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Oscar Predictions 2002
This review is 'slightly' in the wrong place but 2002 is 2011 on the Gregorian Calender.lol. If you Google the 'King Speech' you no longer get Martin Luther but Colin 'shirt ripping' Firth, the clean sweep at the BAFTAs suggesting a good chance at The Oscars. Its a good film but not a top film and it did seem our domestic ... awards were rather too patriotic this year and that bias in every category seemed to deter a few of the big American stars from coming over this year for the annual pie in the face on the front row. It's great that BAFTA supports our film industry every year with British films winning lots of prizes but the Kings Speech is probably more the best movie of 2011 than the last 12 months and that may count against it on Sunday night. But the public love it and its one the most successful British movie since Mamma Mia, Firth in that one too, doing one hundred million world-wide in the multiplexes, trending well this week with £3.4 million in the bank so far to Black Swans 2,53m, and a very impressive 8.4 on the Imdb.com ratings score to Black Swan's 8.5, a close battle. Unofficially its the biggest grossing British independent cinema film of all time.
Firth, of course, won the BAFTA last year for A Single Man and no doubt will find a solid script somewhere soon to set up the hatrick now he is the golden boy of British cinema. But our awards didn't really reflect The Oscars last year and the somewhat over-rated Hurt Locker and Jeff Bridges All-American cowboy saw off our delightfully British offerings, Carey Mulligan for best actress in An Education losing out to a very forgettable performance by Sandra Bullock in the again over-rated Blindside. Like the BAFTAS, The Academy will look after their own and so The Kings Speech is by no mean s favourite although it's hard to see Firth not winning the big one. I also feel The Social Network will suffer as the average age of The Academy voter is 57, twice that of facebook users.
Certain films tend to target the Oscars with late releases and heavy lobbying and so not necessarily the best films of the year getting the coveted nominations, all manner of goody bags finding their way to the Academy members. Some movies spend more on the films PR than the actual movie! It's believed well over $100 million dollars will be spent on schmoozing films in the month up to the big event. The most expensive film ever made to date, Avatar, of course, took two billion dollars last year alone and Hollywood dutifully rewarded James Cameron and co with some Oscar nominations, but two hundred million of that budget was spent on the hype, a very average film that seriously needed it, some of that cash spent on trying to win best film. Cameron's previous film was Titanic (1997), then, also, the most expensive film ever made, but the total cost for that one just $200 million dollars, the amount Cameron's people spent purely on the total PR bill this time around to beat his record, evidence enough on just how crucial the hype is to make or break a movie. If you look back on both films I bet more of you prefer Titanic, a narrative and love story behind all great movies, not hype and tall blue people living in a big tree! It was a very silly film and I cringe when I look back to all the gushing hype over it.
That other main tactic the studios deploy to win the big prizes is to release their film just before the award seasons so few punters actually get to se them. Firth is nailed on but expect no favours for the Kings Speech... see the said film to soften the hype and kill its momentum, and so that way you don't have to sustain your hype for your movie all year. Black Swan fits that profile perfectly, slipping through the rankings like a stealth helicopter in an moonlit Iraqi night, appearing out of thin air with all guns blazing as this great Oscar hope, even though no great numbers had actually seen it, including the critics. Probably the greatest contemporary film of all time, The Shawshank Redemption bombed in the Oscars because it was released at the wrong time, but word of mouth spreading its appeal to have top a pile of great best picture winners today.
As the red carpet is rolled out at the Kodak Theatre and the giant plastic statues dusted down its fair to say the reviews have been mixed for Black Swann. If it's not the audience or the critics picking these films for consideration then who exactly is, is the question? There's a bit of the same late release tactics with the Coen Brothers film 'True Grit', although their film feels more of a populist one this time and getting great reviews across all demographics, the best Western since Kevin Costner's Open Range by all-accounts. If you look at the major category nominations this year you can see that most of the films were released in January and so blatantly playing the goody bag and lobbying game, more like politics than moviemaking.
---The Big Awards---
The 'Best Picture' Oscar has taken on a new role of late, changed to ten nominations to help sell those movies once again and so help promote big populist Hollywood films more as online piracy chips away at the industries profits. We are also seeing more 3D movie's because they, too, are harder to pirate and so inevitably they too are receiving nominations, The Academy increasingly looking after its own. There's a good mix of movies in the ten and even a cartoon making the final line up, animation a huge earner for the industry.
It seems to be a head-to-head between Black Swann and The Kings Speech with the arty critics and The Social Network and The Fighter for the people, but the fact the brain dead Hurt Locker won last year must help The Fighters chance, Bale and Walberg very popular actors. Inception is there out of politeness, if you ask me. It won't be the brilliant Danny Boyles year with 127 Hours either and I just can't see the prestige and history of the best picture category letting Toy Story win, Pixars tenth consecutive hit. The Kids are Alright would have been one of the favourites if it had been released in January, a summer release so already floundering. Its star in four time nominee Annette Bening chose not to hyper her chances in the autumn so it's all but forgotten. But the one sneaking up on the rails has to be True Grit, the 'hit n miss' Coen Brothers the darlings of Hollywood, this film very much in their better work grouping, their movies often hard work. And let's not forget folk's, films that feature men wearing cowboy hats have recently won big Oscars, Brokeback Mountain and Crazy Heart to name but two, the Coens four time winners.
<*><*><*>Nominations for Best Picture<*><*><*>
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
My winner - Black Swan
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<*><*><*>Nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role<*><*><*>
Bardem and Bridges have won Oscars recently and so Colin Firth has to be a red hot favourite here, the Americans suckers for the English gentleman thing. But again people are saying Bridges is amazing in True Grit so a back-to-back golden statue is on. It's the sixth nomination for the Big Lebowski and they love him, doing some of his best work in his golden days, although Tron Legacy not featuring in the awards gossip! Eisenburg and Franco only seem in the mix because their films are on that extended and commercial best film list.
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"
My Winner - Colin Firth.
<*><*><*> Nominations for Best Actor in a Supporting Role <*><*><*>
I'm a big fan of Christian Bale and here he is again in skinny 'I'm not Batman' method mode for his role in The Fighter, the feel good movie of the year. Bombastic Jeremy 'Hurt Locker' Renner is back again, as is Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush for the Kings Speech. Diabetics beware as the sickly sweet Mark Ruffalo is also up for one. As I haven't seen many of the films I will play safe and go with Geoffrey Rush.
Christian Bale - "The Fighter"
John Hawkes - "Winter's Bone"
Jeremy Renner - "The Town"
Mark Ruffalo - "The Kids Are All Right"
Geoffrey Rush - "The King's Speech
My Winner - Geoffrey Rush
<*><*><*>Nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role<*><*><*>
Annette Benning, who is apparently not a lesbian but her hairdo has always suggested she might be, plays one in 'The Kids Are All Right" here, and would have won this award at a canter if it was not for Natalie Portman coming in late on in Black Swan. The rather fragrant Nicole Kidman is back on the scene after her career threatening turn in that sprawling commercial for 'Australia' and there are two new names there in Jennifer Lawrence for the Winters Bone and Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine. But The Academy love glamour and so they have mixed in some young and beautiful up and coming thin starlets alongside Kidman and Bening, waifen Portman the clear favourite.
Annette Bening - "The Kids Are All Right"
Nicole Kidman - "Rabbit Hole"
Jennifer Lawrence - "Winter's Bone"
Natalie Portman - "Black Swan"
Michelle Williams - "Blue Valentine"
My Winner - Natalie Portman.
<*><*><*>Nominations for Best Actress in a Supporting Role <*><*><*>
Goth queen Helen Bonham Carter bagged the BAFTA for the Kings Speech but that was a home decision and The Academy won't be having any of that. The Fighter kicks up two girls with nominations but again that feels like a commercial call to take the big film - and Hollywood - more money with a film doing great business already. The favourite seems to be 15-year-old Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit, by all-accounts an impressive performance, momentum you can't ignore as the people who have actually seen the film in the cinema are the ones driving that buzz. The Animal Kingdom, a cracking Aussie crime flick, gets a mention with Jacki Weaver in the mix.
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"
My Winner - Hailee Steinfeld
<*><*><*>Nominations for Best Directing<*><*><*>
The Social Network hasn't been winning around the awards ceremonies but may here, their Kings Speech. Technically the best movie Oscar winner should win this award but often doesn't so it has to be Black Swan for Darren Aronofsky against Tom Hooper for the Kings Speech. Saying that the Coen brothers have won for very tedious movies in the past and so if they have actually done a good one then why not spring a surprise here?
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
My Winner - Black Swann
<*><*><*>Nominations for Best Documentary<*><*><*>
Some of my most enjoyed film experiences of late have been documentaries and its right they get their own Oscar now. I haven't seen any of these but I probably will and have watched the last five winners of this category over the years, Man on a Wire exceptional. My hunch is The Academy will pick the Banksy graffiti artist movie in the vain hope he will turn up, which he shouldn't as he would have no credibility left, so a dumb call. But five pieces of his work have mysteriously appeared in L.A this month so he is in town.
Exit through the Gift Shop (Banksy)
Gasland - Josh Fox (Trish Adlesic)
Inside Job (Charles Ferguson)
Restrepo (Tim Hetherington)
Waste Land (Lucy Walker)
My Winner - Exit through the Gift Shop.
<*><*><*>Nominations for Best Foreign Language Film<*><*><*>
I love foreign movies and about a quarter of the films I watch a year aren't made here. There are always exceptional ones out there that get totally unseen, especially by the major festivals and judges. Dogtooth is pretentious poo and so has every chance of winning whilst Outside the Law from Algeria would make a great political winner in the current climate. But Biutiful has Javier Bardem as the star and so must be good, a superb actor, the fact he is nominated as best actor this year meaning if he loses that this wins.
In a Better World (Denmark)
Outside the Law (Algeria)
My Winner - Biutiful
---The Lesser Awards---
The Adapted Screenplay is the 'out card' for The Academy to gong a film they couldn't quite fit in elsewhere and so that could be The Social Networks big chance, the many minor technical awards also handed out with a sparkle also helping films get extra DVD sales by being "Oscar Winners". The times I have rented films purely because the dust cover is adorned with rosettes and then been sadly let down are too many to count.
Inception will gobble up the technical Oscars as it's almost the most technically perfect film we have seen and make up and fashion should be the Kings Speech cancellation if it gets a revenge kicking for the bias BAFTAs. It would be outrageous if the great Aaron Sorkin didnt win for his work on The Social Network.
Read the complete review
Top 10 Romance Programmes
According to a survey in Radio Times Magazine, English men think they have the best chance of bedding a girl called 'Kelly'. The female readers that responded thought guys called Lee, Dave and Andy are the dodgiest geezers out there and top of their steer clear list. Apparently, guys here think they can get Kelly's into bed quicker than ... any other girl of any other name (the name currently tops the single parent list in the Daily Sport to back that one up!), although the ten out of ten that is Kelly Brook is obviously immune from such frivolous and unfounded journalism. The other good time girls on the list were Debs, Stephanie, Michelle, Tina, Lisa, Carly and Nicky! So, any dooyoo girls want to confirm such scurrilous tat.lol.
= = = STREET MATE = = =
Hosted: Davina McCall
Originally hosted by Davina McCall, the in your face youth TV presenter would walk around the streets of British cities and try and pair up young people. If the two total strangers agreed they would get a free date paid for by the production company made the Channel four show. As we know British people spend a hell of a lot of time eyeing each up furtively but little of that time actually interacting so this a good idea for a show, only excessive amounts of booze getting us together these days.
Most of the time Davina would be packed off to vibrant student towns and most of the participants were indeed be students wanting to get on TV and say 'brilliant and amazing' every sentence whilst talking about their backpacking experiences in South America, rather than actually getting it on. As they were a bright bunch they quickly twigged that this was a TV show not a quest for true love and if they weren't entertaining their segment wouldn't make the show, which all got a bit irritating but still enjoyable in that irreverent way. No one ever got on but it was a fun if contrived half-hour back in the 90s
= = = BLIND DATE = = =
Hosted: Cilla Black
As with the above none of these shows are really about meeting a partner but getting on telly, always a back-story for the tabloids to mulch through when a particularly entertaining couple are on the show. Blind Date was purely about exhibitionists and nobodies being given a stage to perform like apes and the goofy and toothy Cilla the ringmaster with the whip. A couple of couples who did meet on the show did get married although you always felt they did it to get more publicity.
It was that self publicising that killed the show as the researchers selected more and more outrageous singletons that would garner the attention of the tabloids and so the show imploded, people on their revealed as actors, ringers, experienced reality show chasers and posers, any essence of romance well and truly stamped on by the 1990s.
= = = BLUE PETER= = =
Channel: BBC 1
Ok, why is he including Blue Peter in the romantic TV stakes? The reason, of course, is the presenters on the show, surprisingly sexy too, over the years were jumping in and out of bed with each other, between the wild parties and cocaine binges (Richard Bacon). Even though most current male children's presenters look gay, in the old days they were real gigolos and very much on the straight and narrow. Richard Bacon was grinding the gorgeous Konnie Huq (the love of my life) behind the big cardboard Blue Peter badge studio logo between performances of some school kids nativity play, Peter Purvis, he of the bouffant hair and purple flares from the seventies, was boning Valerie Singleton, which was a huge surprise as we all thought she was a lesbian, just two of many famous flirtations. John Noakes, of course, was eyeing Shep the Dog (there were seven Sheps by the way; the kids never told when they got old and died)!! They were all going like rabbits off set and Peter Purvis's biography was where he revealed his fling with Valerie, exposing all manner of naughtiness on the show. I just can't imagine Simon Groom with a woman though.
= = = = LOVE TRAP = = =
Host: Davina McCall
Love Trap was a frivolous and light hearted affair that worked because it was a reality show that wasn't offering a big cash prize or instant fame for complete morons from the general public. The Love Trap had a heart, light hearted, and wasn't derivative and obvious. This was old fashioned telly at its most pleasurable, why it got just the one series, we presume.
The concept was in that reality style, here young men from all around the world applied to be on a dating show set in London, via various websites and media small ads. The prize was Carolina, a gorgeous blue eyed attractive and curvaceous Stockholm girl, who has been invited to London by the same production company to take part in a 'dating experiment'. She didn't seem the type who was particularly keen on a TV career and so immediately made the show interesting. After putting her up in a small London flat five men from five other countries were selected to pursue Carolina, each spending four days with her in the flat, the twist being they didn't know about each other, the experiment set over three weeks. The chosen men that set out to try and win Carolinas heart were a suave Ugandan, a slick Italian, a laddish Brit on home turf, a drunken German and a typical Aussie.
The idea was this was a voyeur experience for the viewer, the flat, wired up with secret microphones and cameras, plus the visible camera crew who film the five contestants and their efforts to get off with sexy Carolina on various dates and situations, each guy doing the same tests and tasks to see how they compare. We would then learn about the mating ritual of the cosmopolitan male.
It was a fun idea to see how guys flirting techniques vary around the world although. They weren't just four dates to see if they could get her pissed and in the sack though but some less than scientific tests to work out which nationality is the most gallant, romantic, generous and attentive etc... Carolina taking the option to carry on seeing any of the guys who most impressed her after the experiment ends and she and the cameras go home. Again, no cash prizes, no 'Nuts magazine' front cover, no whirl of media interviews: just honest dating.
The tasks of how gallant they were included protecting Carolina from a fake mugger, sorting out an over-charging London cabby, and defending Carolina from an aggressive guy trying to steal her away in a pub (all the stooges played by actors).With fail-safes deployed so the five contestants didn't rumble there was more to the experiment than copping off with a sexy Swede the tests continued all week. They didn't seem to have twigged what was going on throughout which made it feel refreshingly uncontrived. I think some were suspicious of possible hidden cameras, although it is fair to say none of the guys were the inquisitive type.
The tests were the show and were great fun and quite revealing, although depended on how much alcohol the boys have drunk. What wasn't surprising was just how many of the guys accepted the phone number and come-on of a pretty girl (actress of course) in a club while Carolina was in the toilet.
The shows attractive quality (apart from Carolina) was that it genuinely felt like what it was advertised as-a show about a nice girl looking for a nice boy, the bonus for them being it was on TV.
= = =Mr. & Mrs = = =
Host: Derek Batey
In the old day's quiz shows were tame affairs and involved more blindfolds and elderly people than a rough swinger's party in Essex. In this one old dear's and their hubbies were tested on how much they really knew about their other half in marital bliss, answering questions on each others habits and traits etc, and could win two weeks in Benidorm or a Stenna Starlift if their bond was true. But controversy would strike, this the most of sedate early evening family shows, cheating being discovered! Two octogenarians from Bolton worked out that if they listed all their answers in alphabetical order on the magnetic boards on the blindfold and sealed booth challenges then the other half of the couple would get them all right if they too listed them in alphabetical order. It worked a treat and neither the host Derek Batey nor the production team twigged until some viewers wrote in two weeks later. The couple won all the prizes and the money and once the accusation was made no one was ever charged or prizes returned. Sadly the quiz was cancelled on TV now the cheat was out in the open. Hey recently did a celebrity version but the celebs were too coy to give away their marital secrets so it died on its ass.
= = = Arrange me a Marriage = = =
Host - Aneela Rahman
Asian families have always enjoyed the idea that men and women should have arranged marriages, on the surface a union of two similar people, but really about matching their daughter up with a wealthy suitor with prospects. The reason Asian families are so much larger than British families (4.4 children per family to 1.7 in white English units) is because the women are expected to produce sons. A boy can generate as much as £40,000 pounds dowry in some circles whilst a pale skinned Indian girl can also generate a tidy some come the wedding season. It's that cynical and cold in many cultures. A pale skin is seen as classy as it suggests the person is of white-collar pedigree and works in an important office and not in the fields in the sun so getting darker skin. We mustn't be naive about this type of arrangement as they are exactly that, couplings based on religious caste, culture and hard cash over love and genuine tenderness. In some families the shame levels for being unmarried adults in traditional Asian extended families are very high one would presume.
Here, hosted by Aneela Rahman, it was a show again styled in that always tacky reality way, why not make a program out of the process of an arranged marriage, the twist being that an India presenter applies the Asian arranged marriage method to white middle-class professionals dating scene. Not surprisingly, host Aneela was the most eligible and attractive thing on the show (not available because she has been married for 15 years through a successful arranged marriage), the contestants (and that's what they are) in comparison, as expected, the production team picking the usual odd balls and posers who want to be on Telly rather than couples looking for love, these the type of people you wouldn't want to marry, and indeed no one had.
As much as Neelas intentions were genuine to match-make, the producers seemed to have other ideas. Modern 'telly' is rarely about happy endings. That's not what the audience wants. There would be know need for Neela to 'buy erself an 'at', as Cilla famously put it.
In the show the actual first meeting point of the potential couple is a proper Indian do, lots of garlands and petals chucked about, all in sundry dress and traditional attire, Saris all around for the girls. I have always thought Saris were kind of sexy!
Here at the formal ceremony the potential couple's parents also meet, along with friends and family, to close the deal if you like. Aneela tried to look positive about things but it was never going to work, the couples having as much chemistry as Saddam Hussein's most recent and non existent WMD program, the body language gauche and painful to say the least. But the sad reality is that if this was an Asian family meet they may well have had to get married, regardless if they got on, another point the show didn't daren't address. It may be work and booze that brings Brits together but at least we can change our mind the morning after.
= = = Big Brother = = =
Hosted: Davina McCall
Ultimately BB is a dating show, or at least it started out that way, attractive young people locked up in a house with nothing to do but flirt. It was show that quickly deteriorated as far as natural behavior went as the years rolled on but in the early ones you did get to see close up how sexual politics works, the alpha males and picky females quickly establishing themselves in the house in order of a hierarchy of attractiveness. When you're young your looks and athleticism is what attracts the opposite sex and we saw how extroverted people used those assets here. Melanie was that alpha female and she worked the boys one by one, extended her stay in the house week by week as she snogged her way though to the final week, men discarded like empty fag packets. It was a clear demonstration of how women use their sexuality to get what they want and all the men were willing suckers for it. I don't know if there were any genuine romances on the show over the years as we approach Big Brother 10 next week but being a couple certainly kept you in their longer in the early ones, until the audience began to tire of it and enjoyed splitting them up just as quick. The show was eventually spoiled because the contestants learnt from previous shows and just acted everything out, the social experiment long gone.
====This Morning ====
Host: Richard & Judy
I suppose TV's greatest love affair is that between Richard Madely and Judy Finnegan. Richard, the likeable and surprisingly open local Yorkshire TV journalist, was snared by cougar Judy, his boss in the 1980s at the same local TV station. But the age gap was big, Judy now an old bag with more chicken wings than Kentucky's, Richard, rather mysteriously, looking exactly the same age as he did in the 1980s, a unique Botox role reversal. Why they got together is a big a mystery as his sexuality but their bitching on the king of unemployment TV shows, 'This Morning', is legendary. Whether Richard fancied his mom and is living that fantasy vicariously through Judy is mere conjecture but there does seem to be a weird attraction going down on screen. I daren't think what domination goes on in their bedroom and what sort of websites Richard looks at but they are enduring and it is rather sweet that they are still together. He even pops her boob back in on live TV award shows because their love is that strong...
= = = The Simpson = = =
Channel 4 & Sky 1
If we are honest Homer and Marge are TVs most realistic romantic couple, Homer lucky to have a gal like Marge and Marge using that to keep Homer and the family on the straight and narrow, be it with a few marital escapades in-between. But Homer never ever cheated on Marge and although both have come close (Marge, rather bizarrely, with Ricky Gervais!) they have stuck it out through thick and thin and it's those little gestures of Homers (between beers) that holds it all together. Although women won't admit it they marry beneath them because they prefer a man that fewer women desire that will do what he is told than a man other women desire and he will stray. Rather ironically women find the same single man more desirable when he is married to another woman as they must have something desirable about them, the true test if he is a catch....I want what she's got type of attraction. Homer is a catch because he provides for his women and kids, not because he's cute, the man all women want deep down.
= = = The Office = = =
Who could not be entranced by the romance between Tim and Dawn, he the graduate dossing in a menial admin job, she the secretary to scared to follow her dreams, dragging along in life with her safe but ignorant blue-collar boyfriend.
Tim (Martin Freeman) and Dawn (Lucy Davis) are perfect for each other, Brent and Gareth's incompetence in their workplace a mere distraction to amuse and appall them in equal measure. They are on a higher plane and Wernam Hogg's sole purpose in their life is merely to bring people like them together who need each other to move on in life.
Most romances people have are through work or friends of and Gervais and Merchant really capture that stolen romance you have in the work place when you know the other half is with someone else. In a recent survey one-in-six women in Canada that has worked in an office confessed to having an affair with their boss in their working lifetimes. The office is a real hotbed for romance and Ricky and Stephen's brilliant writing and characterization of the dissection of the social class system and the rules of it in that workplace are absolutely nailed in this brilliant sitcom and the sweetest of romances. The Office is the greatest sitcom of the last ten years because its creators know people and how they interact. Dawn and Tim's romance is so real because we can all identify with a very British unrequited love story in the work place. You have all been Tim and Dawn at one point in your working career...
Read the complete review
The BAFTA's used to be a collection of old luvvies in velvet suits and garrish collars smoking big cigars for the annual backslap of British film. But straight after 911 the Americans stopped coming so the whole thing needed to be rebranded to keep the glamour and encourage the big stars back over the pond. A few guest hosts and the ... boost the harry Potter films bought to the industry later on the BAFTAS are now the number one awards, prestige wise, outside of America.
Avatar, The Hurt Locker and An Education have garnered 8 of the big nominations each at this years event, a fair mixed bag of movies, reflecting the type of audiences cinema needs during reccesion. Theres no doubt the hype machine has been in overdrive for James Camerons Avatar and its only there because of its enormous budget.
I have seen the Hurt Locker and it was suprisingly dumb for a film that's garnering so many prestigious nominations and so I expect this is more to do with politics and propoganda with the war in Iraq, the movies subject matter, over any real substance. The only postives for America in Iraq are bomb disposal soldiers, military contradictions, the life savers amongst the chaos, its only heros here. But can you make aa mazing film about bomb disposal officers? I didn't think so.
Avatar, of course, cant afford to fail, costing $500 million dollars to make. With all the big studios having a slice of that investment they will want a return in the award ceromonies they happen to vote on. They maye have already secured the financial return as it did a mind-boggling one billion dollars alon ein just 14 days world wide on opening and, like Mamma Mia, the punters are going back to see it over and over and, expected to do $2 billion dollars this year, the biggets ever movie since, you guessed it, James Camerons 'Titanic' in 1997. That too recieceved a wheel barrow full of awards for its grandeur.
District 9, Up In the Air and Inglorious Basterds have also picked up a lot of nominations, but more in the technical areas, perhaps just to get Clooney and Tarantino to show up to rattle the tin for Haiti. All Quentin need do is show Death proof there and it will empty the island.
-Best film of 2009-
My Prediction is 'Education'
The Hurt Locker
Up In The Air
I have only scene The Hurt locker from these five and thought it was just another poorly disgued bombastic American war movie and for some reason has got a stack of nominations. Many disagree. Well, I cant stand American Beauty so what do I know! It is directed by the glamarous Kate Bigelow, the ex wife of fellow nominee James Cameron for Avatar.
'Precious' has had some great write-ups, a rather daring movie from a black director, writing about the taboo black American hang ups of obesity, wanting to be white and involved in too much crime in the communities. It also features near unrecognisable performances from Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravits in main roles. But for me An Education, the tale of a young girl being seduced by the sohpisticated world of culture and jazz in 60s London, looks the one most people critics like and so should win.
My Prediction- Andy Serkis
Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
George Clooney (Up In The Air)
Colin Firth (A Single Man)
Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)
Andy Serkis (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll)
Again only seen the Hurt Locker so cant realy say. Jeremy Renners performance in it is nothing special and yet another cigar chewing, dog tag rattling, expletive ranting Marine abroad if you ask me. To get Jeff Bridges and George Clooney to make the red eye from Los Angeles they would have to be guaranteed an award but I think they wont be here as both are running the aid for Haiti thing in America. No, as it's a British award I think it will come down to Andy Serkis for the Ian Dury biopic and Colin Firth playing Colin Firth.
My prediction - Gabourey Sidibe
Carey Mulligan (An Education)
Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones)
Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)
Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia)
Audrey Tautou (Coco Before Chanel)
Nice to see the beautiful Audrey Tautou there in the list, if just for the glamour, she a pouter not and actor. Meryl Streep is the extreme ham for awards night so always gets an invite and the other two I don't know about. But for me the huge 300 pound black girl in Precious will win, she the whole point of the film and her journey that this is all about black girls with low self esteem, as she was before getting the part.
My prediction - Christian McKay
Alec Baldwin (It's Complicated)
Christian McKay (Me And Orson Welles)
Alfred Molina (An Education)
Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones)
Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Because little brother Stephen has been humiliating the Baldwin clan in the Big Brother House recently I will iliminate Alec and the rom com affort 'Its Complicated'. I have seen Inglourious Basterds and felt Walts turn was almost a parody and so cant see him winning. For me I will go with Christian McKays startlingly accurate impression of Orsen Wells, mostly because Mark Kermode said he will win.
My Prediction- Kristin Scott Thomas
Anne-Marie Duff (Nowhere Boy)
Vera Farmiga (Up In The Air)
Anna Kendrick (Up In The Air)
Kristin Scott Thomas (Nowhere Boy)
Not seen any of these but if we are going on the BAFTA remit of not just picking glamour girls then anglophile Kristen Scott Thomas should win. Shes a brilliant actress and my clear favourite to add some class to the night.
Outstanding British film
My prediction- An Education
In The Loop
If An Edcuation wins the main award technically it should win this one but that's not the way it works for some reason. I have seen three of these and enjoyed two of them. Moon is a rare and interesting low budget Sci-Fi with a stand out performance from Sam Roxckwell, who really should be included in the best actor list as he is the film. In The Loop suffers because its satire of the New labour spin machine in Washintgon during the build up to war and so out done by the real thing. Satire is supposed to be just off true and so this loses its edge. Its almost as the government of the day are trying to be The Thick Of It. The jokes are just too obvious and its not as good as it thinks it is.
Fish Tank is the perfunctory British sink estate offering here that gets nominated because middle-class people, here and abroad, have convinced themselves this is what the undeclass live like. The star, Kati Jarvis, was plucked from obscurity (behind a Hertfordshire train station smoking a fag) by director Andrea Arnold becausae Andrea believes all working-class girls are like Lauren from the Catherine Tate show. I think the BAFTAs will play it safe and go with 'An Edcuation' though.
My prediction- Kate Bigelow
James Cameron (Avatar)
Neill Blomkamp (District 9)
Lone Scherfig (An Education)
Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
Very tricky to call this one. They may be loyal to the industry and go with perfectionist James Cameron. They may pick the best looking one...his ex wife. The temptation to pick muppet mouth Tarantino is huge, but his film just not good enough for that honour. I would love them to pick Neill Blomkamp for the highly inventive and original Sci-fi classic District 9, making it Sci-Fi`s best ever year if Moon and Avatar do win big. But again you have to pick from the directors of the films in the best film list so Lone Scherfig for An Education and Kate Bigelow have to be short favourites. Kate is very beautiful so will win.
My Prediction- A Serious Man
The Hangover (Jon Lucas, Scott Moore)
The Hurt Locker (Mark Boal)
Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)
A Serious Man (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
Up (Bob Peterson, Pete Docter)
The Hangover makes a surprise apearance here in what is just an enjoyable buddy comedy and nothing more so wont feature. The cartoon 'UP' has somehow drifted across a gerne here, like the balloon in the film, and perhaps The Hurt Locker earning a back up postion for the BAFTA if it doesn't win the big awards. If I was going to give Tarantino something for his spoof war film then this would be the award. But Im not because he talks too much and made Death Proof so I think award cermony favourites the Coen brothers will win for A Serious Man.
Film not in the English language
My prediction- Let the Right One In
Coco Before Chanel
Let The Right One In
The White Ribbon
I have heard only great things about A Prophet, a powerful crime\prison flick, so will be hard to beat, but if Slumdog managed to get in the main catergories last year as a part foreign movie so why not Let the Right One In. It's a fabulous role flipping Swedish vampire flick and well worth the award it should win here. Coco Channel could win to get the stunning Audrey Tatou up there though.
Fantastic Mr Fox
Just three big Pixar and the like offerings here so not really an award worthy catergory. Up seems to be the most popular offering.
My prediction- Avatar
The Hurt Locker
This is the 'out' award for event organsiers so they can have a spare one to make sure the big names win at least once on the night so to get them over the pond. But as Avatar is only up for its revolutionary special effects then it has to be them.
The Orange Rising Star Award (voted for by the public, nominations announced earlier this month)
The best looking one will win.
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