hi. my name is sulman and i have way too much free time.
2011 academy awards predictions - best director
with the expansion of the best picture field to 10 last year, the nominees for best director have all come from the same group of 10. when the field of best picture was 5, the best director nomination felt like a bigger deal almost, and placed a bit more emphasis on the director, rather than just awarding the director involved with a great film. however, the two are definitely interrelated, and it is hard to find a good film without a good director, and a good director rarely does not make a good film. it’s a chicken-egg situation. whatever, moving on.
who will and should win - david fincher for the social network
early in the awards season, the social network was the clear favorite for the major awards; however, as the season progressed, the king’s speech has slowly become an unstoppable force and is poised to sweep the awards on sunday night. the lone bastion against tom hooper’s the king’s speech is david fincher’s work on the social network. engaging from the first frame through the end, fincher has done a master’s job with the social network, a film that people initially were reluctant to see (“why would i want to watch a movie about facebook?”), but became a sensation.
who was snubbed - christopher nolan for inception
the easiest statement to write this awards season. while the merits of the film can be debated, the direction of the film can not: with a catalog of heady films, inception is christopher nolan’s crowning achievement. there are only a handful of directors that would have been able to bring this multilayered story to the screen, and nolan is the one who did it impeccably.
sulmoney’s top 10 films of 2010: true grit at #2
the brothers coen. are there directors more consistently amazing than these two paired together? looking at their resume shows a list of films that have defined the past two decades. combined with their cinematographer extraordinaire roger deakins, their films are not only a great story, but they are pieces of art to watch as well. true grit joins their greatest hits, and is perhaps the best western since clint eastwood’s unforgiven.
when 14 year old mattie ross’s father is murdered, she enlists the help of a man with true grit, marshall rooster cogburn, to exact vengeance. the duo are joined on and off again by the texas ranger laboeuf and embark on a trek that will change the lives of all involved, as they chase the coward tom chaney and his cohort across the wild, wild west.
much like the previous film on my list, the performances in this film are top notch. the main leads, from jeff bridges, matt damon, and josh brolin are as to be expected from these veterans, and are brilliant. however, the real shining light is hailee steinfeld as mattie ross, in her major feature film debut, which has culminated in an academy award nomination for best supporting actress, which is a slight to her leading role. often times funny, often thrilling, true grit is an all-time great western from a pair of gifted directors at the top of their game.
much like the best picture race, this oscar will go down to the wire as one of the closest votes in recent history. in one corner, we have the most financially successful director of all time, with a history of box office and critical successes on his resume, with a film that he has been working on for a decade, and one that finally legitimized 3D film as more than a gimmick. in the other corner, we have his ex-wife, a woman previously best known for directing an action flick with keanu reeves and patrick swayze almost 20 years ago. we could not ask for a more hollywood showdown.
will win - kathryn bigelow for the hurt locker
kathryn bigelow has been tearing up the awards circuit lately, and i expect her to win the richest prize in the game tonight. in successfully bringing to the screen the best pure action war movie since saving private ryan, bigelow will follow in steven spielberg’s footsteps and claim her reward for hollywood’s love affair with war movies. while there has been a bit of a whiplash against the authenticity of the film, there is no doubt that the hurt locker is a tight and tense picture, and it is all possible to bigelow’s direction.
should win - james cameron for avatar
the name james cameron being attached to any film makes it a must watch. his past films speak for themselves: the terminator, aliens, terminator 2, true lies, and titanic. owning the top two spots in highest grossing films of all time will ensure his name will be remembered for as long as the film industry exists. while i was not as big of a fan as avatar as the rest of the world has been, the job that cameron did with avatar was simply amazing. his vision and realization of pandora and the na’vi, along with staging some of the most impressive epic battles in film history is simply breathtaking. his use of 3D also can not be simply ignored, and he has forever changed how big budget films will be made. for that alone, he deserves to be rewarded.
the snub - the coen brothers for a serious man
the big winners from two years ago have reached that must watch level as well. why a serious man did not reach the levels of some the coen brothers’ past films can perhaps be attributed to the casting of relative unknowns. however, this decision allows us to be fully immersed in what is unfolding on screen, and the message of the film hits a bit harder not seeing a brad pitt or george clooney on screen. i am also sure the controversial and cryptic ending played a part in the lack of award recognition for this gem, but it definitely ranks amongst the bests of the coens.