Academy Awards - Big Prizes For People Who Don't Need Them

I asked Mr. Danvers to talk about Oscar nominations so I wouldn't feel quite so alone when I start screaming at the nearest television set come February 22nd. Anyway, we've broken it down into categories to make our discussion a little easier. Basho,or anyone else for that matter, feel free to chime in anytime. Incidentally, February 22nd will be one year after my first post on this humble site of ours. Pretty cool, huh? Thank you Shaba for designing such an excellent forum for the rantings of several crazy people, and thank you, everyone else, for contributing.

Firstly, my vote for Best Picture goes to Let The Right One In. Milk, Synecdoche, NY, and Rachel Getting Married are all right up there too, but Let The Right One In is a film unlike most other films and deserves recognition for its gentle storytelling, its visual audacity, its brilliantly winding screenplay, its stellar performances, and its mind-blowing cinematography. It of course, wasn't nominated for anything. Synecdoche breaks my heart in four hundred different places and is probably the best film about artists since 81/2. Charlie Kaufman has a beautifully warped mind. What was yours?

-Scout

BEST PICTURE
1. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
2. Frost/Nixon
3. Milk (Danvers, Scout)
4. The Reader (Danvers)
5. "Slumdog Millionaire"

D: It's a tie (sorry!) It was Milk until I saw the Reader in which the amount of crying in Milk was invisible to amount of crying whenever Kate Winslet is on screen. I give the Reader a little bit more though since it is truly original in the line of films that has the Holocaust in its main factors. If you are going to see it don't read what it's about every plot summary gives too much away. Category is what I expected it to be.
S: I give it to Milk cause it's got just the right amount of everything. It's Van Sant's Godfather or The Verdict. Brilliantly written, beautifully directed, tremendously shot and designed and every performance is stellar. The others up there are great, sure, but this is really the one.

BEST DIRECTING
1. David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
2. Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
3. Gus Van Sant, Milk (Scout)
4. Stephen Daldry, The Reader
5. Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire" (Danvers)

D: I just love him.
S: Gus Van Sant deserves it. Don't get me wrong, I love Danny Boyle, I LOVE HIM! His movies are my teenage years. David Fincher, too, is one of my all-time favorites. I just think that Milk is such a strong film all around.

BEST ACTOR
1. Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
2. Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon (Danvers, Scout)
3. Sean Penn, Milk
4. Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
5. Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

D: I think that he should win even though I'm pretty sure he just let the spirit of Nixon posses him for the role. I loved Mickey Rourke and all and it's great to see him back on top, but I have to give it to Frank.
S: He was Richard Nixon.

BEST ACTRESS
1. Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
2. Angelina Jolie, Changeling
3. Melissa Leo, Frozen River
4. Meryl Streep, Doubt (Scout)
5. Kate Winslet, The Reader (Danvers)

D: As much as I enjoyed Anne Hathaway's improvement in RGM, she ain't got nothin on Kate!
S: I like that everyone in this category deserves it. I didn't see The Changeling, but I'd like Melissa Leo to get it cause she, like her movie, came out of nowhere. Anne Hathaway was great; it was like she really was an addict. Kate Winslet was alright, but after you see her in one scene, you've sort of got her whole performance. Meryl Streep however, was just astounding. She did a fantastic job with a role that could so easily have gotten her into hysterics, but she did a truly great job.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Josh Brolin, Milk
2. Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
3. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
4. Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight (Danvers, Scout)
5. Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

D: Heath will most likely win.
S: Yeah, D's right on this one. To say that Dark Knight was based around his performance is putting it lightly. It's like Monster or Capote or any other film based around an incredible performance. He was great and he's too big not to win.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Amy Adams, Doubt
2. Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Danvers)
3. Viola Davis, Doubt
4. Taraji P. Henson, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
5. Marissa Tomei, The Wrestler (Scout)

D: I loveeeee Penelope.
S: Well, I bought that she was a stripper.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
1. Bolt
2. Kung Fu Panda
3. Walle (Danvers, Scout)

D: Walle will win.
S: It's a better film than most of the best picture nominees, so....

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
1. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
2. Doubt
3. Frost/Nixon
4. The Reader (Danvers)
5. "Slumdog Millionaire"(Danvers, Scout)

D: loved both of them!
S: I just love the story and the way that they were able to grab this great colorful breath of life from the book. Plus who doesn't love that ending?

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
1. Frozen River (Scout)
2. Happy Go Lucky (D)
3. In Bruges (An)
4. Milk (ve)
5. Walle (rs)

D: tooo hard to decide!!!! I didn't see Frozen River.
S: I say Frozen River because it came out of nowhere and has no ego. And I like giving big awards to women. Not to mention that this film manages to craft a universal story basically just out of a location. Courtney Hunt is a hell of a writer and that she was able to make this film for next to nothing with performers who feel like real people is pretty astounding. It's characters are all human, their flaws come desperately close to outweighing their greatest traits and the ending is tremendously understated. A simple story given weight through expert characterization.

BEST ART DIRECTION
1. Changeling
2. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (Scout)
3. The Dark Knight
4. The Duchess
5. Revolutionary Road

D: I don't know.
S: Yeah, you can look at my cinematography thing for more on this, but again, Fincher creates atmosphere. His movies are knee deep in art direction.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
1. Changeling
2. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (Scout)
3. The Dark Knight
4. The Reader (Danvers)
5. "Slumdog Millionaire"

D: great.
S: I love Anthony Dod Mantle, but the cinematography of Benjamin Button is just awesome. Fincher has such a visual mind that even the least of his films look amazing. This one happens to look the best of all of them.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
1. Australia
2. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
3. The Duchess (Scout)
4. Milk
5. Revolutionary Road

D: Austrailia...ewwwww. I don't know.
S: Isn't that why this movie was made?

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. The Betrayal
2. Encounters at the End of the World (Scout)
3. The Garden
4. Man on Wire (Danvers)
5. Trouble the Water

S: Man On Wire's getting all the acclaim, but I loved Encounters. Herzog makes films that transcend time and trends and all else. They are sublime pieces of art and this one is truly spectacular.

BEST FILM EDITING
1. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
2. The Dark Knight
3. Frost/Nixon
4. Milk
5. "Slumdog Millionaire" (Danvers, Scout)

D: awesome.
S: Moody and stylish, as usual. Danny Boyle's films just roll.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
1. Baader Meinhoff Complex - Germany
2. The Class - France
3. Departures - Japan
4. Revanche - Austria
5. Waltz With Bashir - Israel (Scout)

D: I'm really bad. I haven't seen any of these.
S: Ok, so of these films I've only seen Waltz With Bashir but let me pitch a fit for a minute. If American distributers cared half as much about foreign films as they did about Beverly Hills Chihuahua, maybe I would have seen some of these movies. I know that Janus and Criterion are releasing Revanche sometime this year and I know that The Class won the Palme D'or at Cannes and that Waltz With Bashir is a pretty astoundingly good film. Other than that, I got nothing.

BEST MAKEUP
1. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (Danvers, Scout)
2. The Dark Knight
3. Hellboy 2

D: duh.
S: Yeah, that about sums it up.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
1. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
2. Defiance
3. Milk
4. "Slumdog Millionaire" (Scout)
5. Walle (Danvers)

D: At least for the first forty minutes
S: This is the only one of these movies whose score I can remember. Benjamin Button should have had Danny Elfman. Then they would have won.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
1. "Slumdog Millionaire": A.R. Rahman, Gulzar("Jai Ho")
2. "Slumdog Millionaire": A.R. Rahman, M.I.A("O Saya") (Danvers, Scout)
3. Walle: Peter Gabriel, Thomas Newman("Down to Earth")

S: Imagine M.I.A. with an Oscar. HA! I love it! Her songs were another character in the film, so I think it's only fair. Plus that Peter Gabriel song didn't show up until the credits, so I say give it to M.I.A..

BEST SOUND
1. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
2. The Dark Knight (Scout)
3. "Slumdog Millionaire"
4. Walle (Danvers)
5. Wanted

D: eeeeeeeeeevvvvvvveeeeeee
S: Except for Heath Ledger, the only consistently good thing about the movie

BEST SOUND EDITING
1. The Dark Knight
2. Iron Man
3. "Slumdog Millionaire"
4. Walle (Danvers, Scout)
5. Wanted

D: doot doot doot doot doot beep doot doot beep honk
S: Slick and flawless.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
1. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (Danvers, Scout)
2. The Dark Knight
3. Iron Man

S: Yeah, I spoke with a really arrogant friend of mine who seemed ready to stake his life on Benjamin Button. Plus they nominated the thing for 49 oscars, it must be for a reason. And it did look pretty cool.
D: "Brad was like sooo old and then sooo young."
-Teenage girl walking out

6 comments:

Mr.Danvers said...

Great!

Update: I saw the Class which was mediocre from the point of view of a high school student and has no interest of viewing two hours of "class" on Saturday. I still need to see Waltz but totally agree with you on foreign films category. If more people just dealt with reading subtitles they would discover that mainstream romantic comedies and action films are better in other countries. Not to mention tons of fantastic films that would whoop Changeling on its ass. And *gasp* maybe you could just rerelease these films instead of remaking them into crappy crappy crappy movies (No Reservations, Just Visiting, Bangkok Dangerous, Swept Away,etc,).

Mr.Danvers said...

p.s. has anybody else been watching 31 Days of Oscars on TCM. TCM just gets better and better; first I watch a musical on the life of Johann Strauss, then I watch this great short film on jazz "improv", and I just finished watching one of my favorite Preston Sturges films (Miracle of Morgan Creek). Here's the short...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRrafEHXAFk

Mr.Danvers said...

this is from the very fictional Strauss musical. Skip in 3:47 to see some of the best singing I have ever seen. She isn't dubbed too!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1C5-vznVks

Scout said...

I had a sort of uneasy feeling about The Class and you've confirmed my suspicions. First of all there's the whole story behind it "A film based on the experiences of a high school teacher who plays himself". How much more self-congratulatory can you get.

Couldn't agree more about remakes. Also, I just saw Happy Go Lucky. What an absolutely delightful film. That's my new favorite movie. Mike Leigh is some kind of genius.

Mr.Danvers said...

I loved Happy-Go-Lucky I can't wait to see it again to think more about it, along with Synecdoche, NY!

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