February 22, 2011

Oscars 2011: The Hitlist

With the Oscar's just round the corner , just had enough time and patience to watch all the 10 movies nominated for the best feature film category. Doesn't mean that the nominees are the best (American and British) movies for the entire year , but these satisfy a quality benchmark. Had watched 7 of the movies prior to the announcement , that gives me 70% coverage of good movies. Below is the brief description of the famous ten and my favourite to win.

1. Black Swan

"Good Girl Gone Bad" should have been the quote of this movie. Jokes apart this is one of the darkest movies I had watched during the recent times. It is more of a psychological thriller and no way is it a movie for the masses. The story begins with Nina(Portman) who is a goody good , innocent ballerina performer. When there is a casting call within her ballerina school for the title role of  "Black Swan" which requires a performer to portray both White Swan and black swan. She is selected , on the grounds that she is perfect for the white swan part but has to find her inner darker self to play the alter ego. She finds those grey shades of her personality but with disastrous consequences.

My Rating -----> 4/5

2. The Fighter

From the title one would assume this to be an action movie, but this is far from it. I had expected to see some "David Vs Goliath" (which never gets boring even after watching n number of movies :P) kinda movie such as the Cinderella Man, but this more of a family drama than a boxing movie. This true story starts with a local boxer Micky(Walberg) who has the chance to make it big in boxing , but for that he requires the help of his elder brother(Bale), a pot addict ex-champ. And the movie is all about their relations. The saving grace is the one and only Christian Bale. This guy is so versatile as an actor and to fit to his role he has lost tons of weight(Not as much as The Machinist) .Walberg on the other hand gives his usual expressionless acting once again.  The family squabbles did get on to my nerve. An overall average movie.

My Rating -----> 3/5

3. Inception

Every now and then comes a movie which is so out of this world that people just watch it 3-4 times just to understand it, a movie which requires a different level of imagination altogether. In the 90's there was Matrix now we have Inception. "Dream within a Dream" has become one of the most popular phrase of this year. One of my favourites to win the oscars.

More detailed review here

My Rating -----> 5/5

4. The Kids are all Right

This post-modern tale is an interesting take on the present family values (at least in US :P). The main centre of focus is an unconventional family headed by two lesbian women and 2 children born via donor sperms. The twist begins when the children decide to meet and get to know their biological father(Mark Ruffalo). Both the kids and the father open up and begin to grow closer. But the problem starts when one of the mother (Julianne Moore) falls for the guy. Even though the father has some questionable motives , the audience cannot resist sympathizing with him. Overall a good hatke movie.

My Rating ----> 4/5

5. The Kings Speech

A movie which everyone would identify with, after all who is comfortable with public speaking (still remember my sleepless night before my first, in front of school assembly in 7th grade :P). Movie starts with how spectacularly the Duke Of York(Collin Firth) fails to deliver a speech in front of a live audience, partly because of his nervousness and other being his stammering problem. But that doesn't bother him much until is pushed ahead of his elder brother to be Englands new King.With World War II in the horizon King is expected to rise to the occasion and inspire the entire Kingdom and to achieve this goal he is helped and supported by the Australian speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush). Amazing acting by Firth who surely deserves an oscar for this performance.

My Rating ----> 4.5/5

6. 127 Hours

After "Slumdog Millionaire", Danny Boyle had become "our guy" and there was so much expectations from his next which happens to be this "127 Hours". In short I was a bit disappointed, the major reason of which could be that I was expecting too much. This true story starts with Ralston (James Franco) going on a hiking trail in an isolated canyon range. Pleasure soon turns to despair when he gets his hand stuck under a huge rock. Trapped, he is forced to make some serious decisions which a person in normal circumstances wouldn't even dream about, as time starts to pile up odds against him.The initial scenes are just too good including the biking across the desert. Scenes like these in movies would encourage more people to take up biking than any ads would even dream of. Overall the flow of the movie is good except the part where he starts to see hallucinations which I thought to be overstretched a bit.

My Rating ----> 3.5/5

7. The Social Network

The movie about the latest craze of the recent time, "Facebook" and its creator "Mark Zuckerberg". While the director seems to have taken a lot of artistic freedom , we do get to witness that having a great idea is not good enough, but its how you capitalize on that idea to make it super big. Story starts with Mark(Jesse Eisenberg) who is grad student at Harvard and a complete computer geek who implements some cool ideas even though it pisses a lot of people. From one idea to another he keeps jumping until he comes across the idea of Facebook and the ensuing story after that. The major part of the movie is occupied by the legal suit proceedings that the co-founders file on Mark. Overall a good movie which has to be taken with a pinch of salt :P.

My Rating -----> 4/5

8. Toy Story 3

Being a great fan of both Toy Story and Toy Story 2 , I had high expectations from this movie and I was greatly disappointed. After watching this I feel its time to wind up the franchise so as not to mess up with the memories of the previous 2 movies. The main skeleton plot is more or less repeated, with the others toys in danger leaving Woody and Buzz to rescue them. Andy is ready to go to college so he donates his toys to a daycare. This daycare is controlled by the evil soft spoken Teddy Bear, and the toys have to fight back to earn their freedom. The jokes are not so funny, it might be said that I am too old for movies like these , but as I said the first 2 installments still tickle my funny bone :).

My Rating ----> 3/5

9. True Grit

A watchable western movie after a long time. Even in western genre there are 2 categories, one is the straight forward "white hero vs black villain" and nothing in between and the other category which has some new story to tell like the Unforgiven(1992). This movie belongs to the latter category. After the murder of her father by a bandit a 14 year girl looks for vengeance, an highly unlikely candidate for one. She hires the services of the best gunslinger in town Rooster(Jeff Bridges) to see the job done. This unlikely group is joined by a Texas Ranger (Matt Damon) who is after the same bandit and the movie is about their journey capturing the bandit for their own means.

My Rating -----> 4/5

10. Winter's Bone

The least publicized movie of the lot and no hype whatsoever associated with it. Also the last movie I saw in this list.  Movie begins with Ree in search of her missing father in order to save her house and property. She digs around to find any info regarding him and faces stiff resistance everywhere. One by one she starts discovering the truth. More or less the pace of the movie is pretty slow and the accent of the characters makes it tough to understand the dialogues. An average movie with no chances of winning the coveted prize , which I was wondering how it got nominated in the first place.

My Rating -----> 3/5

Finally I would be routing for "The Kings Speech" and "Inception" to win the award, but with all probability "The Kings Speech" has better odds of making it all the way,  having already won the BAFTA awards. Also got to check the movies in the foreign language category which are generally more interesting than the above listed nominees. But the main problem are the subtitles which makes one concentrate just on one part of the screen leaving the other parts to escape our vision :P.


  1. sounds professional kano.. but Social network comments arenot complete.. check madu once...

  2. oops.... somehow tat part got deleted.. corrected the same


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