Wednesday, January 24, 2007

79th Annual Academy Awards

Even though that the Oscar nominations and winners often went at odds with my taste, it always fun to predict which one of the nominees snag the golden statue. Here's the truncated (not full) nominations, by the way:

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Leonardo DiCaprio in “Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.)
  • Ryan Gosling in “Half Nelson” (THINKFilm)
  • Peter O’Toole in “Venus” (Miramax, Filmfour and UK Council)
  • Will Smith in “The Pursuit of Happyness” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
  • Forest Whitaker in “The Last King of Scotland” (Fox Searchlight)

Comment: Interesting, but Forest Whitaker had all the buffs, and he has also won the Golden Globe Awards, so yeah, the golden statue shall go to Mr. Forest. Of all the five nominees, i'ven't seen Half Nelson and Venus. If i was in Academy, my vote would go to Leo.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
  • Alan Arkin in “Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight)
  • Jackie Earle Haley in “Little Children” (New Line)
  • Djimon Hounsou in “Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.)
  • Eddie Murphy in “Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount)
  • Mark Wahlberg in “The Departed” (Warner Bros.)

Comment: Wooohooo, I love Djimon Honsou. He's one of the few 'mainstream' guy i loved to watch on big screen. Jason Statham was one of the other few. The Departed was represented by Mark Wahlberg. Where's Jack Nicholson? or Leonardo DiCaprio? (he was considered as a supporting role in The Departed). That being said, i'ven't seen Dreamgirls yet. My vote however will go to Jackie Earle Haley in Little Children. He's soooo creepy in that film.

Performance by an actress in a leading role
  • Penélope Cruz in “Volver” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Judi Dench in “Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight)
  • Helen Mirren in “The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)
  • Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” (20th Century Fox)
  • Kate Winslet in “Little Children” (New Line)

Comment: How many times do i have to tell you that i love Kate Winslet. And in my earlier post (October), i have correctly predicted that Ms. Winslet would be nominated. But i have to be fair. I've seen all the films listed above, and my vote was definetly go for Helen Mirren.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
  • Adriana Barraza in “Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
  • Cate Blanchett in “Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight)
  • Abigail Breslin in “Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight)
  • Jennifer Hudson in “Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount)
  • Rinko Kikuchi in “Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)

Comment: Little note on Abigail Breslin, judging by her role in Little Miss
Sunshine alone, she was a better little actress than Dakota Fanning. This nominations should be entitled as "the dream role". Because, Adriana Barazza was relatively unknown Mexican actress and much more fluent in Spanish than in English, Jennifer Hudson was an American Idol grads., and Rinko Kikuchi made a huge leap from a Japan TV dorama to Oscar nominee actress. My vote goes for Rinko Kikuchi. By default.

Best animated feature film of the year
  • “Cars” (Buena Vista) John Lasseter
  • “Happy Feet” (Warner Bros.) George Miller
  • “Monster House” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Gil Kenan

Comment: I grew tired of Pixar. Really. I couldn't care about their products anymore. Happy Feet, penguins, boring. My vote goes for Monster House. A form of entertainment light enough for children but also offered something new to adult audiences (beside talking animals and cars, that is).

Achievement in directing
  • “Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage) Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • “The Departed” (Warner Bros.) Martin Scorsese
  • “Letters from Iwo Jima” (Warner Bros.) Clint Eastwood
  • “The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada) Stephen Frears
  • “United 93” (Universal and StudioCanal) Paul Greengrass

Comment: Unexpected, surprising nomination from Paul Greengrass. My vote? Martin Scorcese. Obviously.

Best foreign language film of the year
  • “After the Wedding” A Zentropa Entertainments 16 Production Denmark
  • “Days of Glory (Indigènes)” A Tessalit Production Algeria
  • “The Lives of Others” A Wiedemann & Berg Production Germany
  • “Pan’s Labyrinth” A Tequila Gang/Esperanto Filmoj/Estudios Picasso Production Mexico
  • “Water” A Hamilton-Mehta Production Canada

Comment: Thanks to Jiffest, of all the 5 films nominated above, i've only haven't seen Days of Glory. And without Letters from Iwo Jima (who wrongfully nominated as a best foreign language film at the Golden Globe), i'm sure that Pan's Labyrinth will win. Hey, it's MY #1 film of the year.

Best motion picture of the year
  • “Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
    An Anonymous Content/Zeta Film/Central Films Production
    Alejandro González Iñárritu, Jon Kilik and Steve Golin, Producers
  • “The Departed” (Warner Bros.)
    A Warner Bros. Pictures Production
    Nominees to be determined
  • “Letters from Iwo Jima” (Warner Bros.)
    A DreamWorks Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures Production
    Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg and Robert Lorenz, Producers
  • “Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight)
    A Big Beach/Bona Fide Production
    Nominees to be determined
  • “The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)
    A Granada Production
    Andy Harries, Christine Langan and Tracey Seaward, Producers

Comment: For the first time in years, i had no objection with the nominations. All 5 films had their own strengths, and weaknesses. Babel was rather unbalanced but steady enough for a full ride. The Departed was of course, one of the best from Martin Scorcese, though overshadowed by its original conception, Infernal Affairs. Letters from Iwo Jima was cinematographically beautiful, but you know, war films never interest me. Little Miss Sunshine was the best comedy in years, but comedy wasn't a huge friend with Academy. The Queen was too short, but very very delightful. It was a tough choice. But i had to pick Little Miss Sunshine. It was after all the best comedy in YEARS. If you haven't seen the film, come on, what are you waiting for? If anything, it was a great remedy after a hard-day's work.

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