Sunday, February 22, 2009

Academy Awards 2009





The ultimate vanity blog -- who I like for the Oscars. I'm going to an Academy Awards party later, so here's my "Who Should" and "Who Will" picks:

Best Picture
WHO SHOULD: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
WHO WILL: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Director
WHO SHOULD: David Fincher (Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
WHO WILL: Danny Boyle

Best Actor
WHO WILL: Sean Penn

Best Actress
WHO SHOULD: Meryl Streep
WHO WILL: Kate Winslet

Best Supporting Actor
WHO SHOULD: Heath Ledger
WHO WILL: Heath Ledger

Best Supporting Actress
WHO SHOULD: Marisa Tomei
WHO WILL: Penelope Cruz

Art Direction
WHO SHOULD: Benjamin Button
WHO WILL: Dark Knight

Animated Feature
Who cares?

WHO SHOULD: Benjamin Button
WHO WILL: Benjamin Button

Costume Design
WHO SHOULD: Revolutionary Road
WHO WILL: The Duchess

Film Editing
WHO WILL: Slumdog

Documentary Feature
WHO WILL: Man On Wire

WHO SHOULD: Benjamin Button
WHO WILL: Dark Knight

Music *Original Score
WHO SHOULD: Defiance
WHO WILL: Benjamin Button

WHO SHOULD: The Wrestler (not nominated)
WHO WILL: Either of both Slumdog's

Sound Editing
WHO SHOULD: Dark Knight
WHO WILL: Dark Knight

Sound Mixing
No idea what the difference is, but .....
Dark Knight

Visual Effects
WHO SHOULD: Benjamin Button
WHO WILL: Benjamin Button

Writing (adapted screenplay)
WHO WILL: The Reader

Writing (original screenplay)
WHO SHOULD?: Frozen River

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Happy Go Lucky

I've got nothing. I start this report by scratching my head. How, I scratch, can I explain just how nonsensical this movie is? Basically, this is a movie about nothing. Even imagining a pitch meeting for this movie, it lacks an idea. I see a bunch of (English) guys sitting around, talking. In their English way. With their English humor. Probably sniggering and blimey-ing about the potential comic hilarity of making a movie about a cute English girl. Who is a real ditz. But who is a saint at her job as a pre-school teacher. And maybe they decide to have this girl want something: By Jove, she should want to learn how to drive!

That's it. That's the movie.

For the first half hour, the lead actress (the happy go lucky one) is charming, magnetic, attractive. No, really, she's cute and she has a funny laugh. Very likeable. After 45 minutes, she's still cute, but now we wonder if she's a bit mental. Wait, no. She's so good with those kids! Let's give it a little more time. Twenty minutes later, still nothing happening. Oh, right, the driver education guy may be mental. No, wait. Yes. He's mental. So what's going to happen?

Almost two hours in. Nothing. However, the film has misdirected the audience to believe something terrible was going to happen at least three times. Finally, the mental driver education guy has an anger burst. It must be pretty bad because even H-G-L can't crack a smile. In the final scene, the H-G-L girl is in a paddle boat on a lake with her friend. The camera pans out and up to a shot of the sky. End credits.

I'm not kidding.

Now cut to the award ceremony given by the international press. You know the one. The actress wins for her role in a comedic film. I've got blisters on my fingers from scratching my head. I don't get it. I've got nothing.

Slumdog Millionaire

Here's why this movie rocks:

It's a surprise.

That's what's so good about this film. So, if I tell you anything about it, you'll lose one of the key ingredients. Here's what you already know:
  • It's wildly popular.
  • It takes place in India.
  • It's something about Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
  • There's a beautiful actress, and a sloe-eyed actor in the lead roles.
  • You expect to feel good at the end because everyone talks about it in a happy way.

Honestly, I can't stand when a movie is spoiled by either too much hype, or too much information. I offer you my hype-less, information-poor report. With one warning: don't expect utter happiness from this movie. In our current movies, it seems we need to be hit on the head and dragged around before we can get our happy on. Be prepared. And enjoy.