Red State – Here we go- RED STATE is a film I have cooled out on since my initial viewing and subsequent viewings since. The film has a pretty great first half and the second half is full of issues that I was able to pick up on after rewatching it- I do still enjoy it quite a bit though. I’m not lobbying for Kevin Smith haters to take a chill pill here, but I have to say that Michael Parks is the selling point of that film. His performance in RED STATE is spellbinding- I have said that I would go to church on a daily basis if it were as captivating as that sermon in the middle- even though I don’t condone the hatespeak contained in it. I fully endorsed a Michael Parks for Best Actor immediately after and I still do.
Take Shelter – I am pretty fresh off the experience of TAKE SHELTER. I had plenty of build up before watching it after hearing or seeing it on several Top Ten lists and for the most part it did not disappoint. The film is very subtle in its ability to break you down emotionally before just bringing the hammer down towards the end. Michael Shannon not being nominated as Best Actor is very dumbfounding to me as it’s specifically the type of performance that you would see nominated each year. There’s even a perfect clip to use when they spout out the nominees when Shannon finally loses his cool that he’s inexplicably kept throughout the entire film. Besides that it’s also a much better fit in the Best Picture category than EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE.
Warrior – Granted Nick Nolte is up for Best Supporting Actor so it’s not a total loss but I personally like Tom Hardy’s performance a little more overall. Nolte has a couple hard hitting scenes but Hardy gets a little more time to stretch his dramatic muscle in a much quieter way. He never has that typical Oscar bait scene such as Nolte’s drunken breakdown unless you count the scene he raises his voice at the slot machines. I Hardy’s calm rage to be overlooked by the Oscar’s and while I’m ok with Nolte’s nomination I’m quietly going to attribute the nom to Hardy as well.
50/50 – This choice may be the one I feel the least passionate about but I would have still like to see a little recognition of some kind by the Academy for 50/50. I wouldn’t have cared if it was Levitt in a leading role, Rogen or Huston in the supporting roles or even a spot in Best Picture. I hold no illusions it would win any of the categories but then again how many people are expecting EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE to win over THE ARTIST or even THE DESCENDANTS in Best Picture.