Director Danny Boyle outdid himself again with “127 Hours,” creating a visually stunning film about the will to survive. James Franco delivers a moving performance, but will most likely not take home the “Best Actor” award on Oscar night thanks to some tough competition.
Nominated for best actress, Natalie Portman certainly deserves praise for her turn as an obsessively dedicated ballerina taking on the biggest performance of her life. While Director Darren Aronofsky may not have topped himself, he has maintained a level of quality with his distinct, dark style.
Offering a fresh feel for a stale, overdone genre, “The Fighter” is filled with flawless performances and perfect direction. Among the best is Christian Bale, who completely reinvents himself and will hopefully walk away with the “Best Supporting Actor” award.
Director Christopher Nolan was the major snub of this year’s ceremony. Anyone who can create some of the jaw-dropping scenes displayed in “Inception” deserves at least a nomination. Despite its intricate details and stunning action sequences, “Inception” will probably walk away with very little.
The Kids Are All Right
This tale of two moms raising a family maintained a heartfelt and comedic feel, while bringing in some expert performances from its leads. The most impressive aspect of “The Kids Are All Right” is its script, which is decorated with rich dialogue.
The King’s Speech
Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush deliver some of the best performances of their careers in this true story of a stuttering king overcoming adversity during a pivotal moment in history. “The King’s Speech” will most likely win the “Best Picture” award this year and royally deserves it.
The Social Network
Who thought Jesse Eisenberg could play Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg so well? “The Social Network” is a fine example of how to make what could be a very boring film into an engaging and intellectually complex masterpiece. Director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin need to continue collaborating.
Toy Story 3
Just when you thought you couldn’t love the “Toy Story” franchise any more, “Toy Story 3” comes along and changes everything. Pixar continues to make emotionally powerful films accessible to all ages. Sadly, it probably won’t win the “Best Picture” award. However, winning “Best Animated Feature” is a no-brainer.
Despite not being able to comprehend a single word from Jeff Bridges’ drunken cowboy character, “True Grit” is a wonderfully directed western that demands attention. The Coen Brothers have done better, but young actress Hailee Steinfeld needs to win an award for her performance.
This sleeper hit is a gripping, must-see film that any movie-lover will enjoy. Following the story of a 17-year-old heroine struggling to save her family, “Winter’s Bone” deserves all of the attention it has received, but will most likely not take home the “Best Picture” award.