Archive for Oscars

Application to be my girlfriend

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2013 by sethdellinger

Copy the application, and paste in an e-mail, along with your answers, to sdellinger1978@gmail.com.  You will receive a reply within two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

 

1.  What is your favorite season, and why?

2.  Rank the following authors in order of their academic relevance:

–Barbara Kingsolver
–Wally Lamb
–Thomas Pynchon
–Dave Eggers
–Stephen King

3.  Do you think gay people should have the right to marry each other?

4.  Say you and I go out to dinner at a diner.  Not a fancy place, just a straight-forward diner.  The waitress is not a bitch, but she isn’t very nice.  The food comes out on time and is of an acceptable nature.  The bill totals $18.  How much do you tip?

5.  On a scale of 1-10, to what degree would you say you have a “badonk a donk”?

6.  Without using the internet, can you name a poem by Robert Frost? Nevermind, I have no way of knowing if you used the internet.

7.  If you could move anywhere in the world, where would it be?

8.  You can have a full bedroom set made out of walnut or cherry.  Which do you choose?

9.  What is the best shape of pasta?

10.  Do you own any white denim pants?

11.  What is the ideal amount of band members to be in a rock band?

12.  I need lots of my own space and am frequently grumpy and sensitive.  There’s not a question here, I’m just letting you know.

13.  What is the farthest you would drive to see a Revolutionary or Civil War battlefield?  Don’t lie to me about this, I’ll know.

14.  Salt or pepper?

15.  Discuss the last time you thought the Academy Awards got the Best Picture award correct.

16.  If you could choose one animal to represent you, what would it be, and why?

17.  What did you score on the SATs?  I didn’t do that great, I’m just wondering.

18.  Favorite Ninja Turtle?

19.  Can you “do the Carlton”?

20.  Will you shave my neck?

 

My Oscar Picks, the official list

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2011 by sethdellinger

As in years past, I shall now present a full list of my Oscar predictions, so as to have the list in one place in the public sphere, on the off-chance I hit it 100%, I can point to it and do a winner’s dance.

I have bolded who I think is going to win.  The people I want to win have an asterisk after them.  I have predicted one major upset (in the animated film category). I don’t make predictions in either of the shorts categories, as I know nothing about them at all.

Best Picture
“Black Swan,” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
“The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
“Inception,” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
“The Kids Are All Right,” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
“The King’s Speech,” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
“127 Hours,” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
“The Social Network,” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceàn Chaffin, Producers
“Toy Story 3″ Darla K. Anderson, Producer
“True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“Winter’s Bone” Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers*

Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”
James Franco in “127 Hours”*

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone”*
Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech”

Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone”*
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech”
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”*
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

Animated Feature Film
“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet*
“Toy Story 3″ Lee Unkrich

Art Direction
“Alice in Wonderland”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1″
“Inception”*
“The King’s Speech”
“True Grit”

Cinematography
“Black Swan,” Matthew Libatique
“Inception,” Wally Pfister*
“The King’s Speech,” Danny Cohen
“The Social Network,” Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit,” Roger Deakins

Costume Design
“Alice in Wonderland,” Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love,” Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King’s Speech,” Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest,” Sandy Powell
“True Grit” Mary Zophres*

Directing
“Black Swan,” Darren Aronofsky*
“The Fighter,” David O. Russell
“The King’s Speech,” Tom Hooper
“The Social Network,” David Fincher
“True Grit,” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Documentary (Feature)
“Exit through the Gift Shop,” Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz*
“Gasland,” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job,” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo,” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
“Waste Land,” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Film Editing
“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“The King’s Speech”
“127 Hours”*
“The Social Network”

Foreign Language Film
“Biutiful,” Mexico
“Dogtooth,” Greece
“In a Better World,” Denmark
“Incendies,” Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi),” Algeria

Makeup
“Barney’s Version,” Adrien Morot*
“The Way Back,” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
“The Wolfman,” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

Music (Original Score)
“How to Train Your Dragon,” John Powell
“Inception,” Hans Zimmer*
“The King’s Speech,” Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours,” A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network,” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Music (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong,” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from “Tangled,” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours,” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong*
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3,” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Sound Editing
“Inception,” Richard King*
“Toy Story 3,” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy,” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit,” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable,” Mark P. Stoeckinger

Sound Mixing
“Inception,” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick*
“The King’s Speech,” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt,” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
“The Social Network,” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit,” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Visual Effects
“Alice in Wonderland,” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1,” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter,” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
“Inception,” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb*
“Iron Man 2,” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“127 Hours,” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
“The Social Network,” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3,” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
“True Grit,” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Winter’s Bone,” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini*

Writing (Original Screenplay)
“Another Year,” Written by Mike Leigh
“The Fighter,” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
“Inception,” Written by Christopher Nolan*
“The Kids Are All Right,” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
“The King’s Speech,” Screenplay by David Seidler

Posted in Rant/ Rave, Snippet with tags , , on January 28, 2011 by sethdellinger

Today’s Oscar blurb:  here’s a snub nobody is talking about:  Ryan Reynolds in “Buried”.  Rent it and tell me I’m wrong.

The Oscar Nominations…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 25, 2011 by sethdellinger

…were just announced a few hours ago.  Here they are.  I’ll have some comentary on them at some point but have no time at the moment…

Best Picture
“Black Swan,” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
“The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
“Inception,” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
“The Kids Are All Right,” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
“The King’s Speech,” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
“127 Hours,” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
“The Social Network,” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceàn Chaffin, Producers
“Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
“True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“Winter’s Bone” Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”
James Franco in “127 Hours”

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone”
Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech”

Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone”
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech”
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

Animated Feature Film
“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich

Art Direction
“Alice in Wonderland”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
“Inception”
“The King’s Speech”
“True Grit”

Cinematography
“Black Swan,” Matthew Libatique
“Inception,” Wally Pfister
“The King’s Speech,” Danny Cohen
“The Social Network,” Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit,” Roger Deakins

Costume Design
“Alice in Wonderland,” Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love,” Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King’s Speech,” Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest,” Sandy Powell
“True Grit” Mary Zophres

Directing
“Black Swan,” Darren Aronofsky
“The Fighter,” David O. Russell
“The King’s Speech,” Tom Hooper
“The Social Network,” David Fincher
“True Grit,” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Documentary (Feature)
“Exit through the Gift Shop,” Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz
“Gasland,” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job,” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo,” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
“Waste Land,” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Documentary (Short Subject)
“Killing in the Name”
“Poster Girl”
“Strangers No More”
“Sun Come Up”
“The Warriors of Qiugang”

Film Editing
“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“The King’s Speech”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”

Foreign Language Film
“Biutiful,” Mexico
“Dogtooth,” Greece
“In a Better World,” Denmark
“Incendies,” Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi),” Algeria

Makeup
“Barney’s Version,” Adrien Morot
“The Way Back,” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
“The Wolfman,” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

Music (Original Score)
“How to Train Your Dragon,” John Powell
“Inception,” Hans Zimmer
“The King’s Speech,” Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours,” A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network,” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Music (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong,” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from “Tangled,” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours,” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3,” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Short Film (Animated)
“Day & Night,” Teddy Newton
“The Gruffalo,” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let’s Pollute,” Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing,” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois

Short Film (Live Action)
“The Confession,” Tanel Toom
“The Crush,” Michael Creagh
“God of Love,” Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe,” Ivan Goldschmidt
“Wish 143,” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Sound Editing
“Inception,” Richard King
“Toy Story 3,” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy,” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit,” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable,” Mark P. Stoeckinger

Sound Mixing
“Inception,” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
“The King’s Speech,” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt,” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
“The Social Network,” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit,” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Visual Effects
“Alice in Wonderland,” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1,” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter,” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
“Inception,” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
“Iron Man 2,” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“127 Hours,” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
“The Social Network,” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3,” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
“True Grit,” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Winter’s Bone,” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Writing (Original Screenplay)
“Another Year,” Written by Mike Leigh
“The Fighter,” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
“Inception,” Written by Christopher Nolan
“The Kids Are All Right,” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
“The King’s Speech,” Screenplay by David Seidler

Seth’s Favorite Movies of 2010

Posted in Rant/ Rave with tags , , , , , , , on December 24, 2010 by sethdellinger

 

I swear, I am not trying to just be “different” with my list this year, although it does look a bit different from most of the year-end lists I’ve seen so far.  It just felt like a year of great movies being overlooked (or, in my opinion, completely mis-read by the critics).  It was a great year for movies, with both a plethora of hidden gems and a healthy dose of well-publicized quality films.  And don’t get me wrong: a lot of the much-talked-about Awards-bait movies really are great, and they made the list, too.  Also make sure to see the “honorable mentions” section after the list for movies that just barely missed the cut.

This year I’ve been able to see just about every movie with major awards buzz (or major indie cred) so I feel as though this is the best year-end movie list I’ve done.  The only movies I wish I could have seen before making the list are: “Blue Valentine”, “Rabbit Hole”, “Another Year”, “I Love You Philip Morris” and I haven’t seen “Toy Story 3”, but I have never cared about the Toy Story movies.

So, here’s the list:

10.  Ondine

Neil Jordan’s mermaid-out-of-water film is absolutely the saddest, most serious mermaid film ever made.  It’s a fantastic show of cinematography meets soundtrack, and is a career best performance for Colin Farrell.  It’s also a pretty good movie about alcoholism!

(“Ondine” is currently available to watch instantly on Netflix)

 

 

9.  Exit Through the Gift Shop

 

 

 

 

This was definitely the year of the “meta-doc”; documentaries wherin you could not tell exactly what was real, how much was fictional, who exactly was making the documentary, and what they were “trying to say”.  “Exit Through the Gift Shop” seperates itself from the pack by being a movie claiming to be made by Banksy (the world’s most famous graffiti artist and also probably the world’s most elusive human being, to the point that one could have a lengthy discussion about whether he actually exists.  But–he does, ok?)  But aside from the intriguing Banksy element, the entire film (without for a moment actually seeming like it) is a long meditation on the nature of art unlike anything on film since Orson Welles’ “F for Fake”.  In the end, the film manages to ask if itself, as a film, is even worth your time; in essence, is the question even worth asking? (and what does it mean if a painting is worth more than a house?)

8.  Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

 

 

 

 

 

This was a cult classic the moment it was released.  In turns hilarious, action-packed, and heartfelt,  it’s also chock-a-block full of insider cultural references and populist brain candy.  Plus, the best Brandon Routh cameo since “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”

 

7.  Let Me In

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had been a huge fan of the original version of this film, 2008’s “Let the Right One In”.  That film, a slow-moving, quiet Swedish meditation on childhood, eternal love and–oh yeah, vampires–is certainly an acquired taste and a nearly singular event in the world of movies.  When I heard there was going to be an American remake, I feared the worst.  (American re-makes of recent horror movies tend to make them all look like teenage slasher flicks).  I didn’t even go to see the this year’s remake until it was in the dollar theater (and Mary had harangued me about it enough, insisting it was really good.)  So I wnet, and it was really good.  In fact, some days I think I like it better than the Swedish original.  It maintains the contemplative, dirge-like heart of the original while satisfying what I did not realize was my desire to see just a little bit more vampire ass-kicking.  (and the one-shot interior of a car rolling down a cliff is joltingly energizing.)  And much kudos to the remake for maintaining the subtle yet gut-wrenching end of the first film and not feeling the need to show us more than we needed to see.

6.  127 Hours

 

 

 

 

Danny Boyle’s movie about the real-life hiker who had to cut his own arm off is as mesmerizing as the reviews would have you believe:  visually arresting, sometimes shocking, with the performance of a lifetime by James Franco (who I crown this year’s all-around Most Talented Man); Boyle, Franco and crew explore the very pit of human nature in what could have been a treacly, overcoming the odds story but what is instead a “Trainspotting” for the 2000s.

5.  Black Swan

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not very often that a gothic horror dance drama opens wide in American theaters, and rarer still that one of today’s most exciting filmmakers (Darren Aronofsky) teams up with some of the most under-utilized actresses in the business to make a movie that gradually makes them very unattractive.  (that is praise)  It’s not quite as creepy as the commericials make it look, but it was more “unsettling” than I’d expected.  Points scored for guts alone.  Also, like “Ondine”, a gorgeous pairing of visuals and music, often in hideous juxtaposition.

4.  Jack Goes Boating

 

 

 

 

 

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s directorial debut (from a screenplay by Bob Glaudini based on his celebrated play) is certainly the most ignored film of the year.  It’s theme of life never quite being the way we envision it—that relationship that is not perfect, the dinner that didn’t taste right, the car that you allowed to get dirty—is a difficult nut to crack, but Hoffman pulls it off with brio via a series of scenes in which his character, Jack, mimes his visualizations for his ideal life in the hopes that they’ll come to fruituion (including, naturally, boating).  More than any film this year, “Jack Goes Boating” has stuck with me and influenced my worldview (it doesn’t score higher on the list due to a few minor characterization flubs).  Also, thanks go to this movie for breathing renewed life into hipster-favorite band Fleet Foxes’ masterpiece self-titled album.

3.  Inception

 

I’ve probably blogged more than enough about this movie this year already.  You know how I feel about it.  A nutty head-trip on the level of huge blockbusters like “Star Wars” that is actually about the sanctity of the human mind and the mysteries of memory, filmed like a technicolor Escher painting and sporting the most adventurous film score in decades.  If Hans Zimmer doesn’t win an Oscar for this score, I’m moving to Canada.

2.  Winter’s Bone

 

 

 

 

 

To simply read the plot synopsis of “Winter’s Bone” makes the film sound trite and cliche: a young girl living in the country, taking care of her nearly comatose mother and two young siblings, must find her absentee bail-jumping father or the bank will take the family home.  But the plot itself is nearly forgotten in a maze of bizarre complications, both byzantine and grotesque.  We follow our lead character (a breaking-through Jennifer Lawrence) through a series of back-country set pieces so authentic and abyssmal that you can almost smell the cat piss inside, and the cow shit outside.  Although it is neither set in nor was it filmed in Pennsylvania, it is a world I recognize: backyards alitter with empty chicken coops, car engines and sun-bleached plastic swingsets, and in the houses men and women with rusty shotguns and unwashed flannel shirts and lice infestations.  This is a world filled with angry people who do vicious things, and they do not want to help Jennifer Lawrence’s character on her mission to save her family.  There is very little redemption in “Winter’s Bone” (though there is some) but it is a vivid, disheartening snapshot of a world almost never portrayed.

1.  I’m Still Here

 

 

 

 

 

That’s right.  My #1 movie is the Joaquin Phoenix “documentary” that just about everybody seems to hate.  Well, first, it is not in any way a documentary, and second, it’s totally amazing.

I admit, on first viewing, I was also unsure how much was real and how much was fake.  Either way, I knew immediately that I loved it.  The “character” of Joaquin is a horrible man undergoing an almost comically difficult transformation.  His friends (including Casey Affleck) seem to care very little, and facilitate his destruction to the very end.  The final shot of the film is a cinematic kick to the balls that, quite literally, haunts my dreams.

A viewing of the filmmaker’s commentary on the DVD (which includes tracks by both Affleck and Phoenix) reveals in no uncertain terms that not one moment of the film is “documentary”.  This is a fictional movie, which had a screenplay and everything.  The one major difference between “I’m Still Here” and other fictional films is that, built into the story is a need for the film to be played out in public, with the world at large believing the events to be real.  Rather than a “hoax”, this is just a natural necessity of the plot of the film.  When viewed 20 years from now, after Phoneix’s “public meltdown” is long since forgotten, “I’s Still Here” will be able to be seen context-free and the nature of the masterpiece might then finally become clear.

(on a sidenote, mere weeks ago Entertainment Weekly quizzically wondered why “I’m Still Here” had not submitted itself for consideration in the Documentary category of the Oscars.  Needless to say, this enflamed me. Had nobody at the world’s foremost entertainment magazine watched the film and then the commentary track?  I promise you, world, there is no doubt that this movie is fictional and is intended to be seen as fictional.  For instance, just a few minutes into the film—when watching the commentary track—Joaquin Phoneix’s “assistant” is seen on screen, at which point he says her “real name” and tells us “she’s the actress that played my assistant in ths movie.”  This kind of reveal is repeated over and over again thoughout the commentary.  You know.  Like in a real movie.)

Never have I seen such bold, ballsy, artful filmmaking.  There is, in the end, little “point” to the exercise.  It is not a meditation on the nature of fame, or on the heriditary nature of drug-addled falls-from-grace.  It is a character study, but an intensive one, and like all character studies, in the end analysis it makes us come face to face with our own characters, who we are, and what is right with us and what is wrong with us.

 (“I’m Still Here” is currently available to watch instantly on Netflix)

 

Honorable mentions:

“True Grit”, “The Social Network”, “The Town”, “The Kids Are All Right”, “The Fighter”, “Ghost Writer”, “Greenberg”, “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work”, “Babies”, “Tron Legacy”, “Fair Game”, “Paranormal Activity 2”, “The Tempest”, “Jackass 3D”, “Secretariat”, “Please Give”, “A Solitary Man”

 

My Oscar Picks

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 28, 2010 by sethdellinger

As part of my effort to make 2010 the year I post more blog entries that absolutely nobody cares about, here are my Oscar predictions!  Whether you care about them or not, I must post them, so that if I am 100% right, I have the proof in a public forum.  Also, the Midtown Cinema in Harrisburg is hosting an Oscar party (telecast on the big screen, hors d’oeuvres, beverages, BYOB).  8 bucks to get in.  Anyone wanna go?  I want to go but only if someone else wants to.  I think they’re starting at 7pm.  So anyway.  I’m putting my pick for who will win in bold and my pick for who I want to win in italics, and of course on the occasion that they overlap, it will be in bold italics, though I will list all nominees in each category.

Art Direction

Avatar
The Imaginiarium of Doctor Parnassus
Nine
Sherlock Holmes
The Young Victoria

Costume Design

Bright Star
Coco Before Chanel
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Nine
The Young Victoria

Original Score

Avatar
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Hurt Locker
Sherlock Holmes
Up

Film Editing

Avatar
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious

Makeup

Il Divo
Star Trek
The Young Victoria

Sound Editing

Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Up

Sound Mixing

Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Visual Effects

Avatar
District 9
Star Trek

Cinematography

Avatar
Harry Potter and the Something Something Something
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The White Ribbon

Adapted Screenplay

District 9
An Education
In the Loop
Precious
Up in the Air

Original Screenplay

The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The Messenger
A Serious Man
Up

Documentary Feature

Burma VJ
The Cove
Food, Inc.
The Most Dangerous Man in America
Which Way Home

Supporting Actor

Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Matt Damon (Invictus)
Woody Harrelson (The Messenger)
Christopher Plummer (The Last Station)
Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones)
*really, I will be thrilled with any of these guys winning. Good category this year.

Supporting Actress

Penelope Cruz (Nine)
Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air)
Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart)
Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air)
Mo’Nique (Precious)
*
I’d like to see Gyllenhaal win just because I love her, but Mo’Nique deserves it, and any trophy for “Up in the Air” would be fine.  I haven’t seen “Nine” but I generally dislike Penelope Cruz.

Best Actor

Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
George Clooney (Up in the Air)
Colin Firth (A Single Man)
Morgan Freeman (Invictus)
Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)
*I haven’t seen “A Single Man”

Best Actress

Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
Helen Mirren (The Last Station)
Carey Mulligan (An Education)
Gabourey Sabide (Precious)
Meryl Streep (Julie and Julia)
*I haven’t seen “The Last Station”

Best Director

James Cameron (Avatar)
Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
Lee Daniels (Precious)
Jason Reitman (Up in the Air)
*a win by anyone other than Cameron would be a great win, esp Tarantino, but my main desire is for Bigelow to win

Best Picture

The Hurt Locker
Avatar
Inglourious Basterds
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
Precious
A Serious Man
Up
Up in the Air





Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 2, 2010 by sethdellinger

Just for the record, on December 26th, I posted these guesses to the nominations for the documentary Oscar:

–The Cove
–Food, Inc.
–The Beaches of Agnes
–Burma VJ
–Which Way Home

The actual nominations are:

–The Cove
–Food, Inc.
–The Most Dangerous Man in America
–Burma VJ
–Which Way Home

I was ONE off—no “Beaches of Agnes” but “Most Dangerous Man” instead.  Frankly, I am pretty friggen proud of that.  You may think that was easy but it was not!



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