Monday, February 26, 2007

And the Oscar goes to.....(how I did on predictions!)

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio (Blood Diamond), Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson), Peter O'Toole (Venus), Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness), Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland)

SHOULD: Leonardo DiCaprio & Forest Whitaker
WILL: Forest Whitaker
DID: Forest Whitaker

Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine), Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children), Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond), Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls), Mark Wahlberg (The Departed)

SHOULD: Djimon Hounsou & Alan Arkin
WILL: Alan Arkin
DID: Alan Arkin

Best Actress: Penélope Cruz (Volver), Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal), Helen Mirren (The Queen), Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada), Kate Winslet (Little Children)

SHOULD: Helen Mirren
WILL: Helen Mirren
DID: Helen Mirren

Supporting Actress: Adriana Barraza (Babel), Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal), Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls), Rinko Kikuchi (Babel)

SHOULD: Abigail Breslin
WILL: Adriana Barraza
DID: Jennifer Hudson

Animated Feature: Cars, Happy Feet, Monster House.

SHOULD: Happy Feet
WILL: Happy Feet
DID: Happy Feet

Cinematography: The Black Dahlia, Children of Men, The Illusionist, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Prestige.

SHOULD: Pan’s Labyrinth
WILL: Pan’s Labyrinth
DID: Pan’s Labyrinth

Costume Design: Curse of the Golden Flower, The Devil Wears Prada, Dreamgirls, Marie Antoinette, The Queen.

SHOULD: Dreamgirls
WILL: The Queen
DID: Marie Antoinette

Best Director: Babel, The Departed, Letters from Iwo Jima, The Queen, United 93.

SHOULD: Martin Scorsese
WILL: Martin Scorsese
DID: Martin Scorsese

Documentary: Deliver us from Evil, An Invonvenient Truth, Iraq in Fragments, Jesus Camp, My Country My Country.

SHOULD: An Inconvenient Truth
WILL: An Inconvenient Truth
DID: An Inconvenient Truth

Film Editing: Babel, Blood Diamond, Children of Men, The Departed, United 93.

WILL: Babel
DID: The Departed

Foreign Language Film: After the Wedding, Days of Glory (IndigĂ©nes), The Lives of Others, Pan’s Labyrinth, Water.

SHOULD: Apocalypto
WILL: Pan’s Labyrinth
DID: The Lives of Others

Makeup: Apocalypto, Click, Pan’s Labyrinth

SHOULD: Apocalypto
WILL: Apocalypto
DID: Pan’s Labyrinth

Best Picture: Babel, The Departed, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, The Queen.

SHOULD: The Departed
WILL: Little Miss Sunshine
DID: The Departed

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Children of Men, The Departed, Little Children, Notes on a Scandal

SHOULD: The Departed
WILL: Notes on a Scandal
DID: The Departed

Writing (Original Screenplay): Babel, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Queen

SHOULD: Little Miss Sunshine
WILL: Little Miss Sunshine
DID: Little Miss Sunshine

And there we have it....another year, another Oscar. Some of my shoulds turned out to be dids, and I was happy to be put right on a few - who could have seen 'The Departed' doing THAT well? I'm delighted for is a well deserved sweeping!! Disappointed that Pan's Labyrith didn't get Best Foreign Language, and wasn't bothered on costumes anyway. I'm also disappointed that Jennifer Hudson got Best Supporting Actress, even though I haven't seen the movie. Don't really know why!! And as for Best Documentary? It could never have gone another direction - well done Al Gore!!

Can't wait to see the highlights tonight, as no terrestrial channel showed it last night, so I couldn't stay up late to watch them. See how Ellen got on...

Until next year............

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Barca bow down to superior Reds!

Bellamy: "You couldn't make up what has happened tonight. "I've not been reading the papers so I've not been too bothered what people say. All I wanted to do was make the most of the special atmosphere and the build up to the game. I've been reasonably lucky in football, playing for my country and other big clubs, but this is my best moment in the game."

John Arne Riise: "We knew we needed to enjoy it out there and believe in ourselves. To be fair we started the game very well. They scored but we knew that if we worked hard we would get a goal back. The boss has shown tonight that, tactically, he's one of the best around."

All Hail Rafa!

Could this be another year, another song needed?

We won it six times........
we won it six TTIIIIMMEEEESSS........
In Atheeeeeennnsss.........
We won it six times!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

We all dream of a team of Carraghers!

Carra hoping for another Barca blowout...And so say all of us, J.C.!!

Liverpool's excellent record at the Nou Camp sets us up nicely for a confident game tonight!

'The club have never conceded a goal on three previous visits to the famous stadium and Carragher knows a similar shut-out in the first leg of this year's last 16 clash would provide the Reds with a great chance to progress.

"We've had some good results in the past and I'm sure 0-0 would be considered a good score this time as well," he said. "We're playing against the European champions and against a side who went close to becoming world champions as well, so we know it's going to be difficult.

"We've had ten days since our last match and we went to Portugal to prepare for this game, so we are ready. The important thing on the night is to play well and stay focused because Barcelona have top quality players. "It's going to be a great occasion for everybody involved and we are all looking forward to it."

Despite Barcelona's poor result at Valencia at the weekend, Carragher isn't subscribing to the thought that this is a great time for the Reds to be taking on Frank Rijkaard's men. "I've been watching them a lot lately and I don't see much wrong," he said. "They controlled much of the game against Valencia and were probably a bit unlucky. They're still top of their league so there can't be that much wrong.

"They're a top side but, as with every side, they have weaknesses and that's what we've been working on trying to exploit. We know what we have to do on the night and now it's up to us to enjoy playing in one of the world's great stadiums and make sure we get the right result."


Monday, February 12, 2007

Shame on you BAFTA!

Memories of school come flooding's not as if I've ever had to find 'x' in my adult life.

On the upside to life, watched 'Pan's Labyrinth' on DVD last night, and a brilliant episode of Top Gear on BBC.

Then watched the BAFTA's. I've to write a thingy on it for the BBC website, and had a 'winning' line, which Alan says I can't use..."ugly back-slappery that rears it's colonial head at times like these"

...because, basically, he says that I'm being 'down' on the British, and the BBC is pretty much Britain's flagship of media.
Ah well, I have a blog to vent, so vent I shall!

Paul Greengrass Best Director? The ugly back-slappery that rears it's colonial head at times like these completely invalidates any further awards the BAFTA's see fit to hand out. To say that United 93 - a 'made-for-telly-tearjerker' - was the best directed movie of 2006 calls doubt on any system of encouragement the British establishment creates.

Shame on you, BAFTA!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Ode to the train journey that is slowly slipping away from me...

Train 4 from Moscow to Beijing was surprisingly modern, clean and comfortable. With at least 50 westerners aboard, as well as plenty of people from Russia, China and Poland, there was a pleasant party atmosphere all the way.

For the first 3 days, the train travels across the vastness of Siberia, passing from Europe to Asia 1,777km east of Moscow.

On day 4, the train rounds Lake Baikal, the deepest fresh water lake in the world, with excellent views of the lake. In summer, the countryside appears green and pleasant, though in some parts the permafrost lies only inches below the surface.

On day 5, after passing through Mongolian customs late at night, you wake up to a complete change of scenery: Grassy steppe, covered in dew, giving way South of Ulan Bator (Mongolia's capital) to the open wastes of the Gobi Desert. Look out for camels and 'yurts' - the circular tents used by Mongolian nomads.

Reaching the Chinese frontier at midnight to the sound of triumphant martial music played at full volume over the station loudspeakers, the train is taken away and jacked up to have its bogies changed from Russian 5' gauge to standard (4'8½") gauge. You can remain on board or wander round the station while this is being done.

A Russian restaurant car (left) is attached to the train for the first four days, a Mongolian restaurant car (middle) is available for day 5, and an excellent Chinese restaurant car (right) is available on day 6.

The next and last day, the train crosses the mountains north of Beijing, passing through the Great Wall of China itself at Qinglongqiao.

Arrival at Beijing's main station on day 6.

Adapted from