- If awards season was an empty pool, I would dive in anyway.
- If awards season was a vampire, I would eschew turtlenecks and garlic and crosses.
- If awards season was a slasher flick, I would follow trails of blood into dark rooms asking "who's there?"
- If awards season was a stack of sugary sweets and I were diabetic, I would...
Benjamin Button -a true technical marvel but (for me) not an emotional bullseye
Slumdog Millionaire -exciting to watch but not (for me) all that interesting
Revolutionary Road -very handsome and well acted but (for me) a little too "easy" Ooh, repressed people in pristine suburbia in the 1950s. You don't say! When it comes to stories about homogenized repression I much prefer these stories told with either abundant layers and subtlety (Mad Men) or great stylization (Far From Heaven) on account of it's been done hundreds of times before. That said, Leo & Kate are smashing (and not just each other's self-esteem)
Frost/Nixon -entertaining and well acted but also lacks a certain heft... is this because I am too young to bring anything to the table that's not there in the movie? I rarely get to say that I'm "too young" anymore so I enjoyed typing that last sentence quite a lot. Mmmm, yes I did.
Doubt -a great(ish) play but definitely not a great movie... too much overkill in the telling: tilted cameras, thunderclaps, you name it... tricks! tricks! tricks! Calm down Mr. Shanley, your actors know what they're doing)
If you've been reading you'll know that I'm rooting for Milk which will make it and also a bunch of movies that probably won't even if I suspect they'll have pockets of devoted fandom within the AMPAS voting body: WALL•E, Rachel Getting Married and The Wrestler. I'm even rooting for The Dark Knight which I don't particularly love but here's the thing: If you hand me two Oscar candidates that are essentially the same ballpark of quality... say, Revolutionary Road and Dark Knight for an semi-random example: I will almost always side with the non-baity genre film to be included in the mix. It's important for the Oscars --and by extension any group involved in awards and recognition -- to not operate on auto-pilot. The award is called "Best Picture" not "Best Dramatic True Story or Period Piece". And if more voters understood that then Rachel Getting Married and WALL•E would be major players this year, now wouldn't they?
In other news: I think I'll collect interesting year in review / online top ten top ten lists again this year. On account of interesting (for me... maybe you, too?)