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Never Let Me Go (#110 of 4)

Oscar 2011 Nomination Predictions: Actor in a Supporting Role

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Oscar 2011 Nomination Predictions: Actor in a Supporting Role
Oscar 2011 Nomination Predictions: Actor in a Supporting Role

Javier Bardem, Heath Ledger, Christoph Waltz. Though the template for winning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar these days seems to require leaving a body count inversely proportional to the average age of a typical Best Actress winner, this year’s slate of contenders indicates voters are ready to see the men behind the monsters. The prime case in point: Andrew Garfield’s turn as The Social Network’s spurned and spat-upon baby entrepreneur Eduardo Saverin, which has glided past Justin Timberlake’s showier antics as Napster-teer Sean Parker and Armie Hammer’s equally compelling double dip as the Winklevii twins to emerge as the sole boy from his film’s well-tanked fraternity to contend here—especially on the strength of his Golden Globe nod. Okay, he does pull a sick, Joker-worthy stunt on a chicken, but off screen. Otherwise, David Fincher devotes most of Garfield’s screen time to chopping onions under his big, brown puppy-dog eyes. (Never mind reports that the man he represents on screen is reportedly nearly as misrepresented as Mark Zuckerberg, in the precise opposite direction.)

Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2010: First Impressions, Up the Burj Khalifa, Secretariat, & The Accordion

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Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2010: First Impressions, Up the Burj Khalifa, <em>Secretariat</em>, & <em>The Accordion</em>
Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2010: First Impressions, Up the Burj Khalifa, <em>Secretariat</em>, & <em>The Accordion</em>

Abu Dhabi seemed like a city of palm trees, construction, and concrete. A friend and I wandered around after checking into our hotel, but mostly found highway. The road seemed like a symbol of how people keep coming here; less than a quarter of the population is native, and the rest have arrived from nearly 140 countries. After seeing a food court full of South and East Asian, African, and European complexions the next day, we agreed that New York looked homogenous.

We came for the fourth annual Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF), with over 170 films. Like the city, the lineup extends multiculturally: Only three of the 15 films in the Narrative Competition come from Middle Eastern countries (none from the United Arab Emirates), and several others are high-profile Western choices like Miral and Never Let Me Go. Throughout the other categories, too, the area’s work keeps slipping in between films from the Americas, Europe, and India (here, Bollywood yields big box office), several of which do feature characters of Arab descent. Yet the only fully Arab festival categories this year are a series of shorts programs and a brief retrospective sidebar—and the sidebar films have been programmed by MoMA.