Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday Monologue: A Mighty Heart

Monday Monologue Season 2

I'm still a little miffed that Angelina Jolie missed out on her expected Best Actress Oscar nomination. The more I watch A Mighty Heart the more I'm impressed with the delicacy of the performance and the bustling but nuanced energy of the film in its orbit.

I love Jolie's delivery as she says goodbye to this large multinational group of round the clock reporters, officials, and counter-terrorists. She earns the title of the film.
I just want to -- to say something to everybody.

I want to... I want to thank you for all of your work and all of your -- your effort and your--your kindness. I know how much you wanted to find and bring Danny home. You did not fail, you know? Danny is dead but you know the-- the --the kidnappers, their point is to terrorize people. Right. I am not terrorized. And you can't be terrorized. I am grateful to all of you. Very very grateful. So thank you.

So please, let's eat.
Really, though, the Oscar snubbing is no great issue. The film has far more important things on its mind than winning awards. Director Michael Winterbottom's generous eclectic style of storytelling, which makes room for a large mosaic of astute character sketches (Irfan Khan and Archie Panjabi are my favorites), is a perfect fit for the subject matter. What makes the scene great, beyond Angelina Jolie's intelligence and tightly controlled emotion, is those tiny little cuts to the major supporting players when her speech ends. They're a true community, albeit a now disbanding one, and each of their faces tells its own individual story, too.


A Mighty Heart is one of my nominees for Best Ensemble Award -just announced.
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25 comments:

Russ said...

I definitely admire your praise for Jolie and A Mighty Heart, even if I wasn't quite as moved by the central performance. There is something to be said about the ensemble at work here. Glad you're sticking to your guns as you always do. While both Jolie and Linney just miss my personal ballot, I was glad Linney made the final cut. Ideally, we wouldn't even be talking about this because both Linney and Jolie would be among the nominees and Cate's Elizabeth Part Deux would've been hung out to dry. Oh well.

Btw, excellent call on Tang Wei in Best Actress. Absolute shame how little attention she has gotten this season.

sir jorge said...

I admit...I like the "True" story, but this movie bored me to death.

J.D. said...

I love the way you work into saying you've put up a category. Hell, I love everything about this blog! I love love! LOVE!

[/tranquilizer]

Brooke Cloudbuster said...

Bravo. Not only a great tribute to Angelina Jolie's performance, but a great tribute to the excellent ensemble that inhabits the film.

I believe the only ensemble that I find better this year is The Home Song Stories; which I believe hasn't been released Stateside just yet.

Anonymous said...

"A Mighty Heart" was such a great film. I'll take comfort in the fact that Angelina Jolie was at least noticed for nominations by SAG, Globes, Critics Choice, and Independent Spirit. The Oscars blew it as usual, but the important thing is that this has raised her acting credibility back up again after some misfires, and now she'll be seen as due again when "The Changeling" rolls around.

steve said...

Great group of nominees, though I'd personally go for

Hairspray
I'm Not There
Into the Wild
Jindabyne
Juno

Aaron said...

I, too, am miffed by this snub. It's a great performance by a clearly accomplished actress who knows precisely what she's doing. I just saw this, and I think A Mighty Heart is one of the best of the year. You are right that Winterbottom has other things on his mind than winning awards, but I am sorry she didn't get recognized for her work. It's better than Blanchett or Cotillard's any day, in my opinion.

JS said...

Hopfully the Oscar and box office snub will not deter Angie from taking such roles in the future.

adam k. said...

I don't think Angie gives a shit about awards or box office. She does stuff on her own terms. It's gotta be a little disappointing for her, though... especially since the most logical explanation for the snub is that everyone was thinking "ugh, I don't wanna look at her anymore. She has everything already! Why should I vote for her, especially at the top of my ballot?"

But I can't complain, if it's for Linney. I just don't get how Blanchett makes it into the final five, and Jolie doesn't. Those fans must be REALLY rabid.

Interesting, though, Nat, that you have A Mighty Heart for ensemble, editing and supporting actor, but not for Jolie. Hmm...

Kamikaze Camel said...

Who gives a damn about A Mighty Heart when JINDABYNE FINALLY GETS A NOMINATION!!! Yay!!

amir_uk said...

This is a beautiful little article. Articulates things about a very good film that were buzzing around my head, but that I couldn't as eloquently express.

Anonymous said...

I can't say that i love Jolie's performance. However i admire her choice to play the character that way, without the usual screaming and hysteria another actress would chose.

The ensemble was excellent, but not in my top 5. As for the film i found it mediocre.

NATHANIEL R said...

adam k well obviously i love the performance but there can be only 5 (sniffle) and what a strong year for actresses

weird though that it wasn't in my top 5 lead actresses halfway through the year -- what was that about? but when I saw it a second time i felt like I had missed the boat and she zoomed way up.

glenn it's kinda hard to deny Jindabyne here ;)

Kamikaze Camel said...

Nat, in September 2006 you thought Ben Affleck was your favourite supporting actor so far - even over your eventual Film Bitch winner Steve Carell (you say so in the comments). So opinions can fluctuate.

Glad to hear you say that about Jindabyne. Such a fiiiine cast and superb ensemble.

Emma said...

That's a really good monologue. I want to see A Mighty HEart soooo mcuh.

Emma said...

And I echo JD's love for thefilmexperience. The Newcomer category in particular is gorgeous.

amir_uk said...

I keep coming back to this. Ohmygod Angelina Jolie really deserved a nomination this year. She really did, it's such a shocking snub.

Why do people in general (but in this case the Academy) feel the need to knock others who seemingly have it all. It's the same towards people who are perceived as not being humble enough or in some way pompous. It's such bullshit. Not that Brangelina are not humble, but humility is way overrated anyway. Give me Julian Schnabel or Kanye West's autophilic outbursts over any of the countless outwardly humble but inwardly egotistical celebrities (you have to be egotistical to have made it that far).

Humility is such a calculated emotion (if it even can be called that). Fuck the jealous haters, they're the ones who need to deal. Rant over.

Dr. Stan Glick said...

Suppose they made a movie and nobody came? O.K., a few -- a very few -- people saw A Mighty Heart. I'm not one of them. Don't think that this was a "vanity project." and it's fine that the filmmakers saw fit to depict this important story. Still, I wonder about the wisdom of putting it out as a theatrical release. Did anyone really believe that significant numbers of people would shell out $10 or more for this. Might've done better on HBO or the like. n any case, it hopefully will have a decent run as a DVD rental.

Cal said...

I completely agree. I love how the film feels so compact and yet has this great energy through the group dynamic. That's what makes the monologue all the more powerful, because you feel her need to give it and them to hear it.

Amy said...

At least she still got to do blackface! Woot!

mrripley said...

i feel the snub this year gives her an advantage next year for the changeling,if she is better than in amh and eastwood is good with actresses we could be looking at nom no 2.

mrripley said...

i feel the snub this year gives her an advantage next year for the changeling,if she is better than in amh and eastwood is good with actresses we could be looking at nom no 2.

Anonymous said...

it's a catch-22, isn't it nathaniel? if she made hers a showcase role then she would have gotten the nomination, probably at the expense of this great ensemble piece. same for irfan khans little tour de force in the supporting role as c.i.d captain.

-ryansumera

The Opinionated Australian said...

The Opinionated Australian was no fan of Jindabyne, but I agree it's ensemble performance is worthy of celebration. A good choice.

I think A MIGHTY HEART is also a pretty inspired choice here. It's a fine film. We love Cate, but in all honesty, Jolie gave us more in this. She may not get another chance. She and Tang Wei are opposite ends of the overlooked spectrum.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Or maybe they just didn't like it? I mean, they didn't like Into the Wild, so...