1…2…10 Oscar nominees

The lead up to the Olympics has cast a long shadow over the local theatre. Who wants to see the latest blockbuster when there’s Olympic hockey to be watched? However, once the shine of Olympic medals has worn off, those in the know will be looking ahead to March 7 for the 82nd Academy Awards!

This Oscars promise to be hugely entertaining. Co-hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin guarantee an evening of fun and frivolity. And with the expansion of the Best Picture category from five to 10 nominees there’ll be no shortage of great films to cheer on. I’ve managed to take in six of the Best Picture nominees this year and have reviewed many of them (District 9, Inglourious Basterds and Up). This month, Rave Reviews looks at two more Oscar potentials, Precious and The Hurt Locker.


Precious is one of the most challenging films I’ve ever watched. The story of a young, illiterate girl from Harlem, pregnant with her second child from an abusive father, is not a film for the faint of heart.

Performances by Mariah Carey, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton and newcomer Gabourey Sidibe are mind-blowing. Mo’nique earned a Golden Globe for her performance and gave a stirring acceptance speech: she dedicated the film to all women who had been abused by a loved one and encouraged them to tell their story. This is only the second film for director Lee Daniels but it’s gotten him two Oscar nods for Best Director and Best Picture. If you want an intense, powerful and inspiring story, you won’t be disappointed. Precious is at the top of my list—I hope to see both Mo’Nique and Sidibe earn Oscars for their performances.

Oscar nominee The Hurt Locker is now out on video, giving you plenty of time to see it before the red carpet is rolled out this year. Kathryn Bigelow has gained popularity over this depiction of a day in the life of an American bomb squad posted in Iraq. Although the film debuted in 2008 in several foreign markets, it’s been included in the 2010 Academy Awards. The wait appears to have served the film well—it’s earned nine Oscar nods including nominations for Best Actor, Best Director and Best Picture. I was particularly impressed with Jeremy Renner’s performance as William James, an adrenaline junkie jarhead who’s as crazy as he is complicated. This film isn’t your typical rah-rah army jaunt. Graphic explosions and a high body count highlight the madness of war in a disturbingly clinical way.

This year’s Oscars are sure to be full of fun and surprises. Tune in on March 7 to cheer on your favourite contenders. May the best film win!

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