The Oscars – the biggest event on the film calender. Full of celebrities, glamour and dry written acceptance speeches, every year the ceremony makes a name for itself due to one reason or another.
Sadly nowadays it seems the hype before the ceremony often determines the awards, which is a real shame (especially this year as the best film selection was a stupid mistake). But with the ceremony now a few days ago some writers of the Screen team have finally broken their silence and given their considered reactions to the most prestigious awards. Enjoy.
Tom Wardak covers the Best Film and Director awards
Best Picture: The King’s Speech
There are only three certainties in this universe: death, taxes, and The King’s Speech winning the Best Picture Oscar. In a year crammed with innovative, inventive, and truly ground-breaking films, the Academy awarding the gilded man to a movie so drab and formulaic isn’t just a back-step from last year’s Hurt Locker win—it’s a veritable moonwalk. This isn’t the Best Picture; it’s the Best Picture Designed to Win Best Picture.
Best Director: Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech)
Forget about this category; it became invalid when Inception’s Christopher Nolan wasn’t even nominated. Sure, Inception wasn’t the life-changing event some make it out to be, but it was the most stylishly directed film of 2010 and The King’s Speech is dry toast in comparison. Don’t worry Chris—Hitchcock never won either.
Coral Williamson covers the Best Leading and Supporting Actor awards:
Best Actor: Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
It would have been nice to see James Franco win for 127 Hours, if only to see how he would handle it since he was also co-host, but it was a long shot at best. If The King’s Speech deserved any of the four Oscars it left with, this would be it. Colin Firth was the best part of the film, and was due an Oscar after missing out last year.
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale (The Fighter)
For Christian Bale to win his first ever Oscar nomination is a sign of how much he deserved it for his role in ‘The Fighter’. His energy playing Dicky, brother to Wahlberg’s Micky Ward, almost completely overshadowed Wahlberg in every shared scene. Plus, it goes without saying that, after his leaked tirades of abuse, people must have been too scared not to give Bale an Oscar.
Ellen Jurczak covers the Leading and Supporting Actress categories
Best Leading Actress: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Surprising? No. Deserved? Definitely. Portman trained for the role of ballerina Nina for a year, and even with the whispers of her face being CGI-ed onto a professional’s body it was never really in doubt that her transition from sweet, naive white swan to ruthless, seductive black swan by way of extreme paranoia and lots of looking in mirrors was award-worthy. Also points for looking so spectacular while so heavily pregnant.
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Living up to her portrayal of Micky Ward’s foul-mouthed mother, Leo was the first winner of the night to drop the ‘f-bomb.’ Her steely, over-bearing and ferocious performance earned her the award, though this was a tough category also including her onscreen sparring partner Amy Adams, the wonderful Helena Bonham-Carter, fantastic newcomer Hailee Steinfield and, playing a similarly domineering matriarchal role to Leo herself, Jacki Weaver.
Tom Fletcher covers the Original and Adapted Screenplay awards (NOTE – Two categories which were both won this year by adapted screenplays. Odd that…)
Best Original Screenplay: The King’s Speech
Evidently the Academy are still suckers for films fuelling the stereotype that we British are all stammering, scone eating toffs who adore the Royal Family. How a sensationally written portrait of our wildest dreams that fascinated millions (Inception) was deemed inferior a 1940s Royalist adaptation of Gareth Gates’ Pop Idol campaign is baffling beyond words. Sir Nolan, you were robbed.
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network
Whether you like it, loathe it, or couldn’t give a hoot about it, social networking has become a staple of modern society. So there was never a better time for The Social Network to be released. Granted, its historical accuracy is questionable, and they did cast Justin Timberlake as something other than a dead tree. But nonetheless, Aaron Sorkin’s script is insightful, relevant and hugely entertaining.
Rowan Ramsden rounds up the major awards with Cinematography and Best Original Score:
Cinematography Award: Inception
Last year, Avatar overwhelmed audiences with its technical advancement. Its, apparently, ‘seamless’ 3D meant critics stopped being analytical and voted on mere aesthetic. This year, it’s happened again. Inception, which isn’t half as clever as it thinks it is, took home the Oscar. Don’t get me wrong, cinematographer Wally Pfister is an absolute genius but some clever CGI and technical wizardry shouldn’t guarantee you accolades. True Grit should have won.
Best Original Score: The Social Network
When a film score is done right, you barely notice it. It blends seamlessly into the final product, holding the film together. All this year’s nominees excluding, perhaps, How to train your Dragon, deserved to win. Best Original Score eventually went to, Oscar new-boy and Nine Inch Nails front-man, Trent Reznor. His eerie and, somewhat, avante-garde score for The Social Network beat Hans Zimmer’s Inception soundtrack to the top stop. Pre-Oscars, Zimmer claimed, ‘he so doesn’t care about awards’. In hindsight that’s a good job really, isn’t it Hans?
And the other winners were:
Best Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3
Art Direction: Alice in Wonderland
Costume Design: Alice in Wonderland
Documentary Feature: Inside Job
Documentary Short: Strangers No More
Film Editing: The Social Network
Best Foreign Language Film: In a Better World
Makeup: The Wolfman
Music (original song): Toy Story 3
Short Film (animated): The Lost Thing
Short Film (live action): God of Love
Sound Editing: Inception
Sound Mixing: Inception
Visual Effects: Inception