Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The best movie of 2010 getting all kinds of kudos

Though Pixar's "Toy Story 3" comes in a close second, I haven't seen a better movie this year than Debra Granik's "Winter's Bone," and now that it's awards season, that great flick is starting to garner some very well-deserved recognition.

First this week, it really came up big at the Gothams, winning the awards for Best Feature and, perhaps even better, Best Ensemble Performance, because Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes also delivered the best two performances I've seen on screen this year.,

In the Best Feature category, it prevailed over some heavy hitters in "Black Swan," "The Kids Are All Right" "Blue Valentine" and "Let Me In." (I don't want to be hateful about it, but I thought "The Kids Are All Right" was severely overrated - at best a TV movie with exceptional acting from Annette Bening. And as for "Let Me In" even being on this list, that's a disgrace.)

On a personal side note, I was disappointed to see that "Summer Pasture," a truly odd but endearing documentary about Tibetan nomads that I saw at the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival, didn't win in the category of Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You, which went to something called "Littlerock."

And now on top of that, "Winter's Bone" has also notched the most Independent Spirit Award nominations with seven, and in all the major categories (including for Lawrence and Hawkes.)

In case anyone's curious, here are the nominees in the major categories:

Best Film
* 127 Hours
* Black Swan
* Greenberg
* The Kids Are All Right
* Winter’s Bone

Best Director
* Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
* Danny Boyle – 127 Hours
* Lisa Cholodenko – The Kids Are All Right
* Debra Granik – Winter’s Bone
* John Cameron Mitchell – Rabbit Hole

Best Actor
* Ronald Bronstein – Daddly Longlegs
* Aaron Eckhart – Rabbit Hole
* James Franco – 127 Hours
* John C. Reilly – Cyrus
* Ben Stiller – Greenberg

Best Actress
* Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole
* Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right
* Greta Gerwig – Greenberg
* Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone
* Natalie Portman – Black Swan
* Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine

Best Supporting Actor
* John Hawkes – Winter’s Bone
* Samuel L. Jackson – Mother and Child
* Bill Murray – Get Low
* John Ortiz – Jack Goes Boating
* Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right

Best Supporting Actress
* Ashley Bell – The Last Exorcism
* Dale Dickey – Winter’s Bone
* Allison Janney – Life During Wartime
* Daphne Rubin-Vega – Jack Goes Boating
* Naomi Watts – Mother and Child

Best Foreign Film
* The King’s Speech
* Kisses
* Mademoiselle Chambon
* Of Gods and Men
* Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Best Documentary
* Exit Through the Gift Shop
* Marwencol
* Restrepo
* Sweetgrass
* Thunder Soul

Best Screenplay
* Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg – The Kids Are All Right
* Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini – Winter’s Bone
* Nicole Holofcener – Please Give
* David Lindsay-Abaire – Rabbit Hole
* Todd Solondz – Life During Wartime

And if you haven't seen "Winter's Bone," I really can't recommend a rental any higher. I think it's sitting on my local redbox right now, so I plan to watch it again this weekend.

Granik's film, which takes place in the Ozarks, drops you deep into a side of America that I have to assume just about anyone who happens to read this has never seen.

As it starts, Rhee Dolly (Lawrence) gets a knock on the door of the home she shares with her two younger siblings, and a sheriff's deputy says her deadbeat father, who is due in court in a few days, has put up their house as a guarantor of his appearance.

From there, it's part film noir, part coming-of-age very fast in extremely tough circumstances and all very entertaining. Just watch it already.

And all I have after that today is something that's pretty old by now, but it's so cool that I just have to finish with it. I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that I'll never be able to stop paying for HBO. "Boardwalk Empire" has just gotten better and better this fall, and shortly after wraps up will come something even better, "Game of Thrones." I still have no idea when exactly this will hit the air, but it will be in winter or spring of 2011, and you can be sure I'll be eagerly tuned in for every episode of this series based on the books by George R. R. Martin. Enjoy the trailer below, and have a perfectly passable Wednesday. Peace out.


jeremy said...

So happy Winter's Bone is not being passed over. So far, it's my favorite of the year, too. I need to find more HBO leaks because I only caught the first Boardwalk Empire (more impressed with art direction than story, but wanted to see where the story was going).
And you already know my devotion to Game of Thrones . . .

Reel Fanatic said...

I do indeed ... Boardwalk Empire is a slow burn, Jeremy, but things are really heating up as they reach the season one finale .. that said, I'm a couple of episodes behind, because my DVR got clogged when I went on vacation for about 10 days!

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