The Academy Awards – Dog Pictures

Feb 16, 2008 by

Hello again friends! The next podcast is shaping up nicely (I think I say that every time. Better than “it has crashed into the mountain”.) Anyhow, as a contrast to the podcast, Jamie and I have been catching up on the Academy Award nominated films and I thought I would go through and give a little mini-review of a few for you, as we’ve seen quite a few and some are definitely worth the rental.

I have a film degree, after all. My opinion should be worth something…

*he observes an echoing silence*

And a’ here we go…

No Country for Old Men
– Directed/Produced by The Cohen Brothers

This one comes to mind because I believe it contains, at the very least, the winner for best supporting actor. Javier Bardem’s anti-Christ character Anton Chigurh ranks up there with such bad guys as Emperor Palpatine (Star Wars), would have kicked Jigsaw’s butt (Saw I, II…), and scared me more than Freddie, Jason, and Mike Myers combined. I know that William Shatner’s face is scary, but not this terrifying. I was scared for every protagonist when Anton was after them in the movie, my favorite scene being that in the small filling station with the old man who, “had to close down, now.” The Supporting Actor category is the one I’m the least researched on, but I have few doubts that any of these others was better than Tom Wilkinson in Michael Clayton and Javier Bardem blew that away. Right, “Friend-o”?

There Will Be Blood – Directed/Written by Paul Thomas Anderson

By far, in my opinion, the most overrated film of the “Oscar worthy” films we’ve seen. And yes, we’ve seen Cloverfield (Next year, J.J. Abrams… next year.) Apart from it’s phenomenal cinematography throughout the film, powered by a great acting performances all around (not just from My Left friggin’ Foot!) this film falls short of what I would call Film of the Year. Although it was extremely stylistic and performing well in doing so, it leaves a bit more to desire. Perhaps this was the intention, but for some reason it doesn’t seem like we get quite enough acting out from our lead man. That’s all I’ll say, as to not spoil it for you who haven’t seen it.

Atonement – Directed by Joe Wright, from a book by Ian McEwan

As far as love stories go, this one is more about the betrayal behind love and that love can transcend money, jail, war… even guilt. Solidly acted, it’s a bit British and understated at times but it makes for a film that can even appeal to those men who have a strong distaste for “chick flicks” as this isn’t one of them. There’s enough deceit, cover up, and misleading to go around to any palate. However, if you don’t see this one before the big night don’t worry, the only surprise it’s got up its sleeve is that it might beat out “…Blood” for the cinematography award. Might.

Michael Clayton – Written and Directed by Tony Gilroy

It’s hard to do the right thing, as this movie will understand when it doesn’t win many awards. This film’s understated-ness is it’s strength and will be it’s downfall at the Awards but don’t let that make you miss it. Clooney plays a shady “clean-up” lawyer for a major firm who, after years of gambling and deceit is trying to stand his life back up on a small pile of moral bits. With so many other forces playing against him, most of the film hides behind closed doors and sharp smiles. With it’s glaring realism in the script, dialogue, and even down to the makeup I think Jamie said it best, “These characters are people you could meet on the street, people we know already.” And thus, we feel for them. A courtroom drama that’s not in a courtroom, it’s not a movie you should miss no matter what happens that fateful night.

Alright, I’m getting tired of this, only two more… my favorites.

Lars and the Real Girl – Written by Nancy Oliver

Now, I found this down there at the bottom among what I would tell you is the category to find the movies that you’ll always be impressed with. Maybe you won’t enjoy them… anyway… it’s the Best Original Script category. This film is nowhere else which is probably why I was so interested to see it. Knowing virtually nothing about, we were EXTREMELY impressed. Blown away. You know those films that make you uncomfortable and you have that creeping feeling at the back of your neck for the entire film, and even into the night? Yeah, I hate those too. This gave that creeping feeling as Lars brings his “girlfriend” to the table in their house, but the film does a miraculous job of taking that uncomforable creepy feeling and making it a love for each and every one of the characters in this small Wisconsin town. All except for Bill, didn’t like him much, but he was gone quickly. Don’t miss this one, I command you. Start the revolution.

and last but not least…

Juno – Written by Diablo Cody, Directed by Jason Reitman

While the script gets a bit sing-songy and the plot gets lost somewhere after she tells her parents she’s pregnant (not a spoiler if you’ve seen the billboards, and it’s in the first five minutes of the film) this is an extremely enjoyable film. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this walk away with Best Actress Ellen Page and Best Original Screenplay. Movie of the year, I hope so, but I’m seeing that going to either “No Country” or “…Blood”. But, of the must-see movies before the Oscars, this one tops my list followed by Lars.

Go see these two movies, and watch the Academy Awards like I enjoy my baseball: in highlights on ESPN. Only, you’ll watch the AA on YouTube. So will I. I don’t think the BBC is airing it.

I’ll do a full ballot next weekend before and you can check my answers with those that appear on the AA. We’ll see how much my little film degree make my opinion worth.

Oh, and without further ado or words. Here are my (some are complete rubbish) pictures of our new dog, now firmly with the name Kelly.

I can’t believe it. All you get is this blurry shot of us playing with her on the floor. The Blogger isn’t uploading any more photos right now for some reason. I’ll try again tomorrow. For now, this will have to do. It’s awful cute.

Don’t tell Abby (the dog we left in the States with my parents) she’ll be jealous and get even more neurotic.

Thanks again for all the support. The podcast cometh tomorrow. I’ve got more to share as I’ve been finding some GREAT music lately.



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