Saturday, February 24, 2007

Just My Oscar Thoughts

Disclaimer: I am not an Oscar voter, and I haven’t seen all the movies. So I am sure to have missed much. Take what I say with two grains of salt, and call me on it in the morning.

BEST PICTURE: I really enjoyed LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE (review) and THE QUEEN, but neither feels like a “great” picture – one that is a classic for the ages. THE DEPARTED (review) seems the frontrunner – and it is a piece of masterful moments and great performances; but the flaws are also so prominent, it also doesn’t feel deserving of an A+. BABEL is touted as “important,” and I’ll risk being taking to task again (as I did last year) by saying that “important” doesn’t mean “best.” So where do I stand? Maybe there isn’t a best this year…
What I want to win: LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
What should win: LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
What will win: THE DEPARTED

BEST DIRECTOR: Scorsese did a fine job, and got great performances from his actors. Is that enough? Maybe – I won’t complain when he takes the statue (and he will).
Who should win: Clint Eastwood.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: THE QUEEN is a marvelous flick, but that’s Helen and Stephen; the screenplay is very good, but not the goods.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: I’m having trouble with the nominees here. First, if a movie has no screenplay, how does it get nominated? BORAT allegedly has raw material from improvisation sculpted by an editor – unless an admission to a scandal is afoot – was the whole thing scripted with actors, and just one big joke on the American ticket buyer? Wouldn’t surprise me…
THE DEPARTED was fine but flawed (I blame the director, I think the writer had all the holes filled). But until I see INFERNAL AFFAIRS, I won’t know how much this writer did beyond translating from the Chinese.
Who I want to win: No opinion.
Who will win: THE DEPARTED

BEST ACTOR: Will Smith moved me in THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS – marvelous. Peter O’Toole is deserving of the honor, but VENUS – how do I say it? One reviewer pointed out that it is the only feel good movie that leaves you wanting a shower. Too true. Some of it is wonderful, breath-taking, touching; and some of it is just icky. Too icky, maybe, to see past and give Peter the chance for more than his honorary Oscar.
Who I want to win: Will Smith
Who will win: Forest Whitaker

BEST ACTRESS: Meryl Streep earns the nom with her no-makeup scene admitting the troubles in her marriage. Earns the nomination, not the night. No question on the best performance here.
Who I want to win: Helen Mirren
Who will win: Helen Mirren

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: I am torn. Abigail Breslin did an amazing job in LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE – I want her to win for the small things – admitting to gramps that she doesn’t think she is beautiful, giving her brother a hug, believing she can dance – and enjoying her dancing without need for audience approval.
But Jennifer Hudson owns the screen. I want her to win for the big and brassy. (Sidenote – there is some scandal over DREAMGIRLS not getting nominated for best pic. It is a false scandal; the movie has amazing performances, and standout moments, but structurally was a mess (review). Want proof that the movie doesn’t know what its real story is? Jennifer Hudson was nominated for supporting actress. So who’s the lead?)
Who I want to win: Split decision, as both Abigail and Jennifer share the podium…
Who will win: Hudson

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Eddie Murphy surprises with his turn in DREAMGIRLS. Who knew? But watching NORBITT ads, and the fear that he will feel the need to show up in a fat suit scares me from wanting him to win.
Who I want to win: Alan Arkin
Who will win: Alan Arkin

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Who I want, and will, and should: CARS.

BEST SHORT DOC: Haven’t seen any of them, but heard interviews on NPR. Won’t make win predictions, but TWO HANDS seems to be a must see.

Just my thoughts,



Anonymous said...

I'd just like to clarify that Infernal Affairs is a 100% Hong Kong film, that means it's in Chinese, not Japanese.

It's okay. Even the Oscars made this mistake too... (grrrrrr)

Btw, if you have a chance, watch Infernal Affairs :) It's really good.

Gaffney said...

Uh, yeah, but I was referring to the Japanese dub of the movie... Nah, I just assumed that we were remaking from the same source that has brought us all the horror flicks. And as I said, I have neither seen nor read the original (yet). My apologies to the Hong Kong film industry.

janet said...

Well, you called it better than I did, that's for sure! (I think I was surrounded by too many Little Miss Sunshine fans.) Good prognostication!