Weekly Seven: 2010 Oscar Snubs
Each year, everyone has their complaints about the Oscar nominations. The Academy thought they would quiet the rumblings by expanding the “Best Picture” category to ten nominees, but it really hasn’t helped much since the biggest shock (and backlash) has come with the nomination of The Blind Side for the award. I looked elsewhere for my gripes, and I’ve come up with a list of my seven biggest snubs among this year’s Oscar nominees. Keep in mind that I’m not going to comment on the “Best Picture” other than stating my opinion that 10 nominees is just too much, especially when only two or three of them have a legitimate shot anyway. Therefore, I’m only going to focus on the subsidiary categories. My 10 “best pictures” of they year can be found here.
#7: Peter Sarsgaard (An Education) for “Best Supporting Actor.”
Sarsgaard has been really good at playing the “asshole” character in the past in movies like Garden State. What he does in An Education is play an asshole that convinces the girl (Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan) and her parents that he’s a good guy. This wouldn’t be such a big deal, but he actually had me convinced as well. I knew his character was up to no good from the get-go, but he really sold me on the fact that his character was a genuinely kind and caring person.
#6: A Single Man for “Best Cinematography” and “Best Original Score.”
Cinematography is most briefly defined as “the art or technique of motion-picture photography.” I don’t know what the Academy looks for in this category, but A Single Man is the most technically sound and artistically shot film of the year. Every single shot is perfectly framed and lit, composing a film with a style that is all its own. As for the score, I think a great score is one that fits in directly with the film and works hand in hand with the imagery being projected on the screen. The score for A Single Man is strikingly original and creates and sustains the mood of dire despair that is being felt by the film’s main character. Watch the above video for evidence of the film’s aesthetically brilliant imagery and accompanying audio.
#5: Moon for “Best Actor” (Sam Rockwell) and “Best Original Score.”
I’ve really admired the work of Rockwell since I first noticed him in 2003’s Matchstick Men. He has a sort of boyish cockiness to him, making him funny and entertaining in even the most serious of roles. He was basically a one man show in Moon (think Castaway in space) and he absolutely nailed it. He really had to play several different characters, all different versions of the same man, but with a different attitude and demeanor. It’s kind of like watching a dramatic, sci-fi version of Multiplicity and it’s a joy to watch. The same goes for Moon‘s score as I said about the score for A Single Man.
#4: Natalie Portman (Brothers) for “Best Actress.”
It has been no secret that Brothers is a film that I absolutely adore and consider to be the best movie of the year, but that is beside the point. In such a weak year for leading ladies, I am appalled that the Academy (and countless other award shows) have ignored Portman’s performance. She is the true lead in the movie and has tremendous chemistry with both “bad-guy-turned-good” brother played by Jake Gyllenhaal and the “diabolical husband” brother played by Tobey Maguire. She wonderfully exhibits the emotions of being in the middle of a testosterone-fueled tug-of-war. Mother, Army wife, sister-in-law and assumed widow are just a few of the roles Portman takes on in her masterful performance. I thought she was better than any of the five nominees.
#3: Charlotte Gainsbourg (Antichrist) for “Best Actress.”
Okay, it is a long shot to think the Academy might recognize a movie as daring and graphic as Antichrist but Gansbourg’s performance was one of, if not the, best performances of the year. Her disgraced character becomes increasingly tormented and unpredictable after the shocking death of her infant son. It is amazing to behold as she wrestles with the demons of her lost son, and her unstable state of mind becomes a nightmare for her husband (Willem Dafoe). This is a must-see performance, but I don’t blame you if you can’t handle watching it.
#2: Matt Damon (The Informant!) for “Best Actor.”
Damon is one of the most accomplished and versatile actors of our generation, and this might be the best performance of his career. As great as he has been as an ass-kicking action hero in the Bourne series, he created one of the most memorable characters in recent memory in The Informant!. He packed on the pounds and turned himself into a pathetic pud that I couldn’t help but feel sorry for.
#1: (500) Days of Summer for “Best Original Screenplay.”
You’re not going to be able to convince me that there are five better original screenplays that were turned into films this year. This one was funny, smart, creative and they somehow managed to incorporate ideas that we haven’t seen in romantic comedies before. It is the best script written by someone not named Tarantino this year.
There you have it… let me know what you think the Academy missed the boat on this year.