The Academy Awards 2012

Best Picture – The Artist

Well done, The Artist. A deserved win, no doubt. But, can it get any more predictable? Hardly. The Artist has been everyone’s favourite for a long time, and I am sure less than 0.006% expected the crew of ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ to stand up and collect the Award.

Actor in a Leading Role – Jean Dujardin (The Artist)

This was a close call as everyone has predicted. Jean Dujardin sweeps the Oscar, leaving George Clooney hoping that he would have another chance in his lifetime to play someone who is as much troubled as his hero in ‘The Descendants’ for a chance to win.

Actress in a Leading Role – Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)

Given that the British television was proclaiming with utmost certainty that Streep was going to be a winner (how they knew that?), few surprises here, at least for the British audience. Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astounding seventeen times, and this is her third win. Taking into account Streep’s “very humble” winning speech, however, I think most people have already forgiven her.

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“A Dangerous Method” Review

A Dangerous Method (2011)

With ‘A Dangerous Method’, David Cronenberg (director) has the plan to immerse the audience into the world of a forbidden love affair and an intellectual discourse on the fascinating topic of human psychiatry. The film follows the complicated working relationship between two of the most prominent psychoanalysts of the 20th century, Professor Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Dr Jung (Michael Fassbender), as well as shows Dr Jung’s sophisticated affair with his “hysterical” Russian patient Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley). Although nearly all the actors in the movie give praise-worthy performances, the film is also emotionally empty, predictable and, ironically, generally uninteresting. 

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Oscars 2012: Is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close the worst best picture nominee ever?

 

“Stephen Daldry’s post-9/11 drama is almost universally reviled, but the Academy has a history of nominating some dreadful films for the top prize, and often ignoring future classic. If there is to be a prize for the best picture at this year’s Oscars, then why not one for the worst? To make a great film is difficult and therefore worthy of honour. But to make a bad film that gulls the voters into thinking it’s great is no mean feat either. It may not be noble, but you have to admire the chutzpah.

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“The Year of Living Dangerously” Review

The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)

Peter Weir’s ‘The Year of Living Dangerously’, starring Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hunt, is an underrated romantic drama set in the backdrop to Indonesia’s political unrest in the mid-1960s when the country was making its transition to the so-called ‘New Order’. The film, based on the novel by Christopher Koch, was, therefore, banned in Indonesia until 1999.

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“Revolutionary Road” Review

Revolutionary Road (2008)

**SPOILER ALERT**

‘…The nice young Wheelers on Revolutionary Road, the nice young revolutionaries on Wheeler Road…’ (John Givings in ‘Revolutionary Road’).

This is not the most famous line from Richard Yates’s critically-acclaimed novel ‘Revolutionary Road’, but one of my favourite ones. The 2008 film adaptation of this novel, directed by Sam Mendes, though deemed by critics as “something way too much coming way too late“, is nevertheless, a brilliant, underrated drama set in the mid-1950s in Connecticut, USA.

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“Anonymous” Review

Anonymous (2011)

To be, or not to be, that is the question’‘Anonymous’ is a film set in the Elizabethan era, and revolves around the idea that Shakespeare may not be the one who wrote his plays and poems. The theory here is that Shakespearean plays were written by 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, and then passed on to the intermediary, by the name of Benjamin Johnson, who then passed it on to Shakespeare, who staged the plays, taking full credit for each of them. 

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“War Horse” Mini-Review

War Horse (2011)     

Directed by Steven Spielberg (‘Schindler’s List‘ (1993), ‘Saving Private Ryan‘ (1998)) and based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, ‘War Horse’ is a moving picture about the strong ties of friendship which develop between a boy and his horse. The film begins with the boy’s father, Ted Narracott (Peter Mullan), buying a horse, Joey, at a horse market for a very high price. Young Albert (Jeremy Irvine) becomes instantly attached to the talented Joey and teaches him to plough to try to pay the family’s rent in Devon. When the war breaks out, however, Joey is sold to the army, but not before young Albert promises Joey to honour their friendship, and to find him someday. Although the film is full of sentimentality, it is also entertaining and heart-warming.

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