Blog Home - Archives

Here we go with the big deal Oscar talk...

Being an Oscar enthusiast, I always get up at 5:30am to watch the big announcement. Some years, there are surprises (like when Johnny Deep was nominated for Best Actor in 2004) that leap me ahead in the stages of waking up. Then there are years such as this one, where their are either no surprises or they come in what wasn't nominated and it makes me want to crawl back into bed. Here's what I think; please post your feelings about this whole Oscar spectacular too.

BEST ACTOR

Forest Whitaker--Last King of Scotland Leonardo DiCaprio--Blood Diamond Peter O'Toole--Venus Will Smith--The Pursuit of Happyness Ryan Gosling--Half Nelson

I went to an advanced screening of Borat. I remember sitting there during that nice part right after the big wrestling scene (Borat's in the truck and his friend has left him and he's pretty deflated) catching my breath, ears ringing from the screams and thinking, "He really should get nominated for a Oscar for this." I guess not. But I am extremely happy for Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson will be out on DVD February 13th). I'm also happy to live in a world where you can introduce Will Smith as a two-time Oscar nominee. I vow that if he wins, I will sing the Fresh Prince theme song in the store out loud at the top of the stairs (yes, I have it memorized, don't you?). A favor: Could someone who has seen Blood Diamond let me know if it is good? Does it triumph over Leo's cringe-worthy accent (this is just me judging from the trailer...)?

BEST PICTURE

Little Miss Sunshine Letters From Iwo Jima Babel The Queen The Departed

Where's Children of Men??? Well, I knew it didn't have much of a chance but I was hoping to be proved wrong. I just saw Letters last weekend and keep wondering if I liked it as much as I think I did, or if I'm just comparing it to the weak-ish Flags of our Fathers and therefore it appears better than it actually is. The debate goes on, but I am sure I connected more with Ken Wantanabe and Kazunari Ninomiya than anyone in Flags. Letters is a much more intimate film, if you can even call a big epic style war movie intimate. It's great, but I have a feeling Babel's going to win because it has the interwoven story stylings of Crash without the overwrought, annoying Paul Haggis dialogue. That feeling of "one big ugly beautiful human family" seems to go far with Academy voters. Many seem to be taking offense to Dreamgirls being snubbed, but I wasn't. If you take away Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy, it's really just a good Beyonce video.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Jesus Camp Iraq In Fragments Deliver Us From Evil My Country, My Country An Inconvenient Truth

Congratulations to local filmmaker/Stranger Genius Award winner James Longley and Iraq In Fragments. We'll all be rooting for it. It's up against another Iraqi focused film My Country, My Country, which played at SIFF last year. Jesus Camp just came out on DVD today so come in early while we still have some checked in. Deliver Us From Evil (portrait of a pedophile priest) has been on many Top Ten lists, but I think we're in for a political speech from Al Gore.

ACTRESS--SUPPORTING

Adriana Barraza--Babel Cate Blanchett--Notes on a Scandal Abigail Breslin--Little Miss Sunshine Jennifer Hudson--Dreamgirls Rinko Kikuchi--Babel

Barraza and Kikuchi were both wonderful in Babel, each vividly portraying a different type of desperation. But when two people from the same film get nominated in the same category, the chances aren't good for either. Breslin was cute and did an excellent job of making Olive completely sincere and not kid corny, but I think Shareeka Epps was much stronger in Half Nelson. Ms. Hudson's going to get it, and I'm sure it will do wonders for her confidence (I got teary eyed during her Globes speech).

ACTOR--SUPPORTING

Alan Arkin--Little Miss Sunshine Jackie Earle Haley--Little Children Dijimon Hounsou--Blood Diamond Eddie Murphy--Dreamgirls Mark Wahlberg--The Departed

It may seem that Eddie has it all tied up, but I'd like to make a case for Jackie Earle Haley. He plays a convicted child molester who gets out of prison, moves back into his mother's house and faces the neighborhood's reaction. He manages to portray him as both incredibly repulsive and remarkably human. The scene in the restaurant alone is worth an award. Little Children is playing at the Meridian downtown as of today (Tuesday), but might not be come Friday. If you've seen it, let us know what you think. I also wouldn't mind seeing Mark Wahlberg win. As one of my co-workers pointed out this morning, he does steal pretty much every scene he's in.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

After The Wedding Days of Glory (Indigenes) The Lives of Others Pan's Labyrinth Water

Salma Hayek made it known on E! that she was pretty disappointed Volver didn't get nominated. I'm with you, Ms. Hayek. I know you shouldn't just assume that when Pedro Almodovar makes a film that it's going to get nominated, but still. Water is out on DVD and the wonderful Pan's Labyrinth is in theaters, but we'll have to wait for the others. Denmark's After The Wedding won't get a limited theatrical release in the US until late March, but its nomination may push that up. The Lives of Others and Days of Glory must be coming soon because I saw previews for both before Letters from Iwo Jima.

Other random thoughts: Hurrah for Borat's Adapted Screenplay nomination, but I'm forced to root against it in favor of Children of Men. Little Miss Sunshine will likely win Best Original Screenplay unless Babel starts sweeping its categories. I like The Illusionist vs. The Prestige magic-off in the Cinematography category, but must go with Children of Men or Pan's Labyrinth. I was confused about The Devil Wears Prada's nomination for Costume Design, because really, aren't they just wearing designer stuff? But since it's Patricia Field (who worked on Sex and the City), I don't care. It's refreshing to have some modern day clothes represented, as these awards usually go to period pieces.

Lastly, I was extremely disappointed we won't be seeing Prince perform at the Oscars. I was hoping he'd wear those assless pants (maybe that's what the Academy was afraid of?). Now we have to sit though yet another Randy Newman/Pixar song (no offense to the great Mr. Newman, it's just a cliche at this point) and not one, not two, but three songs from Dreamgirls. Can you say medley?

blog