Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Awards season kicks into high gear

So the Oscar nominations are in, and it looks like I'm going to have to drag myself to a showing of "Babel" some time within the next month...I've been resisting that movie ever since it came out last fall, mainly because I couldn't stand "21 Grams" (the director's last) and "Babel" looks like more of the same crap. Not just looky-we-are-all-connected crap (that I could deal with), but looky-we-are-all-so-connected-we-can-unwittingly-make-each-other-miserable crap. It takes a lot to make me willingly watch people wallowing in misery, and that kind of false high concept doesn't cut it.

Oh well. I know I should keep an open mind about the film, but I feel very much like I did going into "Crash" last year, and that doesn't bode well for my enjoying it.

The biggest surprise, I guess, is "Dreamgirls" getting nominated for 8 Oscars but no Best Picture, and "Letters from Iwo Jima" coming out of nowhere to snag the nomination instead. Actually, the latter isn't so surprising in retrospect, though if you'd asked me a year ago the odds of the Academy giving the nod to a movie entirely in Japanese with English subtitles starring a mostly non-marquee Japanese cast, I'd have said close to zilch. But the magic words here are CLINT EASTWOOD. The Academy just loves him. Somewhere out there, Martin Scorsese is probably helping himself to a stiff drink, or should be - though I actually think he stands a better chance this year of getting the Director Oscar than he ever has, not least because "The Departed" is a way better flick than either "The Aviator" or "Gangs of New York." I still don't think it's going to win Best Picture - but this year the race is more wide open than usual. I wouldn't write off any of the nominees.

The other snub people seem to be up in arms about is the lack of recognition for Pedro Almodovar's "Volver." I still haven't seen the film, so I can't comment one way or another on whether this is an outrage.

More Oscar thoughts later, as it gets closer to post time...In other awards news, Cinemarati is rolling out its annual awards, with a countdown from 20-1 of our top films and brief comment (and occasional dissent) on each. Yours truly is among those commenting, but it's the lists and the discussions you all should check out!


Blogger jchensor said...

Also, to be honest, if Scorsese is gonna finally win for a movie, you feel like it's gotta be for a movie like The Departed. That movie just seems to say "Scorsese" much more than something like The Aviator.

And most of all, if he wins it for The Departed, it certainly won't feel like a pity type of win. Though I think there are better directed films this year (Children of Men immediately comes to mind), I think he'll deserve it for this one.

3:30 AM  
Blogger echan said...

I read somewhere that Scorsese was surprised that he was receiving attention for the Departed, since it didn't have the gravitas of the other films that he's made this decade. I do agree, though, it was likely the most enjoyable of his last 3 movies.

I think the best picture nominee that most surprised me, was Little Miss Sunshine. It just seemed like your stereotypical indie movie about a quirky family. I can't understand how it's become the little movie that could.

Also, Ms. Lee, email me your Sundance report, if a post is not in the works.

12:53 PM  

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