Wednesday, January 31, 2007

It Could Be Worse

I've been trying to dream up some Oscar related articles for y'all but I keep getting distracted by less boring subjects like: my sleeping cat, the dirt under my fingernails, whether or not I should shave my head. Still... a recent box office #1 position for a certain movie we'll call Something Nathaniel Would Never See Even If You Begged Him With Cash In Hand Because He Was Moronic Enough to See 'Date Movie' Last Year reminded me that it could be worse. The Oscar Race could be far less exciting. I mean here are America's vote$ for Best Picture of 2006:
  • Cars which is not even as memorable as a highly derivative movie about tap-dancing penguins.
  • The Da Vinci Code America's favorite mild as milk director Ron Howard and star Tom Hanks + America's favorite topic religion.
  • Night at the Museum
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest the most successful commercial of all time. What is it advertising? Its own sequel. At least I think that's what it's doing because it's 150 minutes long and almost nothing really happens.
  • X-Men: The Last Stand a sequel that pees all over the franchise and characters but nobody cares because it has, like, cool CGI and stuff. Brett Ratner gets yet more credit as a hitmaker despite the fact that this movie woulda made $200+ even if my sleeping cat directed it.
What is wrong with people? That's just... It's just. Well I'll take the preachy overdetermined Babel, the dull but meaningful Letters From Iwo Jima, the hit and miss Little Miss Sunshine and the simplistic The Queen. I'll take them huge flaws and all. It could be so much worse. The Academy could actually listen to moviegoers. Then we'd all be in trouble. Saw IV would end up in the running for Best Picture next year.

Epic Movie made more last weekend than The Fountain or Marie Antoinette or Volver or Dave Chappelle's Block Party or The Last King of Scotland made in their entire runs.

Argh. I hate people.

What is wrong with me? Sorry. Where did this horrible mood just come from? My apologies. Carry on.

They Don't Do Windows

It takes a certain amount of entitlement, arrogance, and self-absorption to be a proper diva. In the classical sense it takes a booming voice and one of our contestants has that in spades, but some divas are so large and in charge that they can control their fans / peons with a mere whisper or a look that could kill. One diva is a straight up killer. Another, you get the sense, is only a diva by circumstance and privilege but she helped set the mold. She's an ur-diva.

Bow down. It's the best cinematic Divas of the Year

Other Updates: Best Heroes. They're more worthy of your worship but they're not going to ask for it. They're too down to earth. Even if they're up in the sky. Best Casting (click and scroll down). Which movies made winning choices before filming even began? And a Best Actress poll @ headquarters.

Tags: marie antoinette, , al gore, gong li, jennifer hudson, dreamgirls, diva, Film, casting, casting directors

Dance: Ten, Links: Three

CSB interviews the directors of Little Miss Sunshine. It might be a little late for them to play so naive and "what -- who, us?" about that Oscar campaign though.
MNPP The Departed in 150 words or less. Funny stuff
popbytes This is cool. Don't have time to watch MTV for months on end hoping to catch cool music videos? In just 57 minutes you can get caught up w/ a video mashup of 77 of 2006's hottest offerings.

OK, OK, there's more than just three links. But I liked the title (recently saw the revival of A Chorus Line. More on that later) Check out some personal movie awardage from opinionated loudmouths (hey, my kind of people) like goatdog, MaryAnn, Andy, Tim and Nick's Flick Picks who name their 'bests' of the year

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Evil Doers

Yes, I will actually complete the Film Bitch Awards for 2006. I just need more hours in each day. Can you arrange that? Please and thanks.

They have no qualms about stealing children's toys and sailor's souls. They don't think twice about snuffing out the lives of cave spelunkers, indie filmmakers, or resistance fighters. They are the Best Cinematic Villains of this past year in film. [some spoilers required]

Tuesday Top Ten: Christian Bale

Tuesday Top Ten! ~a new weekly feature. For the listmaker in me and the list lover in you

My 10 Favorite Christian Bale Performances
It's his birthday, so why not? My apologies to Reign of Fire fans for leaving that out but basically Christian just let his abs give the performancce in that one. They're beautiful but they don't have a lot of range and they suck at modulating character arcs.

10. Any Performance I haven't seen yet. Bale is rarely bad. My most notable omission is The Machinist --I've explained the reasons why before.

09. "Thomas" in Pocahontas (1995)
I'm not really even joking. If this were a live action feature I would be obsessed with this peripheral role. What is he thinking? How does he really feel about the hero John Smith?

08. "Sam" in Laurel Canyon (2003)
Uncharacteristically stiff and uncomfortable, but that's the role. He nails the total fear of flirtation/temptation (a reaction you rarely see in movies) in that steamy car scene with Natasha McElwhatsherface.

07. "Jack Kelly" in Newsies (1992)
This is regarded as a dud but I remember seeing it in the theater during the 10 (?) year drought of true movie musicals and just being so grateful that I could even watch a bad one. Bale has the only great scene, singing the 'I want' number (all Disney musicals got 'em) "Santa Fe". It's the one number that lifts off the ground a little bit, and almost gives you the feeling you get watching great musicals. Strangely, despite a plethora of Newsies performance clips online, the only one that actually has Bale himself singing does not have the scene from the movie. Just stills. But here it is to your left so you can hear his lovely voice. He even sings with his character accent! What an actor.

06. "Arthur Stuart" in Velvet Goldmine (1998)
From one musical type to another. Velvet Goldmine belongs to the absolutely mesmerizing overt theatricality of it's trio of show-offs: Ewan Macgregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Toni Collette but Bale is your outsider looking in protagonist. The clip to your right above is "Baby's On Fire" which gets Bale quite hot & bothered. The entire movie gets us hot & bothered.

05. "Bruce Wayne" in Batman Begins (2005)
Glad to see Bale carrying a mainstream hit (quite a range he's got in his filmography) and he's a great choice. I don't think it's a completely revelatory performance but I hope he's just warming up. Its sequel The Dark Knight arrives in 2008.

04. "Alfred Borden" in The Prestige (2006)
"Abracadabra" indeed.

03. "John Rolfe" in The New World (2005)
Given that Bale is beginning to specialize in slightly or very scary men with secrets, it was almost a revelation to see him as such a kind, straightforward and open hearted man in Terence Malick's superb film which was horrifically botched in its theatrically release by wishy washy distribution: rent it. And hey, that makes twice that Bale has been a peripheral character in a Pocahontas movie.

02. "Jamie Graham" in Empire of the Sun (1987)
I haven't seen this in a long time but there are those who think it one of the great child performances of all time. Have any of you seen it recently? How does it hold up?

01. "Patrick Bateman" in American Psycho (2000)
I've discussed this performance before but it's one of the best star turns of the decade and the film is aging really well.

Bale demands that you see it again. And you don't want to upset his delicate psychological balance.

Previous Tuesday Top Tens (New Series):
Oscar Nominations Talking Points
Alexander(s) The Great
Best 2006 Movies from The Departed (sure) to Marie Antoinette (you heard me)
Movies by The Three Amigos Best of Cuarón, González Iñárritu and Del Toro

Tags: Christian Bale, , newsies, movie musicals, cinema, Film, batman, velvet goldmine

Ubiquity: The Sweet & The Sour

Starring in several films that arrive in short succession can do wonders for a rise to fame, comeback, critical or Oscar momentum, Q rating, and salary (if you're in demand, up goes the asking price). But a heavy workload also has a dark side: overexposure, high profile failure, increased risk of miscasting. Here, from a 'what's in the pipeline?' investigation, are 18 actors you'll be seeing thrice or more in movie theaters this year. None of them are quite in Jude Law 2004 or Scarlett Johansson 2005 territory (I mean, we don't think they've been cloned) but they'll be around. A lot. Commence rejoicing or the gnashing of teeth ...depending on how you feel just reading their names.

(alpha order)

Christian Bale leads last year's festival hit Rescue Dawn from crazy/brilliant Werner Herzog into theaters soon. Then Bale will lend his services to another auteur genius, Todd Haynes, as one of seven "Bob Dylan"s in I'm Not There. Finally, he'll lock horns with ever irritable, ever horn-lockable Russell Crowe in James Mangold's western 3:10 to Yuma. Gretchen Mol plays Bale's wife. Bettie Page and Patrick Bateman in the same bed. Eep.

Vinnie Barbarino Feel free to curse at the heavens or Quentin Tarantino ...either way. America's #2 Most Beloved Scientologist is never going away. He's back to torture us with not one, not two, but three gruesome film objects. From least to most terrifying they are: Lonely Hearts in which he tracks down serial killers Salma Hayek and Jared Leto, Hairspray in which he'll scare us to death in full drag, and 'The Apocalypse' more commonly known as Wild Hogs. Hey, it feels like the end of the world to me. In it you will see not just John Travolta but two other former sitcom stars (Martin Lawrence & Tim Allen) that you had never hoped to see again. None of them are funny. And, worse yet, they'll all be naked.

Adam Brody, freed from The OC hottie prison, begins phase 2 of his career. This part is called: "I want to be a movie star" It kicked off with two Sundance ensemble entries The Ten (also starring busy Gretchen Mol) and Smiley Face (with Anna Faris) but the big test case will undoubtedly be his leading role in In the Land of Women in which he'll have to hold the center while not getting blown off the screen by the dramedic antics of a whole slew of talented and/or desperate women like Meg Ryan, Olympia Dukakis, Ginnifer Goodwin, Lindsay Sloane ('Big Red' from Bring it On! , yessss) and Kristen Stewart (Jodie's daughter from Panic Room all grown up) among them.

Chris Evans was the best part the only good part of Fantastic Four so he's reprising his role as 'The Human Torch' in the awkwardly titled Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Contrary to popular belief, the character was named The Human Torch even before Evans took off his shirt. In addition to flaming on for that one he'll court even more geek fandom with voicework for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He's part of the activist ensemble in Battle in Seattle (with Susan Sarandon, Channing Tatum, and many more). He'll be smoldering next to subtler sexpots like Cillian Murphy and Michelle Yeoh in the sci-fi flick Sunshine. Finally, to underline my point, I think you should know that he'll actually be playing a character named "Hottie" in The Nanny Diaries opposite Scarlett Johansson. I'm not making this up.

James Franco's breakthrough year was supposed to have arrived years ago. But you can't say he gives up easily. In addition to his third crack at Spider-Man he'll be popping up with some regularity. He's in the Sundance drama about an infamous child abuse case An American Crime, the Bruce Lee obsessed Finishing The Game, gazing at Sienna Miller in Camille and co-starring in Paul Haggis's latest drama In the Valley of Elah.

Paul Giamatti , like Chris Evans, co-stars in The Nanny Diaries but he is not playing a character named "Hottie". After that adaptation, he'll team up or fight against (I think the latter) Clive Owen in the imaginatively titled actioner Shoot 'Em Up. Towards the end of the year he's playing Santa Clause. You knew that already. The teaser for Fred Claus, with Vince Vaugh and Giamatti bantering on a couch, is already playing in your multiplex.

Nicole Kidman is back. Presumably you're very excited. She'll bring Daniel Craig with her twice, first in the sci-fi thriller Invasion and then for the holidays in the fantasy epic The Golden Compass. She'll also be headlining Noah Baumbach's Squid and Whale follow up, Margot at the Wedding. She's Margot. Duh.

The Lovely Laura Linney has five films coming your way. The Savages and Jindabyne have already won her raves though they've yet to open here. She'll hopefully raise the acting games of young blonde hit & missers like Ryan Phillipe in Breach and Scarlett Johansson in The Nanny Diaries. Late in the year she'll appear in James Ivory's latest The City of Your Final Destination.

James McAvoy got shafted in the praise department despite film-carrying work in The Last King of Scotland, so he's leaving soon-to-be Oscar'ed co-star Forest Whitaker behind for ensembles and starlets. First up is Starter For Ten where he plays a university student. Then he'll be staring at Christina Ricci's pig-nose in Penelope (again -I'm not making any of this up). He joins Anne Hathaway for the Jane Austen biopic Becoming Jane and closes the year sharing the screen with four ladies in the Oscar hopeful Atonement which comes from the director and star of Pride & Prejudice, Joe Wright & Keira Knightley.

Julianne Moore and I have been going through some rough times in our star/fan romance. She's busy trying to win me back. Her first attempt comes with the Nic Cage sci-fi action flick Next (which I've dismissed discussed already). In a very promising move to restore sanity to her "dead children" based career, she'll be reuniting with her premier director, Todd Haynes (who led her to shattering greatness in both Safe and Far From Heaven) for a supporting role in I'm Not There. Julie wraps up the year with an Oscar bid chewing the scenery as doomed heiress Barbara Daly Baekaland in Savage Grace. Will she receive a fifth nomination for her troubles?

Mandy Moore is 'asking for it'. If you've seen the trailer for Because I Said So you'd know. And who hasn't seen that trailer (speaking of ubiquity). She's also part of the dark romantic comedy Dedication and the light Robin Williams comedy License to Wed. At some point, wormholes be damned, she'll pop up in the uncategorizable Southland Tales from the director of Donnie Darko.

Samantha Morton wins the Jude Law honorary award for most films ready for your viewing pleasure. She's got six titles on the way. She's still best known to audiences as the Minority Report telepath and she'll have ample opportunity to show off that otherworldly acting gift in '07. She might have an Oscarable role playing Mary Queen of Scots, Cate Blanchett's enemy, in The Golden Age. Morton is part of a critical darling ensemble in the latest from mindbending Charlie Kauffman which is called Synecdoche, New York. In addition to those high profile outings, she's got four smaller films which should be hitting your neighborhood arthouse if the distribution gods are kind. Sundance brought her acclaim for two titles: Expired (with Jason Patric) and Longford (with the great Jim Broadbent). She'll play Marilyn Monroe in the latest oddity from Mr. Chlöe Sevigny, Harmony Korine (Gummo) which is called Mister Lonely. And finally, she'll be starring in the debut feature for music video legend Anton Corbijn called Control which is a biopic of Ian Curtis, the suicidal lead singer of Joy Division.

La Pfeiffer is (almost) back. Stardust, I Could Never Be Your Woman and Hairspray. If this blog suddenly stops being updated it means I have died of happiness.

Natalie Portman is already filming The Darjeeling Limited for the inimitable Wes Anderson but that might not arrive until 2008. I'm not sure what happened to Goya's Ghost which was supposed to arrive last year but Natalie isn't one to sit around and wait ('I don’t sleep mother f***er off that yak and bourbon'). In the meantime enjoy her in Wong Kar Wai's first English language feature My Blueberry Nights and Zach Helms Stranger Than Fiction follow-up Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Undoubtedly the big draw will be her battle with Scarlett Johansson for the hand of King Eric Bana in The Other Boleyn Girl. Natalie Vs. Scarlett. Did they have mud wrestling in the 1500s? I think it's safe to say that everyone will want to see that throwdown. Place your bets.

Alan Rickman hasn't been seen all that often outside of his frequent Professor Snape gigs for Harry Potter. He's doing that again but bringing three more characters to the screen, too. He's the lead in Snow Cake with Sigourney Weaver and a prickly Nobel winner in Nobel Son. In the winter he'll torment Johnny Depp as 'Judge Turpin' in the long awaited Stephen Sondheim adaptation, Sweeney Todd.

Tim Roth will always be "Pumpkin" to me from Pulp Fiction. He's been working steadily but will he see a revived critical interest in his career? I'm guessing that's a 'hell yes'. Among the juicy offerings will be lead roles for two masters in Michael Haneke's Funny Games and Francis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth. He's also in the ensembles of Wong Kar Wai's My Blueberry Nights and some kind of black plague centered period romantic comedy called Virgin Territory --I don't understand that description either, sorry.

Mark Ruffalo ohmygodthisarticleislong. OK. So Mark. This one's for you Arden. Not that he doesn't already work a lot but you'll be seeing him in two heavy-breathing dramas Reservation Road and Margaret which are both about grieving and death, you know, light stuff. He'll also be uncharacteristically not the sexiest one in Zodiac which arrives early next month.

Tom Wilkinson is intermittently awesome. So I'm crossing my fingers that his supporting stints in Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream, the dark comedy Dedication, or the legal drama Michael Clayton opposite George Clooney and Tilda Swinton, will be something to get excited about. Can we get another In the Bedroom level performance? Sure do hope so.

THE END (whew)

Post Script: Movies that are intending to arrive this calendar year may disappear from the schedule completely. Other actors may suddenly emerge as the year's ubiquitous stars. All things are subject to change. Especially in Hollywood.


If you liked this article, consider looking around the film experience or the blog itself. Interested in new stars for 2007? Check out Abbie Cornish or Eddie Redmayne. We also have Oscar commentary and predictions. Or see some of our greatest hits like "all hail the queen" on Helen Mirren's awards steamroll, "A History Of...Angelina Jolie" from teen model to globetrotting superstar, "Far From Heaven vs. Brokeback Mountain.

Bookmark. Subscribe. Comment. Thanks for joining us.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Will Little Miss Sunshine Shoot The Departed in the Head?

Scott Feinberg has a good piece up about why Little Miss Sunshine will win the Oscar. I'm not as convinced but it is my current guess as well and was before reading this. I just think it has the virtue of being a standout in the lineup. Not the best mind you -- My vote would go to The Departed -- but the standout. It has a feel good warmth that alludes the others and the other films seem more easily narrowed down to a particular strong element rather than a 'whole' package. The Queen is The Mirren Show. Babel is all about its multi-continent message and sprawl. The Departed is Scorsese doing his crime thing to great popcorn effect. But Little Miss Sunshine? It's a whole package. How do you separate its elements?

In truth either The Departed or Little Miss Sunshine as a winner would be delightful because it would be Oscar finally trying something different. Honoring a pulpy crime flick or a straight up goofy comedy? Unthinkable. Which is exactly why they should think seriously about doing it. I've updated the Best Picture page with detailed comments and the current prediction.


Links, 9

Being Boring "Kylie Minogue and Aural Transvestitism" -yielding to the performer within
Cinemarati names their top film of 2006, the awardage is complete
Cinemathematics the Oscar-snubbed animated short Everything Will Be OK
Eddie on Film a Star Wars 30th anniversary blog-a-thon coming your way in May. May the Force be with us
IndieWire has the Sundance winners. Given American film culture I expect we'll be hearing a lot more about Grace is Gone (since it has a movie star, John Cusack, and is in English) than we will about some of the other winners but check them all out here. May they all get distribution
mainly movies' Tim names the best of '06
Twitch has the nominees for the first annual Asian Film Awards which will be celebrated during the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Cineastes will be thrilled to know that arthouse darling Apichatpong Weerasethakul was nominated for Syndromes and a Century and the South Korean festival hit The Host got several nominations.
WOW very sad news for Angelina Jolie and family.
Zoom-In Annie wraps up her Sundance experience

For The Boyfriend on His Birthday...

His two favorite* actors to gaze at.

[* please note: The Boyfriend is from that rare anomalous breed of humans who refuse to name their favorites or make hierarchal lists of any sort. Freakish, right? These two actors are thus selected from frequency of random comments made and likelihood of his desire to see a movie in which either one of them appear. Only Tilda Swinton and Isabelle Huppert appear to be rivals of any sort to their top draw status. -the editor]

Abbie Cornish. Future Star?

It's been a few months since Australia sent us a new movie star. Did their assembly line have a malfunction or something? Anywho, Abbie Cornish. Some of you may already know the 24 year-old actress from Somersault (2004), for which she won numerous kudos or from Candy (2006), wherein she drugged it up with Heath Ledger. But both films combined gross less than $150,000 in stateside release so maybe not. More likely you caught a glimpse of her in A Good Year or read the rumors that she was the third party in the Reese & Ryan split.

2007 promises to be an important year in determining whether she's the latest in Australia's long line of screen marvels with staying power. Toni Collette, Eric Bana, Heath Ledger, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Cate Blanchett... them Aussies don't quit.

Abbie has roles in two must-see films this year. The first is the Untitled Kimberly Peirce Project (sometimes referred to as Stop-Loss) an ensemble drama that reads like a who's who of male twentysomething stardom: Ryan Phillipe, Channing Tatum, Jay Hernandez, Victor Rasuk and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The project will gain attention because it focuses on a hot topic: the war in Iraq (though it takes place stateside) and because it's Peirce's first feature since her debut, Boys Don't Cry (1999). What took her so long? Who knows but people will undoubtedly give her sophomore effort a look.

Abbie Cornish (far right) on set with Cate Blanchett watching playback.
She and Samantha Morton hold the two crucial female supporting roles in The Golden Age

Abbie's second film in 2007 is the Elizabeth sequel The Golden Age. If she attracts your eye, critical kudos, or Oscar buzz for this film whilst surrounded by Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen, Geoffrey Rush and Samantha Morton (9 Oscar nominations and 2 wins between them) then she's definitely on her way.

Stay tuned. Will Abbie Cornish be the emerging star of 2007?

Previous Aussie-centric posts:
Australia news from Bazmark
Day Job:Toni Collette Toni's onscreen callings.
We Are All Nicole Kidman - a quiz.
Hugh Jackman hump day hottie
Interview with greatly missed Aussie blog six things
Hug an Australian yes there's actually a day for it.
Brokeback Birthday Heath and all the writings about Brokeback Mountain
Moulin Rouge! the obsession detailed.

Tags: Abbie Cornish, , Oscars, Academy Awards, cinema, Film, cinematography, queen elizabeth, Cate Blanchett, Golden Age, Australia, australian, Heath Ledger, Ryan Phillipe

Sunday, January 28, 2007


8:20 I just got back from dinner with ModFab and StinkyLulu and my train, the glamorous red line, was running a little slowly for my taste. Anyway...

8:21 I don't know what I missed in the first 20 minutes but Alec Baldwin is winning for 30 Rock which I have not seen. But Alec Baldwin. He funny. Do you think the other Baldwins hate him? I mean, what are they up to these days.

8:23 Sedgwick (zzz) and Perry (ugh) are announcing more awards for TV. Felicity looks pretty in black. Mary Louise Parker = pretty in general. I don't really get the Ugly Betty thing. America Ferrera just ain't ugly. It's like back in the 90s when Janeane Garofalo was always cast as the ugly girl despite being you know like really really pretty in the face. Facial validity. Pretty is a word I have used four times in this paragraph and that is not pretty.

8:26 The Departed clip. Shot of Leo in the audience. He was sandwiched between two men (get your mind out of the gutter) neither of whom I recognized. Weird.

8:32 Cate Blanchett is wearing gold. Do you think she's hinting to Oscar voters that she wants a second one. Shot of Demi Moore -yay! We don't see enough of her. Mary Tyler Moore is drunk? Ensemble Comedy. I never quite understand the selection of clips @ awards shows. Never ever ever. I love The Office...and wow, after a 5 minute buildup to the announcement of the award it actually won. Is it mean that they kept showing the Desperate Housewives clapping, trying to look happy for them. I love the little boxes Oscar uses so you can watch them all but it doesn't really work for ensembles for obvious reasons.

8:39 Keifer Sutherland will always be a Lost Boy to me. This is a voice work tribute. I can't imagine how hard that job is --the dubbing job. But I still have major issues with it because we all should just be reading subtitles, should we not?

8:43 Marcia Gay Harden. Back in red --she likes red. The Boyfriend can't take his eyes off her twins. What's that about? Supporting Actor! "I'm at your feet, baby". And the ugly maskholding statue goes to Eddie Murphy.

8:46 Cute speech from Eddie there. Hounsou's red shirt look is terrible. He is so handsome but that shirt. Argh. Hurts the eyes.

8:52 Commercials for The Closer. I've never watched it but my god Kyra looks so "serious face" doesn't she in those commericals. Like trying too hard to be badass.

8:54 Somebody told me tonight that Mariksa Hargitwhatshername is the daughter of Jayne Mansfield? Is this true? That is just crazy.

8:55 Anne Hathaway loves the red lipstick with black dresses, doesn't she? It's so sweet that she's honoring Julie Andrews. Ohhhhh, Julie. I always feel like they give Victor/Victoria shortshrift in these tributes so let's hope they give it its due tonight.

8:59 It's probably unhealthy how much I love her voice. A spoonful of sugar indeed. It's still so bizarre that she won the Oscar for Mary Poppins. Has there ever been another Oscar decision like that one? I have been meaning to see The Americanization of Emily forever.

9:01 See! Victor/Victoria got nothing. nothing. No respect, just one tiny clip like she never played that woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman.

9:05 The Boyfriend just pointed out to me that it seems inconsistent how they use the title "Dame". fr'instance you always hear "Dame Judi Dench" but a lot of times you hear "Helen Mirren" or "Julie Andrews" without the title. What's that about?

9:06 Jada Pinkett-Smith listened to me when I asked to see her hair after the Globes. Now she's got her curls out. Anyway Julie & Blake. Bedroom jokes. After Tom Hanks' hideous "balls" speech about Warren Beatty at the Globes everything else seems highly appropriate and classy, even if it's actually kind of lowbrow joking.

9:08 The Boyfriend points out that McDreamy looks bored. I didn't notice because whenever they show him my jaw goes slack and my mind drifts away into the vast expanse of his hair beauty

9:13 Emilio Estevez...just no. Wow, he looks really nervous. Shouldn't he be on a sitcom by now? I'm so glad this wasn't nominated for the Oscars because now I don't have to see it. I escaped!

9:16 Ewwww. Is Mary Louise Parker wearing a cupcake liner in cloth form? Ewww. I hate it. Edie Falco is such an amazing actor. Marishakah has long bangs. The winner is Chandra Wilson. Now, I hate that "Poor Sad Blond Girl" series (that's what the Boyfriend calls it and he loves it) but I do like her on the show.

9:19 a skit. Julia Louis Dreyfuss. Love her. Steve Carell is too cute. Hugh Laurie bores me. I know I'm supposed to love his performance on House but I think of it the same way I think of Tony Shalhoub on Monk, which is also an awards magnet. Cute but a gimmicky personality is only funny the first few times.

9:23 James Spader did not age well. And he was skeevy to begin with.

9:25 And 'in memoriam'. I always love these. Mickey Hargitay. That's Maryshka's dad right? June Allyson - If you ever get a chance to see Executive Suite (1954), do it. She's good in it and it's a fine fine film. Oh, Maureen Stapleton. She's so amazing. Love her so much in Interiors and Reds. I didn't realize that two of the Munsters had died this year.

9:33 My cat is so bored by awards shows. Thought I'd share.

9:35 Ensemble in a Drama Series. Teri Hatcher's dress has too much something. It looks lumpy on her skeletal frame. It reminds me of that famously bad dress that got Project Runway's Malan booted, only in a more pleasing color. I can't even think of watching that show Boston Legal. Who could watch both James Spader AND William Shatner for 60 minutes in a year let alone 60 minutes weekly. [sarcasm] Grey's AnatomyGee what a surprise [/sarcasm] I probably wouldn't hate this show as much if She Who Must Not Be Named's Doppelganger weren't the lead. But she is. And I do.

9:39 "Bay-bul"? For some reason I've been hearing "Babble" for pronunciation. But more importantly. I am drinking Ruby Red Vodka right now and it is really good. Thanks, Mina!

9:41SUPPORTING ACTRESS. Woohoo. Finally the movie awards. Fun clips. Jennifer has such a good "surprise / humble " face. I don't like Jennifer's dress as much as her Globes outfit but she is still lovely.l

9:43 I love it when the announcer sends secret messages just to me:
Coming up next: Annette Bening
Ah, I love you to mr. secret announcer.

9:48 what is Reese wearing. Such a hard fall after that Globes hottie moment. She picked it out of a clearance bin. BEST ACTOR. God I hate Blood Diamond. Gosling is so amazing. That scene is a good one too. I loved Vanessa Redgrave in Venus. Smith = zzzz.

9:50 I think Forest Whitaker is amazing in Last King of Scotland. But it's starting to feel so rote that if you play a real life person you automatically win. There's no contest anymore and there should be. Because no matter how good you are there are cases to be made for your competition. The difference between the best performance of the year and the runners up is never so large that there should be no competition.

9:54 Helen Mirren. What I just said.

9:56 God she looks amazing. I know you all saw her earlier but I missed her. Wow, that speech was a huge improvement over her Globe speech.

9:57 THE BENING!!! announcing the final award of the night.

9:58Little Miss Sunshine yes!!! The Best Picture Oscar race is so intense. I love it. It's so freakishly rare that all the nominees have a real shot at the statue.

9:59 The Bening just wished ME a "good night" I'm so blessed.

10:00 Now is it time for Battlestar Galactica yet? Yes! Now that's a television series worth awarding


Pre Show Note
The SAG Awards air tonight at 8 EST on TNT. I'll be here, shooting my mouth off. For the record I'm predicting: Little Miss Sunshine (alt. The Departed), Mirren (alt. Streep), Whitaker (alt. DiCaprio), Hudson (alt. Breslin), Murphy (alt. Arkin) because I don't think we'll have too many surprises.

Note on that Pre Show Note
Scored 100% on my predictionzzzz. It's a good thing that Oscar's Best Picture is contentious @ the Oscars because everything else is looking locked up. Same four winners everywhere.

Talking Smack: Best Supporting Actors

Melt down this year's nominees for Supporting Actor into one character and you've got a 48 year-old biracial potty mouthed addict with a taste for inappropriate performance.

I've updated the SUPPORTING ACTOR OSCAR with my theories on how they each got nominated, who I think will win (Eddie Murphy still has the lead but can he hold it?) and more...

Who would you choose as the year's best supporting actor? The latest Oscar poll is up. Mark Wahlberg is in the lead at the moment with Jackie Earle Haley coming up fast (a bit of a surprise since New Line has been trying their damndest to prevent any of you from seeing his film). Voting ends Tuesday. What say ye?


If you're in the New York area anytime between now and February 12th, I'd suggest taking in the Doug Aitken sleepwalkers exhibit @ MoMA. It's a free outdoors exhibit and, more importantly, it's good. I was rather hypnotized by the multiple screen parallels of various people silently waking, performing their morning rituals, going through a standard work day, and finally finding release in music, albeit still silently. It's got great energy, sly wit, and it's beautifully filmed and edited. My friends and I watched it from both major viewing areas for slightly different experiences and textures: seeing the different building facades of brick or glass underneath the images proved an unexpected highlight for me.

The cast of Sleepwalkers (each one gets their own screen) was a big draw. The enduring Donald Sutherland, beautiful musicians Chan Marshall (Cat Power), Seu Jorge (cineastes will remember him from The Life Aquatic), and Ryan Donowho. I saved the best for last: the fifth costar is art fiend/iconoclast muse/movie star Tilda Swinton.

True story: We started watching the exhibit on the West side in an open lot where you can see one screen beautifully while another draws peripheral attentions. After about 20 minutes we decided to move into the MoMA Garden where you can see all the screens. About five minutes after picking a spot to gaze around I was looking up to my right at one screen when my friend leans in and says to me "look to your left" I turn and there so close I could have touched her by taking just one step forward was Tilda Swinton herself, chatting gaily with a small entourage of friends, one of whom I believe was her husband.

Tilda Swinton at her own exhibit!

Imagine sitting next to her in your local arthouse watching a Derek Jarman film. Imagine waiting in a concession line for your popcorn for The Chronicles of Narnia and seeing her with her own tub of popcorn. Bizarre. She was practically standing next to me and I was so entranced by the movie (hey, I'm me) that my friend had to point her out to me. I should mention that just above her, off in the distance was an enormous image of her gazing enigmatically at the camera. The real and the reel both in my line of view. This wasn't sleepwalking. It felt more like a dream.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Link World

Fame Tracker god bless 'em, take Paul Hackis--sorry Paul Haggis to task. Also other Oscar players get summed up quite accurately. Good times.

popbytes on the whole colorful new Disney campaign with celebrities as famous characters, shot by Annie Liebovitz who still has a stranglehold on every high profile gig shooting celebrities.

Cartoon Brew some are griping about the definition of animation these days as evidenced in the Oscar nods. [src]

The Sun ~"Breast Supported Actress" nudge nudge wink wink. [NSFW] --I only link to this because, like, who went to all the trouble to do this? And why on earth with all the times Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet have gotten their kits off would they go with a) Helen when she was so young --she still gets naked god bless and Kate as a corpse. I mean, really now, that's just gross. Has that huge necrophiliac demographic been clicking away to other sites? [src]

Low Resolution Joe. He makin' you wait agonizingly for this funny multi-part winter preview to play out.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Song and Dance: Oscar Nominees

A month ago I sent you off to the weekend with some Beyoncé, Toni Collette, Meryl Streep, and Devotchka music --all movie related. Did you like it? Hope so because here's another musical kick-off for the weekend. Surely your boss won't mind if you're kicking back to tunes every casual Friday? If you like the little musical interludes, I'll keep 'em.

Here's four of our Best Actress nominees showing off their pipes or dance moves. From left to right: Kate Winslet singing "What If" from some animated movie. But god I love to look at her. Judi Dench singing "Send in the Clowns" from one of a gazillion Sondheim tribute concerts. Penelope Cruz dancing around (and presumably lipsynching again like she did in Volver) in La niña de tus ojos. Finally, though I've probably shared it before, I can never get enough of Meryl Streep singing "ME" from Death Becomes Her. hi-larious. We'll let Helen Mirren rest her vocal chords since she's still got three major acceptance speeches to get through.

Next. How Fitting is That Title?

So I've been studying up on what's heading our way in 2007 for future "most awaited" countdowns and I stumbled across this. Here's a production still from Next which stars Nicolas Cage and, um, someone else. It's about a man who can see briefly into the future and he's trying to escape the government. It's based on a Phillip K Dick story "The Golden Man" so it might be good. Dick stories have made films both spectacular and not

So, I don't wanna slam a movie I haven't seen from a director (Lee Tamahori) I'm not truthfully that familiar with but WHY is whatshername STILL signing up for mall pictures? Where are the heavy emotionally nuanced dramas she's so perfect for? I'm sorry but I don't buy her holding a gun and being badass. She's so beautiful and tiny --that translucent skin and that spindly Safe frame... they just don't say: action star. I dealt with it in Hannibal (2001) because back then --you know, benefit of the doubt. She deserved it. But why, now, still in 2007? And mostly I'm just sad because she's starring opposite Nicolas Cage...which means I gotta watch him again. I have successfully avoided 13 of his last 15 pictures and I believe that my life is the better for it (apart from the Scorsese outing Bringing out the Dead which I should have seen).

The preview blurbs for this action/sci-fi thing are a little confusing. The way they read it sounds like the woman in the photo above is not only Cage's pursuer that he's trying to escape but also his love interest and the future mother of his child (which he knows because he can see the future, get it?) but I'm willing to bet that the capsule descriptions are off since they sound so contradictory and that it's actually Jessica Biel who plays his love interest. Why do I think this? Two reasons but they're the same reason. The first: Both of the leads (pictured above) are in their 40s and Hollywood no like that. The second: Biel is only 24 which means she's young enough to be Cage's daughter and is therefore the perfect age to play the mother of his love child (sarcasm intended).

Your thoughts in the comments. Have any of you read "The Golden Man"?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Superfreaks! The Supporting Actress Race

UPDATE: In the "who should win the Best Supporting Actress?" poll @ the main site, you gave Jennifer Hudson your vote for the Oscar by a comfortable margin. In an interesting twist though, Little Miss Sunshine herself and Babel's careless nanny tied despite nearly a thousand votes cast. Little Miss Blanchett took up the rear. Perhaps no one has seen her dust up with Judi Dench? Is it playing in your neck of the woods yet?

I've finished the updates to the SUPPORTING ACTRESS page with my theories on how each contestant got nominated, who deserves to win, who will nab the trophy, who is friends with Dakota Fanning, who is about to start repeating themselves and more ...

Your thoughts on the supporting actress race (and I use the term "race" lightly of course. There's no race) in the comments

Links: Starring Leo & Kate/Cate

Time Out London an interview w/ JCM on his Shortbus
fourfour loves the trash-factor of Notes on a Scandal
ModFab still smarting from the Dreamgirls snub. I haven't thought much about this since I'm not a huge fan but some of the Oscarwatch quotes do make a certain sense. The demographic thing is an issue. I think it was Cinematical (sorry no link) that told us on Ernest Borgnine's birthday that he had been quoted as saying he only liked four movies this year and half of those were Eastwood pictures. Academy demographics, the majority of them are old white males like Clint, do play in to the awards decisions each year. How they play in is up for debate of course. But it's foolish to think they don't.

Celebrity Gossip has new paparazzi shots of La Pfeiffer
Cinemarati the "best of year" countdown has hit the top ten. Check it out. You know I voted for this one at #8
Movie Blog has an interesting piece up on Leonardo DiCaprio finally overcoming that longlasting Titanic backlash (overexposure. too much too soon etc...) While I agree that it's been an interesting ride I have to say that I could scarcely concentrate on the article. I just couldn't get past the notion that anyone could look at Gangs of New York as the moment when they realized he could act. Leo could always act. That was never the issue. And in Gangs he is dishwater dull and completely blown off the screen by just about everyone (the awful Cameron Diaz excepted). He's better in almost everything else he's done. Bizarre. But anyway... I like Leonardo's work and I agree that he has overcome whatever stardom issues arrived post Titanic. It's interesting also that Kate Winslet, who just kept working in challenging character roles in itty bitty films like Hideous Kinky (which were called "career killers" at the time) is the one who had no trouble recovering from that sunken boat. Now, if only James Cameron would come up for air... (I know I know he's got a film in the works. But how many times have we heard that one before)

Time Travelin' Oscar Prediction Giggle

Readers who don't get into statistics or prediction percentages might want to walk politely on by until this post is over.

I'm sure other oscar obsessives have been discussing their statistics since Tuesday morning's revelations. For the record I got 80% in the top eight categories, 69% if you include the techs. And if you include everything (i.e. the categories only the true crazies like myself predict, such as animated short) it drops to 67%. But that's not what I'm hear to discuss.

Remember how each year I do my "Year in Advance 'April Fools' Predictions" which is quickly followed by all that "that could never happen!" mail/comments from you. Turns out you're right. But don't get too snippy about it because you don't know any better! Here were my top ten Oscar choices for BP way back last April 1st to the left. Yours to the right --taken from group polling held that first week of April last year.

You foresaw another Eastwood (wrong film) and Scorsese smackdown coming a mile away. And you probably got Dreamgirls' placement just right. How about that? I correctly foresaw that Flags would falter (I was, I believe, the only year-round Oscar loudmouth to never predict it) and I sensed that The Prestige and Children of Men would figure in somehow but fall short of the BP shortlist. Since they're both "genre" pictures, I got flack for it at the time. Still, of the fourteen pictures either you or I had some faith in, only one of them ended up in the Best Picture field.

Despite a lower in the top categories in this annual fools game of predicting while some of the movie are still in production, the tech predictions saved me and I still got a 27% success ratio of prediction to nominations a whole year in advance. Not so shabby. I realize that sounds low but it ain't. Just try it on April 1st and tuck that list in a drawer until next January: so many films get delayed, so many arrive out of nowhere, big dogs fall and little dogs rise. Etcetera. I realize that posting such embarassments as the picture above is a quick way to damage my own credibility as a prognosticator but I can assure you that other people aren't any better at it (the year in advance part). And those saying "I knew a year ago!" don't have websites to prove they did. All of this is a long way of saying: I still think it's fun, this prediction game but if you don't have a sense of humor about your own blindspots, foibles and random successes, you shouldn't come anywhere near the keyboard until early November when a lot of the films have been widely seen and the field is starting to clear and its much harder to look like a fool

So what crazy mistakes and haphazard successes will I make predicting the February 2008 Oscars? What will be the next Little Children that looks strong but never really takes off? What will be the next Children of Men that overcomes its genre to be (partially) embraced? We won't know until January 2008 but my guesswork will be up on April 1st as per usual.

Until then, we return to the here and now.

Little Miss Quoted

Don't know if you've seen Movie City News roundup of Oscar Nominee quotes but it's fun. Eddie Murphy's statement is non-committal enthusiasm. Mark Wahlberg's Boston Police joke is funny. But you have to love Abigail Breslin's quote with its meandering little kid charm:
We made chocolate milk and I went on my computer. I'm so excited. I just got a new computer, a MacBook, so I was playing games. And then I had a buttered roll.
It's almost "Penny"-like (Pee-Wee's Playhouse) in that sudden "buttered roll" detail, isn't it? Too funny.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pfeiffer Watch: It Could Never Be Our Movie

Y'all seriously now. I Could Never Be Your Woman, the long completed romantic comedy that stars Michelle Pfeiffer (absent from the screen for 5 soul-deadening years now after an egregious Oscar snub for one of her best performances ever) is still having release and distribution woes: That's due to lots of business problems for Bauer Martinez and MGM as reported in Variety. It's cursed!

I harbored no hopes that ICNBYW was going to be a blockbuster or an Oscar winner or even a critical triumph but my god: Michelle Pfreaking Pfeiffer. Get on it. Put that damn thing in theaters. I mean, geez louise, She Who Must Not Be Named gets distribution for a twee period flick that hasn't even crossed the million dollar mark after a Golden Globe nod but one of the best female stars of all time can't catch a break for a mainstream romantic comedy? God, I hate Hollywood sometimes.

Just as I was typing this (no, really) news came in that Free Style Releasing is the new distributor. The biggest success they've been involved with to date is The Illusionist which did, by most fields of reasonable measurement, shockingly well. But mostly their films have played for two seconds without much promotion like, say, Green Street Hooligans. They're eyeing, Coming Soon tells us, a February 16th release. That's incredibly soon given that there's been no promotion whatsoever. The other big February female star driven romantic comedies (Diane Keaton's la-dee-da in Because I Said So and cutesy poo Drew Barrymore in Music & Lyrics) are already so familiar with ubiquitous promotion that I feel like we're sharing a cycle. It's like their my new best friends.

Pfeiffer is a ginormous star. But she's also been gone for five years. Seems a shame that her return to theaters is likely to be greeted by a whisper instead of a loud parade.

Future Blog-a-Thons

Here are three upcoming blog-a-thons you should watch for if you like the group action. I do so I'll be there for each.

Feb 14th "Lovesick" hosted by 100 Films. A great wide topic --imagine the tonal variety of the posts

Mar 23rd-25th
1927 hosted by Goatdog. I highly recommend you read this one: it's a fascinating year that changed Hollywood forever

Apr 23rd
William Shakespeare hosted by Peter Nellhaus. No restrictions as long as its Shakespeare related and, since there are well over 500 films of all variety (in both genre and quality) related to his work and thousands of actors who've been connected to them, this should be fascinating

Those three I'll be writing pieces for -- but there's more. It's impossible to participate in all but I'll definitely be reading. I'd also like to host another since I had such fun with Vampires and La Pfeiffer and the crowds for both were enthusiastic and diverse. But I haven't settled on a topic yet. More later...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

More Oscar Cold Sweats and Hot Flashes

Helen Mirren is the only leading actor representing a Best Picture. Very very rare.

One day Edward Zwick (who holds the strange distinction of being one of my most hated and most loved directors --hate all of his movies / love all of his television) will have an Oscar sweeper. It seems obvious. His annoying, simplistic romantic adventure/racial drama movies always seem to be in the mix, even if they have no business being in a "best" discussion. Still they always seem to get play. Glory got 5 nominations and 3 wins. Legends of the Fall 3 nominations and 1 win. The Last Samurai received 4 nominations and 0 wins. And this year Blood Diamond got 5 nominations... most of which truly test my patience. I fear the day when he finally makes it into the lineup himself and I only pray that on that fateful day they accidentally run out of Oscars and have to hand him an Emmy instead. They're both gold, right? I'll mold it myself if they need help. Give him an Emmy. Those he deserves. (See also: thirtysomething, Once & Again, Relativity and My So Called Life.)

Pénelope Cruz is, I think (research!?? get me research!), the first Spanish actress nominated -- the other lead female Hispanic nominees have both been in the past 5 years: Colombia's Catalina Sandino Moreno for Maria Full of Grace and Mexico's Salma Hayek for Frida .

Lots of Other People Talking Oscar!
Kris Tapley thinks Iwo Jima will win (er...)
Eric Beck walks us through a history of snubees at Oscar Watch: should've seen Dreamgirls snub coming?
Daniel Kennealy of Oscar Watch thinks all bets are off (well, except for Mirren)
Dave Carr of the NY Times discusses Oscars racial diversity this year
Jeffrey Wells on the Greengrass nomination
ModFab is pissed about the Dreamgirls snub and wonders why Eastwood didn't nab a Best Actress spot, too.
Nick Davis offers very brief notes on many scandals
JA says "bah!" but stops short of "humbug" due to Pan's and CoM nods.
Joe Reid sure likes the stats. sports. american idol. oscar predictions, too.
Ali breaks down the reaction categorically. No no, not by category...
Tom O'Neil on the snubbed... the oh so very snubbed
The Felixes or 'the anti-Oscars' are jokin' around again
film freak goes with "professional" commentary

Aren't you glad that nomination day is over?

Tuesday Top Ten: Oscar Talking Points

Tuesday Top Ten! ~a new weekly feature. For the listmaker in me and the list lover in you

Ten Talking Points Re: Oscar Nominations
10. Click can now call itself an "Oscar Nominee" (curse the makeup branch!) That sound you hear is figure eights and triple lutzes from Hell's new ice rink.

09. Oscar continues to strengthen its ever growing love affair with placing lead performers into supporting slots. Thelma Ritter, Jason Robards, Fay Bainter, Walter Brennan and all sorts of acclaimed character actors (RIP) may feel free to turn over in their graves. At the rate this trend continues to grow with almost no one batting an eyelash at category fraud but merely accepting it or even defending it, their modern counterparts will soon never have a shot at even one Oscar nomination, let alone frequent honors.

08. The Cinematographers and the Art Directors are thinking for themselves. What's up with that? They've freed themselves from the shackles of the Best Picture field. It's rather shocking when you stop to consider how long it's been since they ignored the big dogs. That hasn't happened in either category in the past 40 years (anyone know how far back you have to go to find another instance?

07. The Oscars will have performances from at least two beloved lesbians: Ellen DeGeneres is hosting and Melissa Etheridge will presumably show up to sing the Best Original Song "I Need to Wake Up" nominee. No word on whether or not Jodie Foster will be a presenter.

06. The costumer designers finally woke up and smelled the value of contemporary films in their midst. It's not like The Queen has 'period' costumes and The Devil Wears Prada --can I explode with glee? Patricia Field (previously of Sex & The City fame) is a genius. And let's hear it for Marie Antoinette's Milena Canonero who joins the top ten costume designers of all time (in terms of nominations) with her eighth nod from the Academy. She's now tied with Jenny Beavan (a snubee this year for her work on The Black Dahlia)

05. Kate Winslet is now a five-time Oscar nominee. At only 31 years of age she has now entered the top twenty-six most nominated female actors of all time. Only three others in that list (Thelma Ritter and Deborah Kerr with six nominations & Glenn Close with five) are Oscarless.

04. No Casino Royale anywhere. Not even in the unhyped tech categories. And that complete snub came after an astounding showing @ BAFTA and gigantic box office and pop cultural success. The Academy liked it less than a few other Bond films ... imagine that.

03. A great year for Hispanic filmmakers. Unless your names start with Pedro and ends with Almodóvar (He was shut out of Best Director -damn, Best Screenplay -shame, and Best Foreign Film for Volver -heresy!) But the Three Amigos (Gonzalez Innaritu, Del Toro, and Cuaron) were all nominated in one way or another. Good on them and a nice semi rare rather widespread acknowledgement from the Academy that you don't have to be American to be a mover and shaker in the cinema.

02. Is Letters From Iwo Jima the lowest grossing Best Picture nominee ever (at the time of nominations)? It's certainly one of them. To date it's earned only $2.5 million. That's well under the totals for other late blooming BP finalists like Capote, Life is Beautiful, In the Bedroom, and Cider House Rules which were all nearing $20 million when they were boosted by AMPAS. In recent years only Million Dollar Baby, The Pianist, and Secrets and Lies were under $10 million and all were bigger moneymakers than Iwo Jima prior to their lucky day. Calling all box office gurus: Is Letters From Iwo Jima actually the lowest grosser ever (pre-nominations)? Help us out.

01. Dreamgirls gets the most nominations (8) but is shut out of Best Picturewhich has, according to preliminary research, never happened before. The picture that still holds the record for the most nominations ever without a corresponding Picture nod, is They Shoot Horses, Don't They?. It received 9 but no best picture but it was not the nomination leader in its year.


Previous Tuesday Top Tens (New Series):
Alexander(s) The Great
Best 2006 Movies from The Departed (sure) to Marie Antoinette (you heard me)
Movies by The Three Amigos Best of Cuarón, González Iñárritu and Del Toro

Tags: costume design, , Oscars, Academy Awards, cinema, Film, cinematography, costumes, Kate Winslet, Clint Eastwood, Casino Royale, Melissa Etheridge, hispanic, Volver,Dreamgirls, Pedro Almodovar

Let There Be Oscar Nominations

I've been grumpy this awards season, I'm the first to admit. So now I will attempt to only say nice things about the Oscar nominations --there'll be plenty of time for bitching later on... wish me luck

Best Picture
The Departed
Letters From Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

  • Think, happy thoughts. think happy thoughts... Given that all of these movies opened by October -- except Letters From Iwo Jima which you can count as opening before that (if you get flexible with your thinking) considering it's part one, Flags of Our Fathers, provided a lead-in. Maybe we'll all get to see the prestige pics opening during the fall next year instead of the last week of December *cough --distributors of Children of Men & Pan's Labyrinth --what on earth were you thinking when you had such major films?

Best Actress
Pénelope Cruz, Volver
Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren, The Queen
Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet, Little Children
  • Think, happy thoughts. think happy thoughts... A very classy line-up. It's so nice to see a list that isn't exclusively young hotties and -- this is the best part I'm almost tearing up -- doesn't rely so heavily on that de-glam gimmick. Yay!

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio, Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson
Peter O'Toole, Venus
Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
  • Think, happy thoughts. think happy thoughts... I am so relieved that Ryan Gosling was not denied. I was getting worried there with huge pop culture momentum for both Daniel Craig (whom I love and who gives thrice the action performance that DiCaprio gives in Blood Diamond --happy thoughts. Um... ) and Sacha Baron Cohen (who was good but didn't deserve to unseat Gosling's stellar painful work. I cannot fuc DiCaprio is nominated! Yay! I'm just going to pretend it's not for that.

Best Supporting Actress
Adriana Barraza, Babel
Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi, Babel
  • Think, happy thoughts. think happy thoughts... The best thing I can say here is that I've been predicting this exact lineup for a long while... even before Breslin started getting attention. So I feel smart. Happy Thoughts screw counting sheep... I can just think of this category and my insomnia: CURED! Thanks AMPAS

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine
Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children
Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
Mark Wahlberg, The Departed
  • Think, happy thoughts. think happy thoughts... It's kinda fun that they went opposite of the Globes "give me only huge stars!" and I'm quite pleased that it's 80% actual supporting performances too! One day if we're lucky we'll see a supporting list that's 100% supporting again. Also: very pleased that they were discerning enough to choose Wahlberg over Nicholson. Smart move.
There'll be expanded thoughts later today and obviously more obsessing later on as the night at the Kodak looms large. But this morning is a time for mourning the snubs, realizing you were way offbase or right on the money in your predictions, and immediate impressions. Leave them in the comments. For the full nomination list and links to more information click here --you know you want to.