OK, I've never made a movie and "they don't make movies like they used to", so what do I know? But I haven't missed watching the Academy Awards in more than 40 years, and I try to make it a point to see all of the Best Picture nominees ahead of time (now 10 nominees instead of 5), which isn't easy, so my opinion is as good as the next guy's. So here is how I rank this year's 10 Best Picture Oscar nominees, "most deserving to win Best Picture" to "lesser deserving", based on nothing other than my own personal tastes and limited knowledge of film-making excellence!
1. The Social Network. Jesse Eisenberg is a natural playing Facebook founder Mark Zukerberg. Interesting story, fictional or not.
2. The Fighter. Loved this movie. Superb acting by all those actors playing the family members.
3. The King's Speech. This one will win the Oscar, which is okay, it's a fine movie. The Academy always approves of these British monarchy stories.
4. 127 Hours. This is one of two films on the list that I didn't want to see but saw anyway and ended up liking it a lot. James Franco is great.
5. Black Swan. Scary stuff backstage at the ballet. Was a little disappointed but was still impressed by this movie. Loved the Swan Lake music, of course.
6. Toy Story 3. The other movie that I resisted seeing, but we watched all three Toy Story movies and loved them. We liked 2 the best.
7. The Kids Are Alright. This is the most fun movie on the list. Annette Bening is very convincing!
8. True Grit. You know I love the Coen Brothers, and this movie is okay but no Fargo or Big Lebowski. Drags some of the time. Jeff Bridges is cool, of course.
9. Winter's Bone. An interesting, relatively low-budget movie. Very suspenseful story about meth use in the Ozarks. Wouldn't make you want to go there on vacation.
10. Inception. Not a bad movie. Just not my cup of tea.
The Academy Awards will be on TV this Sunday night.
Tomorrow: Acting awards.