Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Hey World Family,
Falcon here with the assessment of the Oscar nominations announced this morning in Hollywood. No surprises with the Best Picture nominations, but some surprise snubs.

THE KING'S SPEECH, a film I absolutely loved gets the most at 12 nominations, with TRUE GRIT in at 10, no shock there. TOY STORY 3 becomes only the third animated film in history to be nominated for Best Picture, but we also have an expanded category to 10, so that also helps.
BLACK SWAN, FIGHTER, THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, WINTER'S BONE, INCEPTION, 127 HOURS, THE SOCIAL NETWORK, all expected, and in the running...but with 10 films the category for Best Director remained at 5, so someone would be left out.

Christopher Nolan did not get a Best Director nomination for INCEPTION. Who did?
Aronofsky for BLACK SWAN
Russell for THE FIGHTER
The Coen Brothers for TRUE GRIT
Tom Hooper for THE KING'S SPEECH
David Fincher for THE SOCIAL NETWORK

Here's where the real surprises begin:
Javier Bardem (Buitiful)
Jeff Bridges (True Grit)
Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)...WHAT?????????????
Colin Firth (The King's Speech)
James Franco (127 Hours)

I bet Jesse is just as shocked as we are! Personally, I am torn between his performance in ZOMBIELAND and ADVENTURELAND (filmed at Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh-West Mifflin, PA) as some of his best;) Yes, my tongue is firmly in my cheek, but this is so cool! Good for him!

Early predictions in this category are tough, and Dove and I will do our usual Oscar prediction blog right before the big event, but I am going with Jeff Bridges because we all love him so much. If I were going on performance alone, I would give it to Colin Firth. He outdid himself in this role.


Annette Bening (The Kid's are Alright)
Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone)
Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

All as expected, and this is a very difficult category. I love Jennifer Lawrence, but no one can ignore Natalie Portman's chilling portrayal. Annette Bening was delightful and convincing, so this will be a category to watch.


Christian Bale (The Fighter)
John Hawkes (Winter's Bone)
Jeremy Renner (The Town)....WHAT???? Seriously? They love you, Jeremy!
Mark Ruffalo (The Kid's are Alright)
Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech)

So...basically some of my favorite actors are up against each other in this category. I am so glad Mark Ruffalo got a nom here...and Geoffrey Rush and Christian Bale are two of my favorite actors as well. John Hawkes made a believer out of me with his performance...
This category is a complete toss up...


Melissa Leo and Amy Adams are up against each other (The Fighter)
Helena Bonham Carter (The King's Speech)
Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)
Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)

This is a fierce category. Jacki Weaver totally rocks, and I hope American audiences will see more of her. ANIMAL KINGDOM is one of those films you only really need to see once...that strong. You should see it, however. Hailee had HUGE shoes to fill, and she did it. Melissa and Amy have delivered two very different, but authentic performances...this will be tough. Helena-I don't care what role you are playing, you put a thousand percent in every portrayal, although my favorite is the completely barking mad Belatrix Le Strange:)

This category is too close to call.


How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

I know, TS3 has this wrapped up, but I really, really loved HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON.


Another Year
The Fighter
The King's Speech
The Kids are Alright

127 Hours
Toy Story 3
The Social Network
Winter's Bone
True Grit

I am sure Dove and I will discuss this at length. Very tough category.


Alice in Wonderland
The King's Speech
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 1)
True Grit

This is an impossibly difficult category, witnessed by the fact that we have 5, where in the past some of these technical categories are reduced to three nominations (I don't like that). Every single one of these films is beautifully shot...in very, very different ways. Personally, I would like to give an Oscar to every single one.


True Grit
The King's Speech
The Social Network
Black Swan

This one kinda has Falcon's feathers up...because of her personal BFA in Cinematography. Inception should definitely be here...as should Black Swan and The King's Speech. True Grit is a great film....in this category, I would have put something else in it's place. The Social Network...are you kidding me??? Come on?! Seriously?! Were there not other films during this year whose cinematography was not superior to this film? I can think of a few...more on that later.


The Tempest (LOVE this film)
The King's Speech
I am Love
Alice in Wonderland
True Grit

Very difficult category.

Exit Through the Gift Shop
Waste Land
Inside Job

Being from PA, obviously HUGE props to Josh Fox for this nomination for GASLAND. We are fighting for our lives here literally in PA and 22 other states with black shale gas acquisition and production. Water is sacred and the industry apparently doesn't mind poisoning us for profit...again. EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP is mighty strong, so this category rocks, as usual.


The Confession
The Crush
Na Wewe
God of Love
Wish 143

This is the best category of the best films of this year, in Falcon's humble opinion. NA WEWE takes place in Burundi in the early 1990s around genocide time. 'Nuff said. THE CRUSH proves 15 minute short films can change your life as you watch an 8 year old fight over his emotions...and his teacher. WISH 143 is directed by Ian Barnes and shows a lot of depth in a compressed space. All of these films are Oscar worthy.

Toy Story 3
True Grit
TRON: Legacy

This is an extremely difficult category to make the final cut. High praise for UNSTOPPABLE, (shot in and around Pittsburgh) because it definitely deserves to be on this list. INCEPTION was magnificent, nearly flawless. TRON: Legacy was extremely well edited (even with that 1980 electronica soundtrack running nearly throughout, but that honors the original, so I can't complain too much), and TRUE GRIT has its work cut out for it. TOY STORY 3...look, guys, animation is done differently than live action where sound is concerned...I just don't think these are in the same group together. Seriously, HP:7.1 (Deathly Hallows) should be here instead. It just isn't the same thing. Maybe there should be a separate category for animation and sound...this just isn't it.


True Grit
The King's Speech
The Social Network

All of these films had excellent efforts in this category. I wish this one could go to 10, too! :)


Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part one)
Iron Man Two

Okay, here is a real heavyweight category. ALICE is great in so many ways; we all know Tim Burton is one of the greatest creative geniuses of our time on film, and he just thrived with his team in this area. Inception is visually challenging and had some of the most challenging on location shoots of the year. Everything was seamless and a lot of this was OLD SKOOL-extremely high praise for this. HEREAFTER was beautifully rendered, especially recreating a tsunami; Iron Man II-fierce! HP: 7.1 has some of the strongest houses on the planet working on visual effects, and it was extremely impressive. Tough, honestly deserving films.


Biutiful (Aljandro Gonzalaz Inarritu) Mexico
Dogtooth (Giorgos Lanthimos) Greece
In a Better World (Susanne Bier) Denmark
Incendies ( Denis Villeneuve) Canada
Outside the Law (Rachid Bouchareb) Algeria

Those of you who frequent the blog know Falcon loves BIUTIFUL and I think this may be the winner...but, wait! How about the 2009 release DOGTOOTH which took forever to get here, but is worth the wait! I am so stoked that OUTSIDE THE LAW made the noms-A magnificent film by a director previously nominated for an Oscar, Rachid Bouchareb about Algiers fight for independence from France through the eyes of three brothers. Then, there is the Canadian film INCENDIES which takes place more in the Middle-east than Canada. Although in French, the film has a global, yet personal message for us all-family, trust, truth, and fight. This is a very strong category.

For a list of all the nominations, visit some of our favorites like:

SEE THESE FILMS! See as many as you can. It is very important for small, independent films to be seen. If you haven't seen BLACK SWAN, do Aronofsky a favor and see it; his team had a hard time getting this out in major distribution in a timely manner. It is worth the price...go.

There will be more from us as the time for the awards draws near.
Falcon and Dove