Sunday, January 20, 2008

Best Original Song (And My Entire "Preference" Oscar Ballot)

A music video break to conclude the traditional movie award categories (i.e. my Oscar ballot if I had one) within the film experience's annual awards jamboree. Here are my choices for best original song --as usual this category is slim pickings but you have to love Once here. Hopefully the Oscars will discover that Swell Season magic, too.

8th Annual FiLM BiTCH Awards
The First Half (Traditionals) is complete!
Page 1 Pic, Dir, Screenplays
Page 2 All Four Acting Races
Page 3 Cinematography, art direction, costumes, etc...
Page 4 Score, song, sound. Plus: nomination tallies

There Will Be Blood leads the 36 films that are nominated in some way with 9 nominations. No Country For Old Men (7), Lust Caution (6) and Atonement (5) follow in hot pursuit with multiple nominations of their own. The "extra" categories --heroes, villians, best scenes, etcetera -- will get under way when we get through Oscar Nomination week --you know how consuming that is. The gold, silver and bronze medals will be handed out on February 1st (or thereabouts). Enjoy!


gabrieloak said...

If Falling Slowly doesn't get nominated for the Oscar and go on to win it, there really is no justice in the world. I hope the Academy doesn't blow it with this one.

There really is no other choice for me in this category.

At least give Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova a chance to perform on the Oscars, if there is a ceremony. Please.

But what am I thinking? This is the Academy that gave the Oscar to the pimp song.

Anonymous said...

The pimp song was certainly better than the other two nominees. Just not as good as "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish."

gabrieloak said...

LOL, I loved that fish song.

Sid said...

Isn't this year's Best Song category the weakest in years? I know it's always weak but I can't remember a list this bad! Outside of the "Once" ditties, there's nothing to choose from, so I hope the Academy has wrapped up that Oscar for "Falling Slowly".

They've had some good (and deserving) winners in the past few years so we can be hopeful.

Robert said...

The Best Song category is always weak. The Once tunes and heck even that Eddie Vedder song is pretty good, they make this one of the stronger years. Perhaps it's because I'm excited to see Glen and Marketa perform (should they get nominated).

I've gotta support Once this year, but just about every other year, I feel like this category needs to be nixed. I mean once you've had intepretive dance of pimps smacking up ho's, where is there to go?

Anonymous said...

I can't disagree with any of your selections, but I am still simply stunned at how Gordon Pinsent is being left out of EVERYTHING for his masterful work opposite Julie Christie in Away From Her. It is simply my favourite performance I have seen in a long while, and one - even now, months after seeing the movie - I frequently think of. I can only hope that the support for Christie somehow pulls him in to the Oscar race.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that you left Sweeney Todd out of the sound mixing category because I thought that was one of the worst aspects of the film. Admittedly the sound mixers had a very difficult job given the voices they had to work with, but even so, they could have done a much better job and they could have done a lot more to work with what they had. Personally there were times when I thought HBC's thin voice actually worked really well, particularly with how she was playing the character ("My Friends" comes to mind) and if the mixing had been better they could have used it to that effect more often.

My biggest problem was that the orchestrations were too loud for the voices that we had, they exacerbated their weaknesses (most notably HBC in "The Worst Pies in London"). I think they could have pumped down the orchestrations a little bit so they wouldn't always drown her out or pump her volume up, it just was in the wrong proportion. On a side note about the score, while from a purely musical standpoint it was fantastic, it was totally wrong for the interpretations and choices made by most of the actors in this piece and the way in which Tim Burton directed it. It would have been so much more effective with a stripped down score more similar to the recent Broadway revival.

The other problem I had was the erratic way the sound mixers decided to pump up the singing. I mean everything Johnny Depp sang was clearly enhanced by the sound mixers, but then why couldn't they have done that for the other singers in the group? (sorry to harp mostly on their treatment of HBC, but she is the most vivid example). If they were just more consistent in their mixing (although I would take more balanced mixing than consistently bad mixing) it would have been better.

IMHO HBC gave an excellent performance in the film and was quite possibly the most radical reinterpretation of Mrs. Lovett that I have ever seen in a production of Sweeney Todd (which I have seen 4 times). Yes, she is a mediocre singer (at least she was on pitch almost all the time, which is more than I can say for about 75% of people who try to sing), but in a movie musical that is less of a problem precisely because there are sound mixers. If the mixers had only adapted to her vocal flaws instead of sticking to the typical movie musical standards, it would have come off a lot better.

Anonymous said...

The difference between Sound and Sound Editing has to do with the difference between mixing and effects.

Sound Editing is about the sound effects used (which is why it's usually loud, bombastic blockbuster, action-type films that are nominated) and Sound Mixing has to do with how everything - from the dialogue to the background noise to the effects to the music - is mixed together to form a cohesive soundtrack where everything is balanced perfectly and everything is clear, which is why it's usually epics and musicals that are nominated.

I think someone on this site last year used Little Miss Sunshine as an example: the "sound effects editing" was good, for example with the subtle comic timing of the magazines hitting the check-out counter in the rest-stop scene, etc. But the "sound mixing" wasn't so good, with the road noise and car engine sometimes drowning out dialogue, and the music being too overbearing sometimes, etc.

Jeremy said...

I can't say I was a fan of the Eddie Vedder stuff, I found it all sounding the same and his voice just seemed to take me out of the movie too much. I actually found the music the weakest part of "Into the Wild".

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised with no mention for "4 months..."'s editing. And I don't think Kaminski owes that much to his director - he always does amazing work and it's crucial for this particular film to benefit from his talents (I was mesmerized by his cinematography even in the film I totally dislike - Saving Private Ryan). Elswit's work is great, but 'Good night, good luck' was even more demanding, that's why I would be careful calling "There will be blood" his best work.
Although the one most deserving this year is of course Roger Deakins.

Emma said...

Glad Kelly McDonald and Saoirse got a mention at least.

Kurtis O said...

While I love the music from "Once" and am also hoping for a "Falling Slowly" win, what I'm really looking forward to is a "How Does She Know" nom so Ms. Amy can perform it live on stage.


anon I wasn't implying that Kaminski's work isn't great. I was just pointing out that one of the reasons people are so wowed by it is the overall choice of the first 20 minutes to place you in the bed and using the faulty eye of Bauby. That's not a cinematography choice (though Kaminski does work wonders with it) but a storytelling choice probably made by the director or who knows. It could even be in the script it's so essential to the way the opening act plays.

Sam Brooks said...

I love to see another Kate Bush fan around! How awesome would it be to see her perform at the Oscars in Feburary? You -know- if the movie was better received it would be happening.

Very nice to see Lust, Caution littered throughout your picks, too. Love that movie to death.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is that it's a damn shame "PoP! Goes My Heart" from Music and Lyrics isn't getting more attention. It's a perfect comic distillation of 1980s music, and a good song as well.

Anonymous said...

when can we expect your top ten list to be completed?


well the top ten is all announced. I just haven't ordered the top 5... partially because I haven't decided on the order.

at the earliest later this week. Oscar Nomination week is difficult

Glenn Dunks said...

Oh, you just deliberately put Beatrix Christian's screenplay at #6 to peeve me off, right? grrr.

Overall though I can't disagree with most of those nominations. I haven't seen Blood or Lust, but I'm sure I will love the nominations for them once I do.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

Nate, it still doesn't compute.. What exactly did Anamaria Marinca do wrong? First Oscar's foreign film branch, now you! ;)

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

Also, troy, if it's any comfort, Gordon Pinsent would be among my Top 5 actors of the year (and I preferred his performance to Christie's).


it's not really a matter of doing anything wrong. ask me again next week the nominations might have been different. In truth I wanted to see it again but such is the sorry state of distribution that some films they don't allow you to see more than once to judge. I was able to revisit the other ones for those final decisions.


oh and i made an error on sound for diehard FB watchers... so i've adjusted that category by one film. OOPS. i have to get better at proofreading but where does the time go. EEKKKKK!

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

I've been listening to the Sweeney Todd soundtrack and without Tim Burton's slick visuals to distract you, it really is evident that Johnny Depp isn't singing, he's just grumbling to the melody (or grumbling half-melodiously).

Anonymous said...

My Picks… (2007)

ATONEMENT - Christopher Hampton
LUST, CAUTION - James Schamus, Hui-Lung Wang
ZODIAC- James Vanderbilt

ATONEMENT - Dario Marianelli
GRINDHOUSE- Robert Rodriguez
LUST, CAUTION – Alexandre Desplat
THERE WILL BE BLOOD- Jonny Greenwood

INTO THE WILD- “Society”
ONCE-"Falling Slowly"
ONCE-"If You Want Me"

The Bourne Ultimatum
No Country for Old Men

The Bourne Ultimatum
Spider-Man 3
28 Weeks Later