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?