An Oscar Analysis

I finally found a good analysis of the Academy Award nominations. Yes, I could easily give my own, but I feel that the opinion of someone who actually gets to vote for the Oscars could explain the nomination hoopla better than I can.

But, I will say this…

I kind of hope that Crash wins Best Picture over Brokeback Mountain. It won’t happen I know. Instead, Crash will probably win Best Screenplay, because that is how the Academy awards equally good films.

Also, I will be very ticked if the Hamas election ruins Paradise Now‘s chances for the Best Foreign Language Film oscar. While movies can be about politics, politics should not influence voters when choosing the most deserving film.

Now onto the analysis.


Nommie Nommie by Jeffrey Wells Hollywood Elsewhere

A hearty yee-haw for the eight nominations that went to Brokeback Mountain this morning. This pretty much certifies that Ang Lee’s film has the Best Picture Oscar in the bag. Someone tell me how this won’t happen.

And a big college yell for Best Picture nominees Capote (as well as Best Actor contender Philip Seymour Hoffman, Best Director hopeful Bennett Miller and Best Adapted Screenplay nominee Dan Futterman), Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco’s Crash, and George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck.

And a confused head-shake over Munich taking the fifth Best Picture nomination.

I understand the reasoning, I think. Why shouldn’t a movie that appalled a significant portion of film cognoscenti the world over with that ludicrous cross-cutting between Eric Bana schtupping his on-screen wife and a reenactment of the 1972 shoot-out between Black September kidnappers and German police at Munich’s Furstenfeldbruck air base…a film such as this is surely a finer and more worthy achievement than The Constant Gardener, Walk the Line or Match Point.

Three and a half hours ago (around 7 am) I received an e-mail that said “Steven Spielberg says fuck you,” and I guess I deserved that.

Read the entire post here.

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Review: Walk the Line (2005)

Walk the Line opens as the camera pans over Folsom Prison in California; there is a light thumping noise. As the camera winds down the prison corridors, past the empty cells, the thumping grows more intense. Finally we see where the camera is heading; a stage within the prison walls as a crowd of inmates clap their hands in anticipation. They are waiting for Johnny Cash to enter the room and begin a now legendary performance.

Walk the Line is the slightly romanticized biopic of singer Johnny Cash. Joaquin Phoenix delivers an intense and convincing portrayal of the Man in Black but it is Reese Witherspoon who shines as June Carter, Cash’s creative partner and eventual second wife. Their performances as the legendary country duo alone are enough reasons to see this film.

The picture follows the early life and career of Johnny Cash. Starting from his depressing childhood in rural Arkansas when his beloved older brother was killed to his humble beginnings as a recording artist and his life on the road. On the road, Cash meets and instantly falls for June Carter, a country singer who is more a personality than a voice. The movie then follows their relationship as Cash battles drug addictions and June’s refusal to marry Johnny.
Reese Witherspoon is the highlight of this picture that is drenched with excellent images and the music of Johnny and June Carter Cash. As in most of her performances, Witherspoon possesses her usual sass and charm and by dying her hair brown, she makes you forget about the Legally Blonde films. This is a role she was born to play.

Walk the Line shatters the biopic stereotypes. Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix deserve every accolade they have received this season. And the music is pretty damn good too.

Updated October 10, 2010

The 10 Movies I Plan on Seeing This Fall

Here’s the list I came up with….

10. ElizabethtownThe latest from Cameron Crowe, starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. Bloom plays not only an American but a character set in the modern world. (I don’t really care if this a bad movie, because I could stare at Orlando Bloom forever.)

9. Brokeback MountainSome of you may have already heard of this, as it is being called the “gay cowboy” movie. But it is much more than that. It is a touching story about two men who deeply care for each other as they try to hide from themselves in lives that are accepted as normal. Directed by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Heath Ledger gives an oscar-worthy performance.

8. Jarhead A movie about the first Persian Gulf War, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard. It follows Swoff, a marine sniper, (Gyllenhaal) from boot camp to active duty as the film questions the meaning of war. Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty). And maybe Sarsgaard will finally get that oscar nomination he’s deserved for so long.

7. Capote – Read my preview here.

6. Match PointThe annual Woody Allen film (actually the second of this year) but for a change this one is supposed to be good. (Like in the good old days of Annie Hall and Manhatten , I hope). Only this one has no Woody and no New York. It is set in London and mixes tennis and sexual intrigue. Starring Scarlett Johansson and Jonathon Rhys-Meyers.

5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – just because it is Harry Potter.

4. King Kong The remake, I mean, the updating of the original. Could be good, may be bad. But it will definitely dominate the seasons box office.

3. Good Night and Good LuckThis film premiered Friday, Septmeber 22 at the New York Film Festival to huge amounts of critical acclaim. George Clooney directs and costars as CBS producer Fred Friendly, in the tale of broadcast legend Edward R. Murrow (played by David Strathairn). Its all about 1954 and Murrow’s battle against Sen. Joe McCarthy. Shot in black and white and a triumph for Clooney.

2. Walk the LineThe biopic about legendary singer Johnny Cash, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. Already generating Oscar buzz and neing hailed as better-then Ray. I’ll probably see this when it comes out because my dad LOVES Johnny Cash (How a boy from the Bronx favorite singer is Johnny Cash I’ll never understand)

1. MunichThe Speilberg directed true-story about the 1972 Munich olympics when Palestinian terrorists captured and killed Israeli athletes. This is about Israel’s hunt to for the terrorists. Its in the running for Best Picture, this is if Speilberg can finish by it’s release date. (The last I checked it’s still shooting, but I could be wrong about that).

The other films I’m looking foward to include: The Producers (loved the broadway musical), Rent, All the King’s Men, (another remake starring Sean Penn) Memoirs of a Geisha, Transamerica (starring Felicity Huffman), The New World, Syriana, North Country…. plus many others that will pop out of no where.

Fall 2005 is definitely shaping out to be one of the best movie seasons in a long time.