Friday, January 23, 2009

One of my favourite days of the year

One of my favourite days of the year is the day the Oscar nominations come out. True the Golden Globes are done so you sort of get a hint of what could happen, but the Oscars are the true barometer of movie awards.

Before getting into the actual awards, a couple of immediate reactions. Firstly, The Dark Knight was shut out of the major awards (ie Best Picture, Best Director). This is a shock. Easily one of the best films of the year, the idea that it got shunned but yet another Holocaust film (The Reader) is among the nominees shows that Academy voters have no guts. Secondly, Kate Winslet won a Golden Globe for Best Actress for Revolutionary Road and won a Supporting Actress Golden Globe for The Reader. However, in the Oscars, she only got nominated for one...and that was for Best Actress...for The Reader. And finally, Bruce Springsteen did not get nominated for Best Song with The Wrestler...even though he won a Golden Globe for that. And there were only three nominees for Best Song when the category usually has five! Let's get to the categories.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams – Doubt
Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis – Doubt
Taraji P. Henson – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler

Even though Woody Allen films have a history of garnering Oscars for Actresses (Dianne Weist, Diane Keaton) I don't think Penelope Cruz has a shot. My pick will go to Amy Adams for Doubt. Doubt is one of those talky films that the Academy loves. Amy Adams, cute, white, multi-talented, stage-trained is the perfect candidate. Personally, Marisa Tomei had the best performance of this category as a bitter, aging stripper in The Wrestler was perfect. But considering she has already won an Oscar for My Cousin Vinny and got nominated for a pretty nothing role in In The Bedroom, she has already got enough recognition.

Best Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin – Milk
Robert Downey Jr. – Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight (posthumous)
Michael Shannon – Revolutionary Road

We could talk about the greatness of Downey's amazing comedic performance in Tropic Thunder. He may be one of the most intriguing actors or our generation. We could talk about Josh Brolin and his amazing comeback. But really this award is going to Heath Ledger and his groundbreaking performance The Dark Knight. The kind of performance like Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington or Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind that will still be discussed 50 years from now. Him winning this award was finalized upon his death almost one year ago from today.

Best Actress
Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie – Changeling
Melissa Leo – Frozen River
Meryl Streep – Doubt
Kate Winslet – The Reader

Angelina Jolie or Meryl Streep "yawn". So take those two out of the mix. Homicide: Life On The Street's Melissa Leo is a perfect example of "It was just a pleasure to be nominated". Anne Hathaway, really? Does anyone think she should have win an Academy Award before Glenn Close ever does? This is Winslet's category to lose. As stated earlier, she has already won two Golden Globes this year...that should be good enough for one win in the Oscars.

Best Actor
Richard Jenkins – The Visitor
Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn – Milk
Brad Pitt – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler

Like Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, this Oscar was predetermined months ago. Mickey Rourke, originally the heir apparent to Robert DeNiro in the late 70s/early 80s fell off the cinematic map with bad films, an entrance into boxing and serious drug abuse. If he does not win this will be the most shocking Oscar loss since Denzel Washington (Malcolm X) lost to Al Pacino (A Scent Of A Woman).

Best Director
Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry – The Reader
David Fincher – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant – Milk

Best Picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

I still don't understand how these are two seperate categories. The director is directly involved in the overall look of the film. How can a film be good enough to win best picture but not best director. But that is a conversation for another day. To me this is a pick 'em. It will probably go to Slumdog Millionaire as they won Golden Globes in that category. The winners should be the unnominated The Dark Knight along with director Christopher Nolan. Darren Aranofsky and The Wrestler should also be among the nominees.

Top 5 Mickey Rourke films
1. Diner
2. The Wrestler
3. Body Heat
4. Angel Heart
5. Sin City



Anonymous 7 said...

How can Marissa not win?

I have not been that excited over an award in years.

Totally agree on Batman getting screwed.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Laura LaChapelle said...

I love Oscar time as well, nothing better than debating who is going to win than with my brother. We rarely ever agree!!! My prediction is Best Actress Kate Winslet because the academy loves foreign actors and she didn't win for Titanic. Best Supporting Actress Marissa Tomei for the sole sake of making right the whole win for My Cousin Vinny. Best Actor Mickey Rourke because the academy loves the underdog and the comeback story. Best Supporting Actor of course will be Heath Ledger because he is dead. This year has been especially delightful because all the nominees fall under the categories of the academy darlings, the underdog, the foreigner, the comeback and have already won. There is alot of reasons why any of them could win. But who will win.......

6:20 PM  

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