Archive for February 19th, 2009

I have been thinking of starting a blog for some time on one of my favourite subjects Movies; I have finally gotten around to it. As it is the weekend of the biggest event in the movie calendar the Oscars I decided to do a my own preview on the awards running through the main awards noting what I think will win along with what I think should win.

Best Motion Picture of the Year: Slumdog Millionaire is by far the best film of the nominations and should win. The other nominations are: The Curious case of Benjamin Button is a good film if a little long. Frost/Nixon started life as stage play but has grown into an entertaining and informative film that deserves its place on the list. Milk a little preachy in its approach but a well told story with strong leading performances. The Reader is well filmed and well acted but a very average film that is inferior to many films that didn’t receive a nomination. 

frankBest Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler has been the favourite this award season so far; it is the most likely winner but I would go for Frank Langella in Frost Nixon. A fantastic performance that captures the mannerisms of the former president as well as a more sympathetic portrait of the man than I thought possible. The other nominations are: Richard Jenkins – The Visitor, Sean Penn – Milk, Brad Pitt – The Curious case of Benjamin Button.

rachBest Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Like Rourke, Kate Winslet (The Reader) has been the darling of the award season and will probably win but my vote would go to Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married: an amazing performance from the young actress whose character is ultimately a miserable, selfish, narcissistic bitch but she also comes across as vulnerable, funny and sometimes even likable, very reminiscent of Angelina Jolie’s mental patient Lisa in Girl Interrupted. Angelina Jolie is herself also in with a chance for Changeling. The other nominations are: Melissa Leo for Frozen River and Meryl Streep for Doubt.

jokeBest Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder isn’t realistically in with a chance in a comic role a bit like Johnny Depp for Pirates of the Caribbean in 2003. The winner will be a well deserved Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight although I can’t help thinking the comic book role may have been overlooked if not for the actor’s untimely death. The other nominations are: Josh Brolin for Milk, Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt and Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road.

barca1Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Possibly the hardest to call with strong performances across all the nominations. Amy Adams (Doubt) has to be in with a chance as does Marisa Tomei who is excellent in The Wrestler but I think it will go to Penélope Cruz who lit up her scenes in Vicky Cristina Barcelona and will be presented by her co star Javier Bardem who won last year for No Country for Old Men. The other nominations are: Viola Davis for Doubt and Taraji P. Henson for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

 Best Achievement in Directing: Another tough category but I think as with best film Danny Boyle will be a deserved winner for Slumdog Millionaire but would not be disappointed if David Fincher won for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, both directors made enjoyable epic films. The other nominations are Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon (who is a good outside bet) Stephen Daldry for The Reader (a great performance by Kate Winslet but not a great film) Gus Van Sant for Milk.

bruges1Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen: It is often difficult pick the best screenplay especially in the written directly for the screen category, how do you separate it from the best film category. Mike Leigh is an interesting case he is nominated for Happy-Go-Lucky this is his fourth writing nomination to go with his two directing nominations. It would be great to see him win but he does famously use a very loose script letting actors improvise their characters and the scenes. My vote is for Martin McDonagh for In Bruges, his brave script the sticks two fingers up at political correctness in what is probably the best comedy of 2008. the other nominations are: Courtney Hunt for Frozen River, Dustin Lance Black for Milk and Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Jim Reardon for WALL·E.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published presents a different problem. What are you voting for? The best screenplay or the best achievement based on the constraints of the original material. The nominations are based on: two plays, two novels and a novella/shot story. My vote goes to Frost/Nixon (Peter Morgan) as it most successfully moves away from it stage origins and captures the age perfectly. But realistically I think Slumdog Millionaire (Simon Beaufoy) will take the award. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a great film that takes it inspiration if not its story from an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story. As much as I enjoyed the film a still can not forgive it writer Eric Roth for stealing two and a half hours of my life in the form of Forrest Gump! (His co writer on this film is Robin Swicord) The other nominations are John Patrick Shanley for Doubt, a film that seems incapable of transcending its theatrical origins. David Hare for The Reader, a film with great performances but not a great film.

Best Achievement in Cinematography. There is a tend to give the Cinematography award to pretty images and vast landscapes forgetting the true meaning of the art; Cinematography is an art! The use of camera and lenses choices to capture the film makers vision and the use of lighting to capture the mood. There are two very different films that stand out for me: Tom Stern (who has worked with Clint Eastwood on most of his recent films) for Changeling and Wally Pfister for The Dark Knight. However I think voters will be blinded by the vibrant colours in the beautifully shot Slumdog Millionaire (Anthony Dod Mantle). The other nominations are: Claudio Miranda for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Roger Deakins & Chris Menges for The Reader.

 komplexBest Foreign Language Film of the Year is another strange category as only one film can be entered from any one country so The wave misses out to the other German entry Der Baader Meinhof Komplex. I would probably choose this one but think the terrorist subject matter will not go down well in America. Unfortunately I have not seen the Israeli entry Vals Im Bashir but everyone I know who has seen it (both of them) have been amazed by it. The other entries are: Entre les murs (France), Revanche (Austria) and Okuribito (Japan).


So there it is my first ever blog entry. Hope I didn’t bore you too much, if I did you probably stopped reading long before this point! I will be back next week with an explanation of where my blog got its name.

Read Full Post »