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02 March 2011

Oscars fever

Another Oscars night has come and gone and, oh my, what a show! I enjoyed everything: the hosts, the actors speech, the tributes, the Red Carpet euphoria. Yes, I take the Oscars quite seriosuly. They may represent Hollywood conformity, but without them some precious films and talents would never be popular otherwise.

I was quite prepared this year, having watched all the nominated films. Of course I had a few favorites. The horse in the race I was pulling for, though, was Winter's Bone. Someone may object its plot was boring and that the dialogues were poor. Well, I fancy extreme realism, which was poetry of the rawest  kind here, so to me it was a masterpiece, also enpowered by spectacular performances that give integrity to the whole movie.

But you gotta love neo-realism to appreciate it. And I reasonably knew this film could never win best picture. It's too much of a documentary style, where trash, broken toys, scary landscapes, abandoned houses don't attract the audiences and only a few people would relate to such a rough lifestyle in the Ozarks Mountains. It's not easy to watch the main character, a 17-year-old more mature than many adults, teaching her younger siblings to shoot and skin squirrels for dinner!

So, as predicted, the film was in the Indie circuit for months, touted as a gem, and got some serious Oscar huzz but won nothing in the end. I had a feeling the Academy wasn't prone to reward the inland to such an extent. The old, weird America full of poverty and hardship explored here, so far from the NY and LA scenarios that are usually represented, is intimidating. It's a brutal world but characters have some goodness inside. And in an environment where survival is not to be taken for granted,  because life is not easy, this establishes a social connection. Very much so.

Jennifer Lawrence was up for an Oscar Nomination as Best Actress. She's absolutely fearless. tTumbs up. And she's also so nice. I read she auditioned for the roles of Bella and Rosalie in Twilight but didn't get those. With all respect for the vampire fans, I'm happier that this type of film contributed significantly to the development of her career. Everything happens for a reason and this breakthrough role was anticipated by another brilliant performance in The Burning Plain, which I liked too, starring as a young Charlize Theron. All stark, challenging roles that are difficult to find for a newbie.

I just hope Jennifer continues building a quality career  starring in intelligent roles and not getting lost in the film industry, starring in mediocre comedies  like Kate Hudson did after her breakout in Almost Famous, which costed her an Oscar Nomination too. I had lots of hopes for Kate, honestly.

I can't wait to see what Jennifer has in store for us. She's ready for fame and I'm sure she wants to experiment different roles now. I just hope that, whaetever she comes up with, she won't be just another  blonde out there and that she'll know how to choose.

Even if, to be totally honest, hadn't I read this piece of interview where she explains about the reason why she did a sexy photoshoot for Esquire, I would be skeptical right now.
What do your parents think when they see you on the big screen or in your photo shoot for Esquire? How are they reacting to all of this?
Seeing me on the big screen, or seeing the photo shoot? Because those are different reactions. [Laughs]

They’re really proud of me, and they know I’m doing what I was made to do. Growing up, I was always like, look at me! I was definitely was an actress in-the-making. So they’re very supportive of me. And they’re actually very supportive of the Esquire shoot, too, because they knew why I was doing it.

Which was?
Which was to avoid being typecast as the girl from Winter’s Bone. To come out with something to counteract the total non-sexual, woolen-cap-pulled-over-my-eyes look of the movie and open myself up to do more things. You know when you’ve been watching a lot of dark, heavy movies and then all of a sudden you’re like, ugh, I just need some crap! I just want to do something fun. I mean, nothing that’s stupid. But I would like to move on to do something different. Have a bigger trailer. Maybe wear makeup in a movie. I mean, that’d just crazy, right? Me wearing makeup in a movie? Imagine the possibilities! [Laughs]
She sounds convincing, I can give her the benefit of the doubt. After all, she's only 19!

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