Monday, February 18, 2008

Oscar Countdown

The Oscars are on my birthday this year! I love that!

In usual fashion, I've been trying to catch the nominated flicks ... Here's the rundown so far:

Best Picture:
Atonement: powerful, epic, interesting take on the titular theme.
No Country For Old Men: Wow Wow Wow what a movie. More intense and bloody than I usually can stand, but the Coen brothers totally nailed it this time around. Just an incredible, existentialist story that asks more questions than it answers.
Juno: Absolutely adorable in so many ways ... but I don't think it has a chance. Diablo Cody's screen play is whip smart and so sardonically funny. Loved it.
There Will Be Blood: Still on the "to see" list
Michael Clayton: ditto

Best Actor:
Once again, without even trying, I've managed to miss every single best actor nominated film. Do only roles from grossly macho movies get nominated year after year?
Well, I do hope to catch There Will be Blood (Daniel Day Lewis) and Michael Clayton (George Clooney), at least. I'm pretty sure I won't see Sweeny Todd (Johnny Depp), In the Valley of Elah (Tommy Lee Jones) or Eastern Promises (Viggo Mortenson)

But just to prove that I'm not just a chick flick gal, I did take in the following Supporting Actor performances:
Casey Affleck in The Assassination of Jesse James ... Wow, Ben's little brother can act! Last time I saw him, he was much younger and sporting an afro in Chasing Amy This movie is bleak, but the performances are great, and it is an interesting commentary on the ways that celebrity affects people's legacy.
Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men: the City Pages reviewer had it right when he said you could feel the temp of the theater drop about 10 degrees every time this terrifying character came on screen. He was brilliant, but I think Tommy Lee Jones should also have been nominated for this film.

Now to the gorgeous women of the screen!
Best Actress:
Cate Blanchett kicked ass as Queen Elizabeth, but she's done this role before, so I don't feel she should get the award this time around. My favorite moments: when she screamed at the Spanish ambassador who threatened her, and when she grabbed onto her power when a sorcerer told her that in the face of fear, eagles spread their wings and fly into the gale and soar. Love Ms Blanchett, and this role!
Julie Christie turns in a beautiful and nuanced performance in Away From Her but the award should go to ...
Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose what an incredible movie and a gorgeous performance! Ms Cotilliard brought Piaf to life, and possessed that character (or was possessed by her?) in a way that just was spine tingling.
Ellen Page in Juno, so hilarious and dead pan. I wonder if her musings aren't quickly becoming part of adolescent girls' lexicon - 'cautionary whale' 'fo shizz.' If the Oscars were broken out into drama and comedy categories like the globes, Ms. Page would fo shizz be taking home a statue. But this will, I'm sure fall to a more dramatic performance. Oh p.s. - how genius was it to have Dwight Schrute play the convenience store clerk!?
Laura Linney in The Savages- I should try to see this one, too, to knock out this category. I'm sure Ms. Linney is amazing.

Best Supporting Actress
I've only managed to catch the wonderful Saoirse Ronan in Atonement She is a very gifted 12 year old.
Would love to catch the others in this category, but reality is setting in ... only 6 more movie seeing days before the big show!

I've got two out of three in the Animated Feature category ... Wonder how they judge these? story line? style? technical achievement? Both Ratatouille and Surf's Up are favorites around this house. I hope to see Persepolis, but it might be post awards.

Love this genre, but I don't know ... I just haven't been in the mood to go to movies about the broken health care system, the War in Iraq and whatever depressing thing Taxi to the Dark Side is about. I'm having a shallow year, i guess.

Monday, February 4, 2008

heart on my sleeve

I don't know how things are going to turn out, but I sure am impressed with the hope that Obama is inspiring in this nation of disillusioned folks

It's Tsunami Tuesday. Let's see what we can stir up, people!