Link Love: Oscar Edition

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It’s finally here, my favorite night of the year – Oscar Sunday! In case you aren’t as obsessive as I am about the Academy Awards, but still want to be kept in the loop for the ceremony, I’ve complied a list of great Oscar articles. Read on, people.

☆ Ricky Gervais, who was the center of controversy after hosting this year’s Golden Globes, has a few scandalous and hilarious ideas for James Franco and Anne Hathaway’s opening monologue

☆ A great Q & A with the New York Times movie critics, all about awards season

☆ Her Campus breaks down the ten Best Picture nominees. Which one is your favorite?

☆ This is pretty cool for a nerd like me: one Lego-lover re-creates scenes from the year’s best movies

☆ Also, be sure to check out of my favorite blogs, The Golden Grouches, for hilarious analysis on all the major categories.

☆ Because Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris are awesome, they decided to re-enact some of the Best Picture nominees 

☆ And some of the greatest quotes and catchphrases in film. I LOVE MONTAGES.

Keep checking my blog or day, or follow me on Twitter, because this is only the beginning of today’s Oscar bonanza. And I’m not even joking.

~ Sarah

Quickie Reviews

 

So remember when I was all pumped about the Oscar nominations? Well, the Academy Awards are just a few days away, and I’ve barely been talking about movies here (or blogging for that matter)! I have caught up on a few movies, including two Best Picture nominees and… one romantic-comedy starring a future Best Actress winner.

Inception (2010)

Quick Stats: Written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Nominated for 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, and Marion Cotillard.

Plot: A group of corporate spies, led by DiCaprio, attempt an almost impossible task: planting an idea into a target’s subconscious, or “inception”.

Verdict: I actually liked this movie a lot more than I expected to. Even though Inception was one of this summer’s biggest blockbusters, I put off seeing it, partly because I am not a fan of Nolan’s work (and yes, including his Batman films). I’m also not really a fan of sci-fi and whatnot, but the story is really interesting, so it captured my attention. Luckily, I watched it on DVD who had already seen the movie multiple times, so I was able to ask lots of questions when I got confused. It didn’t “blow my mind” like I expected, but it’s a “must-watch” based on technical and visual achievement alone.

The Social Network (2010)

Quick Stats: Written by Aaron Sorkin, directed by David Fincher, based on the book The Accidental Billionaires. Nominated for 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and Armie Hammer.

Plot: The Social Network tells the inside story behind the founding of Facebook, and its aftermath.

Verdict: This movie is very well-done, but I didn’t necessarily find it enjoyable, yet I don’t have anything bad to say about it. The script is smart and fast-paced, and the acting is generally solid. I guess there was something about the editing and pacing (I found it to drag at times) that turned me off from it. Now that I think about it though, it was hard to connect with the characters – all them were really unlikable, except maybe Esteban (Garfield). A little disappointing overall, but it’s not a bad movie.

No Strings Attached (2011)

Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Natalie Portman

Plot: Um, it’s a romantic comedy… about two friends having casual sex… who fall for each other. Yeah, none of this has to be explained.

Verdict: This movie was actually really entertaining, though I think it’s mostly because of the charm of the two leads, and their supporting cast. I never have anything bad to say about Natalie Portman, and it was fun seeing her play such a mainstream role. She was pretty convincing. My main criticism, besides the typical rom-com predictability, was the uneven tone. No Strings Attached was trying too hard to be both raunchy and sweet, and it was a weird combo. It’s a fun movie to see with your girlfriends though.

Have you seen any of these movies? What did you think?

~ Sarah

OMG OSCAR NOMINATIONS

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I think the title of this post is so appropriate – I adore Oscar season, and every single year I look forward to the nominations. I’ve been waking up early for years on random weekdays in weekdays in the winter to catch the announcements live. I even held a real statuette last year at a special exhibit in Midtown. That’s right, my love for the Academy Awards is utterly shameless.

Right now, I’m working on an article for my school paper with full analysis of the nominations. Here are my quick thoughts though, in case you didn’t catch me on Twitter this morning. (And if you’re not a big movie buff like me, get used to me blogging about the awards a lot this next month.)

– so glad to see Hailee Steinfeld from True Grit nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Her character is actually the lead, but it’s super exciting that’s she’s being recognized. She’s only fourteen!!

– I’m also really excited to see Helena Bonham Carter being nominated for The King’s Speech (Supporting Actress). Many critics have said that while she gives a solid performance, she doesn’t have any big scenes. I just love that I totally bought into her performance as the Queen Mother, the picture of propriety, when we’re so used to seeing her in crazy and quirky roles directed by her husband, Tim Burton. Love her.

– thank goodness Mark Ruffalo got a Supporting nomination. He was projected to get the nod, but since he is constantly being overlooked, I’m glad he’s finally getting attention for his work in The Kids Are All Right.

– Julianne Moore, Ruffalo’s co-star in Kids, was shut out of the acting categories. For various awards, she’s been listed as either supporting or lead – maybe that ended up hurting her? At least Annette Benning (also from Kids) was nominated, but I don’t think she can defeat Natalie Portman – this is her year. Which brings me to…

– Annette Benning always getting nominated the year Best Actress gets locked up by another actress. She’s like the new Kate Winselt (but older).

– Completely shocked by Javier Bardem’s nomination for Best Actor! Didn’t even know he was in something other than Eat, Pray, Love. Likely took Mark Wahlberg’s place (The Fighter).

– then again, Ryan Gosling was also snubbed. Weird (unexpected) that Michelle Williams got the nomination over him

– Chris Nolan is out for Best Director, the Coen Brothers are in

– really happy that Toy Story 3 got nominated for Best Picture

– I’m going to say it now, expect the final Harry Potter to be nominated for Best Picture next year. The movies keep getting better and the Academy will look for a way to reward the eight-film franchise. Plus, with ten nominees, there’s plenty of room to nominate it. Yay.

You can see the full list of nominees here. Anne Hathaway and nominee James Franco are hosting the Academy Awards on Feb. 27th.

~ Sarah

UPDATE: My article has been published, so if you still want to read my full analysis, you can check it out here.