by Holly Richmond.
On Jan. 25, Mo’Nique, last year’s best supporting actress, announced
the Oscar nominees for this year’s 83rd annual Academy Awards. While there’s
no Inconvenient Truth nor anyone
bragging they’re the
greenest director of all time, we managed to find some sustainable messages
in the contenders for best picture.
127 Hours: James
Franco stars in this grisly film about the mountain climber who had to cut off
his own arm since it was stuck under a rock. As long as he packed it in and
packed it out (his litter, not his arm, silly!), this sounds pretty green to
me. (For reals, though, Franco’s 2008 New Year’s Resolution was
to walk more and rely less on his car.)
Black Swan: Natalie
Portman, star of this creepy ballet flick, is a longtime vegan and green
darling, and she said
the same of director Darren Aronofsky: “Darren is a huge environmentalist
and talks about it all the time.” He forbade plastic water bottles on the set,
and Kleen Kanteen provided the cast and crew with reusable ones. Because it’s
important to be hydrated before any self-mutilation.
is a great way to save energy, right? But seriously, the Prius-driving Leo DiCaprio is uber-green.
(Remember The Eleventh Hour? Yeah …
unfortunately we do too.) Juno darling Ellen Page is no slouch, either—she appeared
in a video promo for 350.org’s day of climate action last year.
The Fighter: I’ll
admit it, there aren’t a lot of green connections with this boxing flick …
although aforementioned green director Darren Aronofsky was once at its helm.
And you can count Marky Mark as yet another knock-out with an awful
eco-thriller in his past (The Happening).
Co-stars Christian Bale dabbled
in vegetarianism, and Amy Adams took
reusable bags with her to the grocery store (hey, I’m trying here, people!).
The Kids Are All Right:
Annette Bening (who played a green activist in 1995’s An American President) and Julianne Moore star in this comedy-drama
about a lesbian couple and their kids—and a recent
study suggests the LGBT community is greener than its hetero counterparts. And
star Mark Ruffalo’s recently been in the news for his anti-fracking
The King’s Speech: This period drama chronicles how King George VI
overcame his stutter. It stars Colin Firth, who just might be one half of a new
green power couple: “With friends he opened an
eco-friendly store in west London,” reports Financial Times. And his wife Livia Guggioli has promised to only
wear sustainable fashion on the red carpet.
The Social Network:
Justin Timberlake brought sexy back, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in
the name of clean water, and opened a “green” golf
course? Add him as a friend already. (Same for Rashida Jones—her 2011
New Year’s resolution is to start
composting.) And in real life, Greenpeace gave Facebook a not-so-friendly
poke for using
coal to power its data centers.
Toy Story 3: Clearly
the take-home message of this animated blockbuster is that reusing and
recycling unwanted crap is way better than sending it to the scary incinerator.
Did I say “clearly”? In any case, Tom Hanks (the voice of Woody) volunteers for The Nature
Conservancy, making him our favorite deputy.
True Grit: The Coen brothers directed this John Wayne remake. (Perhaps
you remember their maybe-it’s-a-metaphor-for-climate-change film from three years ago, No Country for
Old Men, or their definitely-mocking-clean-coal video from last year?) The Coens have made composting
and recycling a priority on sets before—they composted 74 percent of the
waste from A Serious Man and recycled
another 6 percent. Keep it up, bros.
yet beautiful” drama is set in a poor rural community in the Ozarks, “where
drug production and trafficking [are] just as lucrative as livestock and
one reviewer. With zero farmwashing—instead, broken farm equipment sits in front of houses—perhaps it shines
a dull flickery light on the downsides of Big Ag?
Best Supporting Actor
The Town: This bank-heist
action flick features Ben Affleck as both star and director. As one-half of the greenish Bennifer,
he’s campaigned for Defenders of Wildlife, been in a Live Earth PSA, and dressed
like an ear of corn to promote flex fuels. Co-star (and Mad Men hottie) Jon Hamm voiced green Mercedes-Benz ads during
last year’s Oscars and made the regrettable career decision of starring in
Lively shops green and has urged her Gossip
Girl co-stars to switch to reusable mugs.
Best Feature Documentary
Gasland: This puppy started getting buzz at Sundance almost a year ago. It’s a scary, compelling look at fracking (hydraulic fracturing), a chemical-intensive method of extracting natural gas, and its negative health effects on the people who live nearby. If “flammable tap water” sounds familiar, it’s probably thanks to Gasland.
Inside Job: Tesla-driving
Matt Damon narrates this documentary about the current economic meltdown. Damon’s
dulcet tones have also graced
green docs Running the Sahara and
Journey to Planet Earth, and he
started Water.org, which aims to get clean drinking water to people in
Waste Land: Trash? Art? Global issues? Yes. Photographer Vik Muniz went to the world’s biggest landfill in Rio de
Janeiro to create mixed-media portraits of the locals who pick through trash there. Then he photographed the portraits—which he made with trash from that very landfill—and sold them, donating his profits back to the locals. For a topic that sounds smelly and ugly, the film sounds uplifting and personal.
Also check out:
An interview with Waste Land director Lucy Walker
The Oscar-nominated green documentary short you have to watch: The Warriors of Qiugang
Hey, Tina Fey, one kid is OK—and greener too
Lady Gaga’s boyfriend writes binge-drinking health book ‘The Drunk Diet’
Climate refugees star in Oscar-nominated ‘Sun Come Up’ [VIDEO]
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