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Archive for February 28th, 2010

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Oscar@ Statues
[Editor’s Note; The Poll Will Change When A Different Oscar@ Category Is Posted.]

Sam Juliano’s Sums Up Why He Predicts Sandra Bullock, Will Win…For Best Actress.
By Sam Juliano…
The ‘Best Actress in a Leading Role’ category is the year’s most intriguing acting category, and the one boasting in an overall sense the strongest performances.  It’s also the one category with a number of terrific performances left on the sidelines, and the one contest that isn’t quite locked up, even with a firm favorite emerging.

Three performances in films from abroad richly deserved recognition, but were left out. Yolande Moreau, who portrayed a real-life turn-of-the-century artist in southern France named ‘Seraphine’ in the film of the same name; Abbie Cornish, who delivered a deeply moving performance as John Keats’s lover in the last years of his life in Jane Campion’s ravishing Bright Star,
and Catalina Saavedra, delivered a quietly-evocative performance as a family servant in the Chilean The Maid. 

Ms. Moreau won the prestigious Best Actress from the National Society of Film Critics, while both Ms. Cornish and Ms. Saavedra have won a bevy of critical accolades for their work.  A fourth omission here also deserves mentioning, and that’s Emily Blunt, who has been widely-praised for her work in The Young Victoria. According to Sam Juliano…

…Among the actual nominees, one can’t really assert that any are undeserving, though the “favorite” at this point, Sandra Bullock…Continue Below

According to Sam Juliano,…As Sofya Tolstoy, the wife of the great Russian author of War and Peace, Helen Mirren again brings her singular classical charm to her role as a stormy partner of the eccentric writer, and the performance is charismatic and stylish in the best Mirren style. 
But having won just a few years ago for The Queen, it’s doubtful the voters would honor her again.  Still, the nomination here is richly-deserved, and for me it’s one of the best of the year.

Veteran icon Meryl Streep, who has already won the Best Actress prize from the NY Film Critics Circle and the LA Film Critics Association for this performance, was originally thought to be the clear favorite for the win as the famous cook Julia Child in Julie and Julia, where she plays opposite Stanley Tucci, in a stylish accented turn, at least until Bullock gained strong momentum. 

Streep has a record number of nominations, and has won twice for Sophie’s Choice and Kramer vs. Kramer, so many voters would rather cast their vote elsewhere. 
Streep’s popularity in the actor’s branch is also rather questionable, so she seems to be a poor bet at this stage to come away with a win, though it’s still possible.

As the title character in Precious, newcomer Gabourey Sidibe plays the Harlem teenger sexually and physically abused in the sordid drama, and she delivers a compelling performance.  But as her mother, the actress
Mo’Nique is a practical shoe-in, and voters won’t likely want to award the same film a second acting prize, though a long-shot upset win is still possible, as her candid work here has been critically-praised and popular with moviegoers.

Many prognosticators are still holding out for an upset by Carey Mulligan, who gives a winning performance as “Jenny” in the British hit An
Education,
set in 1960’s London. 

Jenny finds out much about her schooling and through a relationship with an older Jewish man, which certainly accentuates the meaning of the film’s title. Oscar voters have a long-standing tradition of voting for the “Babe” when a promising young actress is among the nominees, and this one’s British to boot.  With a large British contingent in AMPAS, there is a fair chance at a surprise here, especially since there won’t be in the other acting categories.

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Here Goes The Nominated Roles…In Alphabetical Order…
Nominated Role

Helen.jpg
As Sofya, Helen Mirren portrays the wife of author Leo Tolstoy, in a woman locked in a battle with her husband’s admirers over the disposition of his royalties in… The Last Station.

Academy Awards History
This is the fourth Academy Award nomination for Helen Mirren. She was previously nominated for:
The Queen (2006) — Winner, Actress in a Leading Role
Gosford Park (2001) — Nominee, Actress in a Supporting Role
The Madness of King George (1994) — Nominee, Actress in a Supporting Role

Nominated Role
/careymulligan.jpg
Carey Mulligan plays Jenny, an English schoolgirl who is seduced by the charms of an older man in…An Education.

Academy Awards History
This is the first Academy Award nomination for Carey Mulligan.

Nominated Role…
Gabourey.jpg
As Precious, Gabourey Sidibe, plays a pregnant teenager who struggles to overcome years of abuse at the hands of her parents in…Precious.

Academy Awards History
This is the first Academy Award nomination for Gabourey Sidibe.

Nominated Role…
/Merylstreep1.jpg

Meryl Streep portrays cookbook author Julia Child, whose years in France with her husband inspire her to study the art of French cooking…in Julie and Julia.

Academy Awards History
This is the sixteenth Academy Award nomination for Meryl Streep. She was previously nominated for:
Doubt (2008) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
The Devil Wear Prada (2006) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
Adaptation (2002) — Nominee, Actress in a Supporting Role
Music of the Heart (1999) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
One True Thing (1998) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
The Bridges of Madison County (1995) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
Postcards From The Edge (1990) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
A Cry in the Dark (1988) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
Ironweed (1987) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
Out of Africa (1985) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
Silkwood (1983) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
Sophie’s Choice (1982) — Winner, Actress in a Leading Role
The French Lietieutenant’s Woman (1981) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979) — Winner, Actress in a Supporting Role
The Deer Hunter (1978) — Nominee, Actress in a Supporting Role

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Sam Juliano…Predicts The Winner Will Be…Actress Sandra Bullock
According to Sam Juliano…


…Among the actual nominees, one can’t really assert that any are undeserving, though the “favorite” at this point, Sandra Bullock, may well have given the most pedestrian performance of the lot. Bullock, who was always more revered for her beauty than her acting talent, plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, the wife of a wealthy Memphis couple who eventually adopt an African-American football player after taking a compassionate interest in and providing some coaching. For many this was an inspirational performance; for others it was stereotypical. But there’s little question that it’s one of Bullock’s strongest performances, and it’s wildly popular. At this point, Bullock has established herself as a firm favorite, especially after her Golden Globe and SAG, wins.

Nominated Role
8/sandra.jpg
Sandra Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy,
a suburban mom who takes in a homeless African-American teenager and encourages his talents as a football player in the… Blindside.
Academy Awards History
This is the first Academy Award nomination for Sandra Bullock.

Sam Juliano…Predicts The Winner Will Be: Sandra Bullock, in The Blind Side.
Sam Juliano’s Personal Choice: Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Note: My own top performance of the year was by Abbie Cornish for ‘Bright Star’ but she wasn’t nominated. And my second favorite was by Yolande Moreau, another non-nominee.

Now that Sam Juliano, have announced his prediction…Now it’s your turn to go over to the poll and vote too!
Do you agree with Sam Juliano’s prediction? If not, tell the Wonders in the Dark readers, Why not (?)…or tell them why you do agree with Sam Juliano’s prediction.
Once Again,
Thanks,
The images are courtesy of  Oscar@.com

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by Allan Fish

(USA 1929 6m) DVD1/2

Tonight’s the night the boney men have their picnic

p  Walt Disney  d  Walt Disney, Ub Iwerks  Carl W.Stalling

Of all the entries in this list representing the often overlooked art of the animated short or cartoon, picking a favourite would be an unenviable task.  How can one choose between the work of the incomparable Tex Avery, several of whose masterpieces are rightly included in this seclection?  Or Warners’ own maestro Chuck Jones, mastermind behind Daffy, Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny and so many others?  Or the Tom and Jerry cartoons of Fred Quimby that set Hanna and Barbera on their way.  Those of a more eclectic animated taste might think of Canadian animator Norman McLaren, whose Begone Dull Care is at the very least, a masterpiece of the art.  Or early pioneer Winsor McKay.  Yet when most people think of animation milestones, they think of Disney, so it seems somehow appropriate my favourite should be a Disney short.  Yet when I think of Disney’s cartoons, it’s not Mickey (even in his immortal Steamboat Willie), Donald, Goofy and co. who come to mind, but his incredible Silly Symphonies.  Hence we turn to the wonderful tin DVD set presented by the irrepressible Leonard Maltin and take the plunge.  (more…)

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