Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Oscar Nominations

Here we go. Everyone reading this has probably heard these a thousand times before, but I want to repeat them here. I was on tenderhooks all day yesterday during school, waiting to find out who has made it in.

Best motion picture of the year
“Michael Clayton”
“No Country for Old Men”
“There Will Be Blood”

Achievement in directing
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” Julian Schnabel
“Juno” Jason Reitman
“Michael Clayton” Tony Gilroy
“No Country for Old Men” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
“There Will Be Blood” Paul Thomas Anderson

Performance by an actor in a leading role
George Clooney in “Michael Clayton”
Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood”
Johnny Depp in “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
Tommy Lee Jones in “In the Valley of Elah”
Viggo Mortensen in “Eastern Promises”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Casey Affleck in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”
Javier Bardem in “No Country for Old Men”
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War”
Hal Holbrook in “Into the Wild”
Tom Wilkinson in “Michael Clayton”

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”
Julie Christie in “Away from Her”
Marion Cotillard in “La Vie en Rose”
Laura Linney in “The Savages”
Ellen Page in “Juno”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Cate Blanchett in “I’m Not There”
Ruby Dee in “American Gangster”
Saoirse Ronan in “Atonement”
Amy Ryan in “Gone Baby Gone”
Tilda Swinton in “Michael Clayton”

Best Original Screenplay
"Lars and the Real Girl"
"Michael Clayton"
"The Savages"

Best Adapted Screenplay
"Away From Her"
"Diving Bell and Butterfly"
"No Country For Old Men"
"There Will Be Blood"

Best Foreign Film
"Beaufort" -Israel
"The Counterfeiters" -Austria
"Katyn" -Poland
"Mongol" -Kazakshtan
"12" -Russia

Animated Film
"Surf's Up"

"Assassination of Jesse James" -Deakins
"Atonement" -Garvey
"Diving Bell and Butterfly" -Kaminski
"No Country For Old Men" -Deakins
"There Will Be Blood" -Elswit

Art Direction
American Gangster -Max
Atonement -Greenwood
The Golden Compass -Gassner
Sweeney Todd -Ferretti
There Will Be Blood -Fisk

Costume Design
Across the Universe -Wolsky
Atonement -Durran
Elizabeth the Golden Age -Byrne
Sweeney Todd -Atwood
La Vie En Rose -Marit Allen

Achievement in sound editing
“The Bourne Ultimatum”
“No Country for Old Men”
“There Will Be Blood”

Best Film Editing
The Bourne Ultimatum -Rouse
The Diving Bell and Butterfly -Welfling
Into the Wild -Cassidy
No Country For Old Men -"Roderick Jaynes" (i.e. The Coen Bros)
There Will Be Blood -Riegel & Tichenor

Original Score
3:10 To Yuma -Beltrami
Atonement -Marianelli
The Kite Runner -Iglesias
Michael Clayton -Howard
Ratatouille -Giacchino

Best Original Song
"Falling Slowly" Once
"Happy Working Song" Enchanted
"So Close" Enchanted
"That's How You Know" Enchanted
"Raise It Up" August Rush

Cause of glee
: Laura Linney for The Savages. Having been snubbed at basically every single awards precursor, I had begun to accept that Linney would not be getting her third nomination. But hey, my griping was NOT all for naught! The only tinge of sadness comes from the fact that Angelina Jolie didn't get in for A Mighty Heart, which I loved.
Cause of glum: I know it was a long, long shot that Todd Hayne's would recieve a nomination for I'm Not There, but the slight possibility was always in the back of my mind. Other inevitable lock-outs included Gabriel Byrne for Jindabyne and Kate Bush's original song.
Still fuming: Jonny Greenwood. Argh.
Source of nationalist pride: Ireland's claiming four nominees: the song from Once, Daniel Day Lewis,
cinematographer Séamus McGarvey and, of course, Saoirse Ronan.
Source of nationalist distain: Saoirse Ronan is really not that hard to pronounce. Neither is Marion Cotillard, mind you.
Qu'est ce-que? Three songs from Enchanted? Really? "That's How You Know" is the only one that's been in my head at all since I saw the film. That would have been enough, I think (leaving room for Kate. Voilá!)

I'm officially declaring myself Team Affleck, Linney and Coen. The rest I still have to see/decide on.

Heath Ledger (1979 - 2008)


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

There Will Be A Punch Up At A Wedding

I've refrained from posting much about the Oscars lately (even though they've crept into my dreams, along with some of the US Presidential nominees!) but it goes without saying I'm excited about the nominations, which are gonna be broadcast in a few hours.

But at the time of writing, I'm not too happy about one shameful thing; apparently, Jonny Greenwood's score for There Will Be Blood is not eligible for an Oscar Nomination. Let's just let that thought sink in there for a while. Jonny Greenwood, virtuouso guitar player and respected musician, with one of the most original and nervy scores of the year for one of the year's most talked-about films, is not allowed into Oscar's party.

Read about why this is a poor decision at The Film Experience. It's not because he used "other music". It's because he's a "rockstar" or English or young or a "first-time composer" (he's not, btw. Remember Bodysong?) or...or...or he has no 'h' in his first name. Or else a bunch of people in the Academy are devout Radiohead fans and they're blaming Jonny for why In Rainbows was so lacklustre. ("Let's teach him he shouldn't be dabbling round in film music and make him devote all his time to the band, mwahahaha!")

Grr. I'm really quite upset about this. I was rooting for Jonny from the get-go, but especially after I actually heard the music. He was also likely to be the only Oscar-nominee who I'd seen live.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

On High In Blue Tomorrows

I was thinking about typing out what exactly I admire/love/obsess about in my top ten (below), but I'm too inarticulate and lazy to bother. BUT, I found another person discussing INLAND EMPIRE (I waver between thinking Lynch is an asshole to insist on the all-caps title and thinking, what the hell, it's Lynch). Rich from fourfour (which, btw, is probably the funniest website in this immense series of tubes, especially if you're into ANTM) talks about what he loves about Lynch's latest, helpfully providing us with visual aids of the myriad of expressions Laura Dern can contort her face into. It's a hilarious, fascinating read and he highlighted what I, myself, loved about the film.
I think, why I love INLAND EMPIRE so much.,,, Lynch's principal character is right there with the audience trying to sort things out, and I find so appealing -- it's like having a friend who stares blankly at you for just under three hours. Whether it's intentional or not (that Lynch's intentions are so oblique so much of the time make his work inherently review-proof, as identifying intention is, like, the first thing to do when critically analyzing something, even if you go on to reject that intention), what Lynch is doing is answering the criticism that his films are about being disorienting by making a film about being disoriented.Disorientated? YES. I watched this film in my bedroom one evening. At various points, I had to stop it to catch my breath, turn on a lamp, take a break for a few seconds. It's long, it's terrifying, it's funny and it's brilliant.

Anyway, head onto to fourfour and read the post. It's illuminating, really. Don't worry if you haven't seen the film - spoilers are pretty much obsolete in a film like this.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

My Top Ten o' 2007*

*Irish release dates only. That excludes No Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood, Sweeney Todd and other critical darlings.

This list was not hard to compile at first, but then I took a second look at it and began switching titles, taking off names completely and scratching my head with puzzlement. Funnily enough, the top five are the locks; I was blown away by each of those films and the top place has been firmly there ever since I first saw it back in the summer. These films aren't necessarily the best of the year; to qualify, I had to be engaged both emotionally and intellectually, and also be able to appreciate the craft of the film. What follows is a mixed bag; political thrillers, children's films, adult dramas and a musical. Not all will appeal to everyone, but I can assure that each will provoke discussion, thoughts and opinions.

10. Michael Clayton

09. Ratatouille

08. A Mighty Heart

07. Away From Her

06. Hairspray

05. Breach

04. Zodiac


02. I’m Not There

01. Jindabyne

Each of these films shocked me, thrilled me, made me laugh or left me with tears in my eyes. Not all accomplished all four criteria, but some definitely did. Glancing over my list, I cried at six of the titles, squirmed in fear at four and in every case left the cinema (or living room, in the case of the two I watched on dvd) feeling like I was walking on air.