Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Oscars

Woo hoo! Suck it, Dreamgirls! Do you know why you are not up for Best Picture? It is because you are bad.

Shame about United 93, though. But at least Greengrass got the directing nod. Although I did think the directing in Little Miss Sunshine was much stronger than the screenplay. The same goes for Children of Men. If only there were a copule more directing slots!

I'm glad Little Children got some nominations. I figured that movie would just completely drop off the radar. I'm also psyched that Mark Wahlberg got a supporting nom over Jack Nicholson. Have I ever mentioned how much I love Mark Wahlberg? I seriously think he is awesome.

I know it's a long shot, but seriously, if Clint Eastwood beats Martin Scorcese for the Oscar again I will set someone on fire. Probably Mike. (Nothing personal.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck, Stone! I am a proven flame retardant!

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Frank said...

They didn't need to waste that directing slot on Stephen Frears. I mean, that guy's definitely made some excellent movies (and some totally shitty ones), but the direction of The Queen is totally by-the-numbers.

Really, all of The Queen's nominations, save for Helen Mirren and maybe the costume design nod, are totally ridiculous. Don't get me wrong. The Queen is a terrific movie that I heartily enjoyed and I certainly encourage everyone to see. But it's a definitively "solid" film that's rarely extraordinary, except for this brilliant central performance that bumps the endeavor up a level. The direction's routine, with a couple of terrific moments, and a couple of really hokey ones. The script, atypical subjects aside, just feels like a good BBC teleplay. And that Best Score nomination? The music's the worst part: totally pedestrian, the kind of based-on-a-true-story orchestration that telegraphs every tear and cheer to the audience as clunkily as a laugh track. I guess its nomination just attests to what a rut the art of film scoring has settled into these days.

I'm not surprised, though, that Little Miss Sunshine and Children of Men were nominated for lackluster screenplays while their much more impressive direction was overlooked. "Best Screenplay," original or adapted, is the go-to nomination for a critically acclaimed independent film. The Academy's membership is entirely Hollywood career-types. They can acknowledge that an independent screenplay can be superb. After all, a screenplay only really needs one or two writers. It's much harder for the Academy to acknowledge that a director could do really incredible work on a tenth of the budget of a studio film. A movie can read well on a smaller scale, but how can it look good without all that money and equipment and a really enormous crew? If the Academy members thought it was possible, they'd be acknowledging that the system to which they've devoted the bulk of their working lives is pretty overblown and unnecessary.

2:11 PM  

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