Monday, February 12, 2007

Oscar Update Take Three

Films Nominated: 58
Films Seen: 21
Oscar Countdown: 13 days


I've added several more films to the "seen" pile, however it seems that most of them just belong in a pile. Here's the latest and greatest on the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Children of Men
Nominated for Cinematography, Film Editing and Adapted Screenplay. This film takes place in Great Britain in the year 2027. Women are infertile. Why? They don't really tell you. The entire world has gone to hell in a fish and chips basket. Why? They don't really tell you. They are rounding up illegal aliens (non-British) right and left. Why? They don't really tell you. Suddenly, a woman (dum-dum-DUM) who is an illegal alien (dum-dum-DUM) is discovered to be very pregnant (dum-dum-DUM). They must get the woman to safety, but how can this happen when they've passed out guns to every single man, woman child and extra in this film? How can she possibly survive when the body count in a 2 hour film climbs faster than the burger count at the local McDonald's? It must be her incredible powers of Scriptonite that enable her to leap giant plot-holes in a single reel. I'm most amused at the adapted screenplay, since there wasn't a whole lot of dialog you could ever hear over the whizzing bullets and screaming.

Nominated for Visual Effects. You know, with no Shelley Winters there to swim and swim and swim and then have a heart attack in her beloved Manny's arms, you knew going in it was going to be an uphill battle. I remember Poseidon the first and the big 1-sheets (outside case posters) that showed the main cast in small boxed pictures. You never knew who was going to make it and who was going to tank. This Poseidon wasn't much different; in fact they offed some of the characters in the exact same order as the original movie. Your best bet was if you were the single mother with a child, because the child HAS to make it just for comic relief and hope for tomorrow yada yada yada kum-bah-yah. As predicted, there were lots of bodies, water, fire and screaming (not necessarily in that order) and no poignant Maureen McGovern song telling us there had to be a morning after. What's up with that?

Half Nelson
Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Ryan Gosling). Never heard of him. Never heard of the film. Of course, I loved it. Why? Because it had a plot and they didn't decided to solve it by passing out guns. Because there were actors who were there to serve the intent of the story rather than chew up the scenery. Because at the end of the film, there were no neat, tidy happy endings with hugs and sweeping vistas and the like. It was realistic. Characters were neither "good guys" or "bad guys," they were just people living the life with the cards they were dealt. At the end of the film, you hoped for all of them, but had no guarantees for any of them. Fabulous acting. Great movie.

Little Children
Nominated for Supporting Actor (Jack Earle Haley), Best Actress (Kate Winslet) and Adapted Screenplay. This is another keeper. Jack Earle Haley was terrific, and I'd like to see him win. Kate Winslet was also fabulous, but I'm afraid she has little hope of beating The Queen. What I really loved about this film was the writing. The narrative that wove in and out of the story was beautiful and almost poetic. Much like the film Half-Nelson, Little Children presented a story in its entirety, without labeling people and their actions good, bad or indifferent. That isn't to say that the people IN the film weren't doing that, when in fact one of the points of the movie is that we are so quick to judge others while turning a blind eye to ourselves. Outstanding film.

Pursuit of Happyness
Nominated for best Actor (Will Smith). So here's the deal. Will Smith? Did a fine job. Will Smith's son? Very cute. Story? Two hours of unbelievably predictable. Because seriously, if the film is called Pursuit of Happyness and in the last five minutes, he is run over by a bus and dies, THAT would be a surprise. But (spoiler!) he isn't hit by a bus and there you go. The film was fine but not great, the ending obvious and I wished they would have gotten there a little faster because you knew 15 minutes into the film exactly where it was heading.

Monster House
Nominated for Best Animated Feature Film. Sorry Mr. House -- you have no prayer against either Cars or Happy Feet. I remember seeing the trailers for this film before it came out and TinyTuna uttering a definite "NO" when I asked her if she wanted to see it. After I watched it, I told her she wouldn't like it. Too monstery, too housey, too much little computer animated kids running around screaming which gets old very, VERY quickly. Bleah. Glad I didn't suffer through this one in the theater.

On deck for the coming week: Babel and Blood Diamond. Can I just say I am not thrilled about watching either one of these?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This post has just made me realize that I haven't been to a movie in forever...since May, or June, I think - our weekends are all improv, all the time, of late.