Sunday, February 27, 2011

Academy Award Winners!

The big night is over, and once again the Oscars handed out a mixed bag of mostly deserving statuettes.

Tom Hooper's The King's Speech and Christopher Nolan's Inception tied with the most wins of the night. The excellent period piece won best picture, director for relative newcomer Hooper, actor and original screenplay. Nolan's masterwork, the best film of the year by far, deservedly won cinematography, sound mixing and editing and visual effects.

David Fincher's good but overrated Social Network took adapted screenplay, film editing and original music score.

All four of the acting wins, for Firth, Portman, Bale and Leo were richly justified.

Tim Burton's fanciful, maligned Alice in Wonderland won art direction and costume design for its gothic kaleidoscopic creations.

The well made but stagnant Inside Job won Documentary Feature over the vastly more entertaining Exit Through the Giftshop and the rich, deeply moving Restrepo.

Surprises included the brilliant Susanna Bier's triumph in Foreign Language film for In a Better World over Biutiful and Incendies, Alexander Desplat's classic, sweeping King's Speech score losing to the more hip Social Network score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, as well as master Coens lenser Roger Deakins losing yet again in Cinematography for True Grit to Wally Pfister for his gorgeous work on Inception.

Overall not as infuriating a year as past ones, but at least The King's Speech, if not as great as No Country For Old Men and The Hurt Locker, was better than most winners(Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Chicago, Crash and Slumdog Millionaire) in the last decade.

The new year is upon us, and I look past the increasing preposterousness of these once important awards, towards relishing more gems as life changing as the best of the best picture nominees this year, Inception and Winter's Bone.

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