Oscar season is approaching (Feb. 27) and with it comes the opportunity to get caught up on the year’s best films. Below are a few that I believe will be mentioned frequently during this year’s Oscars.
The Social Network – When you make a movie about a utility that caters to nearly 500 million users its easy to gain a captive audience. The Social Network took a storyline that has defined an era and gave it the back-story that only few could dream.
Early on you learn of the incredible intelligence of Mark Zuckerburg and the lengths with which he will fight for an idea that was more borrowed than stolen. The Social Network is built upon not only the capitalist mentality of a growing business but the youthfulness that comes when such an idea is born in the halls of a college campus. Its innovative storyline gives the finished product a bit of sex appeal and the longing of everyone in the audience who has had aspirations of building a company from the ground up. Jesse Eisenberg gives a spectacular performance as Mark Zuckerberg.
Black Swan – During the filming of Black Swan Natalie Portman fractured two ribs and received a concussion. During the actual film she seemed to have lost her mind. Black Swan is a pretty crazy story as far as ballet, psycho-sexual thriller’s go. If you have seen a lot of those types of film you will be interested to follow the story of Nina Sayer’s (Portman) who battles not only herself but fellow ballerina Lily (Mila Kunis). The storyline becomes troublesome for Nina when she decides to unleash the necessary emotions to create the perfect transposed White and Black Swan in Dostoyevsky’s Swan Lake.
The Kings Speech – What are some of the attributes of a good leader: experience, accountability, maybe talking so that people can understand you? The latter is the problem for King George VI played by Colin Firth in his most notable performance since A Single Man gained him similar recognition last year. Firth takes on the help of a speech therapist Lionel Logue played by Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean, Munich, Shakespeare in Love) and 30 minutes later confidence ensues. You might see some acknowledgement for costume and design because the sets are very authentic given the time period of the movie (1930’s). The director, Tom Hooper has some experience with non-fiction production as he directed the HBO series John Adams in 2008.
Inception – There are few movies you can watch once and then have someone say, “So when the movie started was he dreaming or not?” and it totally change the way you watch it the second time. Then you might interpret a quote from his wife the second time and it changes the way you watch the movie the third time. Then you gain appreciation for Architecture that bends like a fruit roll-up and trains that drive though heavy traffic and pretty soon you have lost four Saturday’s and your water has been turned off. I’d say that’s worthy of some Oscar buzz.
The Fighter – Christian Bale delivers a performance that is almost as frustrating as it is compelling. As a former boxer turned drug attic Dicky Eklund (Bale) serves as the big brother that taught Ward (Wahlberg) nearly everything he knows. Drug abuse was one thing Ward managed to steer clear of and his brother’s lack of sobriety nearly turns the family against each other. Bale recoups his drug-ridden life in one final attempt to help his brother make it back to the national stage Dicky Eklund once gained. Amy Adams serves as an interested girlfriend that is looking to keep Ward from the gutter and out of brother Dicky’s path. Based on the true story of Boston borough native Ricky Ward.