The ballots are in the mail (almost), time is running short, and you can’t slow things down the way they do in that dream movie.
The "Inception" Oscar push has shifted into another gear just as the Academy is getting those ballots in the mail. We've had new video features on the film, a new trailer hitting movie theaters on New Year's Eve (here's Jeff Wells' take), and now an L.A. Times guest essay from the film's production designer, Guy Hendrix Dyas. His main point: that director Christopher Nolan (left, with Leonardo DiCaprio) is a visionary, a magician and a man leading a 'mini-renaissance" because he doesn't rely on digital effects when he can achieve his remarkable effects in a more organic, inventive and natural way. He never comes out and says it directly, but it's a pretty convincing argument for Best Director consideration, and it may carry some weight coming from a guy who’s worked with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Bryan Singer. (Hero Complex)
On the eve of Oscar ballots going in the mail, Sasha Stone takes it upon herself to list the likely nominations that the top 13 films will receive. She sees "The King's Speech" with 11 likelies and "True Grit" and "Inception" with 10, followed by "The Social Network" and "The Fighter." The most intriguing part is the categories she lists as providing nominations if the Academy "really likes" the movies – so if "King's Speech" shows up in the sound categories or "Social Network" gets a second Supporting Actor nod, that could be significant. (Awards Daily)
The Canadian Press says that some ballet dancers object to the dancer stereotypes in "Black Swan." I could buy the first third or so of the piece, when a couple of Canadian dancers objected to the way the film trots out and strengthens all the stereotypes about a driven, bulimic dancer – but when they start complaining that the film is "over the top," they lose me. I mean, it's a Darren Aronofsky horror fantasy that deliberately blurs the line between overheated melodrama and feverish hallucination – the whole point is that it's over the top, isn't it? (Canadian Press)
Glenn Kenny makes note of all the articles that have compared Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere" to Michaelangelo Antonioni – a number that I suppose may include my interview, in which I brought up the comparisons with her – and says that as a person who knows Antonioni a lot better than most of the rest of us, the comparisons show "some misapprehension of Antonioni." He thinks the best thing about "Somewhere" is not her influences, but her individuality. Point taken. (MUBI)
No sooner had I posted my guide to all 41 of the Oscar-eligible songs than somebody named Freeman Montaque did something similar, with links to 37 of the songs. We disagree on whether it was a good year for Oscar songs (he says yes, I say no), and he judges each song on the likelihood of its nomination, which I didn't do because I didn't know how all of them are used in their films, which plays a crucial part in the judging process. While I think he overrates Christina Aguilera's "Burlesque" song "Bound to You," I'd guess he's probably right on three of his five predicted nominees, assuming (which I'm skeptical about) that we end up with a full slate of five. Anyway, it's an intriguing second opinion. (Hub Pages)