Here come the Oscar Nominations for 2007
Well, today the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the list of Academy Award Nominees for the 2007 movie season. Honestly, I’m a little appalled at how many of these movies I haven’t seen. The nominees for the “big 4″ (actor, actress, director, movie) are a little “out of the box” for my tastes. I don’t know if this whole writer’s strike is having a strange effect on the whole of Hollywood or what, but these nominees are a little strange. As you recall from my favorites article a few weeks ago, I saw almost 5 movies a month this past year however I have not seen the majority of movies that were nominated. That’s how whacked out these nominees are.
Well, like I did last year, I thought I would take a look at a few of the Academy’s selections and maybe give a critique. I won’t go over all of the selections, just some of the more visible categories. You can click the image at the top of this article to go to the Oscar website to see a full listing of nominees. Let’s take a look at a few of the Academy’s decisions this year.
Best Leading Actor:
George Clooney – Michael Clayton – This is a good movie, however I don’t think I would watch it again. Great performances, but the movie dragged a little bit in the middle. This is a good choice however as Clooney was fascinating to watch.
Daniel Day-Lewis – There Will Be Blood – Daniel Day-Lewis is a phenomenal actor. That’s a given. I’m iffy on this movie, however. I don’t normally like the subtext laden movies that feature a metaphor of our own world so we can learn about the mistakes we are making. I don’t need a millionaire director to tell me that oil corporations are bad and the quest for money is evil. I get that. I will, however, probably see this movie on DVD just to see Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of the main character.
Johnny Depp – Sweeney Todd – Haven’t seen this, but I really want to. Depp follows up his Oscar nominated character Jack Sparrow with another Oscar nominated character. My wife’s aunt and grandmother saw this movie recently and were less than impressed. However, I’m going to assume that they are not the target audience. I think it looks good, and Depp is probably his usual awesome self.
Tommy Lee Jones – In The Valley of Elah – Wha-huh?! I’ve never heard of this movie. A quick check of Yahoo! Movies tells me it was released last September and also stars Charlize Theron…really? Holy crap, where was I?
Viggo Mortensen – Eastern Promises – Saw this and didn’t really like it. Viggo is good, he is completely into his character and the twist at the end is shocking, but the movie is just too dark and somewhat hard to watch. Not one of my favorites, but Viggo, I think, deserves this nom.
Best Leading Actress:
Cate Blanchett – Elizabeth: The Golden Age – Very, very good choice. This movie is really good and Cate is phenomenal as Queen Elizabeth. I liked this even better than the first movie, Elizabeth. Much more exciting and a better story.
Julie Christie – Away From Her – Hmmm, never heard of this one either. Yahoo! Movies says it’s about an elderly man and his wife who live an idyllic life in the woods that is shattered when he must put her in a home because she becomes sick. Wasn’t this released 20 years ago as On Golden Pond? No thanks, old people don’t interest me (no offense to people who are old).
Marion Cotillard – La Vie en Rose – What is this? Another movie I’ve never heard of. Great. It’s a biopic about a “celebrity” no one has ever heard of from the ’20s that was friend/lover to other famous people we have heard of. Yeah, that sounds like a winner.
Laura Linney – The Savages – Where the hell are all of these movies coming from? I love Laura Linney, and Yahoo! says this also stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Are the studios just not marketing movies anymore? You’d think I would have at least seen a trailer for this.
Ellen Page – Juno – At least I’ve heard of this movie. And I would probably watch it because it sounds somewhat funny. Also, Michael Cera is in it, so it’s gotta be good.
Atonement - Great, my mom will love that this is nominated. It’s one of her favorites. I haven’t seen it and I don’t plan to. It looks like a snoozer.
Juno - Like I said earlier, this looks amusing and Michael Cera (aka George Michael Bluth) is awesome. But I haven’t seen it.
Michael Clayton - Saw it, didn’t like it, but the performances are all top notch.
No Country for Old Men - Looks boring. The Cohen Brothers are weird. Answer me this, if this movie is so good why is Tommy Lee Jones nominated as Best Actor for a different movie?
There Will Be Blood - To me, this movie looks like it’s going to try to teach me a lesson. I’ll see the movie, but I say “hold the moral platitudes, please”.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly – Man alive, another one I’ve not heard of. Why did I even bother seeing movies last year?
Juno – Didn’t see it, can’t say.
Michael Clayton – I guess, the movie has a real dark atmosphere and everything seems closed in and claustrophobic.
No Country for Old Men – Didn’t see it, but whatever.
There Will Be Blood – Uh huh.
Best Supporting Actress:
Cate Blanchett – I’m Not There – Cate is nominated for leading and supporting actress? Wow. She was good in Elizabeth, however I’ve not seen this movie. Nor have I ever heard of it. Again, big surprise.
Ruby Dee – American Gangster – Hey, I’ve seen this movie! Woo Hoo!!…wait, the lady who played Denzel Washington’s MOTHER gets an Oscar nom but neither Russell Crowe nor Denzel get one? I mean, she was good, but seriously. She was in the movie for about 10 minutes. Is the Academy even trying or is this like a situation where they are tossing darts at a bunch of 8x10s on the wall?
Saorise Ronan – Atonement – Atonement again. Really?
Amy Ryan – Gone Baby Gone – Ben Affleck’s directorial debut. Looks good. I’ve heard good things. But I’ve not seen it.
Tilda Swinton – Michael Clayton – The scene at the end of this movie with Clooney and Swinton is phenomenal. Really, really good.
Best Supporting Actor:
Casey Affleck – The Assassination of Jesse James – I haven’t seen this, but I read that it’s one of those revisionist, new-age westerns. Very artsy unlike the gritty, old-school stylings of 3:10 to Yuma that fails to get a mention.
Javier Bardem – No Country for Old Men – Yeah, I get it, No Country for Old Men is an Oscar worthy film. Let’s move on.
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Charlie Wilson’s War – Guess what…I haven’t seen this. LOL…this is getting ridiculous. Hoffman is a good actor, I bet he is good in this movie. I’ve heard it’s awesome.
Hal Holbrook – Into the Wild – Another one I haven’t seen…nor really care to. This movie is about a kid that abandons his privileged life after graduating Emory and hitchhikes to the wilds of Alaska to live life unencumbered by society and it’s rules only to die poor and alone a few years later (I’m not making that up, seriously, he died). It’s based on a true story.
Tom Wilkinson – Michael Clayton – Wow, a nomination triumvirate. Wilkinson is a great actor, he deserves this.
Some more notes:
What are some of the glaring omissions I can see right off the bat? Well, I can’t see where 300 was nominated for anything. While I thought the movie was only okay, it definitely deserved to be at least nominated for a technical award. Visual and/or Sound effects, costumes, even music. Something. Instead, it got the big donut…ZERO. What about my favorite movies of 2007 I listed for you last week? How did they fare? Not very well, I’m afraid. One of my favorite movies of last year; 3:10 to Yuma received 2 nominations. Not actor, not director, not writer. No, Yuma’s 2 nominations include Sound Mixing (WTF?!) and Original Score. That is atrocious. I also can’t see Stardust anywhere on this list. Bourne Ultimatum got a few technical nominations, but Ocean’s 13 and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix got zilch. Somewhat makes my favorites list look a little shallow. The Academy really did a right turn this year and went with more “artsy” pics that were shoehorned into the 2007 season in the months of September and December. Very surprising, also a little disappointing because I really tried to see a lot of these movies this year and the Academy goes and picks things from all these small and limited release movies only certain people would even be able to see.
Oh well, the wife and I will still have our Oscar pool, It’ll just be a bittersweet event this year.