2011 Oscar Preview
By Tessa Stathis
Graphic courtesy of Creative Commons
On Feb. 27, the 83rd Annual Academy Awards will air in all of its glory. The best films of 2010 will be showcased in this most prestigious event, and celebrities will help to enrich the show with their cheesy and/or heartfelt lines as thousands of TV viewers watch from their living rooms. With the variety of films that have been nominated this movie season, it promises to be an interesting year.
Hosted by James Franco and Ann Hathaway, the 2011 Oscars will include the usual array of awards: Best Actor/Actress, Best Animated Feature Film, Best Art Direction/Cinematography/Costume Design, Best Director, and Best Picture. Like other years, the most critically acclaimed films are nominated in multiple categories, making the Oscars into a battle between the few best films of the year. The films everyone is buzzing about this year hold a high number of positive reviews and are generally well regarded in the movie business. But which one deserves the ultimate prize: Best Picture?
Like last year, when the number of films nominated for Best Picture was doubled, 10 films instead of the traditional five made the cut: "Black Swan," "The Fighter," "Inception," "The Kids Are All Right," "The King's Speech," "127 Hours," "The Social Network," "Toy Story 3," "True Grit," and "Winter's Bone." Though, I cannot account for the movies I haven't seen, "The Fighter," "The Kids Are All Right," "127 Hours," "The Social Network" and "Winter's Bone," it really doesn't matter. The real battle will be between "Black Swan," "Inception," and "The King's Speech."
"Black Swan" is a hauntingly beautiful film about a dancer (Natalie Portman) and her impending madness. It was nominated for over 50 awards in various award ceremonies, but so far has won few. "Black Swan" has everything that is looked for in a Best Picture film: great storyline, art-like cinematography and wonderful acting. It was beaten by "The Social Network" in most categories at the other award shows, like at the Critics Choice Awards.
"Inception" is a film about Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his job infiltrating people's dreams. Extremely complex, with a great cliff-hanger ending, "Inception" was very successful and received eight Academy Award nominations. Created by a director who has done other Oscar-nominated films ("The Dark Night," "Memento"), "Inception" is equal to "Black Swan" in its beautiful cinematography and is distinguishable by its unique use of slow motion. However, "Inception's" complex, intellectual storyline may be its undoing; people don't often go to the movies to have their brains stretched.
"The King's Speech" is the more likely of these three to win. Featuring superb acting by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, the film was hugely successful and is nominated for 12 Academy Awards. Taking place during World War II, it tells the true story of King George VI of England who must visit an unorthodox speech therapist to overcome his stutter. With over a $100,000 in box office earnings already, it is easy to see why critics are so taken with this spectacular film.
Despite being a wonderful movie, "Toy Story 3" has no chance of winning merely because it is an animated film; these types of films are rarely nominated for Oscars and have a zero winning record in the category Best Picture. "True Grit," despite being arguably the best Coen brothers film ever made, is most likely too unoriginal and outdated in its Western plotline to scrape a win.
Black Swan, although the underdog in the Oscars, displays everything that a Best Picture film should have. However, the film most likely to win Best Picture will be The King's Speech.