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.

The 2007 Best Actress Nominees

Today’s Oscar preview is of Best Actress Nominees. 2006 was an unusually strong year for female performances with the best without a doubt coming from Helen Mirren in The Queen.

Penelope Cruz as Raimunda in Volver

This is Cruz’s first Oscar nomination.

What the critics have said:

“Cruz has never been more radiant and funny: Comparisons to Sophia Loren in her Vittorio DeSica heyday are flying about, and richly warranted.” — Jan Stuart, Newsday

“Penelope Cruz has never looked more beautiful and she gives a sensational, career best performance as Raimunda.” — Matthew Turner, ViewLondon

“Whatever the director asks of Cruz she delivers with poise and sincerity. It’s easily her finest work, and one of the year’s best performances.”– Shawn Levy, Oregonian

Penelope Cruz [imdb] Volver [imdb] [rottentomatoes]

Judi Dench as Barbara Covett in Notes on A Scandal.

This is Dench’s sixth Oscar nomination; she won in 1999 for her work in Shakespeare in Love.

What the critics have said:

“The build-up in this movie is actually too good for its ending, but that’s also no reason to skip out on a wonderful turn from Dench.” — Jeffrey Chen, Window to the Movies

“In England, it seems, actresses have nothing to fear from age. They can simply wait for writers to create fresh work for them.” — David Denby, New Yorker

“Dench is nothing less than great in this role. It’s hard to recall a recent performance of such unrelenting ferocity, such a thoroughgoing devotion to the domination of another life.” —TIME Magazine

Judi Dench [imdb] Notes on a Scandal [imdb] [rottentomatoes]

Helen Mirren, as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen.

This is Mirren’s third Oscar nomination; she is the favorite to win.

What the critics have said:

“That’s Mirren’s magic: She makes us care, no matter how shallow our curtsies.” — Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Mirren’s ability to disappear into the stoic modern monarch in the week following Princess Diana’s death may warrant her an Oscar for The Queen — and it would not be undeserved.” –Gina Carbone, Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)

“Brilliant as Morgan’s script is, it is Helen Mirren’s diamond-hard performance that is the jewel of The Queen’s crown.” — Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer

Helen Mirren [imdb] The Queen [imdb] [rottentomatoes] [my review]

Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestley in The Devil Wears Prada.

This is Streep’s fourteenth Oscar nomination; she has won two previous times, for Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie’s Choice.

What the critics have said:

“Streep makes it work. Streep makes it fun. Best known for her dramatic brilliance, Streep has done strong comedic turns in the past, and this performance is a reminder of that, and then some.” — Jennifer Frey, Washington Post

“Streep’s practically the whole show — and steals it accordingly.” — Carol Cling, Las Vegas Review-Journal

“Meryl Streep inspires both terror and a measure of awe as the imperious editor of a glossy fashion magazine in the screen version of Lauren Weisberger’s best-selling novel.” — A.O. Scott, New York Times

Meryl Streep [imdb] The Devil Wears Prada [imdb] [rottentomatoes] [my review]

Kate Winslet as Sarah Pierce in Little Children.

This is Winslet’s fifth Oscar nomination; she has never won.

What the critics have said:

“The main reason to watch is Winslet, who brings flesh-and blood dimension to Perrotta’s central character.” — Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News

“An honest look at infidelity and its ramifications. Clearly one of the best of the year with multiple Oscar-caliber performances, especially by the brilliant Kate Winslet.” — Tony Medley,

“Kate Winslet is damn hot. That, and just about the best actress in film today.” — Kevin N. Laforest, Montreal Film Journal

Kate Winslet [imdb] Little Children [imdb] [rottentomatoes]

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 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 Queen, Take 2

I just returned from seeing The Queen for the second time. Once again, Helen Mirren’s performance was comanding and if possible, better after the second viewing. In fact, I enjoyed the movie as a whole more this time around than after the first time I saw it.

Here is my original review of The Queen.

Also, I kind of like rewatching the movies nominated for Academy Awards. It gives me a refreshing perspective on things.

Golden Globes 2007: Who Will Win

Tonight at 8pm on NBC are the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Warren Beatty will receive to Cecil B. DeMille Award and countless others will honored for their contributions to films and television in 2006.

Tim Allen, Jessica Biel, Steve Carell, Sean Combs, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Dustin Hoffman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Djimon Hounsou, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlie Sheen, Sharon Stone, Steven Spielberg, Naomi Watts, and Renee Zellweger are set to be presenters.

Here are this year’s nominees and who I believe should win and who will win.

Best Motion Picture – Drama
The Departed
Little Children
The Queen

Should Win: I have yet to see Bobby, so I can’t really judge it but I think it’s safe to say it won’t win. The Queen and Little Children are great and wonderfully intriguing films but Babel and The Departed are the top competitors in this category. I was disappointed by Babel and blown away by The Departed. The Departed should win.
Will Win:<The Departed. But don’t be shocked if Babel pulls out a win.

Best Actress – Drama
Penelope Cruz – Volver
Judi Dench – Notes on a Scandal
Maggie Gyllenhaal – Sherrybaby
Helen Mirren – The Queen
Kate Winslet – Little Children

Who Should Win: I have only seen The Queen and Little Children (I’m planning to see Notes on a Scandal this week). Despite this small sampling, I’m convinced that Helen Mirren’s performance as The Queen deserves every accolade she has received so far.
Who Will Win: Helen Mirren

Best Actor – Drama
Leonardo DiCaprio – Blood Diamond
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Departed
Peter O’Toole – Venus
Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker – The Last King of Scotland

Who Should Win: I have been watching Forest Whitaker guest star on E.R. this year as a crazy man who stalks his doctor. But when I watched The Last King of Scotland last night, to see him in a completely different role as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin is absolutely terrifying.
Who Will Win: Forest Whitaker. He has no competition.

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
The Devil Wears Prada
Little Miss Sunshine
Thank You For Smoking

Should Win: There are three strong competitors in this category: Borat, Dreamgirls, and Little Miss Sunshine. Little Miss Sunshine deserves the win the most, but it doesn’t stand a chancce against the movies with more hype.
Will Win: Dreamgirls. How can it not?

Best Actress – Comedy or Musical
Annette Bening – Running With Scissors
Toni Collette – Little Miss Sunshine
Beyonce Knowles – Dreamgirls
Meryl Steep – The Devil Wears Prada
Renee Zellweger- Miss Potter

Should Win: Once again I have only seen three performances. Nevertheless, choosing Meryl Streep above the others is easy. Like really easy.
>Will Win: Meryl Streep. The other actresses in this category are only nominated because five slots had to be filled. Meryl Streep is the only legit nom.

Best Actor – Comedy or Musical
Sacha Baron Cohen – Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Johnny Depp – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Aaron Eckhart – Thank You for Smoking
Chiwetel Ejiofor – Kinky Boots
Will Ferrell – Stranger Than Fiction

Who Should Win: Johnny Depp has a great shot (he was passed over for the first Pirates movie) but I think his best opportunity to win in this category will be next year, when the Pirates trilogy is complete. In a perfect world, Chiwetel Ejifor will win (see Kinky Boots now if you haven’t) but he won’t because of…
Who Will Win: Sacha Baron Cohen and Borat. I don’t feel as though I need to explain this one at all.

Best Animated Feature
Happy Feet
Monster House

Should Win: Well, I only saw Happy Feet and I must have missed something because everyone else seemed to love it. I really believe another movie deserves to win.
Will Win: But who am I kidding? Happy Feet has been receiving the most awards for animated feature so far this award season.

Best Foreign Language Film
Apocalypto (USA)
Letters From Iwo Jima (USA/JAPAN)
The Lives of Others (GERMANY)
Pan’s Labyrinth (MEXICO)
Volver (SPAIN)

Should Win: I haven’t seen any but by the looks of it…
Will Win: Pan’s Labyrinth or Volver will win. Then again, everyone seems to in love with Letters from Iwo Jima right now. I honestly have no idea.

Best Supporting Actress
Adriana Barraza – Babel
Cate Blanchett – Notes On A Scandal
Emily Blunt – The Devil Wears Prada
Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi – Babel

Who Should Win: Even though I have not seen Notes on a Scandal yet and Rinko Kikuchi has already received many awards for Babel and Adriana Barraza performance is equally good, if not better and Emily Blunt was a fabulous delight in The Devil Wears Prada…
Who Will Win: It’s going to take a lot to beat out Jennifer Hudson. But she still deserves every award, just to burst Beyonce’s bubble a little but further.

Best Supporting Actor
Ben Affleck – Hollywoodland
Eddie Murphy – Dreamgirls
Jack Nicholson – The Departed
Brad Pitt – Babel
Mark Wahlberg – The Departed

Who Should Win: I’ve seen all the performances and all are deserving of a nom, but Eddie Murphy and Jack Nicholson are the best two. Murphy should win because in Dreamgirls he delivers his best work is years.
Who Will Win: Eddie Murphy. But, then again, everyone loves Jack so just be ready for him to accept the prize.

Best Director
Clint Eastwood – Flags of Our Fathers
Clint Eastwood – Letters From Iwo Jima
Stephen Frears – The Queen
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – Babel
Martin Scorsese – The Departed

Who Should Win: It’s between Inarritu and Scorcese.
Who Will Win: Martin Scorcese. Because I said so.

Best Screenplay
Guillermo Arriga – Babel
Todd Field & Tom Perrotta – Little Children
Patrick Marber – Notes on a Scandal
William Monahan – The Departed
Peter Morgan – The Queen

Who Should Win: Peter Morgan for The Queen. It’s a great script.
Who Will Win: Peter Morgan but William Monahan has been winning a lot for The Departed. He could win too.


There are my predictions for the Golden Globes. Remember, they begin at 8pm est on NBC!

Enjoy the show and I’ll be back either tonight or tomorrow with a full recap.