Thursday, January 22, 2009....
I'm so happy that my sister's friend includes me in major entertainment news. When I was working, I received great gossip, but now that I'm not, I'm sometimes left off the random star-gossip news. I was excited to receive his email with the Oscar Nods in my inbox today. Why? Haven't a clue. I haven't seen one of the movies nominated, but would like to recap the best pics from what I heard about them from others (aka 3rd party reviews):
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button --- too much of Brad Pitt as an old guy. That's what I heard and frankly, that saddens me. Nothing wrong with older actors (thought Clint Eastwood was awesome in Gran Torino), but when you think you're seeing eye-candy and paying good money, why are you hiding behind the makeup? FYI - LMB has never had desire to see this film.
Frost/Nixon - Definitely am planning on seeing. I was a history major in college and have liked Ron Howard movies. I was also a very small child when this happen and didn't quite get all the talk about the President resigning and know this interview was over the top because no one expected Nixon to say what he did. No one I knew saw this movie, so I can't give you a third party review.
Milk - I would see this before Benjamin Button (because I'm not seeing it), but I have so many pics to see, I think this will have left my indie movie theatre before I get a chance. Sean Penn is great in everything and I imagine he was wonderful in this. Again, no third party review of this movie (heck, what the hell are my friends seeing these days??)
The Reader - Okay, never heard of this until the Golden Globes and how shocked was I to learn that it started playing at the local indie movie theatre 2 or 3 days later -NOT -.....I really love Kate Winslet and knowing what the movie is about, I think it'll be very intense and interesting. Again, no third party review (hmmm....I'm starting to think my friends either don't go out or spend too much time at bars to be bothered with going to the movies).
Slumdog Millionaire -- I am going to see and here is my third party review: violent, EXCELLENT, far better than Benjamin Button, not violent because I covered my eyes, based on the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. However, all that saw this movie, loved it.
About the other nominees, here are my picks (I know they will be used in Vegas to determine the odds). Please note that some of my picks are highly scientific:
Best Motion Picture of the Year
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Having not seen one of these movies, I'll go with Slumdog Millionaire because it is the movie that most of my friends saw.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Richard Jenkins for The Visitor
Frank Langella for Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn for Milk
Brad Pitt for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler
Mickey Rourke because I loved that he was shocked at the Golden Globes and that he thanked his dog.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie for Changeling
Melissa Leo for Frozen River
Meryl Streep for Doubt
Kate Winslet for The Reader
Kate Winslet - although all others would be good choices - wait, having never even heard of the Frozen River, I'll remove Melissa Leo from my choice. The others I know what roles they played.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Josh Brolin for Milk
Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt
Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road
Is Josh Brolin the cute son of Mr. Ba-Ba Streisand? I think Heath will win....
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams for Doubt
Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis for Doubt
Taraji P. Henson for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler
Amy Adams because I like her name.
Best Achievement in Directing
Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry for The Reader
David Fincher for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant for Milk
Ron Howard because he is celebrating 50 years in show biz this year.
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Frozen River : Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky : Mike Leigh
In Bruges : Martin McDonagh
Milk : Dustin Lance Black
WALL•E : Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter
In Bruges because I'd like to go to Brussels
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button : Eric Roth, Robin Swicord
Doubt : John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon : Peter Morgan
The Reader : David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire : Simon Beaufoy
Curious Case of BB because someone famous wrote the original story. His name escapes me, but he was a literary genius.
Best Achievement in Cinematography
Changeling : Tom Stern
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button : Claudio Miranda
The Dark Knight : Wally Pfister
The Reader : Roger Deakins, Chris Menges
Slumdog Millionaire : Anthony Dod Mantle
The Dark Knight because it is the only movie I saw on IMAX and you could really feel everything.
Best Achievement in Editing
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button : Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter
The Dark Knight : Lee Smith
Frost/Nixon : Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill
Milk : Elliot Graham
Slumdog Millionaire : Chris Dickens
Haven't a clue how they select the winner in this category so I'm going wth Milk since I haven't selected that film yet.
Best Achievement in Art Direction
Changeling : James J. Murakami, Gary Fettis
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button : Donald Graham Burt, Victor J. Zolfo
The Dark Knight : Nathan Crowley, Peter Lando
The Duchess : Michael Carlin, Rebecca Alleway
Revolutionary Road : Kristi Zea, Debra Schutt
Okay, what exactly is Art Direction? Is "art" defined by the Met or MoMa standards? I'll choose the Duchess...
Best Achievement in Costume Design
Australia : Catherine Martin
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button : Jacqueline West
The Duchess : Michael O'Connor
Milk : Danny Glicker
Revolutionary Road : Albert Wolsky
Really Milk? Fashions from what the 70's/80's is that a stretch. I'm happy Doubt isn't on this list because it would be wrong.... My choice will be Australia because something associated with Nicole Kidman always wins.
Best Achievement in Makeup
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button : Greg Cannom
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
I'm giving this to the non-obvious HELLBOY II. Benjamin Button will probably win.
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button : Alexandre Desplat
Defiance : James Newton Howard
Milk : Danny Elfman
Slumdog Millionaire : A.R. Rahman
WALL•E : Thomas Newman
Defiance because James Newton Howard wins alot of things or writes alot of scores for movies
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Slumdog Millionaire : A.R. Rahman, Gulzar("Jai Ho")
Slumdog Millionaire : A.R. Rahman, M.I.A("O Saya")
WALL•E : Peter Gabriel, Thomas Newman("Down to Earth")
This will go to WALL-E because there are two nods for Slumdog and the Academy doesn't want them to assume that they'll win. This is a basic psych-out nomination.
Best Achievement in Sound
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
I'll go with Dark Knight, but really, doesn't it all depend if the sound system at the theatre you go to works?
Best Achievement in Sound Editing
The Dark Knight
I'll guess Slumdog because of all the city noises (thinking there were alot of them)
Best Achievement in Visual Effects
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button : Eric Barba, Edson Williams
The Dark Knight : Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Timothy Webber, Paul J. Franklin
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Kung Fu Panda
I'll rely on friend's comment - WALL*E, although I saw Bolt in 3D and thought it to be cute.
Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (Germany)
Entre les murs ( France )
Revanche ( Austria )
Okuribito ( Japan )
Vals Im Bashir ( Israel )
Entre les murs because my sister went to France this year on vacation
Best Documentary, Features
The Betrayal - Nerakhoon
Encounters at the End of the World
Man on Wire
Trouble the Water
The Garden because I love gardens
Best Documentary, Short Subjects
The Conscience of Nhem En
The Final Inch
The Witness from the Balcony of Room 306
Toss up for me for The Final Inch (that title just makes me giggle) and The Witness from the Balcony of Room 306 because someone was bold enough to make a film about a Peeping Tom (just my guess)
Best Short Film, Animated
Ubornaya istoriya - lyubovnaya istoriya : Konstantin Bronzit
La Maison en Petits Cubes: Kunio Kato
Oktapodi : Julien Bocabeille, François-Xavier Chanioux, Olivier Delabarre, Thierry Marchand, Quentin Marmier, Emud Mokhberi
Presto : Doug Sweetland
This Way Up : Alan Smith, Adam Foulkes
Presto because I like the name
Best Short Film, Live Action
Auf der Strecke
Manon on the Asphalt
The Pig. I haven't seen, but think that if this is a film about the movements of a pig, kudos to the filmmaker for filming a bunch of pigs in the mud.
Those are my picks for awards. I think they should release a list of the attendees and guess who'll be best and worst dressed for the Oscars.