Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oscar Time!

The Oscar nominations came out yesterday. I must admit that I haven’t actually seen a lot of these, but I’m pretty sure that if you blog on the subject of film you are contractually obligated to say something about the Oscars. So here goes…

Best Picture:
I haven’t seen any of these yet (I know, my bad), but from the looks of things it will be between ‘Babel’ and ‘Letters From Iwo Jima’, with ‘The Queen’ as a potential dark horse. ‘Babel’ actually got some pretty lukewarm reviews, but it’s exactly the kind of star-studded international epic that Hollywood loves these days. ‘Iwo Jima’ has been getting raves all around, but doesn’t Clint already have, like, twenty Oscars already? ‘The Queen’ might come up the middle, but almost all of the talk has been about Helen Mirren’s performance rather than the film itself so I suspect they’ll just give it to her.

As for ‘The Departed’, there seems to be an unspoken and slightly embarrassed agreement that it’s really really good, but not quite as brilliant as some of Scorsese’s earlier films like ‘Taxi Driver’, ‘Raging Bull’, ‘Goodfellas’, etc., that unforgivably did NOT win Oscars in the past. Therefore it will not win. This is why so many people have given up on this Oscar nonsense all together.

Best Director:
If they don’t give Best Picture to ‘Iwo Jima’, they’ll probably give Best Director to Clint as a consolation prize. Either that or they’ll use it as an excuse to finally give one to Scorsese for ‘The Departed’.

Best Actor:
Anybody but Leo DiCaprio. We’ve all had quite enough of him, I think. I was so pleased to see Ryan Gosling in there for ‘Half Nelson’. I was starting to wonder if I was the only one waiting anxiously for this little film to come out on DVD. If you haven't seen him in 'The Believer', go rent it immediately.

Really, I’d be happy to see any of the four non-Leo nominees win, especially my long time love Peter O’Toole. At the very least he wins the award for ‘The Oldest Guy I Wouldn’t Kick Out of My Bed’.

Best Actress:
Helen Mirren. No question. I’m surprised they even bothered looking for four other nominees.

Best Supporting Actor & Actress:
Don’t know. Don’t especially care. Alan Arkin is probably the sentimental favourite, which is good because I have a physiological aversion to Eddie Murphy. The little girl from ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ is cute and may win their only award. Otherwise… neh.

Best Original Screenplay:
To my father, who dismissed ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ as ‘one of those awful horror movies you like’ and refused to believe me when I informed him that it was a real movie with serious award potential, I say…


There. I feel better now.

Best Adapted Screenplay:
It should go to ‘Children of Men’. It probably will go to ‘Borat’ because everyone liked it and there aren’t many other awards you can give it without looking stupid. Still, how does a largely improvised, unscripted riff on a TV show character qualify as having an ‘adapted screenplay’?

Other random nominations:

Best Editing:
I’ve only seen two of these and I usually don’t pay attention to editing. But having witnessed the jaw-dropping battle sequence near the end of ‘Children of Men’ that looks like an impossibly long single shot but was actually stitched together in post… yeah, that should win.

Best Original Song:
I’m glad that three out of the five are for ‘Dreamgirls’ - maybe they’ll just hand them one of these and leave it at that. Seriously, if I hear the words ‘Oscar winner Eddie Murphy’ I may become physically ill.

Best Foreign Language Film:
I would love, love, LOVE to see this one go to Deepa Mehta’s ‘Water’, but it ain’t gonna happen. It will be ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ all the way. By the way, I was unexpectedly pleased to see Mel Gibson’s ‘Apocalypto’ get passed over here. Sorry, but I haven’t had any desire to see one of his movies since he went completely barking mad.

Best Documentary Feature:
Isn’t it nice that this is a category people actually pay attention to now and that they can even go and see most of the entries at the video store? Thank you Mr. Moore, wherever you are.

Oh. ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. No question.

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