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2010 Oscar Nominations

Posted by: Matthew Turner 05/02/2010 @ 16:27
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 38
Films seen this week: Malice in Wonderland, Perrier's Bounty, The Island, Holy Water, MicMacs (again), Solomon Kane, Food Inc.

Oscarwatch: And they're off!
The 2010 Oscar nominations were announced this week and if you'll forgive me for saying so, it looks like an achingly predictable year this year, at least as far as the acting categories are concerned. Jeff Bridges is a lock for Best Actor (deservedly so, in my opinion – sorry George), it looks like Sandra Bullock has Best Actress in the bag (though I'm still hoping Carey Mulligan wins), Christoph Waltz will -ha ha!- waltz off with Best Supporting Actor and Mo'Nique is certain to win Best Supporting Actress.

The 2010 Oscar nominations get more interesting when it comes to Best Director and Best Picture, especially as the Director's Guild and the Producer's Guild (traditionally a strong guide to both categories, respectively) both went for The Hurt Locker over Avatar recently. I wouldn't bet against Avatar though and I suspect there'll be a Picture / Director split, even if it's impossible to say which way round. As for the nominations themselves, I am delighted for Jeremy Renner, especially as I'd tipped him for greatness ever since I saw him in Twelve and Holding and Neo Ned at the 2006 Edinburgh Film Festival. I'm also really pleased for Tarantino and Inglourious Basterds, though I wish both Melanie Laurent and Diane Kruger had received supporting actress nominations, as they both deserved them. I think Tarantino is likely to pick up Best Original Screenplay as a consolation prize, though Best Adapted is harder to call – Up in the Air is probably the front-runner there. I'm also rooting for A Prophet for Best Foreign Film, even though I've only seen two of the five nominated films.

Finally, a few unfairly overlooked contenders: 1) It's shocking that there are no nominations for The Road – I thought it would at least get a Best Picture nomination and it deserved Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Director too, to say nothing of Production Design; 2) The film may have under-performed, but Christian McKay still deserved a Best Supporting Actor nod for Me and Orson Welles; and 3) I haven't seen The Secret of Kells, but it's hard to see how it could be better than either Mary & Max, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs or Miyazaki's glorious Ponyo (out next week). Ah well.

Films I'm Looking Forward To: I Love You Phillip Morris
I've heard great things about I Love You Phillip Morris but I hadn't seen the trailer until this week. I have to admit, it looks like my sort of thing and not just because of their brightly coloured font and background design for the credits. Based on an improbable but true story, it stars Jim Carrey as a married small-town businessman who has an epiphany after a car accident and decides that he's gay and is going to live the rest of his life to the full, even if it means breaking the law. When he's imprisoned for the latest in a series of flamboyant con tricks, he falls in love with fellow prisoner Phillip Morris (the trailer can't seem to decide on one 'L' or two, but imdb says two), played by Ewan McGregor and determines to get him out of jail. The trailer indicates that there's quite a lot more to the story than that, but that hook works just fine for me. It's also good to see Jim Carrey in another dramatic role that still allows him to cut loose, comedy-wise. I'm not usually a fan of McGregor's American accent, but I'm prepared to let that slide for this, I think. It opens here on March 17th.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Three new entries this week, with London (sort of) serial killer drama Tony, Miguel Arteta's adaptation of cult novel Youth in Revolt and animated adventure Astro Boy all making it into the top ten. I'll also put in a good word for both Oil City Confidential (about Canvey Island pub rockers Dr. Feelgood) and Russian monk drama The Island. And yes, one of this week's releases is conspicuous by its absence – no prizes for guessing which one. Elsewhere, you can read our exclusive interview with Peter Ferdinando, star of Tony here and check back next week for interviews with the stars of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.

1. A Prophet
2. Where the Wild Things Are
3. The Road
4. Up in the Air
5. Toy Story 2 (3D)
6. The Princess and the Frog
7. A Serious Man
8. Tony
9. Youth In Revolt
10. Astro Boy

DVD of the Week: Away We Go (out now, RRP £17.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is indie comedy / drama Away We Go, directed by Sam Mendes. John Krasinski (Jim from The Office) and Maya Rudolph star as Burt and Verona, a thirty-something couple who take a road trip in order to decide where they should raise their imminent child. Along the way they visit Verona's sister (Carmen Ejogo) and several friends (including Maggie Gyllenhaal, Allison Janney and Melanie Lynskey), all of whom seem to have vastly different parenting styles. With terrific performances and a script that crackles with great dialogue and laugh-out-loud gags, this is a hugely enjoyable, emotionally engaging comedy-drama that's well worth seeking out if you missed it at the cinema. Lovely final shot, too. Extras include: a director's commentary with Sam Mendes and writers Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida; a 15 minute Making Of featurette, including interviews with Krasinski and Rudolph and contributions from other cast members; and an interesting six minute featurette on green filmmaking, detailing all the environmentally friendly measures the production went to during the shoot.

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