When it comes to children, most parents will cite the old adage: "It's impossible to pick a favorite." The same could easily be said for Oscar's supporting thesp races.
Blending quality visual effects and live action motion pictures is a science and an art, with roots that go back to the dawn of cinema and Georges Méliès.
Stephen Frears' "Tamara Drewe" opens with the vision of a muscular, shirtless hunk splitting wood as the sun rises over rolling pastures and the music of chirping birds fills the air.
At first, cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle jokes about the challenge of shooting much of Danny Boyle's "127 Hours" in an ultra confined space.
The unspoken rule for Oscar-winning cinematography is this: Pretty landscapes win
Modern Gothic iconography comes in all shapes and sizes; A dark, menacing concrete bunker. A gloomy rehearsal space. A lonely college dorm. An isolated beach house.
"The Town," a slick, modern caper movie directed by and starring Ben Affleck, might seem to be another in a long series of caper films with a kinetic, ingeniously filmed heist at its heart.
Much has been said about this having been an exceptional year for lead female performances, but it was no accidental phenomenon. In 2010, strong women made strong distaff roles happen.
From the producers of "The Shaggy Dog" and "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" comes. . ."The Fighter"?
"It's a true life story based on Aron Ralston's book 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place,'" explains Christian Colson, producer of "127 Hours."
Judging by box office, the visual effects Oscar race focuses on one of the most popular aspects of movies.