The Predicate

2008 Oscars – II

See here for the first part:

6. Best Picture: This year is slim pickings in this category. “No Country for Old Men” does not have much competition from the other nominees. “Michael Clayton” seems to have some late momentum, but it is not a better movie than the Coen brothers flick. I can’t seem to think of any movies that got missed out in the nominations either, except for the three below.

“Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” was as long as its title, and its slow pace offsets some of its director’s brilliant handling of the key scenes. As I wrote earlier, the acting was very polished, Casey Affleck in particular, but overall, the movie left me unsatisfied.

“Zodiac” was released in early 2007, which is always an Oscar momentum killer, but it was one of the best thrillers last year. To take a real-life story and infuse it with just enough suspense, just enough details and elevate it to a classic, the treatment of the story was done very well. Unfortunately, its DVD released early and as the awards season rolled out, it got little to no mention.

“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” succeeds in taking a very difficult subject and visualizing it as a movie. I perused through the book and was quickly able to see how it must have been a back-breaking task to make a feature film out of it. The effect is exemplified by its trailer which starts off by mentioning its director of photography.

The question though, is whether any of these three, or the other nominated four are better than “No Country for Old Men”. I don’t see an upset here. If there is an upset, it will be a travesty on the scale of “Kramer vs Kramer” winning over “Apocalypse Now” or “Shakespeare in Love” winning over “Saving Private Ryan”.

7. Best Director: Coen Brothers should win this one, though I think Julian Schnabel stands a fair bit of chance with his work in “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”. I would have preferred to see Sean Penn get a nod for “Into the Wild” instead of Paul Thomas Anderson for “There will be blood”.

Parting Shots:

- “Ratatouille” was one of the ten best movies of the year and probably deserved a place in one or more of the mainstream categories.

- “No End in Sight” may win the best documentary feature over “Sicko”, but my favorite last year was the amazing documentary “Into Great Silence”.

- The Razzies are out tomorrow, and I hope they go out of the box (no Stallone/Paris Hilton/Madonna) and select Paul Dano from “There Will Be Blood” for the worst actor. I’ve not seen an actor suck the life out of each scene that he was in since that kid who acted with Adam Sandler. Fellow Predicator Udhaya would agree.

- Joel and Ethan Coen may win the Oscar for Editing as well, as they edited the movie themselves, using a pseudonym in the credits.

- I don’t understand the foreign language Oscar nomination process. But when films like Romania’s “Four Months, Three Weeks, Two Days”, France’s “The Diving Bell and The Butterfly” and Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution” are not nominated, I don’t give it much credibility. I expected to see Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso)’s latest film, The Unknown, to be nominated as well.

balaji - clock 15:33:30 - Friday, 22.02.08 - Movies - 23914x - pencil permalink
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