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83rd Oscars Going Cerebral

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For a change, a new image of an action hero is taking shape in the films nominated recently for Best Picture by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In what could be considered a geek’s wish list of Academy Awards aspirants, the focus has shifted to the struggles inside the mind. This is what we may define as “internal” stunts now occurring in the inner self.

For the last several years, we have been seeing straight-laced action films running home with the Best Picture plum: No Country for Old Men, Slumdog Millionaire, The Departed, The Hurt Locker. But the current ensemble of brainy cinema is far from being dry or hedonistic. As the dynamics of the mind are brought to the fore in these films, we are actually discovering an interesting source of dramatic energy. For this year, let us do away with conventional action stunts and make way for some real cerebral activities on the big screen.

Here is a quick peek at two leading brainy treats among nominees for the 83rd Oscars.

The Social Network

This has got to be the logical pick for those who are into “nerdy” stuff. The Social Network is a chronicle of the super-logic processes that happen inside the brain of Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook. It is interesting to see how techie matters such as intellectual property issues and coding skills can give the adrenaline rush that we normally get from action flicks. Easily an early favorite among the top contenders, The Social Network is on a winning run, having snatched four awards already: New York Critics Film Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, National Board of Film Review, and National Society of Film Critics.

This is only the third time that this amazing feat was accomplished, with The Social Network joining Schindler’s List and LA Confidential in this notable triumvirate of masterpiece creations that figuratively hit the home run.

The King’s Speech

The King’s Speech is the affirmation of the undying affection by the Academy for Gaelic period movies. Still, we can see how a heart-wrenching drama can be drawn even from the dullest physical disability.  The King’s Speech adds to the long list of Oscar favorites that have adopted the impairment formula, including Rain Man, My Left Foot, and The Miracle Worker.

With its 12 Oscar nominations and recent triumph at the Producer’s Guild of America, The King’s Speech is expected to make a good run for the Best Picture award.

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About Cheryl A. Clausen