Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Cowboys, The Wrestlers, The Tumblers, The Clowns.

As per tradition, here are Auntie Cate's Oscar predictions!

This was another difficult year for me. I liked all five five picture nominees.

Here are my reviews, briefly.

Atonement (2007). I loved how bittersweet this movie was; a pair of lovers forced apart by a youthful betrayal. Some complained that it was boring and too "literary," whatever that means. I liked it a lot. Oh, and James McAvoy floats my boat. It probably won't win.

Juno (2007). I don't see movies twice in theatres. There are too many movies to see for me to shell out money to see the same movie twice. Juno, I saw twice. I could even see it again, I think. Funny, touching, weird, small. Great. I suspect this one will be winning writing statuettes for Diablo Cody.

Michael Clayton (2007). Oh, Clooney. This was one of those intrigue movies that I usually can't follow. There's political stuff going on, lawyer stuff going on, lies and sneakiness. I say usually because this was one of those rare intrigue movies that I could follow. It was good. Best picture? I dunno.

No Country For Old Men (2007). This was one of my favourites of last year. It contains one of the best modern movie villians since Hannibal Lecter. Silent, stoic, and sociopathic, Javier Bardem's Anton Chigurh gave me third degree willies. Excellent.

The Will Be Blood (2007). This is a great movie, but for me, it's all about the performances. Daniel Day-Lewis is a cyborg. He has an uncanny ability to choose roles that have serious gravitas. I mean, dude is 51, done 20 movies and has been nominated by the Academy for Best Actor four times. I'm no maths teacher, but those are good ratios. And, I can't discuss performances without mentioning Paul Dano, who caught people's attention in Little Miss Sunshine (2006). This kid is going somewhere.

So, after that brief review of each film, I am going to call it for No Country For Old Men. Is has the best combination of story, performances, and direction. Of course, I'd poop my pants if Juno won, but we all know that comedies rarely win, and I'm not even sure Shakespeare in Love(1998) should have won. Annie Hall (1977), yes.

There is talk of No Country and Blood splitting the vote and Juno coming up from behind. That would be riot.

Happy watching and/or waiting until tomorrow and overhearing someone mention it at work!

And, my old friend Holly is due today. She says she probably won't go today because it's her first, but good luck nonetheless.


Holly said...

Thanks for the shout out, Caff!

And, no, _Shakespeare in Love_ should *not* have won.

Lynda said...

Good call on the winner, Cate!! Now I'll really have to see it.

Pedestrian said...

Thanks for your round up! I think I agreed with everything you said ... except ...

I still can't believe that Atonement was nominated! And for so many things! And at so many awards! I found the story so mediocre and mundane ... It was not boring or literary. It was just an ordinary story line with ordinary acting ... nothing exceptional about it at all (except for James McAvoy of course! ;-)

Catherine said...

Pedestrian (and that's the perfect handle for your argument; well done),
I actually agree with you in some ways. I understand that it might not have been terribly epic or meaningful a story, but I am one of those romantics who swoons at bittersweet stories. It was lush, the acting quite surprisingly good, and the score was great (although I will admit the theme of the typewriter percussion did get tired later in the film, as one critic in the Globe and Mail cited).

You're certianly not alone when it comes to bafflement over this nom. I'll try to think of a better replacement... What film do you think should have been in its place? Maybe Bourne! It would have been cool to have an action flick up with tycoons and sociopaths, eh?

Pedestrian said...

Yes! Bourne! And I also liked "Eastern Promises", I think it was worthy of much more Oscar attention.

Many disagree with me on this, but I also thought "Before the Devil Knows Your Dead" should have received a mild acknowledgment.

And by the way, I loved your movie "roundup"!

Catherine said...

Thanks, shadowy stranger Pedestrian. I'm afraid I didn't see either of your recommendations. I wanted to, but concentrated on best pic noms so I could fairly vote.