Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The 83rd Academy Awards Nominations

The 83rd Academy Awards Nominations

What we have all been waiting for, what we have all tried to guess and predict about, what we've been trying to figure out probably since last year's ceremony are finally here: the nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards have been announced. And while this is obviously not as exciting or interesting as the cermony itself, we (or at least I do) get a kick from watching this nominations. This year, the year which could have been the most predictable of all, has come with a few surprises, but yet nothing really breathtaking. So here is the list of the nominations for this year's Oscars and my thoughts on them:

Best Picture:

Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

These films were all predicted to be nominated for this award. Before today, I thougt The Town would make the list, but apparently it didn't convince the Academy members.
Who I Want to Win: The Social Network
Who Should Win: The Social Network
Who Will Win: The Social Network or The King's Speech

Best Director:

Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen – True Grit
David Fincher – The Social Network
Tom Hooper – The King's Speech
David O. Russell – The Fighter

Its a surprise not to see Nolan in here, but we have all gone through this before. Also, I was expecting to see Danny Boyle in here, but apparently they liked better The Fighter or True Grit
Who I Want to Win: David Fincher - The Social Network
Who Should Win: David Fincher - The Social Network
Who Will Win: David Fincher - The Social Network

Best Actor:

Javier Bardem – Biutiful as Uxbal
Jeff Bridges – True Grit as Rooster Cogburn
Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network as Mark Zuckerberg
Colin Firth – The King's Speech as King George VI
James Franco – 127 Hours as Aron Ralston

This is the best Best Actor nominations I've seen so far. I was hoping that Javier Bardem would get in, and he did in here.
Who I Want to Win: Colin Firth - The King's Speech or Javier Bardem - Biutiful
Who Should Win: Colin Firth - The King's Speech
Who Will Win: Colin Firth - The King's Speech

Best Actress:

Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right as Nic
Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole as Becca Corbett
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter's Bone as Ree Dolly
Natalie Portman – Black Swan as Nina Sayers
Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine as Cindy

Even at this stage I was hoping to see Tilda Swinton or Julianne Moore or even Noomi Rapace here, but they did just what was expected. Anyway, this are fair good nominations but the win isn't very hard to guess.
Who I Want to Win: Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Who Should Win: Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Who Will Win: Natalie Portman - Black Swan

Best Supporting Actor:

Christian Bale – The Fighter as Dicky Eklund
John Hawkes – Winter's Bone as Teardrop
Jeremy Renner – The Town as James "Gem" Coughlin
Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right as Paul
Geoffrey Rush – The King's Speech as Lionel Logue

Andrew Garfield was (sadly) left out from this category, but other than that this are fairly good nominations.
Who I Want to Win: Christian Bale - The Fighter or Geoffrey Rush - The King's Speech
Who Should Win: Christian Bale - The Fighter or Geoffrey Rush - The King's Speech
Who Will Win: Christian Bale - The Fighter

Best Supporting Actress:

Amy Adams – The Fighter as Charlene Fleming
Helena Bonham Carter – The King's Speech as Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Melissa Leo – The Fighter as Alice Ward
Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit as Mattie Ross
Jacki Weaver – Animal Kingdom as Janine "Smurf" Cody

Hailee Steinfeld made the list, meaning that another strong contender (probably Mila Kunis) was left out. It is possible that her performance was great, but I didn't see her in the Oscar race. Pleasantly, I was wrong.
Who I Want to Win: Amy Adams - The Fighter
Who Should Win: Melissa Leo - The Fighter
Who Will Win: Melissa Leo - The Fighter

Best Original Screenplay:

Another Year – Mike Leigh
The Fighter – Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson
Inception – Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right – Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg
The King's Speech – David Seidler

This is an interesting race. But Black Swan, which deserves the award, wasn't even nominated here. Damn you Academy!
Who I Want to Win: Black Swan * or The Kids Are All Right
Who Should Win: Black Swan *, then Inception or The Kids Are All Right should win out of the nominations
Who Will Win: The King's Speech

Best Adapted Screenplay:

127 Hours – Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy from Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston
The Social Network – Aaron Sorkin from The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich
Toy Story 3 – Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich; characters based on Toy Story and Toy Story 2
True Grit – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen from True Grit by Charles Portis
Winter's Bone – Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini from Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
I was hoping to see The Town or The Ghost Writer, but I can live with these ones.
Who I Want to Win: The Social Network
Who Should Win: The Social Network
Who Will Win: The Social Network

Best Animated Feature:

How to Train Your Dragon – Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
The Illusionist – Sylvain Chomet
Toy Story 3 – Lee Unkrich
A five nominees race would have been better, considering that there were already more than five competing for one spot. I would have liked to see Tangled in here particularly, from the other possible nominees.
Who I Want to Win: Toy Story 3
Who Should Win: Toy Story 3
Who Will Win: Toy Story 3

Best Foreign Language Film:

Biutiful (Mexico) in Spanish and English – Alejandro González Iñárritu
Dogtooth (Greece) in Greek – Yorgos Lanthimos
In a Better World (Denmark) in Danish, Swedish and English – Susanne Bier
Incendies (Canada) in French and Arabic – Denis Villeneuve
Outside the Law (Algeria) in Arabic and French – Rachid Bouchareb
This is probably the hardest one to choose. I was surprised not to see Of Gods and Men or Uncle Boonmee here. I would have also liked to see Even the Rain.
Who I Want to Win: Biutiful
Who Should Win: Biutiful
Who Will Win: Biutiful or In A Better World

Best 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

I thought that Waiting for Superman was going to be, but it wasn't even nominated...
Who I Want to Win: Exit Through the Gift Shop
Who Should Win: Exit Through the Gift Shop or Restrepo (?)
Who Will Win: Restrepo

So these are my thoughts and predictions on the Academy Awards based on the nominations. Please leave a comment saying what you think. Thank you for your time

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Top 20 Films of 2010

Top 20 Films of 2010

I've watched a few new films so I have finally completed a top 20. Here is my updated version of the best films of 2010:
20. Tangled
19. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
18. Shutter Island
17. How to TrainYour Dragon
16. The American
15. The Ghost Writer
14. Madeo
13. The Fighter
12. The Town
11. Exit Through the Gift Shop
10. The Kids Are All Right
9. Winter's Bone
8. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
7. 127 Hours
6. ToyStory 3
5. True Grit
4. Inception
3. The King's Speech
2. Black Swan
The Social Network

There are still a couple of films I have to see yet, so there may still be a new top 25 or 30. Thank you for your attention

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Western Remake

The Western Remake

In a world where the Hollywood execs have very little imagination and very big thirst for money is common to get remakes often, and almost all of the time the remakes are much worse than the original and generally don't work by themselves. Yesterday I watched the original True Grit for the first time, and, oddly, I thought the remake was better. But this is not the same time I think a new version is better than the original, as a couple of months ag I saw the original 3:10 to Yuma back to back with the 2007 version and I liked once again the remake. What got me thinking, how is it that most of the time the remakes suck but with Westerns they seem to work better than your common remake, many times even better than the original. I don't know, maybe it is a coincidence, but I think this have been the only two remakes which I have enjoyed better than the original film.

I'll offer short reviews for this four films, some facts I have found on the internet and then I'll draw my own conclusions:

True Grit (1969/2010)

The original True Grit was released in 1969 and starred John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn, Kim Darby as Mattie Ross and Glen Campbell as LaBoeuf. The 2010 version was directed by the Coen Brothers and starred Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn, Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross and Matt Damon as LaBoeuf. And while the first one was quite good and entertaining, I think, and I know I'm probably risking my neck here, that the remake was better. John Wayne is one of my favorite actors and True Grit gave him his only Academy Award, but I think Jeff Bridges was better as U.S Marshall Rooster Cogburn. Wayne's performance was more likeable and less rude, but that isn't how Marshall Cogburn is supposed to be. He's supposed to be loud, rough and probably detestable. Also, I prefer Mattie Ross than Kim Darby. Kim Darby's performance I found rather poor, while she doesn't fit to play the strong and brave Mattie Ross, not to mention that she was 22 while playing a 14 year old. Aside of that, the original cast was as good or better than the remake. I prefer Robert Duvall than Barry Pepper, but I prefer Josh Brolin over Jeff Cohey, while Matt Damon and Glen Campbell might be tied in my book.
I've heard people call the remake an exact copy of the original. While not entirely truth, I think that the remake followed the original way to closely. It follows the same structure, almost all the same dialogue, only a few events were changed but nothing really big. However, with many of the events depicted in both films some were better shot in the remake than the original.
The music and cinematogaphy of the remake were superior to the original, but the original still has many dialogues better than the remake. ('Quincey: His lower lip? What were you aiming at?; Cogburn: His upper lip', one of my favorite lines in the movie).

3:10 to Yuma (1957/2007)

Unlike True Grit, here which film is superior is pretty clear: the 2007 remake. The original had decent performances but nothing memorable, while the remake the performances were outstanding all around, especially fom both leads Christian Bale and Russel Crowe. The characters in the remake have more depth and development, and many situations that happen in the remake are much more exciting and interesting than the original.
The original was good, only the remake was better.

Other Remakes

I have been investigating a little about this, and as it turns out there have been other Western Remakes that -apparently- beat the original:
-Ned Kelly (2003), remake of the 1970 film.
-El Dorado (1967), a remake of Rio Bravo, though not exactly better it still did very good justice to the film according to the critics and fans.
-The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968), remake of Paleface.
To tell the truth, I haven't seen any of this remakes, but according to what I have found out, they are equally good or even better than the first ones. And the list doesn't end here, there are a few other remakes which, while not better than the first one, still were good enough to ride by themselves:
-Stagecoach (1966), a remake of the 1939 John Wayne film
-High Noon (2000), a TV version of the 1962 film starring Gary Cooper
-Destry Rises Again (1939), a spoof on the 1932 film of the samme name
So it seems that there is something with remaking Westerns that the new versions seem to escape the Remake curse. Now, don't get me wrong, I still don't like Remakes and would completely hate if I heard we would be having remakes of The Searchers, Winchester 73, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, or (God forbid) The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. What I am trying to say is that many of the western remakes aren't as bad as other remakes are. These are just thoughts I've been having that I wanted to share with you, I am not trying to prove or test anything. So what do you think?

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Favorite 2010 Movie Quotes

My Favorite 2010 Movie Quotes

5. "I am the one fighting! Not you, not you and not you!"
-Mark Wahlberg as Mick Ward in The Fighter

4. "Wait, you've been having some kind of lesbian wet dream about me? Was I any good?"
-Mila Kunis as Lily in Black Swan

3. "Dreams feel real while we're in them, its only when we wake up that we realize something was actually pretty strange
-Leonardo DiCaprio as Dom Cobb in Inception

2. "I thought you were gonna say the sun was in your eyes. That's to say... your eye."
-Matt Damon as LaBoeuf in True Grit

1. "They will try to tell you 'Good idea kid, grown ups will take it from here', but not this time! This is our time. This time you'll be handing them business card that say 'I'm CEO bitch!'"
-Justin Timberblake as Sean Parker in The Social Network

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Bottom 10 Movies of 2010

The Bottom 10 Movies of 2010
Despite 2010 was a great year for great movies, it was an awful year for bad movies. We had a very good amount of crappy films for the first half of te year and for the second half it still kept its stink number high. These are the 10 worst films I saw of 2010.
*Note: I didn't see many of the bad films of the last fourth of the year, so you'll notice that films like Yogi Bear, Gulliver's Travels or Little Fockers are absent from my list.
10. Clash of the Titans
With fake 3D and hardly any emotions, this remake that isn't even half of what the original was has eaned a spot in this list. With absurd and preposterous action, leaving no room for any sort of character depth or development, and with very sorrowful acting, espcially from Gemma Arteton, this film was one of the most painful theater expierences I have ever gone through. The only redeeming quality it had was its impressive special effects, that even though they weren't Avatar quality, they were still very good.
9. Valentine's Day
An all star cast isn't enough to save this flm from its lousy script and its unfunny jokes. The film is packed with dozns of stars, but as there are so many characters each one of them will only have around 10 - 15 minutes of screen time, preventing them from developing or growing into the audience. The script was full of holes and stupid lines, and while some of the storylines of some characters could have worked by themselves, many others were just silly and really stupid. And the all star cast doesn't really help either, as most of them coudn't seem to even care about their characters.
8. A Nightmare on Elm Street
The second remake on my list, and it is also a remake of an 80s hit. This time, Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes have brought shame into another serial killer, this time into the once awesome Freddy Krueger. The film was full of flaws, for example the acting. While Jackie Earle Hayley actually did a good job as Freddy, his co-stars all did a bad job, including the painful-to-wath Rooney Mara in the lead role. Her co-star Kyle Gallner also delivered excrutiating acting and all the time I was watching him I wanted to walk out of the movie.
7. Jonah Hex
This silly superhero-wannabe story was doomed from its start and I believe this movie shouldn0t have been made at all. Its cast, though not as bad as the previous entries in this list, couldn't carry on with their characters, and Megan Fox's performance was as empty as her performance in Jennifer's Body or Transformers were. The film's plot is a very ridiculous and stupid one, and probably it was what made this film fail so hard. But the screenwriters are also to blame, as they couldn't write one single character or even dialogue that worked.
6. Grown Ups
Adam Sandler's lattest is another unfunny comedy full of silliness. Joining him are his common entourage Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade and Rob Schneider. All of them were very bad in the movie but the worst of all has to be Rob Schneider. His unfunny, stupid and unsympatethic character was certainly painful to watch, and he trying to be funny made it worse. The screenplay didn't have any sort of emotion in it and the jokes it tried to deliver were not only unfunny but rather shameful.
5. Killers
Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher (again more painful performances) teamed up to make this romantic/action comedy about a couple who are running from their neighbors who want to kill them. Once again, this "comedy" tries to be funny and charismatic but is nothing but a running disaster on flames. The performances were very bad and empty, the characters were card board cut outs and the director didn't seem to know where he wanted to lead his story. Sum this all up with lazy writing and you'll get one of the year's worst.
4. The Bounty Hunter
Another romantic/action comedy gone totally wrong. It shares many similarities with the previous film, the biggest being that they both sucked. Jennifer Aniston, an actress that I used to respect, delivers what could be the worst performance of her career and she's on her way to winning a Razzie, sadly because she had so much potential (do you remember her in Friends?). Gerard Butler, I always thought he was a joke, and this film proves it. His performance was as wooden as a tree and his character was emptier than Paris Hilton's head.
3. Resident Evil: Afterlife
What were they thinking? The first two Resident Evil films, despite being bad, were fun to watch and served as perfect guilty pleasures. The third one sucked, but this one sucked even harder. This has to be the most painful attempt at horror I've seen in recent years. Its screenplay has more holes than Transformers 2 and the performances were very very wooden. The director, the same guy who brough us the first AvP, seemed to have been under the influence of drugs when he did this because in no other way I can think of could he have done such a mess.
2. Vampires Suck
The return of the never funny duo Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the two idiots who brought us Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans and Disaster Movie. This time they send their attention to the Twilight Saga, but, for this time at least, the Twilight Saga is better. But this is no surprise, these two clowns make Michael Bay look like Alfred Hitchcock, and now they have made what could possibly be their worst movie yet, though it is very hard to tell, after all, all of their movies awful bad.
But not as bad as the number one on my list is...
The Last Airbender
Hopefully, the last attempt at directing by one of the worst directors working in this moment, M. Night Shymalan. He may have made three good films in the past, but he's gone downhill since then and now those three good movies are overshadowed by four bad ones, and the lattest (and worst) is The Last Airbender. Adapted from the hit TV series (which I happen to like), this film is complete and utter disaster. I can't believe how they ruined a good show. The script written by Shymalan had even more holes than the Resident Evil: Afterlife's had, and the characters were as empty and the audience wouldn't care about them. Its very silly dialogues and uninspired acting jus make it worse, and hopefully Shyamalan will learn after this and won't pick up the camera ever again. Undoubtly, the worst movie of the year.
Dishonorary mentions:
Legion, The Wolf Man, The Last Song, Leap Year, The Back Up Plan, Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

Friday, January 7, 2011

From Here to Eternity

From Here to Eternity
Directed by: Fred Zinneman
Year: 1953
Country: USA

Its been a while since I last reviewed a 50s classic. To tell the truth, I was missing all those black and white exciting rides. I think the last time I reviewed a classic was The 400 Blows, back in November I think. Well now I am back with a review for this great World War II epic from the year 1953, back then when many of award categories were split in two: color and black and white.

From Here to Eternity is based on James Jones novel. It is set in 1941 in the island of Oahu. Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt was transferred to company G at Schofield Barrack. There he encounters Captain Holmes, a ruthless and ambitious man who holds a proposition for him: to box for him in the boxing club to win the boxing trophy. Prewitt happened to be a great boxer before joining the army, but after an incident with a friend of his he quit boxing forever. But this doesn't sound good to the captain and he sets his mind into making Prewitt's life a living hell. Prewitt befriends Angelo Maggio, a fellow soldier, as stubborn as him, with some disciplinnary troubles, and he meets Alma "Lorene" Burke, a nightclub hostess whom he falls in love for. And while all this is going on, Sargeant Milton Warden starts an affair with Karen, the captain's wife, and unexpectedly he falls in love with her. All this happens the prior months to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The film's strength lies in its writing. The story is sad, its touching, its compelling. James Jones' novel (which I haven't had the chance of reading but now after watching the film I woul like to) has a wonderful set of characters and situations and it was the screenwriter's duty to put them on screen, and he certainly did a great job. I found myself rootng deeply for the characters, despite not being the most likeable fellows around, and many times I wanted to stop watching, just to prevent the coming events from happening.

The performances all around were great. Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster (Rober E. Lee Prewitt and Milton Warden) did pretty good jobs with their characters, but the best male actor of the film was Frank Sinatra (Angelo Maggio). A little interesting fact before I start talking about his performance: Sinatra was rumored to have landed this role thanks to connections with the Mafia, and this would inspire Mario Puzo to write to subplot of Johnny Fontane (Vito's godson), including the horse head segment, in The Godfather. Anyway, Sinatra's performance was a very good and inspired one. He played his character naturally, as if he wasn't even acting. He could be a partying good friend or a mad stubborn "monkey" and he still would seem to be natural. He deserved his Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and to tell the truth it was saddening what happened to his character. For the ladies, Deborah Kerr and Donna Reed both played magnificently their roles, but my favorite was Deborah Kerr as the temperamental, promiscuous and hard-to-love Karen Holmes, Captain Holmes wife. Her character, though unlikable, was a pleasure to watch, thanks to the Deborah Kerr who could splendidly fit into her role.

From Here to Eternity is an outstanding and compelling which depicts the lives and troubles of a group of soldiers before the Pearl Harbor attack. It's rich in storytelling, has great and interesting characters, unforgettable performances and a wonderful script. It is not perfect, it has flaws, but they are minor and forgivable and nothing worth of condeming.
My rcommendation: It is a great film, recommended.
My score: 91 - 96 %

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Top 10 Films of 2010

2010's Top 10 Best Films

Its been five days since the year ended and we have had already a good deal of top 10 lists from critics and audiences, and now I have finally done mine. It took me a while because I was planning to do a top 20 or 25 as I had several films in my list that wouldn't fit in the 10 best, nevertheless I wanted to mention them, but due to the circumstances I'll have to honorably mention them. Anyway, with no further jabber I present to you my 10 best films of 2010:

10. The Town
Ben Affleck returns to the diretor's chair after his 2007 hit Gone Baby Gone, this time acting and writing as well. The film's adapted from Chuck Hogan's Prince of Thieves (which I haven't had the chance of reading it yet) and stars along Affleck Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Blake Lively and Jon Hamm. The film tells the story of group of thieves after they rob a bank and take the manager hostage, but one of them falls in love with the her after they release her and he starts following her. The film is packed with outstanding performances (that includes Affleck) especially Jeremy Renner as the sociopathic Jem, fast paced and stylized direction which confirms what Gone Baby Gone claimed, a screenplay full of pulse quickening suspense and exhilerating action that will have the audience on thier seat. The film is most likely to earn Oscar nominations for Picture, Supporting Actor (Renner), Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Sound Mixing and Editing.

9. Exit Through the Gift Shop
Street artist Banksy directs this wonderful documentary on the art of grafitti, which tells the story of how a French Immigrant entered this world by following street artists with his camera. What could be the documentary feature of the year (note, I haven't seen Restrepo or Waiting for Superman yet), Exit Through the Gift Shop is an interesting and entertaining view at the world of street art. And even if its a documentary, it is a very entertaining and exciting adventure. Many have speculated if it is authentic, but weather it is or not it doesn't matter, what matters is that this film is the best documentary I've seen this year. It may get nominated for Best Documentary feature, but thanks to the speculation mentioned above it may get overlooked.

8. The Kids Are All Right
For me (and for many) this was the comedy of the year. The film tells the story of two kids, both children of lesbian mothers who used the same sperm donor, who want to meet their biological father. The whole casting did a terrific job with their roles. Annette Bening, probably the best of them all, delivers what could be a her best performance (though I haven't seen many of her films) and what could be a strong contender for the Oscar. Julianne Moore also does an incredible job with her role, but what's sad is that she will probably be overlooked by the Oscars and many other Award shows, probably because she's being overshadowed by Bening. Mark Rufalo's performance may get more attention, may I add deservedly. Also, the film's writing is very powerful. The characters are all well thought out and the dialogues are great too. The film will most likely get nominated for Actress (Bening), Supporting Actor (Rufalo), Screenplay and maybe Picture.

7. Winter's Bone
A drama/noir set in the Ozarks, the film follows Ree Dolly in her quest to finding her missing father, who just skipped court, or else she and her family will get evicted from their home. Debra Granik directs this film beautifully, capturing the film's dark view. But most of my praise for this film has to go to Jennier Lawrence, whose performace will certainly make her a star. She delivered the breakthrough performance of the year and she definitely deserves to be mentioned at the Oscars. The film will probably get nominations for Picture, Screenplay and Actress.

6. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
I am a big fan of the Millennium Trilogy novels, and I've gotta say that the first film in the series is a very good one. Set in cold Sweden, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, who just found himself caught by the judicial system, agrees to work for corporate magnate Henrik Vanger to help him find his missing niece, who disappeared almost 40 years before. But to do this he'll enlist Lisbeth Salander, genius but problematic hacker. Its story is intoxicating, its acting is wonderful (especially Noomi Rapace), its direction is thrilling and magnificent. This is certainly one of the best Swedish films to come out in the last few years. Sadly, it probably won't get that much Oscar attention, as it wasn't Sweden's submission for the Best Foreign Language category, and this can hurt the film's other chances for possible nominations (Best Actress anyone?). Still, this is definitely one of my favorite films of the year.

Top 5 Now:

5. Toy Story 3
It enchanted us, it made us cry, laugh and even fall in love with it. The great animated trilogy now comes to an end in this epic final installment. For this film, Andy's toys will have to team up to be able to escape a nursery ran by an evil stuffed bear. The film's great sentimental value is what got to us all, and I am sure I wasn't the only teenager in the theater who felt nostalgic while watching this film. I am sure it will get Best Animated Feature, and probably a Best Picture nomination too.

4. True Grit
The Dude becomes The Duke in this magnificent Coen Brothers film. A remake of the 1969 classic, it is the story of young Mattie Ross and how she hired a US Marshall to help her track down her father's killer. The film is impecably acted, with Jeff Bridges delivering a breathtaking performance, Hailee Steinfeld turning in starmaking acting, Matt Damon becoming the humurous LaBoeuf and Josh Brolin becoming the bad guy. Also, the film is incredibly directed, but that's no surprise, its a Coen Brothers film. Its screenplay its very well written, being humurous at times but still covering its conflict very seriously. The music, art direction, costume design and cinematography are great as well. Its is most likely to get nominations for Picture, Actor (Bridges), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Score, Costume Design, and Editing.

3. Inception
I know many wanted this to be number 1, but for me its landed on number 3. But that doesn't mean it is not a good film, it is a fantastic ride that may be Christopher Nolan's masterpiece. The story is about a group of thieves who enter dreams of corporate execs so they can steal their ideas, but when they are hired to not steal one but plant one, bigger problems may raise. As I said, Christopher Nolan's outstandingly directs this film, and the actors all do a great job with their roles, being large or small. The screenplay was also wonderful and its production design amazing. Possible Oscar Nominations: Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction, Sound Editing and Mixing, and Score.

2. Black Swan
This film has really impressed me, and it sets Darren Aronofsky as one of my favorite directors. It is the story of Nina Sayers, a delicate and innocent young ballerina who is chosen to play both parts of the White Swan and Black Swan in her company's production of Swan Lake, but as she tries to make her part of the Black Swan less challenging, she embraces her dark side and becomes the Black Swan herself. All the actors did a wonderful job, especially Natalie Portman in what is most definitely the best performance of her career and the best performance of the year. I surely hope she wins Best Actress. Also, the rest of the cast (Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barabara Hershey and Wynnona Rider) played excellently their parts, and they were all very important for the film's narrative, no matter if their part was small, if they didn't work out it probably wouldn't have been the same thing. The film most likely will get Oscar nominations for Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actress (Kunis), Original Screenplay, Score, Cinematography, Art Direction, Make Up, Costume Design and Editing.

And Number 1 is...

The Social Network
I think you all knew what this was gonna be, but I'm not here to surprise you. David Fincher's spectacle tells the story of Facebook's rise to fame, from its humble beginnings at Harvard to its global status. Jesse Eisenberg plays Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, Andrew Garfield plays Eduardo Saverin, Mark's best and only friend, and Justin Timberblake plays Sean Parker, the founder of Napster. These three actors as well as the rest of the cast deliver fantastic performances, and Fincher's direction is fantastic, and then we have Aaron Sorkin, the screenwriter, who has written the best screenplay in some time. The film is certainly a breathtaking spectacle in which the audience is not only entertained but is also learning about the world's biggest Social Network. The film will most likely get nominations for Picture, Director, Actor (Eisenberg), Supporting Actor (Garfield), Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, and Score. And I am pretty sure it will get Best Picture.

Honorable Mentions go to:
The Fighter (Christian Bale's performance will most likely earn him his most deserved Best Supporting Actor Oscar), Madeo (the Korean thriller that was ignored last year by the Academy, but is still a pleasure to watch), The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski's return after his extradition), The American (a very underrated drama), How to Train Your Dragon (the first non-Pixar film to have come close at beating Pixar), Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese's return after winning his delayed Oscar), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the first part of the epic finale of this wonderful series).
Still Have to See:
127 Hours, The King's Speech, Biutiful, Of Gods and Men, Blue Valentine, Tangled, The Illusionist.
I'll probably update this list when I get to see these and maybe then I'll be able to make a top 20 or 25 ;)