Are you watching the Academy Awards this Sunday? If so, here’s some great trivia and such to get you pumped for the big event. As you already know, “The King’s Speech” is my favorite film of the year, so I’m rooting for it all the way. But here are some of my other favorites I will be cheering on as well.
Black Swan.” I loved Natalie Portman’s performance in this film and truly believe she is the rightful winner of the Best Actress award this year. Also Darren Aronofsky actually managed to turn a film about ballet into a smash hit. Amazing! Portman’s turn as a perfectionist ballerina given her first lead role in “Swan Lake,” only to become paranoid about a new dancer in the company stealing it from her, is really the child-to-adult actress’s best film to date. She lost 20 pounds to play the part (something she is glad to be the complete opposite of now with her pregnancy).
True Grit” really deserved a Best Actress nomination, but unfortunately, in Hollywood politics, the film’s marketing decided to submit her for Best Supporting Actress, as they knew she couldn’t beat out Portman. But Steinfeld truly is the leading star of “Grit.” Playing Mattie Ross, the young girl out for revenge on her father’s murderer, she holds her own with costars Jeff Bridges (who should be in the Best Supporting Actor category) and Matt Damon in her debut film.
Toy Story 3.” Even though it would be awesome for it to win the Best Picture Oscar, it will definitely win for Best Animated Feature at least. And thank goodness, because I feel it is the pinnacle of Pixar’s talent. My favorite films of Pixar are still “Finding Nemo” and “Wall-e” but “Toy Story 3” is close on their heels. It’s the heart of the story, like the other two, that get me the most. Little Andy has grown up and now both he and his toys must move on. But will they be loved again or just thrown away? It’s a story that made even my dad sniffle and tear up at the end.
Toy Story 2,” the animators couldn’t use the original base models for all the characters. So instead they had to recreate them all from scratch. Disney had been working on a third installment to “Toy Story” many years before Pixar though. During the two groups falling out from 2004-2005, Disney developed its own sequel without the Pixar crew. In this version, Buzz had a defect and was shipped to Taiwan for repair. But when the toys learn that the company is just tossing the old Buzzes and replacing them with new ones, they all ship themselves overseas to save Buzz. Luckily, when Pixar and Disney made up, they scrapped all ideas from that brief time and started over from scratch.
So, I hope this has revved you up for the big day on Sunday. Will all your favorites win? Will mine? Or will Hollywood just implode upon itself? (Hey, you never know…you never know.) Whatever the outcome, I hope you all have a fun time watching. See you next week with more great Hollywood history. Later, gators!
(Post-tidbit: “Toy Story 3” director Lee Unkrich's kids got to help their dad out with the film. His son Max wrote Daisy's name on Big Baby's pendent, as well as Bonnie's name on her backpack, and the others drew all the pictures in Bonnie's room.)