Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar picks

A quick rundown, mostly gut picks, without trying to "think like the Academy." In general, I feel like the SLUMDOG noms were to boost a very excellent "indie" picture at the box office. The BENJI the BUTTON noms are just plain confusing. While it's full of great production value and talent, I don't see it as best anything outside of technical categories. Both of these films are a little too FORREST GUMP to win my complete love.

* best picture *

MILK. I think it's between this and SLUMDOG, but I just can't give it to SLUMDOG. SLUMDOG is gorgeous, but the story needs a little work, a little fixing. It's decent magical realism, and fun, but at the same time cliched and a little too uncomplicated/uninteresting. An Indian-flavored FORREST GUMP feel. MILK is simply a perfect hunk of cinematic storytelling.

* best director *

Gus Van Zant / MILK

* best actor *

Mickey Rourke / THE WRESTLER. Sean Penn is amazing as Harvey Milk, but Rourke is freakishly perfect as the Ram. It may be a conjunction of stars that made this possible—the story, the director, the star's life experience—but I can't let that take anything away from the impact and resonance of the resulting performance.

* best actress *

Kate Winslet / THE READER. I wish she'd been nominated for REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, instead. There's no denying Kate is amazing in both, but THE READER itself, while well-crafted, is hurt in my mind by a serious flaw, a key plot point. I almost want to give it to Melissa Leo, for her gritty beat-up performance in FROZEN RIVER, but can't deny Kate's continued and consistent excellence, despite the particular movie in which it'll be recognized.

* best supporting actor *

Heath Ledger / DARK KNIGHT. For a supporting actor who added so much to a movie.

* best supporting actress *

Penelope Cruz / VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA. I missed the film, so I'm just going w my gut. I saw all the others and of them, would choose Amy Adams, but suspect that Cruz tops her in VCB.

* animated feature *


* foreign language film *


* original screenplay *

IN BRUGES. Tough call. I want to give it to WALL-E, too, but BRUGES is more elegant.

* adapted screenplay *


* documentary *

MAN ON WIRE. By reputation.

* music *


* song *


* film editing *


* documentary short *

"The Witness." Haven't seen any of these, so a guess.

* cinematography *


* costume design *

REVOLUTIONARY ROAD / Albert Wolsky. I'd love to see the fashions from this movie and/or MAD MEN make it back onto the streets of today in a big way.

* sound mixing *

WANTED. Sure, why not?

* sound editing *

WANTED. Sure, why not?

* short film *

"Spielzeugland." Another guess. Didn't see any of these.

* animated short *

"Presto." This is the only one of the nominees I've seen. It is GENIUS. =)

* makeup *

BENJAMIN BUTTON. Yeah, well, I gotta give it that.

* art direction *


* visual effects *

IRON MAN. How am *I* not gonna give it to IRON MAN, right?

Well, we'll see...

Keep on keepin on~

1 comment:

cabinboy said...

Maybe I had it backwards, and MILK is the movie that needed the boost at the box office? SLUMDOG is a gorgeous flick and Boyle deserves a win. Man, I only dropped in and watched for the last couple hours, but the building up of momentum for SLUMDOG over the evening was kinda nuts. Interesting departures from tradition. Way too many ads. What do they do there live while we're seeing commercials? Does Jackman keep singing and dancing?

Oh! Best part of the closing credits/previews—TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE! That's one of my favorite films I ever randomly watched as a kid. Had no idea it was in production.