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Sunday, February 27, 2011


Since Pearl passed away, I've been to many movies.  I probably went to 35 movies this year, and double that when you count the ones I watched on TV.  It could have been a lot more were it not for the four months I travelled the world last year.   For example, I was mostly away when The Social Network, True Grit and The Fighter played.

On January 2 I went to two movies, The King's Speech and Black Swan.  It was clear to me than that Colin Firth would win the Oscar for Best Actor and, similarly, though not as conclusively, for Natalie Portman.

The first Academy Awards were held a few months before the Great Depression of 1929.  The 15 winners already knew who they were (this was changed the following year) and the charge was $5/ticket.

The same statuette copy was given that night, and depicts a nude knight with a crusader's sword standing on a reel of film with the five spokes representing actors, writers, directors producers and technicians.  Mexican director/actor Emilio Fernandez posed naked for the cause.

So here are my predictions for:

Best Actor:  Colin Firth

Best Actress:  Natalie Portman

Best Supporting Actor:  Christian Bale

Best Supporting Actress:  Hailee Steinfield

Best Director:  David Fincher

Best Film
#1:  The Social Network
  #2:  The Fighter
    #4:  Black Swan
     #5:  True Grit
      #6:  Inception
       #7:  Winter's Bone
        #8:  127 Hours
         #9:  The Kids Are Allright
                        #10:  Toy Story 3  (and anyone clicking on this deserves the 38 seconds)

Interestingly enough, Toy Story 3 was the highest grossing movie of the year with revenues of a bit more than a billion dollars.  Right behind, and also clearing more than a billion, was Alice in Wonderland, nowhere on the list above.  I actually have a 3D DVD of this movie, and enjoyed the effects.

The #2 grossing film of 2010 was Inception ($293 million), #13 True Grit ($167 million), #23 King's Speech ($115 million), #26 Black Swan ($104 million), and my pick for best film, Social Network, was #32 with $97 million.  Incredible that the worst film of the year, The Last Airbender, made $132 million at #18.  This was well deserved, for since fooling me in the Sixth Sense, which was a good one, M.  Night Shyamalan's subsequent efforts have ranged from pathetic to embarrassing.  But, I guess he keeps making money.  Sex and the City 2 earned #2 on Razzies, but I liked this film because it showed just before I visited Qatar, where the girls went.

Here is something interesting.  The top two worldwide grossing films of all time are Avatar ($2.8 billion, 2009) and Titanic ($1.8 billion, 1997), but adjusted for inflation, Avatar is #14 and Titanic is #6.  Want to guess the top five?  Here they are:

#1  Gone with the Wind ($3 billion, 1939, 9 Oscars):  click to get a new video version.
#2  Star Wars:  Episode IV--A New Hope ($1.63 billion, 1977, 7 Oscars)
#3  The Sound of Music ($1 billion, 1965, 5 Oscars):  want to see what they looked like in 2005?
#4  E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial ($0.97 billion, 1982, 4 Oscars)
#5  The Ten Commandments ($0.52 billion, 1956, only one Oscar for special effects):  Charlton Heston, yes, but Yul Brynner (who actually won the academy award that year for his role in The King and I)?

Not sure what they (two reports referenced above) used in the above list, but the numbers in the parentheses are mine, using the consumer price index, which shows that #2 is Avatar and Titanic #3.  Anyway,  these are the highest grossing films of all time.

Finally, the best original song is always a recent disappointment, but here they are:

Winner?  Who cares.  Who cared much for the Oscar last year, "Weary Kind," from Crazy Heart.  The last one I can even identify was "My Heart Will Go On" in Titanic, and that was in 1997.

So watch:

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards®
Sunday, February 27, 2011 @ 8et/5pt on ABC
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