Sunday, February 20, 2005

Countdown is Progressing

So, ONE WEEK TO GO. I still feel like so many races are tight but will probably end up tipping to the frontrunner anyway. True surprises are rarer than we all pretend each year when we get caught up in the anticipation.

Anyway. On the site now there's daily crazy additions (like the Kinsey Scale and the Super Powers of the Best Picture nominees...) and there'll be new stuff each day until after the Oscars when the 05/06 early bird Oscar predictions arrive.



Joanne said...

Just a question about the precursors you're including in the detailed examination of each category - why no reference to the Baftas? Is there a particular reason? Do you not see the Baftas as providing any indication of potential surprises (eg Mike Leigh in the Best Director category, which made Scorsese scowl for the rest of the night last week).

But generally, keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Eternal Sunshine and Sideways won the WGA!! Aren't you so thrilled? I know I am. So do you think those two are going to win the Oscars now? I'm feeling fairly comfortable with those choices, although MDB is still worrying for Adapted. I didn't think it would happen for Eternal a month ago but no other film has made a significant attack on it. It would be my favorite Oscar winner in any category of this year, here's hoping!

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, why is Million Dollar Baby included among your list of nominees? In your review, you state, "Frankie, Maggie, and Scrap remain "types" rather than character. The narrative also traffics in comfortable cliché; the familiar and comfy 'grumpy old men' banter between Freeman and Eastwood, The rags to riches journey of Maggie as she becomes a champion." Wouldn't you say these problems are as a result of a unskillfully written screenplay? You go on to say, "Million Dollar Baby may be overly familiar, but it's so well played and artistically presented that it's quite pleasurable to watch." So wouldn't you say the screenplay isn't anything special, but the direction and acting made it better than it is? You also talk about how the characters don't have any flaws and that Maggie doesn't really have any unique characteristics beyond being poor "trash." Do you think a lack of full depth in a character starts with acting or with screenwriting? (that question was for educational purposes, I'm not questioning your taste or anything, I just would like to find out what such issues usually begin with.)


Anonymous said...

Just picking up the BAFTA line again, did anyone else notice the almost statment-like applause for Imelda Staunton's win there last week? I'm still trying to get a handle on what it meant. Did it mean she's the spoiler we've all written off? Or did it mean everyone realises she hasn't got a hope against Swank and they were giving her applause whilst they can? Or does it just mean that the BAFTAs were making their 1,393rd "uniquely British comment" on the likely Best Actress Oscar winner?


Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone is under the illusion that Imelda's win was just a British person winning (like Dench for Iris or Smith for Mussolini). Imelda was the favourite to purely because she gave a great performance in a movie that the BAFTAs clearly loved.

I still am predicting her to steal the Oscar from Swank. Still on the basis that for an institution so hellbent on excluding people who year-after-year give excellent performance, or direction, or writing or whathaveyou, that they would give Hilary Swank 2 Best Actress Oscars. But I'll eat my words come next week.

Anyway, why no mention of the fact that A Very Long Engagement won the Cinematography Guild's top award? ...?

And on the matter of Original Screenplay, Eternal Sunshine, i think, is FAR from in a winning position. Hotel Rwanda could get its won there (I am reminded of The Pianist's shock/bizarre win in 2003 over Kaufman's Adaptation and The Hours). And as Nath has mentioned, The Incredibles is clearly well-liked... ya never know. Sideways, i think, is more of a leader than people think.


In answer to the M$B screenplay question (it's only nomination in my personal awards) --Yeah, I do have some problems with that screenplay but it was, in the time I've been doing this THE absolute worst year for adapted screenplays. I loved almost none of them so there was very little competition. But, yes, the further I get away from that movie the more it looks like screenplay problems.

I also don't feel that Sideways is very vulnerable. If it can win the BAFTA with no other nominations I think it's sunk way down deep into the collective subconscious that it's the year's best screenplay.

As for Eternal Sunshine. I live in horror of it losing but I think it's going to. I just can't imagine if they stiffed it for such OBVIOUSLY worthy things like editing that they thought much of it overall... or that they even understand it.

adam k. said...

Yeah, I also keep thinking Sunshine is going to lose. Thank god for Kate Winslet and her oscarbait nature that it got any other noms at all and thus still has a chance. But yeah... I really thought they'd go for it in editing... but they nominate Neverland instead? Sickening. It does show that it just wasn't on their radar screen and that kate only got nominated because she's Kate (playing against type).
I do think though that if it loses it will probably be to Vera Drake, which is on a role right now and would probably have a better chance of winning here than in actress. So that wouldn't be so bad. Mike Leigh is even more of a respected oscar veteran than Kaufman and they will likely give him his due this year (just in the wrong category). Eternal does have EVERY precursor for original screenplay on its side, though, so I hope this is one time the academy just does what it does best, i.e. play follow the leader. But bizarre screenplay upsets are rather common, so this is a tough call.
I just hope Hotel Rwanda doesn't win, cause even though that's a good film and an important one, I don't see how the screenplay represents great writing.

Anonymous said...

I really can't understand how come you didn't nominate Spider Man 2 for best Adapted Screenplay, then. It is so much better than M$B's it's almost a shame!

- Alvy Singer -

adam k. said...

Yeah, good point. Spider-Man 2 had a great screenplay, and M$B had a so-so one.
It's OK, though, the academy makes mistakes every year.

Anonymous said...

Well my own personal nominees for Adapted Screenplay would have been Closer, Mean Girls, Million Dollar Baby (i actually liked the screenplay), Sideways and A Very Long Engagement.

I did not think Sideways' screenplay was the be all and end all. In fact the Eternal Sunshine, Before Sunset and I Heart Huckabees trifecta over in Original (with Dogville being a veeery worthy fourth) of screenplays were better than Sideways'.

I think I suffered with Sideways what people suffered with Lost In Translation last year. I was expecting something deeply profound and wonderous but... it underwhelmed me.

btw, does Spiderman 2 count as adapted screenplay?

And, yeah, I really think Sideways has it all sown up. Specially considering i don't think it'll win anywhere else except possibly Supporting Actress, and even there I'm predicting Cate.


adam k. said...

Yeah, I think Sideways is pretty safe. It's been too dominant not just in adapted but in EVERY screenplay race (except the scripter) to miss out now. And really, who's Paul Haggis next to Payne & Taylor? But I also think Sunshine, Sunset and Huckabees were all better screenplays. And Bad Education, Dogville and The Incredibles were all fabulous, too... haven't gotten to see the blink and you missed it Vera Drake but I'm sure it was great also. If I had a ballot, I would have a near impossible time deciding between those 7 for nominations. Though I guess since Before Sunset is somehow "adapted" for awards purposes and I haven't seen Vera Drake yet, I suppose I'd have to go with Sunshine, Huckabees, Incredibles, Dogville and Bad Education. And I think if Sunset can call itself adapted, Spider-Man 2 totally can. It is based on comic book storylines, is it not? My adapted nominees if I had a ballot would be Sideways, Before Sunset (since it would have to be in this category to place), Mean Girls, Door in the Floor, and Spider-Man 2 (didn't much care for M$B, haven't seen Very Long Engagement, and didn't think the "stagy" Closer script worked on film, but that's just me).

adam k. said...

Oh yeah, forgot about Motorcycle Diaries... didn't really love that movie but it would still come in a close 6th... unless I decided not to buy into Before Sunset's claim of adaptedness, in which case it would place.

Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd mention this article...

I think this article may have a hint as to how to judge Best Actress. I think it's Brad Bird who mentions how he was "torn" and then it becomes about other things.

I think a lot of people may indeed be torn between Hilary Swank and Imelda Staunton (and possibly Annette Bening but I'm not sure on her anymore) and may go "well, Hilary already has one..."


btw, i just got back from 2 movies. House of Flying Daggers! ASTOUNDING. Just phenomenal.

And Bride & Prejudice. Pretty fun (and funny) but awards wise it's not a hit. Maybe costumes and the globes may give it a musical/comedy shot if there's a lack of competition...


Anonymous said...

Spider Man was based on many stories from the comics, but mainly on one called "Spider Man: No More", where Peter Parker gives up being SM. Also, that take of PP leaving the SM outfit in the garbage is taken verbatim from that story.

I know in my own award it was best adapted screenplay of the year.

- Alvy Singer -

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