the previous Oscars for The Hurt Locker the 2010 roster – cpn

After Kathryn Bigelow’s historic Director win at the previous Oscars for The Hurt Locker, the 2010 roster of nominees returned to the usual all-male lineup. The eventual five were pretty much unquestioned. David Fincher was the early frontrunner for Facebook drama The Social Network. Darren Aronofsky and David O. Russell received their first nominations in this category for the psychological horror Black Swan and the sports drama The Fighter, respectively. The inclusion of the Coen Brothers was considered a semi-surprise for the late-breaking Western True Grit. Ultimately, the winner was Tom Hooper for the Best Picture-winning historical drama The King’s Speech.

 

Given that context, it is still a bit discouraging to see the return to normal especially with two female-directed films also up for Best Picture: Lisa Cholodenko’s dramedy The Kids are All Right and Debra Granik’s mystery drama Winter’s Bone. Both films received four nominations, though neither secured any wins. Women were also largely absent from the Best Director conversation. Out of the 248 films included in the Reminder List of Eligible Films in 2010 (83rd Academy Awards), only 24 (9.7%) were directed/co-directed by women…

 

OSCAR-NOMINATED FEMALE-DIRECTED FILMS (in alphabetical order): Country Strong, In a Better World*, The Kids are All Right, Poster Girl*, Strangers No More*, Sun Come Up*, The Tempest, The Warriors of Qiugang*, Waste Land*, Winter’s Bone (*not in the eligibility list for Best Picture)

 

AN ALTERNATIVE SET OF FIVE

 

Ruba Nadda – Cairo Time

The sunny landscape of Cairo witnesses the beginning of a friendship. Nadda provides restrained richness to this gentle drama, finding its gravitas through dramatic minimalism. Anchored in the restrained performances by Patricia Clarkson and Alexander Siddig, the film uses visual stillness and hypnotic music to draw us into the core relationship. One that is defined by the comfort of living in ambiguity. The body language of the actors matters as much as the sparse dialogue that they share. Not being able to express one’s feelings freely becomes the lingua franca of these two characters, resulting in a thrilling dance, an intoxicating state right before one falls in love. A single step forward signals the possibility of a tectonic shift, and Nadda is there to capture that moment in all its emotional glory. Streaming on AMC+ and DirecTV.

 

 

 

Lisa Cholodenko – The Kids are All Right

A lesbian couple, two teenagers, and a sperm donor. Given that setup of characters, Cholodenko refuses to let the film fall into trivialization for comedy’s, or even drama’s, sake. Instead, she faces the challenge head-on in making sure that the narrative achieves emotional maturity and sensitivity. The film lives in the connection of the characters and the investment in capturing that shows in many scenes. There is intentionality in how many characters are in the frame and who are those, whether it be a two shot or over-the-shoulder. This gives further space for the sensitively calibrated ensemble to show relationship dynamics through the rhythm within the scene. Giving tangible life to these moments of human interaction is no easy feat. Available to rent and buy on iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, YouTube, and other platforms.

 

 

Tanya Hamilton – Night Catches Us

A strained relationship between a former Black Panther member and the widow of a murdered Panther becomes the core of this stirring drama. Hamilton paints the canvas of this story with laser focus, one where the gripping conversations and tense encounters happen in the confines of a dark small room or a neighborhood sidewalk. She weaponizes the small-scale nature of the production to even magnify human interactions. This exact concision in capturing human behavior is key to the expansive trajectory that will happen later in the film. The climactic night scene is executed with tempered rage, one that leaves space for us to have introspection. In addition, strategically deployed archival footage provides robust contextualization to the film’s central narrative. Streaming on fuboTV, Showtime, AMC+, Magnolia Selects, and DirecTV.

 

 

Floria Sigismondi – The Runaways

Teenage rebellion and recklessness. Unshackling of imposed gender roles. The hollow glory of fame. In her feature film debut, Sigismondi examines these themes through the story of the titular 1970s rock band, particularly its two leads Joan Jett and Cherie Currie. The film moves at a thunderously erratic pace, one that replicates the energized motion of the protagonists as they transform from aspiring musicians to bonafide rockstars. A distinct musicality reverberates throughout the film, even outside the musical sequences. This is true even in the scenes that depict the characters’ valleys. And with those rock sequences: it’s close to sensorially orgasmic. They feel like sounds and colors explode. Like a cherry bomb, if you may. Available to rent and buy on iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, YouTube, and other platforms.

 

 

 

Debra Granik – Winter’s Bone

Odds are stacked against 17-year-old Ree Dolly in her quest to keep her family in their abode. But with her determination clashing with the overwhelming desperation of their situation comes Granik’s astonishing study of the underbelly of the Ozarks. In the spirit of true independent cinema, her vision of this world is unrelenting but calculated. There is as much importance with the suggested as with the depicted. We are made to investigate established and fractured bonds of the characters. Danger is always residing within the corners of the frame, with a haunting soundscape to even take us further into this perilous plunge. With the stakes escalating to an unimaginable climax, we are left to trust Jennifer Lawrence’s powerful work and Granik’s eye for empathy amidst the darkness. Streaming on Peacock Premium and Kanopy.

Through Her Lens (Season Finale): The 83rd Oscars + 2010s RECAP
DateTuesday, December 20, 2022 at 9:00AM
A series by Juan Carlos Ojano. Introduction / Explanation

 

After Kathryn Bigelow’s historic Director win at the previous Oscars for The Hurt Locker, the 2010 roster of nominees returned to the usual all-male lineup. The eventual five were pretty much unquestioned. David Fincher was the early frontrunner for Facebook drama The Social Network. Darren Aronofsky and David O. Russell received their first nominations in this category for the psychological horror Black Swan and the sports drama The Fighter, respectively. The inclusion of the Coen Brothers was considered a semi-surprise for the late-breaking Western True Grit. Ultimately, the winner was Tom Hooper for the Best Picture-winning historical drama The King’s Speech.

 

Given that context, it is still a bit discouraging to see the return to normal especially with two female-directed films also up for Best Picture: Lisa Cholodenko’s dramedy The Kids are All Right and Debra Granik’s mystery drama Winter’s Bone. Both films received four nominations, though neither secured any wins. Women were also largely absent from the Best Director conversation. Out of the 248 films included in the Reminder List of Eligible Films in 2010 (83rd Academy Awards), only 24 (9.7%) were directed/co-directed by women…

 

OSCAR-NOMINATED FEMALE-DIRECTED FILMS (in alphabetical order): Country Strong, In a Better World*, The Kids are All Right, Poster Girl*, Strangers No More*, Sun Come Up*, The Tempest, The Warriors of Qiugang*, Waste Land*, Winter’s Bone (*not in the eligibility list for Best Picture)

 

AN ALTERNATIVE SET OF FIVE

 

Ruba Nadda – Cairo Time

The sunny landscape of Cairo witnesses the beginning of a friendship. Nadda provides restrained richness to this gentle drama, finding its gravitas through dramatic minimalism. Anchored in the restrained performances by Patricia Clarkson and Alexander Siddig, the film uses visual stillness and hypnotic music to draw us into the core relationship. One that is defined by the comfort of living in ambiguity. The body language of the actors matters as much as the sparse dialogue that they share. Not being able to express one’s feelings freely becomes the lingua franca of these two characters, resulting in a thrilling dance, an intoxicating state right before one falls in love. A single step forward signals the possibility of a tectonic shift, and Nadda is there to capture that moment in all its emotional glory. Streaming on AMC+ and DirecTV.

 

 

 

Lisa Cholodenko – The Kids are All Right

A lesbian couple, two teenagers, and a sperm donor. Given that setup of characters, Cholodenko refuses to let the film fall into trivialization for comedy’s, or even drama’s, sake. Instead, she faces the challenge head-on in making sure that the narrative achieves emotional maturity and sensitivity. The film lives in the connection of the characters and the investment in capturing that shows in many scenes. There is intentionality in how many characters are in the frame and who are those, whether it be a two shot or over-the-shoulder. This gives further space for the sensitively calibrated ensemble to show relationship dynamics through the rhythm within the scene. Giving tangible life to these moments of human interaction is no easy feat. Available to rent and buy on iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, YouTube, and other platforms.

 

 

Tanya Hamilton – Night Catches Us

A strained relationship between a former Black Panther member and the widow of a murdered Panther becomes the core of this stirring drama. Hamilton paints the canvas of this story with laser focus, one where the gripping conversations and tense encounters happen in the confines of a dark small room or a neighborhood sidewalk. She weaponizes the small-scale nature of the production to even magnify human interactions. This exact concision in capturing human behavior is key to the expansive trajectory that will happen later in the film. The climactic night scene is executed with tempered rage, one that leaves space for us to have introspection. In addition, strategically deployed archival footage provides robust contextualization to the film’s central narrative. Streaming on fuboTV, Showtime, AMC+, Magnolia Selects, and DirecTV.

 

 

Floria Sigismondi – The Runaways

Teenage rebellion and recklessness. Unshackling of imposed gender roles. The hollow glory of fame. In her feature film debut, Sigismondi examines these themes through the story of the titular 1970s rock band, particularly its two leads Joan Jett and Cherie Currie. The film moves at a thunderously erratic pace, one that replicates the energized motion of the protagonists as they transform from aspiring musicians to bonafide rockstars. A distinct musicality reverberates throughout the film, even outside the musical sequences. This is true even in the scenes that depict the characters’ valleys. And with those rock sequences: it’s close to sensorially orgasmic. They feel like sounds and colors explode. Like a cherry bomb, if you may. Available to rent and buy on iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, YouTube, and other platforms.

 

 

 

Debra Granik – Winter’s Bone

Odds are stacked against 17-year-old Ree Dolly in her quest to keep her family in their abode. But with her determination clashing with the overwhelming desperation of their situation comes Granik’s astonishing study of the underbelly of the Ozarks. In the spirit of true independent cinema, her vision of this world is unrelenting but calculated. There is as much importance with the suggested as with the depicted. We are made to investigate established and fractured bonds of the characters. Danger is always residing within the corners of the frame, with a haunting soundscape to even take us further into this perilous plunge. With the stakes escalating to an unimaginable climax, we are left to trust Jennifer Lawrence’s powerful work and Granik’s eye for empathy amidst the darkness. Streaming on Peacock Premium and Kanopy.

 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*