Front runners lived up to their billing as Oscar winners Sunday night at the 83rd annual Academy Awards, held at Hollywood’s Kodak Theater. The favorites in virtually every category ended up taking home statues by night’s end, including a number of films with significant conscious creation/law of attraction themes.
The night’s biggest winner, and deservedly so, was “The King’s Speech”, the biopic detailing the struggle of England’s King George VI (Oscar winner Colin Firth) in overcoming a debilitating stammer with the aid of an unconventional speech therapist (Oscar nominee Geoffrey Rush). The film took home four awards, including top honors as best picture, along with the best actor award for Firth, the best director award for Tom Hooper and the best original screenplay award for David Seidler. The movie provided an excellent look at such key conscious creation concepts as facing fears and the search for finding one’s own voice, in this case both literally and figuratively.
The momentum behind “The King’s Speech” had been growing in recent weeks, overtaking its main rival and early front runner, “The Social Network”, the somewhat overhyped chronicle of the back story behind the formation of the social networking web site Facebook by techie wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg (Oscar nominee Jesse Eisenberg). While the film was technically well made and offered some interesting insights about the management of personal power, much of the narrative focused on the legal squabbles that went on amongst the site’s founders in its early days, material that was only moderately interesting at best and anything but inspiring. These shortcomings aside, however, “The Social Network” still managed to capture three Oscars, for best original score, best film editing and best adapted screenplay for Aaron Sorkin.
The other big winner of the night was “Inception”, the sometimes-engaging, sometimes-disappointing sci-fi thriller set in the dream state. The film tied “The King’s Speech” with four Oscars, dominating the technical categories, as expected, with honors for best cinematography, visual effects, sound editing and sound mixing. Other technical awards (art direction, costumes) went to “Alice in Wonderlan, the whimsical Tim Burton remake—and retake—on the classic Lewis Carroll story about a young woman (Mia Wasikowska) seeking to rediscover her “muchness,” her ability to courageously create a reality that suits her by exploring a host of envelope-pushing alternatives.
The favorites in all four acting categories had virtual locks on their awards going in, and all of them came up winners. As noted above, the award for best male lead went to Firth for “The King’s Speech,” while the honor for best female lead was presented to actress Natalie Portman for “Black Swan”, the story of a tortured perfectionist ballerina seeking to free herself from her own self-imposed limitations. In the supporting categories, actor Christian Bale and actress Melissa Leo received awards for their roles in “The Fighter”, the aptly named tale of a boxer seeking to live up to his potential in his battles both in and out of the ring.
Other feature film awards went to “Toy Story 3” (best animated feature, best song), “Inside Job” (best documentary feature), “In a Better World” (best foreign language film, Denmark) and (“The Wolfman” (best makeup).
Without a doubt, the biggest loser of the night was the highly overrated remake of the classic Western “True Grit”, which earned 10 nominations but received no awards. Other films receiving multiple nominations (four each) but earning no Oscars included the survival saga (“127 Hours”, the alternative family comedy-drama “The Kids Are All Right”; (Read more about this on my blog) and the backwoods noir tale “Winter’s Bone”.
The presentation of the Oscars brings to an end the awards season for films released in 2010, a year characterized by occasional cinematic flashes of brilliance but an overall crop of mediocre offerings. It was also a year in which some of the best releases received little recognition, such as “Hereafter”; (Read “Meditation on a Common Fate)), or were completely overlooked for awards consideration, such as “Fair Game”; (Read “Hungering for the Truth”), “The Ghost Writer”; (Read “Going with One’s Gut”) and “Mao’s Last Dancer”; (Read “Courage to Create”). So, with that said, here’s hoping that 2011 is a year of great films, pictures that both entertain and enlighten—and that earn the recognition they deserve.
Copyright © 2011, by Brent Marchant. All rights reserved.