Jordan's PRE-Oscar Rant & preview

Oh Oscar, where have you gone wrong this year? well let's see .. you forgot to nominate Christopher Nolan's Direction for Inception, which was a visionary balancing act from a man who still hasn't gotten the Academy's recognition. Inception was nominated for Best Picture yet omitting the man who created it all from scratch is completely silly and a big no no for an awards show that has in fact honored the right winners and films since 2005's embarrassing Best Picture win for Crash. In fact since that terrible night Best Picture has gone to masterworks such as No Country For Old Me, The Departed and The Hurt Locker. Nolan's lack of recognition will not got unnoticed as others have chimed in and complained about how ridiculous it is not to nominate THE director of the year. Love it or hate it, Inception is filled with ideas that dare and ambition that almost cannot contain itself (which is why it won't win anything come Sunday night).

Another note worthy absence is that of Lesley Manville, who's performance in Mike Leigh's Another Year was as good as any in 2010. Manville should feel robbed considering her award worthy work in the film is a career high for her as well as a memorable reminder of how important art can be if done right. The omissions in the acting category are glaring. I'm thinking of the incredible Julianne Moore not getting nominated for her sexually free work in The Kid Are All right, yet her co-star Annette Bening getting the nod. I'm not saying Bening doesn't deserve to get nominated, hell I even think she was spectacular but Moore was just as good if not edgier and riskier in Lisa Cholodenko's finely tuned film. Yet as time goes by and the days thin out before Sunday's ceremony you start to realize that there really are just 5 slots to get nominated by and that even a truly great performance can get left out of the mix.

Tom Hooper's The King's Speech is the favourite to go home with both Best Picture and Best Actor (Colin Firth) yet the film doesn't ring true to me. It felt all too facile and predictable in its delivery of a monarch's rise out of Speech impediment hell. Let's put it this way. Ten years from now will we remember Hooper's film or the likely landmarks of Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, David Fincher's The Social Network or even Nolan's Inception? Not hard to see why then people are fuming over The King's Speech impending win. In all its pre-packaged Oscar ready triteness, the film does contain great performances and an impeccable sense of a time period long gone yet when all is said and done this bon bon of a movie will likely evaporate faster than the very stammer that is at the center of the movie's dilemma.

If everything goes as planned Nathalie Portman and Annette Bening will be fighting it out till the last minute to get that Best Actress Oscar. Go with Portman, even though -shockingly enough- Bening has never won before and deserves it too. Colin Firth is fighting a one man battle as he will likely win Best Actor for The King's Speech, even though Mark Zuckerberg himself played by Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network deserves it just as much. Melissa Leo's portrayal of a loyal and destructive mom in The Fighter will duke it out with both Helena Bonham Carter in The King's Speech and Hallee Steinfeld's breakthrough role in True Grit. Go with Leo. Supporting Actor will be between Christian Bale's role as a junkie in The Fighter and Geoffrey Rush's predictably lovable speech therapist in The King's Speech. Bale deserves it and will win it, it's about time that one of the best actors of our generation finally gets his due and if Rush wins I Will surely be pulling my hair out of agony.

The one category I will be looking out for the most come Oscar night is that of Best Foreign film, where hometown favourite Montreal/Canada's Incendies will be vying for the top prize. I have seen most of the nominated films safe one and conclude that if voters have in fact taken the time to see all the nominated films they will likely find out that Incendies stands out above all the rest. It is a testament to our globalized times that Denis Villeneuve's masterwork of middle eastern dramatics was in fact the best movie of 2010. It is awaiting release in the states this April and will surely make as big a splash as it did in Canada this past year (or at least one hopes). The one true, epic crime Oscar would commit on Sunday night would be of not giving the foreign prize to Incendies.

Grading the 10 nominated films

Black Swan A-
Inception A-
The Social Network A-
Winter's Bone B+
The Fighter B+Toy Story 3 B+
127 Hours B+
The Kids Are All Right B+True Grit CThe King's Speech C