part because of this very issue.

127 Hours
While Danny Boyle can be hit (Trainspotting, Sunshine) or miss (Slumdog Millionaire) with me, and honestly, there are a few things that missed in this film for me, primarily the overabundance of the use of video (although some of that worked fine, especially in the cavern when Aron is filming himself believing he is about to die) and the crazy editing throughout the film, ultimately the performance that Franco gives vaults this movie into new heights.  Even though for much of the film it is just Franco, you never fail to stay connected to the film and the plight of the character.  This is even more impressive when you consider that most people know the outcome of the situation before they ever see the movie!

The Social Network
Much like I said when I reviewed the film, I was very wary of the idea of this movie when I heard about it, but began to be excited when I heard the names attached.  Ultimately, the pedigree of Fincher and Sorkin won out.  This was a story that needed to be told, and it was told by exactly the people who could best tell it.  I think this film is going to win Best Picture this year, and while it wasn't my choice for the best film of the year, it is definitely a deserving film, and there weren't many films that could make that claim this year, so I won't complain if this film wins.

Toy Story 3
With each successive Toy Story film, PIXAR outdoes themselves.  As much as I loved the first, the second was even better.  Then as good as the second was, this one blows it out of the water.  It has been a privilege to grow up with these films and these characters and to know that an entirely new generation is falling in love with Buzz and Woody the way that I once did.  It amazes me that computer animated pixels of toys can bring such emotion to the screen, and out of me as well.

True Grit
The Coen Brothers are among my favorite filmmakers.  They have never made a film that I didn't enjoy, and a majority of their films are brilliant.  As much as I love their entire filmography, this might be the best movie that they have ever made, and that is saying something.  Even though this film won't win Best Picture, I am very glad that the Coen Brothers are finally getting the recognition year in year out that they deserve.

Winter's Bone
I honestly don't know how this film got nominated.  The acting in this film are top notch, as was the music, but that is about it.  The pacing in this film was terrible, the story is basically the same as the story in True Grit, but not handled nearly as superbly, and it all wraps up a little too neatly for me (unlike True Grit, which makes everyone pay heavily for getting their desired results).  Ultimately, this was a year that the Academy was probably hurt for its decision to have ten best picture nominees, as there probably weren't ten movies that really deserved the honor.  This film certainly didn't, in my opinion.

Since, as I said, I am not predicting the split in this category and the category of best director, it should be clear that I am picking Social Network to win.  Again, however, I must make clear that I wouldn't be at all astonished if The King's Speech manages to win instead here giving us a Best Picture winner from a different director than the winner of Best Director.  I suppose we'll know in a week!

Will Win- The Social Network
Should Win- read my upcoming Top Ten to find out!

Until Next Time, shortly after the Oscars are completed, it will be time for my 6th Annual My Thoughts As I Had Them During The Oscars Post!  So make sure and tune in for that!