Monday, February 28, 2011

And the winner was...

...me, with 17-24, not great (I think my personal best was 22) but enough to win my Oscar pool in a year where no one film dominated, except perhaps Inception in the below-the-line categories. Tom Hooper's win and Roger Deakins' loss were sore points, mitigated by the shut-out of the overrated and overnominated True Grit and the near-checkmating of the puzzlingly embraced Black Swan. The King's Speech beating out The Social Network means more bleating and posturing from the near-dead Harvey Weinstein (that he's recutting the film to earn a yet more lucrative PG-13 after his bold no-cuts stance on Blue Valentine is outrageously schizophrenic hypocrisy) but it's not a Crash/Brokeback Mountain fiasco.

Otherwise a nice night to be out again with my peeps (first time since 2008) and no major complaints about the elegant and dark-toned, to the point, pro forma telecast, which did fit in more names than usual for the In Memoriam tribute (sorry, Tura Satana!).

My losses: Best Director (grrr), Animated Short, Live Action Short, Cinematography (double grrr), Costume Design, Score, and Sound Mixing.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Oscar ballot


You'll find one up at Popdose. As for my picks:

Picture: The King's Speech

My Preference: The Social Network

Actor: Colin Firth

Actress: Natalie Portman

(My Preference: Annette Bening)

Supporting Actor: Christian Bale

Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo

(My Preference: Amy Adams)

Director: David Fincher

Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network

Original Screenplay: The King's Speech

(My Preference: The Fighter)

Animated Feature: Toy Story 3

Foreign Language Film: In a Better World

Documentary Feature: Inside Job

Documentary Short: Strangers No More

Animated Short: Day & Night

Live Action Short: Na Wewe

Art Direction: Alice in Wonderland

Cinematography: Roger Deakins

Costume Design: The King's Speech

Editing: The Social Network

Makeup: The Wolfman

Original Score: Inception

Original Song: "We Belong Together"

Sound Editing: Inception

(My Preference: Unstoppable)

Sound Mixing: The King's Speech

(My Preference: Inception)

Visual Effects: Inception

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Popdose: Thelma and Louise on Blu-ray


Twenty years later and on the road again with Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. That Thunderbird never looked better.

Live Design: Other Desert Cities


Visit with Linda Lavin and the actress formerly known as Stockard Channing (all that work, sigh) today through Feb. 27 at Lincoln Center.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Popdose: Unknown quantities


Liam Neeson in a new thriller, and an emotional rollercoaster for the characters in Mike Leigh's Oscar-nominated Another Year.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Popdose: John Williams, Woody Allen


Two items of note this week (this week, sigh): A tribute to John Williams on his 79th birthday, with my two cents on his score for The Fury, and my review of the new Blu-ray of 75-year-old Allen's You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Remembering John Barry


Popdose recollects. I wanted to write something more heartfelt than a couple of comments--he was my favorite living composer, though he had been silent for 10 years--but as you may have guessed something happened in the chasm between posts. And that something is that we welcomed my son, Ryan, on Jan. 15. He's as delightful as his big sister Larissa but integrating another member into the household has been challenging. What this means for the blog (a hair under five years old now) and my writing/reviewing career in general I can't say, though long-time browsers will note the falloff that occurred when I became a first-time parent. With two to corral, well, we'll see...but in any event enjoy the YouTube links I provided. Barry was a legend, and his death leaves me even more reflective as I contemplate my new arrival and all he brings.