What Should I Watch Tonight?

It is another night without cable for me. Fortunately, a solid selection of my DVDs have been transported to Boston so I finally have something to watch. But just what movie am I going to watch?

I’m having some issues deciding what movie I should watch tonight. I’ve narrowed it down to five and the best reason I can think of to watch it. Maybe you can help me out from here.

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Why: Because once upon a time Abigail Breslin was adorable. (I also have not seen this, I think, since it was released.)

Stage Door (1937)

Why: It’s a great early Katharine Hepburn movie that also stars Lucille Ball and Ginger Rogers.

Annie Hall (1977)

Why: I watched Whatever Works this morning and I could go for a really good Woody Allen movie now.

To Have or Have Not (1944)

Why: Lauren Bacall. Bogie. This scene. Need I show you anything more?

Garden State (2004)

Why: In honor of my upcoming return to New Jersey, I should rewatch a movie that filmed in my hometown.

There you have it. Have any other suggestions that might tip the scale in one movie’s favor?

My Academy Awards Recap

I’m sorry that I’m posting this so late in the day, but what can you do?

The Academy Awards 2007 have come and gone. This year’s ceremony was by far my favorite that I’ve seen in a while.

I didn’t think it was too long (then again the Oscars could go on for 12 hours and I wouldn’t care).
I enjoyed not having the Supporting Acting races in the beginning because it forced people to pay attention to the awards that are actually important.

And Ellen DeGeneres did a great job. She did what she does best; she was Ellen DeGeneres. Who cares if she didn’t mention any of the movies in the opening monologue,she didn’t have to. She provided enough entertaining moments throughout the show to make me want her to host again.

Of course, there were plenty of perfect moments that made this year’s Oscars really shine.

Alas I will also remember it as the year-I-had-to-watch-the-Academy-Awards-with-twenty-plus-females-who-thought-they-know-every-thing-about-movies-but-have-absolutely-no-respect-for-the-Oscars. AND the year that I came incredibly close to killing these twenty plus females (except for Ruth, of course). I will be ranting A LOT about them.

So here it goes.

My thoughts as I watched the Academy Awards with 20 plus females who don’t know it, but they almost died last night.

What happens when Cinefille gets mad

7:30 — I look at the clock. Only an hour to go and why is this two page paper taking me forever to write. Oh right, I have Oscar-itis.

7:45 I stroll down to the TV room. Little do I know that I will grow to hate to room in a matter of 4 hours and 15 minutes.

8:00 — I am joined by the first of many people to walk in and out of the room during the telecast. Really annoying girls #1 and #2 arrive. (I will now refer to them as RAG1 and RAG2.)

8:12 — Boring red carpet on NBC. OMG! DID YOU SEE PENELOPE CRUZ’S DRESS!!!! [source]

8:03 — Two things: Naomi Watts is pregnant and Nicole Kidman looks like she attached a bow to her head. [source]

8:27 — ONLY 3 MINUTES!

8:30 — RAG#1 “Every one talking ceases now!”.

8:36 — The introduction saluting the nominees was fantastic. I love Peter O’Toole!

8:43 — I actually liked Ellen’s monologue. Maybe it’s because I was a room full of lesbians. RAG#1 “I wish they wouldn’t have a comedian host. It takes away from the seriousness of the event.”

8:45 — Apparently Dreamgirls is now Dreamgowls. Nicole Kidman, since when did you come from my homeland?

8:46 — First Award goes to Pan’s Labyrinth for Art Direction. They are switching it up this year. I like it!

8:48 — If there is one thing I hate, it is the speech about the Sci. Tech. Awards. Have some energy Maggie Gyllenhaal! Act like you care!

8:50 — MONTAGE TIME! Oh dammit. It’s some rolling people. WTF? I want to see a montage.

8:54 — Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and John C Reilly = hilarious. (Sorry, there is a french translation going on at the same time).

8:58 — Award: Best Makeup to Pan’s Labyrinth. “It’s Mexican Oscar domination!” — the only worthwhile statement made one of the RAGs all night. Wait, RAG#1 is talking during the acceptance speech. I thought all talking ceased at the start of the show or can your brain not remember what you said an hour ago?

9:00 — Abigail Breslin and Jaden Smith presenting awards. Jaden is clearly inherited his father’s humor. [source] Best Animated Short – The Danish Poet, Best Live Action Short – West Bank Story

9:13 — I found a youtube video of the sound effects choir, although I could have done without it.

9:15 — Best Sound Editing goes to Letters from Iwo Jima. So, it’s not winning Best Picture.

9:18 — Best Sound Mixing goes to Dreamgirls. It’s not getting completely shut out!

9:21 — Best Supporting Actor goes to …. ALAN ARKIN!!!!!!!!!!! “Wow I didn’t expect that,” said a girl who thought Mark Wahlberg (?) was going to win. I feel kind of bad for Eddie Murphy. But hey, good performances stand the test of time, Oscar or not. I love how Arkin put the award on the floor. Whatevs, you deserve it! [source]

9:31 — Best Song nominees are performing. “36 Mafia where are you?”, cries out RAG#1.

9:39 — Um, Al Gore is awesome! Seriously, the Oscars belonged to him. Go see An Inconvenient Truth now.

9:42 — Happy Feet?!?!? Best Animated Feature?!?!?!?!?!? Ugh!

9:46 – MONTAGE TIME! This one is about screenwriting in films. I love the Oscar montages.

9:49 — Adapted Screenplay goes to The Departed. Worst speech of the night, but I forgive you. You’re not a RAG William Monahan.

10:02 — Best Costume Design goes to Marie Antoinette (yay!). And I made a girl cry when I defended this movie. RAG was v. excited, she adored Marie Antoinette.

10:08 — Jean Hersholt Award presented by Tom Cruise. How ironic.

10:12 — Best Cinematograhy goes to Pan’s Labyrinth. (I am so excited)

10:22 — NAOMI WATTS YOU ARE PREGNANT! JUST ADMIT IT! Oh, Best Visual Effects goes to Pirates of the Carribbean.

10:25 — MONTAGE TIME! Foreign language films! RAG#1 sqeals with delight when she sees an All About My Mother clip. By this point, I am ready to strangle her because she is acting as though she knows everything about movies and the Oscars, but in fact, she is stupid and knows only maybe the last 10 years of good movies. Plus she HAS NOT STOPPED TALKING!

10:31 — Best Foreign Language Film goes to The Lives of Others. I saw that one coming. Oh well, Pan’s Labyrinth is still one of the big winners of the night. [source]

1o:33 — J HUD wins Best Supporting Actress! I love her! A star is born really fits this moment!
10:42 — Best Documentary Short. I’m sorry, I don’t know who won. The RAGs were talking. AGAIN.

10:46 — Apparently Jerry Seinfeld told some funny jokes. I didn’t notice, the RAGs were still talking. Best Documentary Feature? An Inconvenient Truth! Go Al Gore! On another note: My Country, My Country, a documentary feature nominee, premiered at MHC last year. Pretty cool.
10:50 — Lifetime Achievement Award for Ennio Morricone. He has scored over 400 films?!?!? Wow! Why is Celine Dion singing a song? That was painful.
11:01 — His speech is in Italian. Everyone looks confused. Except Martin Scorsese. I understood most of it without Clint Eastwood’s translation! HAH! Oh, and the RAGs did not like this. Too foreign for their taste I suspect.
11:05 — Best Original Score is awarded to Babel. The same guy won last year for Brokeback Mountain. Good for him.

11:12 — Original screenplay is awarded to LMS. The funnest? You would think a screenwriter would have impeccable grammar.

11:20 — A Beyonce/ J Hud sing off! Awesome! Sigh, I love the Dreamgirls soundtrack. [source]

11:29 — Dreamgirls snubbed again! The 79th Academy Awards should be called the Green Oscars. Good for Melissa Etheridge.
11:35 — MONTAGE TIME! It was fantastic as always.

11:40 — Best Editing goes to Thelma Schoonmaker for The Departed! Woohoo!

11: 44 — In Memorium.. I always get so sad during this. RAG#1 starts to cry, then turns to RAG#2 and says, “Should I go into acting? I’m not really that sad, I just made myself sad.” RAG#2 tells her to go into acting. RAG#1, “Good, just checking.”

11:52 — Best Actress goes to HELEN MIRREN!!! Okay, I wasn’t that shocked. But totally thought Queen Elizabeth was going to rise out of the floor like Beyonce did during the Dreamgirls number.

12:01 — Best Actor goes to Forest Whitaker. I really wanted Peter O’Toole to win. He looked really upset.

12:06 — MARTIN SCORSESE WINS! I didn’t hear a word of his speech because of who else? The RAGs who spent a great deal commenting on how he a has a 7 year old daughter.

12:14 — Best Picture goes to The Departed. RAG#1 says: “Wow, it won Best Picture and Best Director!” Then FINALLY I respond, “Yeah, that’s usually how it works.” RAG#1 and RAG#2 exchange a look. I guess I’m out of line for correcting her.


So that was my Academy Awards. Next year, I’m getting cable in my room or I’ll just start drinking if I have to watch the Oscars with 20 plus females EVER again.

Oscars 2007: Best Supporting Actress Nominees

Adriana Barazza as Amelia in Babel.

This is Barazza’s first Oscar nomination.

What the critics have said:

“The acting is terrific, especially Barraza, who manages to carry the entire segment by herself.”
Eric Lurio, Greenwich Village Gazette

Cate Blanchett as Sheba Hart in Notes on a Scandal

This is Blanchett’s third Oscar nomination. She previously won in 2005 for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator.

What the critics have said:
“A tour de force performance by Judi Dench drives the film, but Cate Blanchett and Bill Nighy also are marvelous in powerful, if more restrained, roles.” -Claudia Puig, USA Today

Abigail Breslin as Olive Hoover in Little Miss Sunshine

This is Breslin’s first Oscar nomination.

What the critics have said:

“…an absolute gem of a performance from Breslin.” –Matt Pais, Metromix.com

Jennifer Hudson as Effie White in Dreamgirls

This is Hudson’s first Oscar nomination. She is the favorite to win.

What the critics have said:

“The movie belongs to Hudson as the proud, self-destructive Effie. When she’s center stage, Dreamgirls transports you to movie musical heaven.” David Ansen, Newsweek

Rinko Kikuchi as Chieko in Babel

This is Kikuchi’s first Oscar nomination.

What the critics have said:

“The entire ensemble cast give terrific performances, particularly Kikuchi, whose heart-breaking performance is simultaneously shocking, funny and moving.” Matthew Turner, ViewLondon

Who is your pick?

2007 Best Picture Nominees

There are 13 days until the Academy Awards (!), so for the next couple of days I will preview the nominees in some categories.

Today let’s take a look at the nominees for Best Picture.

Babel – (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)

It is the story of how one event can affect several lives. Spanning four countries, told in five languages and affecting four families, Babel is a poignant tale of family, truth, consequence, love, tragedy, and redemption.

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, written by Guillermo Arriaga, starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Adriana Barazza, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Rinko Kikuchi.

Babel is nominated for seven Academy Awards.

What the critics have said: “This is not a fear-mongering movie, but it is unpredictable and shocking, with compassion hanging on for dear life” — Ray Bennett, Hollywood Reporter

The Departed – (dir. Martin Scorsese)

Classic good cop versus bad cop. There are undercover cops in the mafia and undercover mafia working with the police. A great thriller.

Directed by Martin Scorsese, written by William Monahan, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, and Vera Farmiga.

The Departed is nominated for five Academy Awards.

What the critics have said: A relentlessly violent, breathtakingly assured piece of mean-streets filmmaking, the film shows the legendary director dropping the bids for industry respectability that have preoccupied him over the past decade and doing what he does best. — Ty Burr, Boston Globe

Little Miss Sunshine – (dir. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris)

The dysfunctional Hoover family from Albuquerque sets out in a VW Bus to attend the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant.

Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, written by Michael Arndt, starring Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Paul Dano, Alan Arkin, and Abigail Breslin.

Little Miss Sunshine is nominated for four Academy Awards.

What the critics have said: “a scrappy human drama that takes an honest path to laughs and is twice as funny and touching for it” — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Letters from Iwo Jima (dir. Clint Eastwood)

As the companion piece to Flags of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima tells the story of the Battle of Iwo Jima from the perspective of the Japanese.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, written by Paul Haggis and Iris Yamashita, starring Ken Wantanabe.

Letters from Iwo Jima is nominated for four Academy Awards

What the critics have said: “Superbly acted, unblinking and unhysterical, it looks beyond politics into the hearts and minds of the men we needed to call ‘the enemy,’ and lets us see ourselves.” — David Ansen Newsweek

The Queen (dir. Stephen Frears)

Set during the week following Princess Diana’s death, The Queen paints an intimate portrait the Royal Family and the traditions that guide them.

Directed by Stephen Frears, written by Peter Morgan, starring Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen and James Cromwell.

The Queen is nominated for six Academy Awards.

What the critics have said: “As an insightful, unique take on what makes us human… it’s simply marvelous. Or, shall I say, majestic?” — Jeffrey Chen, Reeltalk Movie Reviews


Who Will Win: The Departed.

When I was browsing rottentomatoes.com for some critics quotes, I noticed something. The Departed, The Queen, Little Miss Sunshine, and Letters from Iwo Jima all have ratings higher than 90%. Babel, on the otherhand, has a 68% rating, yet Babel is the other major frontrunner to win Best Picture. Strange how those things work out.

Then again, Little Miss Sunshine could totally pull an upset and win. Wouldn’t that be ineresting?

The 2007 Producers Guild Awards

Little Miss Sunshine received the top award at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday night. The low-budget film (my favorite movie of 2006) beat out Babel, Dreamgirls, The Departed and The Queen and it is now seen as a top contender for a best picture Oscar nomination.

We’ll see if the PGA honor is proof that Little Miss Sunshine will be nominated for more than just the acting awards tomorrow when Oscars nominations are announced at 8:38 AM (EST).

I can’t wait!