The Nominees are Announced
We’re in the thick of awards season, and this morning the Academy Award nominees were announced. Here’s my take:
Best Picture Nominees:
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
THE QUEEN First of all, I’m surprised that Dream Girls didn’t make the cut. I would think that Letters from Iwo Jima would be Foreign Language Film, it is all in Japanese with subtitles, but it is American made, directed by Clint Eastwood, so I don’t know what the Academy rules are. But I think that is probably the slot that Dream Girls should have been in. I have seen all of these movies. I understand Babel, with all the buzz it’s gotten being an international cast, and multiple locations. But I didn’t like the movie. It’s dark, slow, and bloated, and I don’t think it makes its point well. The Departed is amazing. It’s the kind of edge-of-your-seat thriller that keeps movie-goers excited. The cast is stellar, and there are so many twists and surprises you want to go back and watch it again just to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Credit the director, Martin Scorsese, for bringing it all together so seamlessly. I think The Departed deserves the win. Little Miss Sunshine is one of my favorite films of the year, and it’s a victory for this small independent film to be playing in the big leagues with this nomination. But I think that’s as far as it will go. While The Queen was a brilliant movie, there’s nothing big or special enough about it to get the win. Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role:
Leonardo DiCaprio – Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling – Half Nelson
Peter O’Toole – Venus
Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness
Forrest Whitaker – The Last King of Scotland I didn’t even see Half Nelson, Venus, or the Last King of Scotland. If they were out in the theatre anywhere near me I missed them. Leonardo DiCaprio was terrific in Blood Diamond, but I liked his performance in The Departed better and I’m surprised his nomination wasn’t for that film. He will get some support because he had such a great year. Will Smith turned in a moving performance, and this is his second nomiantion, but I think the award will go to Forrest Whitaker. He’s been getting all the buzz, all the critics awards, and he walked away with the Golden Globe last week. Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role:
Penelope Cruz – Volver
Judi Dench – Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren – The Queen
Meryl Streep – The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet – Little Children Judi Dench was mesmerizing, Meryl Streep was devilishly hilarious, and Penelope Cruz was luminous. But I think the Oscar will go to The Queen herself, Helen Mirren. Kate Winslet will get the award someday, she’s been nominated several times and her performance was flawless, but this is Helen Mirren’s year. Other sure things:
Cars will win Animated Feature.
Pan’s Labyrinth will win Foreign Film.
Marie Antoinette will win Costume Design.
Martin Scorsese will win director for The Departed. more later!