I haven’t posted for almost a month already. Rats!

I know. It’s been really dry here. As dry as summer. I have this summer job that makes me so busy the whole day that I’m so tired by night. But I’ll make it up to you, guys. Added to the delay is the fact that the next nominee to be discussed is THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Any clues now?

Anyway, I have watched some films last year. Here are some thoughts:

I thought the film was very well made. The performances were good. There are only two or three boring scenes. I slept in 5 minutes of it, but I woke up and I was still in the same scene. But the ending was awful! I mean, they should have ended the movie with the close up on Jim Sturgess’ face. With those documentary-like part, and that TV ending, it just fell there. Too bad, the last 5 minutes of the film made me actually think that the movie’s bad.

Paprika Steen (Applaus) and Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole) were fantastic.

Eat Pray Love is actually good. Let me put it in this way. New York – good. Italy – great. India – okay. Bali – beautiful. Not a bad film after all.

Scott Pilgrim vs the World is awesome, though I don’t love it as much as the others.

Greenberg was cute. Not really that fun, but the two leads were great. And the ending is so sweet. It took me two viewings of the ending for me to understand that.

Buried was thrilling.

The Tourist is very exciting. I don’t get the haters, actually..

Any thoughts?

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FINAL PREDICTIONS FOR THE 83RD ACADEMY AWARDS! ! ! ! !

Here is my full predictions together with my notes on their chances. Here it is:

Legend:

Green – Frontrunners

Red – Potential Spoilers

Pink – Still Has A Chance

Blue – No Chance of Winning

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Best Motion Picture

My Prediction: The King’s Speech – If the three guilds really is a big deal to them, then they would give it to The King’s Speech. It’s a toss.

Major Spoiler: The Social Network – Even if its chances were somewhat lessened by the unexpected success of The King’s Speech, I still believe the precursors and stronger critical support will make it get the gold.

3rd: True Grit – With the shocking support that it had, I should say it still has a run for the gold.

4th: The Fighter – It has all the vital nominations so it may spoil.

5th: Black Swan –ย  After the nominations, I could say we had so much expectations with this in terms of the number of nominations. But who could say? The movie’s a magnet.

6th: Inception – Without the Best Director omission (which I hate!), I can safely say that it will remain in the 6th place, no matter what happens. What’s wrong with the Academy? Do you simply hate Nolan?

7th: The Kids Are All Right – With its topic (which is really relevant), I’m sure there will be some # 1 votes for it.

8th: Toy Story 3 – It has sure supporters! It’s collecting bunch of fans since 1995 and yet, the animation bias is still true.

9th: 127 Hours – Alright. They don’t love Danny Boyle as much as they loved him in Slumdog, but there are already sure votes for it, at least some # 1.

10th: Winter’s Bone – A very few # 1 for it. Maybe almost none, but they surely liked it.

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Best Director

My Prediction: David Fincher (The Social Network) – As I am shaky with TSN getting best picture,I believe it will get this. . . . .

Major Spoiler: Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) –ย  . . . unless TKS really sweeps.

3rd: Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) – There will be a lot of # 1 votes here. Could get in if the first two are too strong.

4th: Coen Brothers (True Grit) – As long as they make movies, the Academy-based fanbase of the brothers will always be there for him.

5th: David O. Russell (The Fighter) – There wasn’t just much passion for it.

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Best Actor

Frontrunner: Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) – He lost last year. He’s in a frontrunner. He’s getting the awards. Sure win.

Major Spoiler: James Franco (127 Hours) – He still can make it unless . . .

3rd: Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) – . . . the vote for the Youngsters’ award split. Plus: he’s in a frontrunner.

4th: Jeff Bridges (True Grit) – He’ll lose, but the afterglow may either help or damage the support that he has.

5th: Javier Bardem (Biutiful) – He has his peers. But he hasn’t been showing o strong last awards season. So, be happy with your nom.

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Best Actress

Frontrunner: Natalie Portman (Black Swan) – Strong film. Precursors. Pregnant. Physicality. Sure win.

Major Spoiler: Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right) – If they still think they owe her the Oscar now, then they may.

3rd: Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) – BP nominee. Young (but it doesn’t hurt). Upcoming actress. Some votes are ensured.

4th: Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine) – Hasn’t won yet. Solely represents the secret love of the Academy for the film. Great campaigning.

5th: Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole) – She won already. Support wasn’t so hot. May have very few # 1 votes.

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Best Supporting Actor

Frontrunner: Christian Bale (The Fighter) – Extreme physicality. Actor who is very dedicated. Defined as co-lead. All leading to a win.

Major Spoiler: Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech) – The film may just easily sweep its nominations.

3rd: Jeremy Renner (The Town) – Well, the afterglow worked for him. The results wouldn’t be enough, but there still is.

4th: Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right) – Overdue. Somewhat strong film. Votes are ensured.

5th: John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone) – Small film, but expected to pull some # 1, especially with the actors.

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Best Supporting Actress

Frontrunner: Melissa Leo (The Fighter) – She’s been getting all of the important awards. Maybe her self-indulgent ads made a slight damage, but still.

Major Spoiler: Amy Adams (The Fighter) – If they hated those ads. . . . .

3rd: Helena Bonham-Carter (The King’s Speech) – Frontrunner. Film can sweep. It can advantage of the splitting of votes that can happen with the first two.

4th: Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) – Oscars doesn’t necessarily buy category frauds for the win. But such a strong film.

5th: Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom) – Bloggers’ support can naturally affect the votes. Maybe few # 1, but there will be, I’m sure.

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Best Original Screenplay

Frontrunner: The King’s Speech – It’s in a frontrunning film. Since its major competitor (TSN) isn’t here, it looks like this will get it if a sweep is decided.

Major Spoiler: Inception – Thy ignored Nolan in director, so this is the best place to pay Nolan. It won the WGA (TKS’s ineligible) and some precursors.

3rd: The Kids Are All Right – Indie sleepers mostly get this when they are able to get in here (Sideways, Crash, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, etc.).

4th: The Fighter – People are not so passionate about this, but some really love this. It could do the magic.

5th: Another Year – The only nominee that is not a BP nominee. Almost impossible to win.

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Best Adapted Screenplay

Frontrunner: The Social Network – In a frontrunner film, I’m sure it would get it given that its other nominations are not completely safe. This is locked.

Major Spoiler: True Grit – Well, they’re the Coen brothers. They can still get it given that the film had a surprising strong support from the Academy.

3rd: Toy Story 3 – They love the series even if they won’t tell us. And this is another place to reward it if they loved it more.

4th: 127 Hours – I guess it wasn’t really much of a scripted film, but that’s what other people also say about Slumdog and it won.

5th: Winter’s Bone – Same as 127 Hours, it wasn’t much of a scripted film. But support for it is still undeniably existent.

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Best Cinematography

Frontrunner: Inception – It surprisingly got the ASC, so it’s in the lead now.

Major Spoiler: Black Swan – Another frontrunner given the support for the film.

3rd: True Grit – Cinematography in Coen’s films always have support.

4th: The King’s Speech – If they decided for a sweep, then it’s with it.

5th: The Social Network – Another one – if it will have a sweep, then include this.

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Best Film Editing

Frontrunner: The Social Network – It has the ACE, and this really looks like a safe win for the film.

Major Spoiler: The King’s Speech – Given that it is also a frontrunner, it could sweep or simply get this.

3rd: Black Swan – If they go gaga for the film, then it’s a win for it.

4th: The Fighter – Conceived as a potential spoiler, it could possibly get it.

5th: 127 Hours – They loved the style in 2008, but lacking passion for the movie signals that this will not get the award.

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Best Sound Mixing

Frontrunner: Inception – I suspect the love for this film will show up here.

Major Spoiler: True Grit – The only other nominee which is also nominated for Sound Editing. Coen’s movies always sound great.

3rd: The Social Network – It’s a strong movie that can get also this.

4th: The King’s Speech – Sweep alert!

5th: Salt – Sound sgreat, but the only non-BP nominee in a BP-filled category?

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Best Sound Editing

Frontrunner: Inception – Same as with the Sond Mixing.

Major Spoiler: True Grit – It has a chance, though slim.

3rd: Toy Story 3 – If they want to give this movie more than one trophy, than this could happen.

4th: TRON: Legacy – This looks like more of a techy film but this won’t happen.

5th: Unstoppable – This will not happen.

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Best Original Music Score

Frontrunner: Inception – Just guessing. I dunno what’s happening. It looks like a three-way tight race.

Major Spoiler: The Social Network – If the film would sweep, it would get this.

3rd: The King’s Speech – Another sweeper!

4th: 127 Hours – It wouldn’t get the award even if it’s a BP nominee. No chance.

5th: How to Train Your Dragon – Only non-BP nominee. No chance.

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Best Visual Effects

Frontrunner: Inception – It would get this.

Major Spoiler: Alice in Wonderland – The support for this film can be seen in its number of noms, so it could happen.

3rd: Hereafter – Though the only “visual masterpiece” of the film is the tsunami sequence, it could still do magic given that it’s a Clint Eastwood film.

4th: Iron Man 2 – Sequel disadvantage for a populist movie CASE # 1.

5th: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – Sequel disadvantage for a populist movie CASE # 2.

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Best Make-Up

Frontrunner: The Wolfman – Even if the film was received poorly, the make-up is what the academy usually wants.

Major Spoiler: The Way Back – A possibility given that there are a lot of people to be made up with make-up.

3rd: Barney’s Version – The last is also a major contender because the Academy loves aging.

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Best Costume Design

Frontrunner: The King’s Speech – The only movie here that is predicted to sweep the awards. This could help given that the film is a frontrunner.

Major Spoiler: True Grit – If I’m not mistaken, the designer of the film is overdue. And the film showed up strongly.

3rd: Alice in Wonderland – If not in visual effects, possibly here.

4th: I Am Love – Remember Bright Star? Bloggers’ support frequently show up here! And they love Tilda secretly.

5th: The Tempest – Poor reception, awkward costumes, Helen Mirren. Mixed chances are sure.

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Best Art Direction

Frontrunner: The King’s Speech – Sweep alert!

Major Spoiler: Inception – The technical support for the film seems strong, so it’s possible.

3rd: Alice in Wonderland – Again, it could happen.

4th: True Grit – Because it showed up well, it could happen as well.

5th: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – They won’t reward the film series yet (there is still Part 2)!

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Best Original Song

Frontrunner: I See the Light (Tangled) – They only pushed for one song for the film, and the love for the film (not in Animate Feature) can show up here.

Major Spoiler: We Belong Together (Toy Story 3) – If they would want to give TS3 more than one nominee, than this will be it.

3rd: If I Rise (127 Hours) – If a need for the film to be given an award rises, this will be it.

4th: Coming Home (Country Strong) – So they actually cared for this?

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Best Animated Feature

Frontunner: Toy Story 3 – Sealed.

Major Spoiler: How to Train Your Dragon – If there is any chance that they wouldn’t want to reward the whole trilogy, then they may settle for this. But that will happen if they haven’t seen the trilogy.

3rd: The Illusionist – Unlike Persepolis where it had a chance, it’s fighting with a BP nominee and a strong Dreamworks movie, so no chance.

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So, what are your predictions? Drop in you comments and let’s see who gets the predictions right on the Big Night! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m excited!

Is THE KING’S SPEECH taking over the race? (Or does the number of noms really matter?)

After the three consecutive wins of The King’s Speech in vital awards (PGA, DGA, SAG), I start to think that The Social Network (which is, in fact, really great) is not really safe for the BP win. Even if it almost swept all of the critics’ orgs, the NBR, and the Golden Globes, those three are the ones I’m upset that TSN didn’t get. So, this just means that this is a neck-to-neck race, huh?

So, we see that the Golden Globes, PGA, DGA, and SAG are the very vital components for you to win the Oscar BP. Here is a short look at the past 15 years of the awards circuit trend.

1995

  • GG: Sense and Sensibility / Babe
  • PGA: Apollo 13
  • DGA: Apollo 13
  • SAG: Apollo 13
  • OSCAR: Braveheart (0 of 4 precursors)

1996

  • GG: The English Patient / Evita
  • PGA: The English Patient
  • DGA: The English Patient
  • SAG: The Birdcage
  • OSCAR: The English Patient (3 of 4 precursors)

1997

  • GG: Titanic / As Good As It Gets
  • PGA: Titanic
  • DGA: Titanic
  • SAG: The Full Monty
  • OSCAR: Titanic (3 of 4 precursors)

1998

  • GG: Saving Private Ryan / Shakespeare in Love
  • PGA: Saving Private Ryan
  • DGA: Saving Private Ryan
  • SAG: Shakespeare in Love
  • OSCAR: Shakespeare in Love (2 of 4 precursors)

1999

  • GG: American Beauty / Toy Story 2
  • PGA: American Beauty
  • DGA: American Beauty
  • SAG: American Beauty
  • OSCAR: American Beauty (4 of 4 precursors)

2000

  • GG: Gladiator / Almost Famous
  • PGA: Gladiator
  • DGA: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • SAG: Traffic
  • OSCAR: Gladiator (2 of 4 precursors)

2001

  • GG: A Beautiful Mind / Moulin Rouge!
  • PGA: Moulin Rouge!
  • DGA: A Beautiful Mind
  • SAG: Gosford Park
  • OSCAR: A Beautiful Mind (2 of 4 precursors)

2002

  • GG: The Hours / Chicago
  • PGA: Chicago
  • DGA: Chicago
  • SAG: Chicago
  • OSCAR: Chicago (4 of 4 precursors)

2003

  • GG: LOTR: The Return of the King / Lost in Translation
  • PGA: LOTR: The Return of the King
  • DGA: LOTR: The Reutn of the King
  • SAG: LOTR: The Return of the King
  • OSCAR: LOTR: The Return of the King (4 of 4 precursors)

2004

  • GG: The Aviator / Sideways
  • PGA: The Aviator
  • DGA: Million Dollar Baby
  • SAG: Sideways
  • OSCAR: Million Dollar Baby (1 of 4 precursors)

2005

  • GG: Brokeback Mountain / Walk the Line
  • PGA: Brokeback Mountain
  • DGA: Brokeback Mountain
  • SAG: Crash
  • OSCAR: Crash (1 of 4 precursors)

2006

  • GG: Babel / Dreamgirls
  • PGA: Little Miss Sunshine
  • DGA: The Departed
  • SAG: Little Miss Sunshine
  • OSCAR: The Departed (1 of 4 precursors)

2007

  • GG: Atonement / Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber from Fleet Street
  • PGA: No Country for Old Men
  • DGA: No Country for Old Men
  • SAG: No Country for Old Men
  • OSCAR: No Country for Old Men (3 of 4 precursors)

2008

  • GG: Slumdog Millionaire / Vicky Cristina Barcelona
  • PGA: Slumdog Millionaire
  • DGA: Slumdog Millionaire
  • SAG: Slumdog Millionaire
  • OSCAR: Slumdog Millionaire (4 of 4 precursors)

2009

  • GG: Avatar / The Hangover
  • PGA: The Hurt Locker
  • DGA: The Hurt Locker
  • SAG: Inglurious Basterds
  • OSCAR: The Hurt Locker (2 of 4 precursors)

2010

  • GG: The Social Network / The Kids Are All Right
  • PGA: The King’s Speech
  • DGA: The King’s Speech
  • SAG: The King’s Speech
  • OSCAR: ? ? ? ? ? (The Social Nework or The King’s Speech) ? ? ? ? ?

The trend is that at least, you need to win one of those (don’t count Braveheart, alright?). It doesn’t really matter if you win all or many, but it does sure help. Here is a table containing the number of BP winners that get the same number of awards from the vital four awards.

4 awards – 4 of 15 (27%)

3 awards – 3 of 15 (20%)

2 awards – 4 of 15 (27%)

1 award – 3 of 15 (20%)

No award – 1 of 15 (6%)

The King’s Speech won 3. The Social Network won 1. They both have 20% chance of winning, if you’ll look at the history. No one’s really ahead cuz it’s a neck-to-neck race. TSN fans, myself included, don’t worry. It’s a 50-50 race.

Also, if you’ll look at the number of nominations of the BP winner and its closest competitor for the last 15 years, they do not really mean “more noms is exactly for the win.” At bold is the winner. Take a look at this:

1995

  • Braveheart – 10 / Apollo 13 – 9

1996

  • The English Patient – 12 / Fargo – 7

1997

  • Titanic – 14 / LA Confidential – 9

1998

  • Shakespeare in Love – 13 / Saving Private Ryan – 11

1999

  • American Beauty – 8 / The Sixth Sense – 7

2000

  • Gladiator – 12 / Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – 10

2001

  • LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring – 13 / A Beautiful Mind – 8

2002

  • Chicago – 13 / Gangs of New York – 10

2003

  • LOTR: The Return of the King – 11 / Master and Commander – 10

2004

  • The Aviator – 11 / Million Dollar Baby – 7

2005

  • Brokeback Mountain – 8 / Crash – 6

2006

  • Babel – 7 / The Departed – 5

2007

  • No Country for Old Men – 8 / There Will Be Blood – 8

2008

  • The Curious Case…ย  – 13 / Slumdog Millionaire – 10

2009

  • Avatar – 9 / The Hurt Locker – 9

2010

  • The King’s Speech – 12 / The Social Network – 8

The 90’s generally proved that “more noms=win.” After the win of Million Dollar Baby, the trend had changed. It doesn’t always mean thet if you have the most number of nominations, then you’ll win. Moreso, the only two cases where the winner had the most number of nominations was that it was also with equal number of nominations with its closest competitor.

It doesn’t really matter if Harvy Weinstein is a great campaigner, he’s still a hit or miss. Did well with Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine) and The Reader, but failed for pushing too much (Cotillard and Laurent for Best Actress last year).

I guess the only option for The Social Network to seal the deal is to have a stronger campaign. But still, it’s a 50-50 race. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Which movie between the two do you prefer? Which one do you think will win?

FINAL PREDICTIONS

I am really nervous by the sudden changes in the race. I saw the whole race, and I was really sad for some films. Here is my FINAL PREDICTIONS! (Don’t forget to vote here!)

Blue – Safe/Lock

Red – Vulnerable

BEST MOTION PICTURE

  • 127 Hours – It’s just either this or The Town. But I still believe Franco could still pull it up. He’s stronger than Renner’s traction.
  • Black Swan – While it’s a lock, I’m just worrying about the squeamish factor.
  • The Fighter – There’s no way that they would ignore this.
  • Inception- It’s a very strong film that got a lot of #1 votes, I’m quite sure.
  • The Kids Are All Right – Maybe Bening did all of the buzz for the film, but it’s quite strong.
  • The King’s Speech – Though it didn’t win a lot of awards for the pic itself, it keeps its position a lock. And the PGA win!
  • The Social Network – Not only the biggest lock, but the safest call for the win.
  • Toy Story 3 – It seems that the Academy already reserved one slot for Pixar entries…
  • True Grit – They just can’t ignore the Coen brothers!
  • Winter’s Bone – Maybe Lawrence is singlehandedly carrying the film to the 10, but it’s still a safe call for the nom.

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BEST DIRECTOR

  • Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
  • David O. Russell – The Fighter
  • Christopher Nolan – Inception
  • Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech
  • David Fincher – The Social Network

Who could still mess this line-up, seriously?

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BEST LEAD ACTOR

  • Jeff Bridges (True Grit) – I almost gave up on this, but I realize he got stronger buzz than Mark Wahlberg. But how about Ryan Gosling?
  • Robert Duvall (Get Low) – Bardem’s too miserable for this list, and he’s old. Age is important in this category.
  • Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) – Strong movie, continuous nominations everywhere, nobody can’t stop him.
  • James Franco (127 Hours) – I believe the strength of his hype can still bring his film to the Top 10. That’s how strong he is.
  • Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) – Not only a lock, but the win.

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BEST LEAD ACTRESS

  • Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right) – Doesn’t really get a lot of awards, but was a lock for a nom ever since.
  • Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole) – She hadn’t won anything here, but she’s a safe call in this category.
  • Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) – She lost some steam for the win once the awards came in, but she’s safe here.
  • Lesley Manville (Another Year) – I’m really still hoping for this. I know Steinfeld, Moore, Williams, Rapace, and Swank could easily steal this, but I’m still hoping. NBR is a big factor (They rarely ignore it!).
  • Natalie Portman – Okay, who wants to question this?

We are just all waiting for the 5th slot, aren’t we?

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Christian Bale (The Fighter) – The winner.
  • Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) – With the aid of a strong film, Never Let Me Go’s acclaim, and Timberlake’s another supporting performance from his film, I still wonder why did the SAG ignore him.
  • Jeremy Renner (The Town) – Carries the film’s only buzz, but still…
  • Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right) – He’s great there. And Globe. And SAG!
  • Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech) – Even if his chances of winning are definitely lessened, his chances of getting here aren’t.

A locked category.

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Amy Adams (The Fighter) – The fighter’s strong streak continues…..
  • Helena Bonham-Carter (The King’s Speech) – Not really going for the win but for the safest slot here.
  • Mila Kunis (Black Swan) – It’s either her or Jacki Weaver. Really.
  • Melissa Leo (The Fighter) -The race’s frontrunner for the win.
  • Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) – She’s got a lot of supporting from guilds. But where doesn she really belong? Here or leading? She may slip away….. especially no Globe.

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I have also predictions for the other categories, but I only keep score of the main 6 categories. So, what’s yours? Don’t forget to vote here!

My very quick Golden Globe predictions…..

Just to remind you that The Tourist is a three time nominee this year…..

Here it is. Those in red are the possible spoiler.

Best Motion Picture – Drama

  • The Social Network / Black Swan

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

  • The Kids Are All Right / none

Best Actor – Drama

  • Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) / James Franco (127 Hours) or Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)

Best Actor – Musical or Comedy

  • Jake Gyllenhaal (Love and Other Drugs) / Paul Giamatti (Barney’s Version) or Kevin Spacey (Casino Jack)

Best Actress – Drama

  • Natalie Portman (Black Swan) / none

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy

  • Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right) / Emma Stone (Easy A)

Best Supporting Actor

  • Christian Bale (The Fighter) / Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech) or Andrew Garfield (The Social Network)

Best Supporting Actress

  • Melissa Leo (The Fighter) / anybody else!

Best Director

  • David Fincher (The Social Network) / Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) or Christopher Nolan (Inception)

Best Screenplay

  • The Social Network / none

Best Original Score

  • Inception / The King’s Speech or The Social Network

Best Original Song

  • “You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me” (Burlesque) / “I See the Light” (Tangled)

Best Animated Feature Film

  • Toy Story 3 / How to Train Your Dragon

Best Foreign Language Film

  • I Am Love / Biutiful

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What do you think?

(SPECIAL EDITION) Best Supporting Actress Profile for 2010: Maria Paiato in I Am Love

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For the first time, I joined Stinkylulu’s annual tradition of hosting a blog-a-thon that pays tribute to the several supporting actresses of the past year. For this, this post serves as my in this special event. Click here.

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approximately 14 minutes and 44 seconds

12.35% of the film’s running time

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Maria Paiato as Ida Roselli

In this year packed with supporting actresses, whether she is a king’s queen, a boxer’s mom, a boxer’s girl, a rival ballet dancer, a mob mother, a lead actress in a western, and among others, supporting actresses outside the English language are very much ignored. Before I continue this, I would admit that I haven’t seen many films from 2010 yet. So, in this high-profile grandiose Italian melodrama, the one’s getting attention is the ever-wonderful Tilda Swinton in the role of Emma Recchi.

What most people do not acknowledge is that the film was an ensemble work. Tilda’s the lead, but it’s not just her show. And the film has a great cast. And here, I am going to recognize Maria Paiato in the endearing role of the loyal maid of the Recchi family.

In a fast glimpse in the movie, you may simply ignore her, as she is just behind, but she also gets to have conversations with the other highlighted characters. But what you will notice on repeated viewings is on how much Maria adds in the making of the film’s over-all impact.

First of all, she is not a maid with a back story, or a maid with family problems at home, she plays it straight.ย  But she means not as a maid to Emma, but more of a confidante. Still, she never forgets the job that she has in the house.

We are not given much details in her life. She plays it straight throughout. She doesn’t have any big breakdowns until the end of the film, but she places certainty in us that she is a character with emotions. She did not act in a way that you will feel that she was just placed in the story to be the head maid of the family. She is a person with feelings. She plays it with tenderness and gentleness that we could sympathize to her because she does everything for the good of the family, but that doesn’t mean that she did it in a one-dimensional way. The screenplay may have written her that way, but she doesn’t do that.

Also, she is the character that we most trust to. She’s the character without any vanity, she is an honest person, and she doesn’t try to meddle in the proceedings. She goes with the flow in the film’s turbulent events, and she’s the character the characters in the story trust. With her simple conversations with Emma, she easily creates a strong foundation of assurance from her character that she will never let Emma down.

Can you see Maria? She’s the one in the rightmost of the picture.

She trusts Emma, and what’s more is that Emma trusts her. And we trust her. I believe it is really hard to make a convincing performance that evokes trust. Especially in this story filled with characters doing things that really cause a doubt in us (Emma is having an affair with her son’s friend, her son is secretly pregnant with his girlfriend, her daughter is a closeted lesbian), we would really root for a character that we can trust. And that is simply played very well by Maria.

Before the film’s tense second half, she never tries to steal anyone’s spotlight. Not from Emma. Not from Emma’s son. Not from Emma’s daughter. Not from Emma’s family. You may say that you have never noticed her in the first hour of the film, as the conflicts of the story tend to really steal away from her the focus, and she never had much focus in those scenes, but she crafts a solid character with ease in these two acts that provide the backbone for the character’s tougher scenes.

For the second half, her character is immersed in an environment filled with uncertainty. She’s the only one that we could trust. And the only one the characters trust. She was able to be in two key scenes that leaves a mark to us.

First was when Edoardo Jr., played by Flavio Parenti, expresses confusion, doubt, and weakness to her, and he cries to her. She carries the unexplainable care that she wants to give to him but is suppressed because she is not in any way related to her. Of course, she had been there for a very long time and may have seen the growth of the Recchi children, but still, she is not a part of the family.She does it in a very subtle way. She doesn’t expect that, and the silent shock is very well-played by her.

Second was the film’s explosive and, should I say, mystical ending. The spotlight is in the whole ensemble, but the focus was on Emma and her. As Emma rushes to escape, she assists her. She knows where the panic came from, and she understands all well. As if she knows everything. In this scene, we get to find out that Ida is the most alert character in the film. Because she is not part of the family, she remains restrained for the most part, but as the head maid and trusted one of the family, she knows the dynamics of the family.

And if you would be able to observe in her earlier conversations with Emma, she senses something weird, but of course, she’s a maid. She stops for a while, but never tries to steal any spotlight from her, as she is built to react. She but it is the ending that makes her active. She takes the initiative of helping Emma, as she knows the whole family, led by Emma’s husband, wants to abhor her out of the family. She’s Emma’s real friend, but she never crosses the boundary, as she is still a maid.

And the ending is the only outburst the character can have. And Ida releases the tears with overflowing and amazing sensation of grief and, in some ways, guilt. She could have helped Emma more. But she’s limited by her capacity to help due to her loyalty to the family, and she knows what may happen to Emma. She cares for herself, but she is not selfish. She just doesn’t want to interfere. It’s a magical work from Maria, as she holds the screen with control to be able to bring a realistic approach to the scene. It’s a somewhat puzzling ending, though I love it. There is a metaphoric tone in it that you might not get, but Maria explodes with big amount of clarity in it. It’s the best moment of the film, but everyone might not get it.

Her best scene is, unfortunately, a big spoiler for those who hasn’t seen the film yet, and I don’t want to spoil such extraordinary movie experience, but for those who has seen it and want to take a look at it, or those who are just curious about seeing what I am talking about, here it is:

Come the awards season, and she didn’t get any notice. Of course, there are a lot of factors: she lives up in being a real supporting actress that does not try to steal anything from those she supports, she is a relatively unknown actress if we are taking about Hollywood, and she’s in a foreign language film. If she had been very famous and was in an American film, I’m sure she will be noticed and she could have been nominated. But nonetheless, Paiato provides a strong emotional vessel to us that does it in the real meaning of the word “supporting”.

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So, what are your thoughts, dear reader?

THE TOP 12 CONTENDERS FOR THE ACTING CATEGORIES OF 2010

Before I post the next best picture profile, I decided to post the top 12 actors/actresses battling for the five slots on each acting categories.This stands as my predictions on the following races.

Please comment about this year’s contenders and competitions !

(Photos of actors/actresses arranged on their chances of getting a nomination, click photos to enlarge.)

Best Lead Actor

Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)

James Franco (127 Hours)

Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)

Robert Duvall (Get Low)

Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter)

Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine)

Jeff Bridges (True Grit)

Leonardo DiCaprio (Shutter Island)

Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception)

Paul Giamatti (Barney’s Version)

Javier Bardem (Biutiful)

Stephen Dorff (Somewhere)

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Best Lead Actress

Natalie Portman (Black Swan)

Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)

Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)

Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)

Lesley Manville (Another Year)

Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right)

Hilary Swank (Conviction)

Anne Hathaway (Love and Other Drugs)

Tilda Swinton (I Am Love)

Sally Hawkins (Made in Dagenham)

Noomi Rapace (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)

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Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale (The Fighter)

Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)

Andrew Garfield (The Social Network)

Jeremy Renner (The Town)

Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right)

Bill Murray (Get Low)

John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)

Justin Timberlake (The Social Network)

Armie Hammer (The Social Network)

Ed Harris (The Way Back)

Sam Rockwell (Conviction)

Michael Douglas (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps)

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Best Supporting Actress


Helena Bonham-Carter (The King’s Speech)

Amy Adams (The Fighter)

Melissa Leo (The Fighter)

Mila Kunis (Black Swan)

Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)

Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)

Diane Weist (Rabbit Hole)

Miranda Richardson (Made in Dagenham)

Barbara Hershey (Black Swan)

Marion Cotillard (Inception)

Rosamund Pike (Made in Dagenham)

Sissy Spacek (Get Low)

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Who’s your bet? Is your favorite actor here? What do you think about them? Oh, and by the way, Happy Holidays from The Final Oscar!