Well, it’s mid-January and everyone should be girding their loins for two of my favorite beginning-of-the-year events. First is the SuperBowl on Feb 4. My boy Peyton Manning takes on the phenomenal defense of the Chicago Bears. Should be a good matchup. After the SuperBowl is the Academy Awards.
Being movie buffs, the wife and I love the Oscars. For several years we threw Oscars parties and everyone would contribute 5 bucks to the betting pool. We printed out ballots and had everyone select who they thought the winners were going to be and the one with the most points wins the whole she-bang. As a tie breaker you had to pick the running time of the show without going over. It’s a lot of fun and makes categories like Best Foreign Language Film or Documentary Feature a little more exciting. We didn’t throw the party last year but we are thinking about doing it this year.
Well, the Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday. As usual, there are some oversights and a few, “They nominated wha?!”. Since I obviously know better than the Academy, I thought I’d take a stroll through some of the academy’s decisions this year. You may disagree with many or all of my comments, but these are only my opinions. We may very well have wildly differing tastes in movies. I just ask that you take this list in jest. Moving on to some nominees…..
Best Leading Actor:
Leonardo DiCaprio – Blood Diamond – This is nice, but I would have put his performance in The Departed here instead. He’s good in Blood Diamond, but better in The Departed.
Ryan Gosling – Half Nelson – The dude from Notebook was in another movie? Who knew?
Peter O’Toole – Venus – This is a fabulous choice by the Academy, as O’Toole is a fine actor. It’s too bad I’ve never even HEARD of the movie Venus. Is it about the planet, or the goddess of love? And why should I care?
Will Smith – Pursuit of Happyness – Does it bother anyone else that they misspelled Happiness in the movie title? Anyone?
Forest Whitaker – The Last King of Scotland – What’s with the wierd movie titles? Forest plays Idi Amin who, last I checked, was black and not from Scotland.
Best Leading Actress:
Penelope Cruz – Volver – Um. Okay. Did I go to bed and wake up in Spain? WTF?! Yahoo Movies says it’s a generational story of three women set in Spain. It might as well have said ‘Don’t Watch Me, I Suck’.
Judi Dench – Notes on a Scandal – I think Judi Dench puts in all of her contracts that she will be nominated for her performance. That’s just how she rolls.
Helen Mirren – The Queen – Excellent choice. Saw this last weekend. Phenomenal performance.
Meryl Streep – The Devil Wears Prada – The Devil Wears Prada is now an oscar nominated movie? I think Meryl Streep might also be on the must-nominate list. She could star in the auto-biography of Carrot-Top, playing Carrot-Top, and still be nominated.
Kate Winslet – Little Children – I love Kate Winslet. She’s gorgeous and a wonderful actress. However, despite being in roughly 20 movies since Titanic in 1997, off the top of my head I can remember only 2. Of those 2 I can remember, I’ve seen only 1. This isn’t either one of those.
Babel - Even the trailers for this look bad. The plot description on Internet Movie Database begins ‘A poor Morrocan family acquires a rifle to protect their goats…’ Sounds like a winner, but I’ll be in Theater 2 watching Pirates of the Caribbean 3.
The Departed - This is what I’m talkin’ bout, Academy. More like this, please.
Letters from Iwo Jima - I can understand why this made it. I haven’t seen it, but I don’t like war movies, or war veteran movies, so I have no interest. You could also substitute United 93 or World Trade Center here. Same thing.
Little Miss Sunshine - I’m speechless that this little gem of a movie made it to Best Picture. Wonderful cast, funny dialogue, crazy situations. Something the Academy should recognize more. Nicely done.
The Queen - Another wonderfully acted movie. I’m happy that Mirren is recognized above, but I’m sad Michael Sheen who plays Tony Blair is not also recognized (as Supporting Actor, not Best Actress). He is just as good as Mirren.
Babel – Goat protecting gets a best director. Really?
The Departed – Scorsese. Represent, yo!
Letters from Iwo Jima – Sentimental. Patriotic. Yada yada.
The Queen – Good choice.
United 93 – Wha? So you are saying Little Miss Sunshine is a better movie but United 93 has a better director? Whatever, dude.
Some quick shots on other categories:
Mark Wahlberg in The Departed for Supporting Actor? Not that he was bad, but his character disappears halfway through the movie. A better choice would have been Jack Nicholson in The Departed. He was awesome (and I don’t really even like him). I’m a little sad that no other actor in The Departed is recognized for their performance. They were all spot on.
The movie An Inconvenient Truth got a nod for Best Original Song? It’s a documentary. About the weather. I guess Dreamgirls didn’t have a fourth song to nominate.
I’m loving that American Idol alum Jennifer Hudson has a nomination for Best Supporting Actress and Beyonce “You Must Not Know ’bout Me” Knowles got nothing.
As usual the Academy nominated a bunch of stuff most of America will never get to see, so it keeps things interesting. Bottom line, like what you like, not what the Academy tells you to like. If Dreamgirls is your Best Picture, then so be it. If Borat was your Best Picture, then fine. No one can tell you what a better movie is. It’s all subjective.
Regardless, this year should be a good broadcast. Check it out on February 25, 2007 at 8pm EST.