With the Oscar’s on Sunday, the one thought on every person’s mind is: will Martin Scorsese finally win an Academy Award?
He’s considered to be the greatest living American director and he’s been nominated five times previously. Every thing indicates that he will finally receive that allusive Oscar statuette.
Then why am I not that convinced?
I mean, if any 2007 nominee deserves an Academy Award, it’s definitely Scorsese (followed by Peter O’Toole and Kate Winslet). I can’t explain why he won’t win. So maybe I’m just being overly pessimistic, but I have this odd feeling that award ceremony is not going to play out the way every one thinks it is.
Am I being crazy? Probably. Hopefully.
Is Scorsese’s Oscar Finally at Hand — Associated Press
With this year’s Oscar buzz being focused on Helen Mirren and Jennifer Hudson, it’s easy to forget that many of the other races do not have clear frontrunners or that the best movies nominated are not nominated for Best Picture.
On Sunday night Peter O’Toole, one the greatest living screen actors, could become the most-nominated actor never to win an Academy Award.
The fact that O’Toole has never won a competitive Academy Award (he received an honorary Oscar in 2003) is a crime. However, this year is his best chance to finally win. Despite Forest Whitaker’s obvious domination of the Best Actor category, O’Toole is the most likely actor to an Oscar upset.
The Academy loves to honor actors who have never won, especially those who may have just delivered their last great performance. Think of Henry Fonda winning for On Golden Pond or Jack Palance for City Slickers.
O’Toole’s touching performance as the aging actor Maurice in Venus could (and should) allow him one final moment to shine.
Best Foreign Language Film
When Pan’s Labyrinth, Mexico’s submission in the Best Foreign Language Film category, received six Oscar nominations, there was a common expression of surprise among entertainment reporters.
Compared to the two films that received more Oscar nominations, Babel and Dreamgirls, Pan’s Labyrinth has gathered the least publicity and it is without a doubt the best of the three films.
Director Guillermo del Toro has created a cinema masterpiece. The film is about a young girl who uses a fairy tale to escape her troubled life. Don’t be surprised when this wonderful film walks away with not only the Academy Award in this category, but in other categories as well.
The award show season unofficially begins sometime during December. By the time the Golden Globes occur in early January, the frontrunners in most categories are obvious. Yet, this year is unique because there is no apparent leader for Best Picture.
The favorite flip flops between Babel and The Departed, and then other days Letters from Iwo Jima or The Queen seem [to be] the likely victors. Little Miss Sunshine has always been the underdog.
Maybe after last year’s Crash/Brokeback Mountain fiasco, critics are more wary to pick a winner. Or maybe it is because this has been a superb year for performances and not a great year for movies. Honestly, the Best Picture of 2007 is anyone’s call and the only certainty is that Dreamgirls doesn’t have a shot at winning.
Published: The Mount Holyoke News
February 22, 2007
2) The annual Hollywood Issue of Vanity Fair aka my Holy Grail. This year’s cover feature Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Chris Rock and Jack Black, unlike last year’s that had Tom Ford sandwiched by Scarlett Johanssen and Keira Knightly (both naked).
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?