I am less interested in the Oscars this year than in any previous year since I moved to Tinseltown. Most years, I would try to see all the nominees for Best Picture as well as those films whose directors and leading and supporting actors got nods. This year, I might have seen all the Best Picture nominees had the Academy not decided to up the number of nominees to 10 (perhaps so as to include two pictures with the adverb/preposition, “up,” in the title).
(I agree with Roger Simon on the expansion of the number of nominees: “It’s kind of like movie business ‘grade inflation.’ And like most ‘grade inflation,’ it waters down the results.“)
Given that I’ve only seen two of the movies with best acting nods (Crazy Heart and The Hurt Locker), three with best actress (Julie & Julia, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire and The Blind Side), one for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Inglourious Basterds), two for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Crazy Heart and Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire), perhaps I am not the best guy to comment on all this.
Of all the performances I’ve seen, any of the performers could honorably take home the Oscar. I’ll be pulling for Sandra Bullock, largely because, among this talented group, she is the eldest who has not yet taken home a statuette. And, well, because I like her. I saw Crazy Heart this weekend and absolutely loved Jeff Bridges‘ performance, but then I always love him, so I’m pulling for “The Dude.”
Maggie Gyllenhaal was, as always, wonderful and particularly charming, but, well, I’m pulling for Mo’Nique. She spent the entirety of Prccious, well, almost the entirety, playing an unloving bitch, a domineering mother who couldn’t show the least bit of maternal affection for her daughter, then, in the penultimate scene, reveals the vulnerable human being behind the bitch. It is a heart-rendering scene and well played, very well, played. While this comedienne (excelling in a dramatic role!) had more screen time than Beatrice Straight when she won the same award for Network 34 years ago, like that late great actress, it’s one scene where she just blows her competition out of the water.
Now, save for Mo’Nique’s performance, I’ll be pulling for actors as much because of my affection for them as for their on-screen performance. I’ve long liked Bridges and Bullock. To be sure, each deserves the honor. It’s just my affection that tips the scales. And I wonder if such factors also play a part in the votes of the Academy Members.
To show you just why I like Sandra Bee, take a look at her accepting her Razzie for Worst Actress in All About Steve:
Baby, she’s got it.
Via Entertainment Weekly.