This year I feel less embarrassed than I normally do after
the Oscar nominations announcements, getting
fewer prognostications wrong
- four - than my usual six or more misfires. On the other hand, those I got
wrong were really the ones that would have taken any genuine acumen to figure
out. So as it stands I got 31 out of 35, around 88%, or a B+ average.
But first the results of this year's "Where's Whitey?" award for Best
Animal Performance of 2010. Despite a late surge from such newcomers as
the chicken in "The Social Network" and "the donkey, the llama,and especially the two cats in Jean-Luc Godard's 'Film Socialisme,'" which unfortunately had to be disqualified because it didn't open here yet, the overwhelming winner was "Little Blackie" from the Coen Brothers' "True Grit."
The Golden Globes, regarded as a bellwether of the Oscars
is the Hollywood Foreign Press Association? Who
are these people? No one ever answers), came up with their nominations today,
and on the plus side five of the six Boston-accented performances I noted as
potential Academy nominees got nods: Mark Wahlberg for Best Actor, Melissa Leo
and Amy Adams for Best Supporting Actress and Christian Bale for Best
Supporting Acto -- all from "The Fighter"
(like its subject Micky Ward, a powerful late round contender, also getting in
the Best Picture and Best Director races).
Persecuted filmmaker Jafar Panahi
finally got his day in court a couple of weeks ago, whatever that might mean in
the Iranian justice system, and released a statement defending
his right to create such amoral, treasonous films as "Offside" (2007)
and "Crimson Gold." (2003). In
it he said in part, "[Y]ou are putting not only us on trial but the socially
conscious, humanistic, and artistic Iranian cinema as well, a cinema which
tries to stay beyond good and evil, a cinema that does not judge nor surrender
to power or money but tries to honestly reflect a realistic image of the
Laugh, cry, or gasp -- in horror, delight, or incredulity -- but chances
are you won't be bored by Darren Aronofsky's sui generis extravaganza, "Black
Swan." He feels pretty good about it, anyway: he's relaxed, dapper looking with his new
moustache, and cracking jokes as he answers questions at a press conference for the
film at the appropriately rococo, near kitschy lobby of Hollywood's Pantages
Maybe I'm getting a little soft, but I can't remember
getting the heebie-jeebies as often at the movies as in this past year.
Whatever the reason, I figure it's time to honor some of those screen moments
that are truly excruciating. And to do so, as my colleague Brett Michel
suggested, what better icon than the sliced eyeball in Luis Buñuel and Salvador
Dali's "Un Chien Andalou?"
according to a recent "Newsweek" cover story,
has turned inward.The article points to Americans' disinterest in foreign
policy (only 3% in a poll think Afghanistan might be worth worrying about) to make its argument, but had
the story come out after the election, it might also have noted the voter
apathy, Tea Partiers notwithstanding, that resulted in 45 million fewer ballots
being cast in the 2010 Congressional races than in 2008.