Category Archives: Heloise Oscar Picks

Olivia Spencer wins Oscar

Ove Overmyer With Melissa Harris-PerryThat’s a big deal and a big gal. I could have predicted as much when I blogged my review for The Help.

If you have not seen the movie you can get it from Netflix.  It is worth the time.  Her character was alive, real and not corny in the least.  I don’t know what problem Melissa Harris has with the film but she said the acting was good. 

Take it from a reviewer who gets it right most of the time: Spencer gave an Oscar-worthy performance.  You can take that to the bank. 

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Not on my pick list: Banksy

The Movie “Exit through the shop door” is nominated for something on Oscar night. I tried to watch it on streaming Netflix but it was dull and crazy so I skipped out on it early. I don’t see this guy winning anything.

Review: The Social Network–glorified drugs, sex and stealing

Review: The Social Network first on blogcritics.org

Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) the perfect geek in an imperfect film is about as socially secure as an autistic child who let go of his daddy’s hand at the Texas State fair. A lost boy with a twist…he can program drunk as a skunk and in his sleep. The Internet as social network is a jungle and he is about to tame it with “The Facebook.”

But before Facebook there was “Facemash” a devious invention by the future creator of Facebook depicted as an odious deed done, while drunk, as rejection revenge. While we cannot verify the revenge part, we can enjoy the stealing to come as Mark lets out a howl to “let the hacking begin” before he settles in to rock the social network world that includes MySpace and Friendster. After this initial hacking episode, with its infamous crashing of the Harvard server with 22,000 hits in an hour, Mark escalates the game. He begins to steal outright the very idea for a site from the Winklevoss twins and their Indian partner. They approach him with an idea for “he Harvard Connect.” Mark instantly snaps the picture from one meeting with them, then repaints the walls and calls it The Facebook.  His only legal defense later: “I never used a line of their code to create Facebook.”

The Social Network deprecates this poor geek in the esteem of the audience.  It dishes on the long arm of Mark—an arm that snakes around his best friend Eduardo Saverin, (Andrew Garfield) so he can easily stab him in the back face-to-Facebook. Saverin sues Zuckerberg in court and is the main informant for Mezrich’s book, who by his admission did not speak directly to Zuckerberg, although he tried to contact him for a year without success.

That’s a problem because The Social Network is an adopted screenplay from the novel The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal, by Ben Mezrich. It aids and abets the downfall of this biopic, if there is any, with far too much license taken served in the form of nonexistent sexual cocktails. Sexual intrigue for the hell of it is like a fallen soufflé. You anticipate beauty and scrumptious yet if it falls it is hardly fit to serve your guests! However ugly, its taste remains intact, you cut it—you like it, it likes you back.

Harvard’s buzz beginning in 2003 and the “Facebook me” meme that sweeps the major Ivy universities in the USA and England is the best part of this interesting classic take on generation XY ME.  My take: I think that if Facebook fell into the discovery genre it would be Nobel Prize worthy.  It is, at the very least—Internet cream that rises up to and over the top. It makes you fat and lazy but you gotta have it.

The verdict is out on whether or not too much fantasy and fiction has been blended with the real tableau of the youngest billionaire on earth. Did the screenplay, director David Fincher, and well-cast actors get it right? We know that the extreme womanizing is fiction, but not Mark’s involvement with Sean Parker (played brilliantly by Justin Timberlake), the co-founder of Napster (so dubbed because of his curly hair).  He finds, according to the film, Mark on Facebook so that he can objectify his brilliant book, the Facebook. And in one cool scene he quips to Mark to “drop the ‘the’–it’s cleaner.”

That which is nonfiction, in this film, the pitting of two lone Jews against twin rich WASP Harvard crew members is set in stark black and white terms all the way to England. There is no grey zone in stealing the Facebook formula from the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler (Arnie Hammer in dual roles). Mark’s stealing however does not end with them.

He just can’t control himself and his strong passionate will goes beyond the pale when he throws Eduardo under the bus while he is busy beating the bushes in New York City for advertisers. While on the West coast Mark and Sean are drumming up investors to launch the offices of Facebook in Palo Alto country. Living on the posh Camino Real exit Mark cooks up the Facebook in its final form by adding the wall, reincorporating, setting stock percent shares, dropping  “the” and hawking ads on a Website that will bring him billions.  

Like unfettered faces of cute babies you don’t want to miss, so too the hacking, evasive, boy-genius Mark is a sight to behold. Einsenberg’s Mark lights up the screen with a very dark brooding image. He speaks a distinct monotone and aims his deadpan delivery of scorching, sarcastic lines to everyone he encounters. He works hard to make people hate him. And they do. Like most smart people he and those around him talk at light speed, every word a strike and the repartee bordering on brilliant at times from these accidental billionaires. So be careful you don’t accidentally miss this film. It will make you smarter. Run time 121 minutes, rated R for sex, drug use, language.

Final footnote:  There was ONE black person in the whole  film. President Summers secretary! WTF. no blacks at Harvard in the 1990s? Ans yes, it was made plain that Mark is an evil Jew. And when you see the movie you will recall how spot-on this review has been. They drink all through the damn thing.  It glorifies drugs, sex and stealing.

Read more: http://blogcritics.org/video/article/movie-review-the-social-network1/page-2/#ixzz11LViogTt

I had a “Sandra Bullock” moment at the grocery store today

I made a quick run to the store this morning to buy some red meat to boost my blood level (meat is nasty) and I was like two inches away and staring face to face with a young woman who was the spitting image of Sandra Bullock. I started to ask her if anyone ever told her that but I didn’t. I just stared at her and thought…what a great omen for Sandra.

I won’t say good luck because it’s just good fate.

Heloise’s Oscar Picks 2010–updated

I know you’ve been waiting for this my Oscar picks. At this writing I have seen damn near all the top ten. First here are the top 10  Best Picture bunch that I’ve seen (some reviews here, some at blogcritics.org)

The Blind Side (bc review)

District 9

An Education (bc review)

The Hurt Locker

Precious (bc review)

A Serious Man (bc review)

Up

Up in the Air (bc review)

Avatar (bc review)

Pretty impressive so far? I’ve seen most of the major films this year. Okay here are my picks. An asterisk in front of category means I saw this performance/film.  A double asterisk mean high confidence, no brainer win and also saw performance.

*LEADING ACTOR:  Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart

*SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christopher Plummer for The Last Station (my pick)

I think the odds on fav is Christoph Waltz for Inglorious Basterds (I did not see this film and I don’t want the film to win a damn thing, but CW is cute and a good actor)

**LEADING ACTRESS: Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side

**SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Mo’Nique for Precious etc.

*ANIMATED FEATURE: Up

ART DIRECTION: Nine

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Avatar

COSTUME DESIGN: Nine

*DIRECTING: Avatar

*DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Food, Inc.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT:  The Last Truck, The Closing of a GM Plant (pure guess)

FILM EDITING: Avatar

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Un Prophete

MAKEUP: The Young Victoria

*ORIGINAL SCORE: Avatar

ORIGINAL SONG: The Weary Kind, from Crazy Heart

SHORT FILM ANIMATED: French Roast (pure guess)

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: The Door (pure guess)

SOUND EDITING: Avatar

SOUND MIXING: Avatar

VISUAL EFFECTS: Avatar

SCREENPLAY ADAPTED: An Education

SCREENPLAY ORIGINAL:  The Hurt Locker

BEST PICTURE: Avatar

Oscar Beat: All About The BUzz

Not since 1943 has a white hot field of ten contenders for Best Picture shared the Oscar nomination spotlight.  In 1944 it reverted back to five. Casablanca took home the statue as a strong movie in a strong field. Just how well are the stars aspected this year? Will the mercurial host Alex Baldwin go retrograde? What Venus or Mars will station themselves at the microphone? As for the 2009 box office take —will there ever be another eclipse of the sum?

Open the envelope please — things are looking Up for this expanded category. And that’s part of the buzz in Hollywood this year. More movies, more fun, more actors feeding at the golden trough in a blockbuster year. A blue Avatar has come to the rescue of the silver screen to the tune of a billion dollars. And it was not the work of A Single Man, but A Serious Man by the name of James Cameron. He and his ex-wife’s work will vie for best picture. I hope nobody gets The Hurt Locker. It’s all Up In The Air anyway.

That being said, this blogger believes that the biggest buzz will be a first-time nod and win for deserving actress Sandra Bullock. Fortune may smile on Sandra, not because she is cocky or cooking in the same kitchen as Julie & Julia, but because she’s simultaneously nominated for a Razzie this year for her role in All About Steve. I don’t think Meryl Streep will mind sharing the pot. She’s still got it. Streep will be stepping out with Sherlock Holmes on the red carpet.  If I am not mistaken I think they both live in District 19. They’re practically neighbors.

This post, as you may have noticed, is not about this year’s predictions… that takes time. But as I wrote convincingly and passionately last year after Kate Winslet’s performance in The Reader, it was a no-brainer. Ironically, this year there has not even been a whisper of Winslet. Oh, that happens. I don’t think it’s the curse of Oscar. She will be back sharing the screen with other Inglourius Basterds soon enough.

That was then, this is now, and this year’s best actress award I believe belongs to Bullock. What’s more, when she wins for best actress I predict it will add more glitteratti to an event already over the top. Not only was “Sandra superb” as I wrote in my review of The Blind Side but her visage was ethereal. She glowed like a Young Victoria. You couldn’t take your eyes off her spirited and soulful performance.

If bloggers in pajamas have any astrological sense they will check Sandra Bullock’s name on their prediction ballot for best actress along with Mo’Nique for best supporting actress, because these “mothers” will clean up.

Films this year have been a Bright Star in my book. I think they’ve all earned The White Ribbon for effort. When I included A Serious Man and An Education in one article I was not predicting that both would share an Oscar nod. Who knew? I was just lucky to catch them at The Modern when it took a turn to screen Precious, An Education, and A Serious Man in one weekend before wide release.

It just so happens that all three were critically acclaimed. My personal favorite is An Education, for its French flair and coming-of-age, first kiss glow leaving Carey Mulligan nominated as expected. The only downer facing this film is that it was not as widely seen as some of the other nominated performances. That’s too bad. Her co-star Peter Sarsgaard was not nominated either. I think that qualifies as a bona fide snub.

Up in the Air was no nomination surprise. It can hold its own for best actor or best picture. George Clooney was picture perfect in this poignant tale of love lost on the ground and in the air. Good story, great cast.

Finally, sharpen your pencils and mark your ballots. One does not have to screen all the nominations to feel comfortable about the choices in the round spotlight. Take it from this Crazy Heart, I have not bet a euro on this year’s horse race. Don’t shoot, I am just The Messenger, surely not Un Prophète.

Rachel Getting Married–Movie Review

Any movie with black folks and good music got me at the get go. This movie has that. Usually I don’t even expect to see black people in white movies. This was a pleasant surprise. I had not read any movie reviews about Rachel and became interested in getting it from Netflix when Anne was nominated.

Rachel is not the star, her sister Kym, played by Anne Hathaway is the star. She is fresh out of drug rehab. And what everybody knows about drug addicts is that it’s all about them. Kym has her comeuppance by ruining everything she touches. She nearly ruins her sister’s wedding.

She slaps her mother, wrecks the car, screws the best man, demands to be the maid of honor, and talks nonstop about herself at the wedding rehearsal dinner instead of toasting, when no one could give a shit.

Her sister marries a black man, played by an African, I hate that. Not only is he African but he is from Hawaii…sound familiar? I think the sisters and family are supposed to be Jewish. Debra Winger plays her mom and her dad has remarried a black woman. Her parents get divorced because Kym also ruined the family with her drug addiction and having a wreck that kills her brother.

Rachel’s new husband is a musician and he brings lots of great black music to bear. The only thing  that Kym does not do is make racially insensitive remarks. I like the way everyone is so cool and in love with the black family that is becoming their new in laws. The movie showcases a melting pot and even includes the token, gay, Chinese man. And to my surprise, I have to repeat myself, black people were included in the script just like they were regular people! I know you’re surprised at that sentiment but it’s so true. Most films have all-white casts in this day and age. I hope this opens some eyes.

It’s a good film about a woman who is selfish, recovering drug addict who barely learns the lessons of recovery.

Anne was nominated for best actress and she has been terrific in all her films. This is one white woman I like to watch. I knew she would not win but way to go Anne.

Heloise

Best Picture — Slumdog Millionaire — My pick — my pick Won

I picked Slumdog as winner, but wanted to see Frost/Nixon.

Best Actor — Sean Penn — Don’t think so!

Best actor — Sean Penn — Bummer, he did not deserve it. They do like true to life stories though.

H

Best Actress–Kate Winslet–We Knew it!!

You go Kate!