Thursday, January 27, 2011

silver screen 2010/six films you may or may not remember

The King’s Speech, True Grit, Inception, and The Social Network garnered the most Oscar nominations.  But what about the films that didn’t get an Oscar nod?  Here are six of the good and the mediocre.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Based off a graphic novel series, the boy-meets-girl story gets a gamer makeover.  Michael Cera is Scott Pilgrim, the same awkward teen character that he always plays; it’s just a relief that this time, gravity-defeating action sequences and actresses like Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ellen Wong can save the movie from Year One disaster.

Robin Hood
This movie may be Gladiator with bows and arrows, but I’m not complaining.   Russell Crowe is in top corruption-crushing shape, and a 140-minute epic about Robin Hood before he became famous is at least an original idea.  Plus, none of the men wear tights.  Instead, a spunky Cate Blanchett takes gender role mix-ups into her own hands by donning armor (sound familiar, Elizabeth?).

Nowhere Boy
Beautiful and bittersweet in the style of An Education, this British import tells the story of John Lennon before he became famous.  Nowhere Boy may seem like the usual famous-person-struggles-with-inner-demons type film, but the performance by each actor is superb.  Most notable is the relationship between tough boy Lennon (Aaron Johnson) and sensitive/gentle McCartney (played by Thomas Sangster – remember him as brooding lovesick kid in Love Actually?).

Date Night
Two of the funniest people in the American film industry get together and come up with…Date Night?  Thankfully, Steve Carrell and Tina Fey have just enough spontaneous moments to make up for the cliché married couple humor and not-so-active action sequences.  I certainly won’t forget the awkwardly hilarious pole-dancing episode.

A horse that thinks he’s a dog, tough guys singing about their appreciation for the finer things in life, and an awesome chameleon.  And who ever knew you could do that much with a frying pan?  Even if you don’t want to admit that Rapunzel and her bandit boyfriend are cool, you have to admit that Disney’s continued attempts to churn out musical movies are rather welcome.

*edit - Tangled technically shouldn't be in this list, as it got one nomination for Best Original Song.  Still, that's only one nomination...

Letters to Juliet
Never mind the sloppy American attempt at Love ActuallyLetters to Juliet was the chick flick of the year.  With Amanda Seyfried playing another Sophie and Christopher Egan as annoying but charming pretty boy, who cares if the plot is predictable and cliché?  My main objection involved Taylor Swift’s obligatory but ill timed “Love Story” playing at the end of the movie.  Not to mention that three-quarters of the movie takes place in Italy, and not one scene contains a Vespa.

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