Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Oscar, Oscar - where for art thou?

The Oscars. Why do I care? Maybe it’s tradition – the same little devil on my shoulder that keeps me buying Empire magazine, even though I know that Total Film is far superior. But what awards show should I hold in higher regard than the Oscars? The reality is that they are all a load of crap, and those worthy in the filmmaking world are rarely rewarded.

Anyway, here’s my breakdown of the list of some of the nominations, what they mean to me, who I’d LIKE to win, and who will actually win:

Best Actor: Don Cheadle; Johnny Depp; Leonardo DiCaprio; Clint Eastwood; Jamie Foxx.
~~Johnny Depp should have won something a long time ago, but if he gets it for this tosh then it would be an insult to all his past work. I think Leonardo DiCaprio deserves it because, though I always disliked him, he’s bloody good in The Aviator. Jamie Foxx will get it though – prosthetics, blind, true story, American hero…it’s a shoe-in!

SHOULD: Leonardo DiCaprio
WILL: Jamie Foxx

Supporting Actor: Alan Alda, Thomas Haden Church, Jamie Foxx, Morgan Freeman, Clive Owen.
~~Haven’t seen enough of these movies to truly comment, but Alan Alda definitely does NOT deserve it, and I bloody hated Collateral. I thought Morgan Freeman was good in an ‘I-could-do-this-role-in-my-sleep’ kind of way. I like Clive Owen too – though I haven’t seen Closer, and I think Sideways looks bloody crap. Basically, I think this one is up for grabs. Jamie Foxx won’t get it, because he’ll get best Actor. Alan Alda and Thomas Haden Church won’t get it. I think it’s between Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman, and I think Morgan will get it, as Clive is too British and Clint will miss out on the Best Actor Oscar for the movie, so the Academy will want to soften it’s ‘knock-the-old-guys’ blow.

SHOULD: Clive Owen (he’s been around soooo long!)
WILL: Morgan Freeman

Best Actress: Annette Bening, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Imelda Staunton, Hilary Swank, Kate Winslet.
~~Ok, no contest – I want Kate Winslet to get this one! I adored Eternal Sunshine, and thought she was excellent. I don’t know the roles played by Annette Bening and Catalina, but I know that Imelda Staunton can’t get it because Vera Drake is a ‘back-door’ abortionist. America don’t like no baby-killers!!! I thought Hilary Swank was very decent, I have to say, and I wouldn’t mind her getting it either. However, judging by the Golden Globes, I would have to say that I think the Academy are going to go all ‘let’s-praise-the-middle-american-values-upheld-by-middle-aged-people’ and give it to Annette Bening. Kate Winslet will be robbed!

SHOULD: Kate Winslet
WILL: Annette Bening

Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, Laura Linney, Virginia Madsen, Sophie Okenedo, Natalie Portman.
~~I’m at a total loss for this one, having only seen The Aviator so far. So, all I can safely say is that Cate Blanchett should NOT get it. I love Laura Linney, and she’s overdue a statue, but I admire Natalie Portman’s skills. Therefore I’m going to say, Natalie Portman should get it, but Laura Linney will.

SHOULD: Natalie Portman (but I do love Laura!!)
WILL: Laura Linney

Animated Feature: The Incredibles, Shark Tale, Shrek 2.
~~I think probably The Incredibles РShark Tale was too Italian-American risqu̩, and Shrek 2 was crap. Ok РThe Incredibles deserve it, and The Incredibles will get it.

SHOULD: The Incredibles
WILL: The Incredibles

Cinematography: The Aviator, House of Flying Daggers, The Passion of the Christ, The Phantom of the Opera, A Very Long Engagement.
~~Hmmm – it’s a toughy! I think they might try and pawn The Passion off with this one, or give a nod to ‘foreign types’ with either House of… or A Very Long…, but I reckon The Aviator deserves it – the cinematographer managed some extremely tricky shots with grace and elegance. Not many movies you can say that about! I’m not even going to MENTION Joel Shumacher’s latest turd!

SHOULD: The Aviator
WILL: The Aviator

Costume Design: The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Lemony Snicket’s …, Ray, Troy.
~~I’d say Troy – I mean, they have to give it SOMETHING, don’t they?!? Failing that, Lemony Snicket could get it for Mr. Carrey’s transformations!

SHOULD: Lemony Snicket
WILL: Troy

Best Director: The Aviator, Million Dollar Baby, Ray, Sideways, Vera Drake
~~Also a tricky one – although Mike Leigh has been pretty overlooked, I think his not being American will stand against him. Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorcese will, I think, toss it out for who the Academy pities the most. Possibly Clint – I mean, he’s getting damn old, and his latest is actually a very good movie!! I think it was better than The Aviator, which I also enjoyed, but I’m not sure how the Academy are voting – is it for past achievement or get-him-before-he-goes? Too close to call, really, but I think I’m gonna go with Scorcese for this one, even though Clint deserves it more!

SHOULD: Clint Eastwood
WILL: Martin Scorcese

Documentary: Born into Brothels, The Story of the Weeping Camel, Super Size Me, Tupac: Resurrection, Twist of Faith.
~~I’ve only seen Super Size Me, which I loved, but didn’t think it was the most amazing documentary of all time! I think Born into Brothels will be too close to home for middle-America, what with them having caused it all!! The sympathy vote notwithstanding, I think I’m gonna go with The Story of the Weeping Camel for this one. And for God’s sake, let Tupac GO, people!

WILL: The Story of the Weeping Camel

Film Editing: The Aviator, Collateral, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Baby, Ray.
~~Haven’t seen Ray yet, but I’m guessing it’s edited as all ‘true-lifers’ are edited, so I don’t want IT to get it. Finding Neverland and Million Dollar Baby shouldn’t either, for almost the same reason as Ray, and as for Collateral – from the Stephen Soderbergh school of editing, and still crap! Sad, really. So, I guess that The Aviator – even with it’s butt-numbing length – is still my baby for this one. Usually it’s used for the film that’s not going to get any others, so I say The Aviator SHOULD get it, but that Million Dollar Baby probably will!

SHOULD: The Aviator
WILL: Million Dollar Baby

Foreign Language Film: As it is in Heaven, The Chorus, Downfall, The Sea Inside, Yesterday.
~~I haven’t seen any of these, and am DISGUSTED that The Motorcycle Diaries isn’t in here. I refuse to comment for both these reasons!!

SHOULD: The Motorcycle Diaries
WILL: Don’t care

Makeup: Lemony Snicket’s…, The Passion of the Christ, The Sea Inside.
~~I’m going to go with The Pash for this one – I think it deserves it, really, plus I don’t actually think it’s going to get much other accolades!

SHOULD: The Passion
WILL: Lemony Snicket
(just in case they get all 'sacreligious' on Pash's ass, eh?)

Best Picture: The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Baby, Ray, Sideways.
~~Ok, as with the Director issue, I don’t know whether it’s gonna be Clint or Scorcese. Therefore I’m going to say that one will get Best Picture, and one will get Best Director. Unless they do a huge apology to Scorcese, and give him everything he’s nominated for, LOTR style. I think, though, that the opposite to what I said for Best Director will happen – that Scorcese deserves this one more, but that Clint will probably get it!

SHOULD: The Aviator
WILL: Million Dollar Baby

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Before Sunset, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Baby, The Motorcycle Diaries, Sideways.
~~I’ll keep it short – I think The Motorcycle Diaries SHOULD get it, but that Finding Neverland WILL get it…just because they can’t give it any other statues!

SHOULD: The Motorcycle Diaries
WILL: Finding Neverland

Writing (Original Screenplay): The Aviator, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Hotel Rwanda, The Incredibles, Vera Drake.
~~Another toughy. Could go either way, this one! Hotel Rwanda could get it for ‘worthiness’, and Vera Drake could get it because it won’t get any others. The Incredibles definitely WON’T get it. But actually, when it comes down to it – I think it’s probably a two horse race between The Aviator and Eternal Sunshine. I want Eternal Sunshine to win, because it’s probably one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, but I think it will be The Aviator because the Academy will want to placate Scorcese into ignoring his years in the wilderness! Plus, the story is about an AMERICAN, people! Oh say can you see, by the dawns early light……

SHOULD: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
WILL: The Aviator

So, there you have it. My predictions and comments. There are the usual disappointments and annoyances associated with the entire event – people left out that really should NOT be left out (most significantly, where is Jim Carrey’s nomination for Best Actor??), and others included for no reason whatsoever. Until people other than stuffed shirts and Bush voters judge these events, this awards ceremony will continue to be the joke it has been.

On the other hand, don’t you just KNOW that I’ll be staying up all night to watch them??!! Probably reading Empire while I’m doing it………………

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Christmas is dead...long live Christmas!

Christmas is dead for another year…or, as Alan says, ‘It’s all over until next October’! Clever man, that one! It went well – as you can see from Alan’s blog, my sister had a baby boy, so that was very nice! We had a white Christmas, too (literally just Christmas – the snow was almost gone the next day), which made my selection box taste all the sweeter! Christmas dinner was everything it should be and much, much, much more…and Santa-fever was well instilled by all my various nieces and nephews.

St. Stephen’s night was excellent, with some extreme boink-fun had by all at McMad-Out-Of-It’s gafferooonnneeeeyyy, and fairly serous bonding was achieved. The early hours of the morning rang in with festive cheer, and Alan and myself sauntered home happy campers!

New Year’s Eve found us heading to Dundalk – I drove – with two Byrnes in the back, fighting like wee kinder…I got mild panic when I felt the urge to do the old ‘slap-the-legs-between-the-seat’ Mammy manoeuvre, and had to remind myself that they weren’t my children!! However, we arrived in good time and had a ball in the house, followed by a smaller ball in the pub, followed by a much larger and fun-filled ball back in the houses. We sang, we laughed, we drank, we splurged – such merriment and happiness! More bonding was allowed as I got locked in Bones’ eye line and was drawn in to a sometimes hard-to-follow and mostly one-way conversation. An example of a comment from Del Boner would be ‘Car…tree…heaven…friendship….youknowwhatImean?!?’. To which I would, of course, reply ‘Yes, my friend, I truly DO know what you mean’.

Next morning found us driving homeward-bound amid flying debris and downed trees in what was later discovered to be a mini-TORNADO (the word ‘mini’ escaped our mass-hysteric population, and instead we are now at the mercy of freak weather systems), to a fabulous dinner cooked by Mater, which was most enjoyable after a night of VERY little sleep.

Since then I have returned to work, Kelly has returned to Ireland, and Sarah is soon to join us. Things are balancing back to post-Christmas sameness and all will soon be status quo again.

A word on my car – I have managed to put 2500 miles on it in the past three and a half weeks, so I love it, and it loves me! My crazy little feasty! Also, I am discovering - to my OWN surprise - that Neil Young is my favourite driving music except for when I am stuck in traffic. In this instance, Zepellin Four is my distraction of choice. Funny how things work out.

In closing, I have confirmation from Alan that when I woke up yesterday morning, I rolled over and sleepily said:

“How come you never hear somebody say ‘Hello, my name is Colin and I work in the accounts department of the Starship Enterprise’?”