Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Academy Award Nominations!!!!

So the Academy Award nominations were announced today. The biggest overall surprise is that Dreamgirls led all films with 8 nominations but not one of them was for Best Picture.

Best Picture
The Departed
Letters From Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

Babel did get a number of nominations but this category is The Departed's to win.

Best Director
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel)
Martin Scorsese (The Departed)
Clint Eastwood (Letters From Iwo Jima)
Stephen Frears (The Queen)
Paul Greengrass (United 93)

Scorsese is almost a lock to win this. Just keep this in mind, the rap group Three 6 Mafia has won more Academy awards than Scorsese.

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio (Blood Diamond)
Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson)
Peter O'Toole (Venus)
Will Smith (The Pursuit Of Happyness)
Forest Whitaker (The Last King Of Scotland)

Interesting race with DiCaprio getting a nomination for Blood Diamond as opposed to the more nominated film The Departed. However, with Forest Whitaker doing an accent and playing a real person who recently died, he should win this category handily.

Best Actress
Penelope Cruz (Volver)
Judi Dench (Notes On A Scandal)
Helen Mirren (The Queen)
Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada)
Kate Winslet (Little Children)

Streep has no business in this category. Her performance was clearly a supporting one. Nice to see Penelope Cruz. It's funny, she seems to be a much better actress when speaking Spanish as opposed to english. Helen Mirren, playing the current queen of England is a lock for the Oscar.

Best Actor In A Supporting Role
Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine)
Jackie Earl Haley (Little Children)
Djimon Honsou (Blood Diamond)
Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls)
Mark Wahlberg (The Departed)

Lots of surprises here including Jackie Earl Haley (best known for 70s films Breaking Away and The Bad News Bears) and Mark Wahlberg. Though I question how a guy who was once known as Marky Mark should be allowed to be nominated for an Academy Award. I am also surprised that he would get a nod over his Departed co-star Alec Baldwin. Djimon Honsou gets another nomination. He is a terrific actor who really should be getting more lead roles. Eddie Murphy, an actor who makes more bad film choices than any actor on the planet should take home the award.

Best Actress In A Supporting Role
Adriana Barraza (Babel)
Cate Blanchett (Notes On A Scandal)
Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine)
Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls)
Rinko Kikuchi (Babel)

This category is always a crapshoot. From Marisa Tomei to Mira Sorvino, winners in this category are always the most difficult to predict. My brain says that ex-American Idol candidate Jennifer Hudson will win for Dreamgirls. However, my gut says Abigail Breslin. The little girl from Little Miss Sunshine.

Best Original Screenplay
Guillermo Arriaga (Babel)
Iris Yamashita and Paul Haggis (Letters From Iwo Jima)
Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine)
Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth)
Peter Morgan (The Queen)

This category usually goes to small independant films that are really successful but to artsy to get nods in the more major categories. Because of this, I will go with Michael Arndt's Little Miss Sunshine though with it's cross cutting storylines, Guillermo Arriaga could win for Babel.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham, Dan Mazer and Todd Phillips (Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan)
Alfonso Cuaron, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men)
William Monahan (The Departed)
Todd Field and Tom Perrotta (Little Children)
Patrick Marber (Notes On a Scandal)

How Cohen's film made the list seems more like a "Hey we applaud your film's success by handing you a nomination" type nomination. How is it that it took five people to write a film that is basically an actor playing a character who walks amongst real people and simply reacts to how they react to him? I am going to go with Children Of Men here. This film should have received more nominations than it did.

Top 5 performances that should have been nominated this year.
1. Best Picture-Children Of Men
2. Best Director-Alfonso Cuaron (Children Of Men)
3. Best Supporting Actress-Emma Thompson (Stranger Than Fiction)
4. Best Supporting Actress-Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada)
As discussed above, she was nominated for Best Actress for this performance but since the lead performance of the film is by Anne Hathaway, it makes no sense. Just goes to prove that Academy voters often vote for names not actual performances. Though it is the studios fault, they obviously submitted Streep's nomination for Best Actress knowing that an actress with her pedigree would be nominated no matter what.
5. Best Supporting Actor-Danny Huston (The Proposition)



Anonymous Skypilot said...

Did you notice that the Canadian film "Water" was nominated in the category of Best Foreign Language Film?


11:27 PM  
Anonymous gking said...

Your comments about the Streep nomination echo my thoughts about Hudson and Knowles in Dreamgirls. Hudson clearly did a lead role job, but would never win in that category against more experienced dues payers. Hence the best support nod. Knowles did excellent in a supporting role (at the beginning of the film I didn't even recognize her). She should have been nominated and won in that category.

10:09 AM  

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