Newest Review: ... on the fact that Millionaire would win, however I think that The Curious Case, Milk, Frost/Nixon and The Reader could have took the awa... more
Will it be Penn or Rourke or even Brad?
Academy Awards (Oscars)
Member Name: Praskipark
Academy Awards (Oscars)
Date: 21/02/09, updated on 22/02/09 (271 review reads)
Advantages: A fun and exciting ceremony to watch
Disadvantages: A bit glammy perhaps
I usually don't like writing this sort of review and seeing that I was up until 4 am this morning listening to Bruce Springsteen and the Hilltop Hoods on U tube I feel lazy and tired today so this might not be the best account of my writing skills. Seeing that Dooyoo's man in red has asked me to list my nominations for the glittering prizes I will give it my best shot. He is much better at this sort of thing - he is far more analytical than me.
I think a lot of us think that the Oscar ceremony is a lot of fuss about nothing. Perhaps it is but I still find it exciting and can't wait for the results.
When I was younger the awards were much more important to me. I remember the times well - 17 years old living in a bed sit in The City of Steel with a sofa bed, a one bar electric fire and a TV as big as a house. My mates lived across the road but they didn't have a TV so it was always in my flat where we woud dress up in our posh frocks, dab a bit of blusher on our pale, soft cheeks and tie ribbons in our long locks. We wanted to look as glamorous as the stars, of course. But before the fancy dress rehersal one of us would pop down to the Victoria Wine shop on London Road for a bottle of the cheapest and foulest fake champagne on offer. We didn't have any glasses so had to drink the yellow liquid out of Easter egg mugs from the previous year. After drinking that stuff it is a surprise that I am still alive and kicking.
In those days Johnny wasn't around or Sean Penn. I was in love with four guys at once - Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood and Richard Dreyfuss. As for the ladies - I wasn't in love with any but I admired one or two. Meryl was around then so she is doing okay - she is till dominant and looking pretty good for her age. Barbara Streisand was pretty famous in those days. Although, I never thought she was attractive she had a funny side to her that I kinda liked.
Anyway, I think I am beginning to waffle here so I will get on with the awards for 2009.
Are you ready?
Let's take a look at the nominees for Best Picture.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
I have seen all of these films but have only reviewed 3. Frost/Nixon I wasn't too mad about - I thought it dragged on too long and was a bit boring, in my opinion. The Reader is a very good film in parts but I have to admit I came out of the cinema thinking that it had lost the plot half way through and I wasn't really sure what the film was about. Classed as a holocaust film yet we were only introduced to it half way through the film and personally I thought that was just a backdrop and the film was more about the generation born after the war who learnt that the generation of people they loved was actually guilty of hideous crimes - so in that way I suppose there is a link to the holocaust. For me, it was a messy film and just didn't fit together. Slumdog, I love with all my heart and I would love the film to win this award but it won't - this is Hollywood and they are going to choose one of their own babies. Milk - a great film - interesting and an emotive subject. Well acted by Mr. Penn with his quiffy hairstyle and false hooter. The filming in this is very low key and sympathetic to the man, Harvey Milk. Could be in with a chance but then so could Frost/Nixon. It's the sort of political film the Yanks love. The Reader from what I have read looks an interesting watch. So we are left with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - well I know there has been a mixed reaction from Dooyoo readers about this film and the Poles here in Warsaw are totally confused by the concept and did not like the film at all. I loved it and I am not a Pitt fan. He did a fine job and the cinematography was far out.
If it was up to me I would give Slumdog the vote but it isn't and I think Benjamin Button will win.
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry - The Reader
Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant - Milk
David Fincher - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Danny Boyle has had a mixed career and some of his films have been very hit and miss but I think his direction on Slumdog is excellent even though an Asian friend of mine living in Warsaw, who is a Bollywood promoter, disagrees with me. He told me last night that he didn't think the Jamal's accent was the accent from a Mumbai slum. Also, Indian critics have criticised the film for glamorising poverty or alternatvely not representing the subject authentically. His view is that it is just an average sort of film - nothing special. I disagree. However, as much as I love Boyle's work on this movie I am not going to nominate him.
Gus van Sant - I like his work very much. He is very artistic and has an individual style although his work on Milk wasn't his usual style so this time I have to take him out of the running.
So we are left with Ron Howard, Stephen Daldry and David Fincher and the award goes to David Fincher. Hurrah! In my view, he should win the Oscar and I think he will. His work this year has been outstanding. He is so imaginative and his use of colour and excessive detail make his work outstanding in beauty and composition. Terrific work!
Now for my favourite category - Best Actor
And the nominees are:
Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Sean Penn - Milk
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Micky Rourke - The Wrestler
Brad Pitt was very convincing in Benjamin Button and I have to say I was impressed with his acting ability. Frank Lagella was pretty good in Frost/Nixon too as was Richard Jenkins. Obviously, they are all good - that's the reason they have been nominated but the two who shine out to me are Sean Penn and Micky Rourke. Whether you like Penn or not he is totally believable as Harvey Milk. His mannerisms are exact. His pursuasiveness and his flamboyant air are very convincing. But as much as I love him I am not going to nominate him because there is someone else who deserves the Oscar and I think he will win. Tonight, ladies and gentleman, the Oscar for Best Actor, goes to Mickey Rourke for his portrayal of the tired, beaten up wrestler, Randy Robinson.
Next Category - Best Actress
Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Anjelina Jolie - The Changeling
Melissa Leo - Frozen River
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Kate Winslett - The Reader
In my view it is between two ladies - Kate Winslet and Meryl Streep. Now, we all know that Kate Winslet is one feisty lady and usually she plays intelligent roles but I fear in The Reader she is a bit of a dim-wit which takes a bit of getting used to. Her role is of a woman who lives in post-war Germany and her involvement with the cruel ways of the Nazis eventually catches up with her. I have to say she is really good in this role and not at all glamorous. In fact I would say that she was exceptional in this but she was in Revolutionary Road as well where she played the bored housewife.
And what about the grandee of Hollywood - Ms Streep. Mmmm - well dominant as always. I think I described her as a Gothic cat in my review of Doubt. She knows her craft inside out and there is no doubt about that (no pun intended) and in the film she holds your attention at all times. I think she will win the Oscar for Best Actress but I am going to nominate Kate Winslet because she deserves the accolade. Streep plays over the top - Winslet doesn't.
Next....Best Suporting Actor
Without listing the names we know who is going to win this but I will list them anyway.
Josh Brolin - Milk
Robert Downey Junior - Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
Heath Ledger - Dark Knight
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road
Okay, so Heath Ledger will win the award because he is dead and he was outstanding in The Dark Knight but I am going to nominate Josh Brolin out of Milk although Hoffman was good in Doubt but out of the two I would say Brolin is the better actor. That's short and sweet.
And Next we have - Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams - Doubt
Penelope Cruz - 'Vicky Christina Barcelona'
Taraji P Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Viola davis - Doubt
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler
And my nomination goes to Taraji P Henson whose portrayal of the ferocious and dominant woman who adopts Benjamin is outstanding. Her peaceful eyes and fiery spirit are a pleasure to watch. Marisa Tomei would get second prize if there was one because she was very convincing as the ageing stripper in The Wrestler. Her devotion to the man and the way she was always rooting for him melted my heart. Superb. Amy Adams is too wet behind the ears and far too sweet for my liking and although Viola Davis played a strong role I just think Henson and Tomei have the edge. As for Penelope Cruz - nil point.
So that's all the biggies but I will just give you my nominations for the remaining categories.
Best Cinematography - I want Slumdog to win but I think Benjamin Button will
Best Animated Feature Film - Kung Fu Panda
Best Foreign Film - Waltz with Bashir (Israel)
Best Original Screenplay - Millk (Dustin Lance Black)
Best Adapted Screenplay - Doubt (John Patrick Shanley)
Best Documentary Feature - Man on Wire
Best Original Score - Slumdog Millionaire or Defiance (Can't make my mind up on that one)
Best Costume Desugn - Revolutionary Road
Best Make Up - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Visual Effects - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button but I think Dark Knight will win this one.
There are a few more categories left but I had better not go on too long as I know people don't like lists.
So there you are folks - my nominations. Not sure if they are the same as the man in red's although I bet Kate Winslet is on his list. 2008 was a bit of a mixed bag - some great movies and some awful ones. What saddens me is that Defiance isn't up there with the nominations. I have watched that film a few times now and I like it a lot more than when I first reviewed it and I apologise to Danny boy (Daniel Craig) because I don't think I did him justice in my review.
So tomorrow we will see who the winners are.
Goodbye and Goodnight.
Summary: See My Review.