Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)
Saoirse Ronan – The Lovely Bones
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a pretty weak year for nominees and none of them give amazing performances besides the rookie who was great in a very disturbing film.
5. Helen Mirren
4. Carey Mulligan
3. Meryl Streep
2. Sandra Bullock
1. Gabourey Sidibe
5. The Last Station – Pretty boring film that moves at a snails pace without doing much along the way. Plummer is the best thing about this film and despite his Best Supporting Oscar Nomination, he manages to mumble his way through the pretty incoherent script which takes away from any kind of impact this film might have. The way that the commune is portrayed makes it seem as if Tolstoy and his followers found a new way of life but things are just too strange and awkward throughout that this isn’t an enjoyable film.
4. An Education – Great subtle performances by both leads help make this a great character study. The story itself is relatively simplistic on the outside, yet it is quite layered when you look more closely. Love the way that the title has numerous meanings with regard to what happens in the film. Not sure that this film was deserving of a Best Picture nomination despite the fact that it is done quite well.
3. The Blind Side – Bullock is great here but this isn’t her best role. The story is inspiring but done too Hollywoodish which caused it some backlash even from the protagonist himself. Very good but not great movie.
2. Julie & Julia – I really liked the way that this movie intercut between both stories, which shows the varying connections between the lives of the two women depicted. The idea of a blog helping someone find passion in their life is a great one for all to see especially in the blog-driven world we live in where anyone can write about anything they want. (like all of us here). Amazing cast helps us to believe the life and loves of the characters and they all seem very tangible and real despite being Hollywoodicized.
1. Precious: based on the novel Push by Sapphire – Not an easy film to watch because it deals with some very powerful issues. They don’t shy away from discussing these issues openly and frankly but in doing so makes the audience feel both uncomfortable and enlightened at the same time. The cast is quite powerful and Monique gives a very worthy performance here in a role that gave her both a Golden Globe and Oscar as Best Supporting Actress. It was also able to win Best Adapted Screenplay. This film is too dark and despite being poignant, I will probably never want to see it again.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – I Guess so! SB is fine here, but her role isn’t as powerful as GS in Precious, but given the weak year of nominees in this category, it isn’t surprising that she won.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!