2011 Oscars Challenge: For Lack of a Better Option…

Each year there are films that for whatever reason just are not readily available around Oscar time and you must come to terms and do your best with what you have. For lack of a better option, I must condense five films that I will not be able to get ahold by Oscar night into one post and weigh in on my initial impressions rather than from firsthand experience with the films. Most of them include three foreign language films, followed by “The Tempest” which is up for Best Costume Design, and a documentary entitled “Waste Land”.

Starting with the easiest, “The Tempest” and the nomination for Best Costume Design. The nomination is just from the looks of the costumes. The intricate details in each costume appear immense and since this is another interpretation of the Shakespearean play, I am guessing the costumes are reinforced my previous designs. However, I feel it is down to “The King’s Speech” and “Alice In Wonderland” are the obvious choices when choosing a winner, with my vote lying in “Alice”. I suppose with that said, I did not miss much in not seeing Helen Mirren and “The Tempest”.

The trailer for “Waste Land” expresses an intense passion for its subject matter, essentially people living in a landfill. Though there is that passion, compared to the passion of say “Restrepo”, another one of its Best Documentary Feature contenders, “Waste Land” cannot match the revolutionary aspects of its adversaries. A lot of talk is going into “Inside Job” as well (a fill I have available and will be viewing soon). Even “Exit Through the Gift Shop” appears to contain more ground breaking appeal than “Waste Land”, so once again, I do not feel like I missed much in not viewing this film.

Now to the three foreign films that are not yet available. “Outside the Law” is the first that was missed. Watching the trailer revealed it to an almost “The Godfather”-like approach at revolution in another country. The trailer alone had so much going on in it, I cannot imagine the heart-pounding action that the film actually contains.

“Incendies” is getting the most buzz apart from “Biutiful”, this season in the Best Foreign Language Film category. The trailer displays its catching dialogue and delivers a “Winter’s Bone” feel for the middle east. Again, a passion much different from “Biutiful” is projected straight out of the trailer and honestly makes me feel it could be a legitimate frontrunner for taking the Oscar, even without having seen the film.

“In A Better World” has impressive visuals but the story appears scattered and uninteresting from the trailer alone. Though the film won at the Golden Globes for Best Foreign Film, I believe the result will be much different at the Academy Awards. Perhaps credit belongs to the trailer makers, or perhaps the trailers truly project the aura of the films that depict, but just by watching two minutes of the (supposedly) best parts of these films, I got a real sense of what could win and what felt inadequate. “Incendies” and “Biutiful” will be at the top of the foreign language films while “Outside the Law” and “Dogtooth” become closes thirds.

So these are the five films I will not be able to see this year, and though I plan on catching them as soon as they are available after the awards ceremony, in the interest of completing my challenge, I will mark this has having viewed these five films. Besides the foreign films, the other two held little weight in swaying my predictions and I feel alright having missed them.

(2 OF 41 FILMS REMAINING)-(2 DAYS TO OSCARS)


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