Sunday, January 27, 2008

So anyway, about those Oscar nominations

Now that Heath Ledger's death has not been revealed to be some sick practical joke, I guess it's time to blog about something else that happened on Tuesday: the Oscar nominations.

Best Picture

Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

So am I the only person who was not knocked off his chair by Michael Clayton? It has been hailed as an intelligent and complex thriller. Actually it just jumbles up the narrative in the hope you won't notice how resoundingly straightforward it is. It's bolstered by some classy performances, which have also been recognised, but that's about it. I saw No Country For Old Men this week and up to that point I was all for Atonement winning lots. No Country blew that right out of the water.

Best Director

Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Jason Reitman, Juno
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

That being said, I am gutted for Joe Wright. His direction is absolutely masterful and I would have nominated him over Gilroy.

Best Actor

George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd
Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

And I also would have knocked out Jones for James McAvoy. I am sure he's wonderful in Elah but I couldn't understand him in No Country and will never ever ever forgive his wholly undeserved win over Leonardo DiCaprio.

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie, Away from Her
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney, The Savages
Ellen Page, Juno

So many fabulous nominations so little time. I am so super excited for Laura Linney and Ellen Page. Neither of them will win, I wouldn't think as this is a two horse race between Christie and Cotillard. I desperately fervently want Cotillard to win, my feelings on this are well documented. I suspect though that Christie will take the prize.

Best Supporting Actress

Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Ruby Dee, American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Ruby Dee was a surprise, I must say. The only one here though. The rest are all very expected and very deserved. I would love Amy Ryan to win but Blanchett will more than likely take it.

Best Supporting Actor

Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

So Hal Holbrook scores a nomination for Into The Wild but Emile Hirsch does not? Whatthefuckever. I am torn by Casey Affleck, who deserves to win for this nomination as well as Gone Baby Gone, which he is not even nominated for. But Javier Bardem is absolutely fucking extraordinary in No Country. A true masterclass in the "less is more" school of acting, Bardem doesn't raise his voice and barely modulates his facial expression throughout and yet is so menacing, so chilling, so downright fucking terrifying that it has to be seen to be believed. The scene where he terrorises the gas station attendant ("Now is not a time, what time do you close?") made me want to hide under my seat and put my fingers in my ears.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Away from Her
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

I have said it before and I will say it again: Atonement

Best Original Screenplay

Lars and the Real Girl
Michael Clayton
The Savages

I am so pleased to see Lars And The Real Girl represented. It won't win of course, I would imagine the Oscar here belongs to Juno.

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