January 23, 2008

The Oscars - Will They or Won't They?

It's that time again, folks - Oscar time! Which is not quite as exciting as it normally would be for me.

First of all, we have that whole, "Will there be a ceremony?" confusion and angst. By now you've certainly read many articles and blogs debating the topic. For awhile I had thought the ceremony was doomed, but recent rumors about a settlement with the DGA makes me wonder otherwise. We shall see. As for me, I'm investigating alternate locations to watch the ceremony, as we will have just moved into our new place, and let's just say I don't have complete faith in Comcast.

The other real issue is that the movies this year have been less than thrilling. While a few have certainly been exciting, that doesn't make them Oscar bait (i.e. The Bourne Ultimatum). So instead we've had a year of many "small" films which apparently are about old violent men. Seriously - I think the biggest accessories at the Oscars this year will be weaponry!

But enough of this doom and gloom talk - let's discuss those nominations. Because no matter what else you think about what will happen this year, you have to admit the noms themselves were quite interesting. Let's get right to the big categories.

The most buzzed about surprise nomination was in the Best Actor category, for Tommy Lee Jones. I haven't heard much about the performance, but those that have seen it say the nomination is well-deserved. But you can set aside that, as the prognosticators say Daniel Day-Lewis has this one wrapped up. I'll have to go see There Will Be Blood to judge for myself. It was nice, though, to see Johnny Depp get a nod for Sweeney Todd - a bloody movie that was anchored by his performance.

Amongst the Supporting Actors, a couple were not surprises - Javier Bardem (I guess for that horrid haircut?) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (for the bad mustache?). Personally I was tickled to see Hal Holbrook score a nom, as he's always been a curmudgeon that I love (and you know I just want to see Dixie Carter walk the red carpet).

Although there was talk about Cate Blanchett scoring a double-nomination, I was still surprised to see her get one for Best Actress. She certainly deserved it for almost single-handedly carrying Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Ever since we saw Away From Her on a plane, I knew that Julie Christie was a lock. And yet I find I'm happiest to see Ellen Page up there - that's when I started to get really excited for Juno's chances! I had hoped to maybe see a nomination for Amy Adams in Enchanted, but I assume with time she'll be up for more. La Vie En Rose and The Savages are top on my list of movies to see next, so I'll be able to really judge this category soon.

The nomination we all knew Cate Blanchett would get was for Supporting Actress. I haven't even seen I'm Not There, and I'm convinced she's inhabited by Bob Dylan's essence! The nomination for Saoirse Ronan was a bit generous (a fine performance, but not extraordinary - more on Atonement in my next post). I'm happy for Ruby Dee, who is a legend and would give a kick-ass acceptance speech.

I've heard great things about Persepolis (and saw an impressive preview yesterday), but is there any question that Ratatouille was the year's Best Animated Feature?

Normally I'd not be talking about Best Song at this point, but this year I have a reason! Once you set aside the 3 songs from Enchanted (charming, but not why the movie was great) and that one from that movie no one saw, there is but one choice. And that, my friends, is the divine "Falling Slowly" from Once. To see Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova perform that song and then claim the Oscar will be utter bliss. The movie was criminally overlooked for other awards, so please give it this one!

This was a banner year for women, with a record 4 of 10 Screenplay nominations going to the ladies! This could be the best shot for a Juno win (Original Screenplay). The Adapted Screenplay category is a crapshoot - any guesses out there?

With the Best Director nominees, you can assume Julian Schnabel is out. I can't even predict amongst the other 4, but I know people like those Coen boys...

And for Best Picture - I love Juno! Oh wait, that wasn't the question. Well, I love it anyway and would do a dance (slightly awkward and self-conscious accompanied by acoustic guitar) if it won. The others are so...old men and guns! I can't imagine how hard it will be for the NRA to choose which film to support.

So let's cross our fingers that the producers cave and give the WGA what it deserves and the Oscars go on as planned!


ScottE. said...

All the talk at work yesterday was Daniel Day Lewis...looking forward to seeing it for myself. I am so happy for ONCE...of any awards, that's the ONE for that movie!

Stef said...

As I shared with you, I pretty much hated TWBB. I hope people don't always lump it together with No Country, cuz they're very different movies. And actually, Javier is much scarier with a weapon other than a gun... I think he's a lock for Best Supporting. But I have some catching up to do on seeing movies for the major categories, so I'll post my complete thoughts probably closer to the telecast. (I'm going to assume it's happening - after the huge economic hit of that sham of a Globes show, I think the WGA has some face-saving to do and will at least make a deal even if the whole strike continues.)

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