The King’s Speech, True Grit, Inception, and The Social Network garnered the most nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards. But what about the films that didn’t get an Oscar nod? Here are some of the good and the mediocre.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Based off a graphic novel series, the boy-meets-girl story gets a gamer makeover. Michael Cera is Scott Pilgrim, the same awkward teen character that he always plays; this time, however, gravity-defeating action sequences and actresses like Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ellen Wong help save the movie from Year One disaster.
This movie may be Gladiator with bows and arrows, but I’m not complaining. Russell Crowe is in top corruption-crushing shape, and a 140-minute epic about Robin Hood before he became famous is at least an original idea. Plus, none of the men wear tights. Instead, a spunky Cate Blanchett takes gender role mix-ups into her own hands by donning armor. (sound familiar, Elizabeth?)
Beautiful and bittersweet in the style of An Education, this British import tells the story of John Lennon before he became famous. Nowhere Boy may seem like the usual famous-person-struggles-with-inner-demons type film, but the performance by each actor is superb. Most notable is the relationship between tough boy Lennon (Aaron Johnson) and sensitive McCartney. (played by Thomas Sangster — remember him as brooding lovesick kid in Love Actually?)
Two of the funniest people in the American film industry get together and come up with … Date Night? Thankfully, Steve Carrell and Tina Fey have just enough spontaneous moments to make up for the cliché married couple humor and not-so-active action sequences. I certainly won’t forget the awkwardly hilarious pole-dancing episode.
Okay, so “I See the Light” was nominated for Best Original Song, but the rest of the movie did not get an Oscar nod. And why not, when you have a horse that thinks he’s a dog, tough guys singing about their appreciation for the finer things in life, and an awesome chameleon? Even if you don’t want to admit that Rapunzel and her bandit boyfriend are cool, you have to give them some credit for some mad frying pan fighting skills and admit that Disney’s continued attempts to churn out musical movies are rather welcome.
Letters to Juliet
Never mind the sloppy American attempt at Love Actually — chick flick of the year goes to Letters to Juliet. With Amanda Seyfried playing another Sophie and Christopher Egan charming-as-annoying (but not heartless) pretty boy, who cares if the plot is predictable and cliché? My main objection is Taylor Swift’s ill-timed “Love Story” playing at the end of the movie. Not to mention that three-quarters of the movie takes place in Italy, and not one scene contains a Vespa.