The 83rd Annual Academy Awards have come and gone. Did you watch?
Not too many surprises. The King’s Speech won Best Picture, with its director, Tom Hooper, taking that award home. And Colin Firth, with a wonderfully low-key and heartfelt acceptance speech, took home the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as the reluctant King George VI.
Natalie Portman, with another heartfelt acceptance speech and a few tears, won Best Actress for her mind-bending turn as a troubled ballerina in Black Swan, and Melissa Leo, as mother/manager Alice Ward in The Fighter, was named Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Her co-star, Christian Bale, took home the honor for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of washed-up fighter/brother Dicky Eklund.
I was thrilled The King’s Speech did as well as it did – it also nabbed honors for Best Original Screenplay for David Seidler. And Portman was a perfect choice for Best Actress, although I was a bit surprised by both Leo and Bale in the supporting categories; perhaps because I haven’t seen The Fighter. An oversight I will have to rectify as soon as the movie appears on DVD.
The emcee duties were shared this year by Anne Hathaway and James Franco, both excellent actors, and Franco was among the nominees for Best Actors. I was, however, disappointed in his performance as Oscar host. Perhaps he was more than a little nervous? Whatever the reason, he seemed wooden and only on occasion did we see glimpses of the wonderful actor we know he is. Hathaway was excellent, and I think she could probably handle hosting duties all on her own.
Also on the that-was-neat list were presenters Sandra Bullock, Jeff Bridges and the comic duo of Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, as well as the unlikely (except they're both British) and funny duo of Helen Mirren and Russell Brand. I suggest the Academy look at pairing Hathaway and Bullock as hosts or asking Downey and Law to bring their banter to the stage next year.
Should I talk fashion? I was impressed with young nominees Jennifer Lawrence (Best Actress nominee, Winter’s Bone) and Hailee Steinfeld (Best Supporting Actress nominee, True Grit), as well as Jennifer Hudson, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow (both gowns!), Amy Adams, Portman and Bullock. Hathaway was stunning in all eight of her outfits; my particular favorite was the blue/purple number seven (a Giorgia Armani dress).
And the gentlemen? Well, I’m a definite fan of men in tuxedos, so I’m not sure I could name a favorite. Although Christian Bale’s all-black look was great – well, except for the shaggy beard. Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem were dashing in all white. And I liked Zachary Levi’s casual look as he sang Tangled’s Best Song nominee, “I See the Light,” with Mandy Moore.
What were your favorite moments? Gowns? Acceptance speeches?
Now on to March movies!
A few of these titles caught my attention, but only a few. Sigh. I really would like a few good movies to bring me back to the theater. One of these days ….
The first weekend of the month brings the animated (motion-capture, actually) Rango to the big screen. This one looks like fun as a chameleon tries to find himself. It features the voice talents of Johnny Depp, Timothy Olyphant, Harry Dean Stanton, Bill Nighy and Abigail Breslin, among a star-packed cast. Rated PG, Rango opens March 4.
Other films opening March 4 include The Adjustment Bureau, a science-fiction thriller starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt (rated PG-13); Beastly, a modern Beauty and the Beast fairy tale starring Alex Pettyfer as a wealthy man cursed for his insensitive nature (rated PG-13); and Happythankyoumoreplease, a limited release from director Josh Radnor that focuses on six young people struggling with life, love and growing up.
On March 11, Battle: Los Angeles (rated PG-13) opens. Starring Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez and Bridget Moynahan, Battle looks to show off spectacular special effects as a Marine platoon takes on an alien invasion on the California coast.
Also opening March 11, Jane Eyre (rated PG-13), a new take on the Charlotte Bronte classic starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell and Dame Judi Dench; Red Riding Hood (rated PG-13), a thriller based on the fairy tale and starring Amanda Seyfried as Red, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Lukas Haas and Shiloh Fernandez (and directed by Catherine Hardwicke of Twilight fame); and Mars Needs Moms (rated PG), an animated look at the necessary part mothers play in their children’s lives, as Milo (voiced by Seth Green) struggles to return his mom (voiced by Joan Cusak) to Earth after Martians come to take her away.
Limitless and The Lincoln Lawyer open March 18, both of which are on my to-see list. Limitless (rated PG-13), starring Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Abbie Cornish and Anna Friel, focuses on author Eddie Morra (Cooper) who takes an untested drug that allows him to use all of his brain’s potential and the consequences he faces.
The Lincoln Lawyer (rated R) is an adaptation of Michael Connelly’s thriller and stars Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Josh Lucas, Ryan Phillippe, John Leguisamo and William Macy. I enjoy Connelly’s writing, though I usually stick to his Harry Bosch series. When I saw the first trailer for this film, I bought the book, and it’s good. Let’s hope the screenplay does the novel justice. Plus it’s a great cast!
Also opening March 18, Win Win (rated R and in limited release) stars Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale and Jeffrey Tambor. Giamatti portrays an attorney moonlighting as a high-school wrestling coach who discovers a star athlete only to have his dreams (and the teen’s) derailed.
Opening March 25 are Sucker Punch (rated R), the latest from director Zack Synder, a stylized look at a girl’s alternative reality as she struggles to survive an insane insane asylum; and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (rated PG), a sequel the surprisingly successful Wimpy Kid.
I have on my list The Adjustment Bureau, Red Riding Hood, Limitless and The Lincoln Lawyer, with Rango, Beastly, Battle: Los Angles, Mars Needs Moms and Jane Eyre on the backup list.
Any recommendations? What will you be heading to the theaters to see?
See ya at the movies!