Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscar Night

Here's my opinions on the awards. Feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments section.

Best Documentary Feature
Winner- an Inconvenient Truth
Jesus Camp
Deliver us From Evil
Iraq in Fragments
"P.O.V.: My Country My Country"

Nobody can say that they did not expect this one to win. It's difficult for me to weigh in on this (as will be most of the categories) because I only saw two of them- an Inconvenient Truth and Jesus Camp. Even though I feel Jesus Camp was a more well-made piece of cinema, an actual documentary as opposed to a lecture, nobody can deny the importance of an Inconvenient Truth.

Best Animated Short

Winner- The Danish Poet
The Little Matchgirl
No Time For Nuts

I disagree strongly with this category. I feel Maestro should have won hands down (the reason I had it as my featured web video). Not only that, but I felt that the Danish Poet was the weakest of the bunch. The animation was weak, and the story was not intriguing.

Best Foreign Language Film

Winner- Das Leben Der Anderen
Efter bryilpuppet
El Laberinto del Fauno

I only saw Pan's Labyrinth out of this group, but if you read my review of it, you could tell I loved it. From what I heard people were shocked that it didn't win this category. All I know is that it really makes me want to see The Lives of Others now.

Best Animated Feature

Winner- Happy Feet
Monster House

This is a crime- on more than one count. Happy Feet was not an award winning movie. The animation was fantastic, but the story was not. Out of the nominated movies Cars should have won. The animation was great, but it was also fun to watch for everyone, not just little children. The second crime here is the nominees themselves. Only three nominated films? How could they leave out Over the Hedge- my favorite animated film of the year, or Flushed Away, Ardman's first venture into 3D animation. Bah, time to move on.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Winner- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Superman Returns

Hands down the right movie won. ILM created some of the best visual effects I've seen. Davey Jones, his entire crew, and everything else. Poseidon was certainly impressive. I went to a lecture on fluid animation dynamics by several of the visual effects artists from this movie, and was captivated by some of what they created. In the end, though, there was no competition.

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Winner- Letters from Iwo Jima
Blood Diamond
Flags of Our Fathers
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

This one is hard for me to judge, since this is not something I generally watch for. Of the ones that I saw (the winner not one of them) I was most struck my Apocalypto's sound in general.

Best Achievement in Sound
Winner- Dreamgirls
Blood Diamond
Flags of Our Fathers
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

See above

Best Achievement in Makeup

Winner- El Laberinto del Fauno

The best movie won, no question- and how in the world did Click get nominated for anything?

Best Original Song

Winner- "I need to Wake up" Melisa Etheridge- An Inconvenient Truth
"Listen" Henry Krieger, Scott Cutler, Anne Preven- Dreamgirls
"Love You I Do" Henry Krieger, Siedah Garrett- Dreamgirls
"Patience" Henry Krieger, Willie Reale- Dreamgirls
"Our Town" Randy Newman- Cars

I did like the Melissa Etheridge song, and I haven't seen Dreamgirls. It just seems almost a little absurd that a movie that has three songs up for best original song did not have any of them win.

Best Score

Winner: Babel
The Good German
Notes on a Scandal
El Laberinto del Fauno
The Queen

Of the movies I saw, I feel that Babel was the best. The score was one of the most intriguing parts of the movie.

Costume Design

Winner: Marie Antionette
Man cheng jin dai huang jia
The Devil Wears Prada
The Queen

I don't know, I haven't seen any of them, though from the trailers, Marie Antionette looked fabulous.

Art Direction

Winner: El Laberinto del Fauno
The Good Shepherd
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
The Prestige

I must say that I am not dissappointed with the winner. Pan's Labyrinth had fantastic art direction. The sets were whimsical. I feel that the Prestige brought me into the world it created a little bit better however, and would have gotten my vote.

Best Achievement in Editing

Winner: The Departed
Blood Diamond
Children of Men
United 93

Children of Men was robbed. It was deprived a best picture nod, and a best director nod. I was hoping they would at least give it the award for editing since Alfonso Cuaron was also the editor, but alas- this was the Departed's year.


Winner: El Laberinto del Fauno
The Black Dahlia
Children of Men
The Illusionist
The Prestige

Like art direction, I feel this should have gone first to the Prestige, then the Illusionist. Both of these movies were beautiful- with each shot being a work of art. I am not saying that Pan's Labyrinth was not- but just not as much as the other two.

Adapted Screenplay

Winner: The Departed
Children of Men
Little Children
Notes on a Scandal

Again, I'm only seen two of these. I feel that Children of Men should have won. The nomination of Borat, however struck me as interesting and surprising. It made me mildly happy that even though a movie like this had no chance of winning, the academy is still willing to nominate movies like that.

Original Screenplay

Winner: Little Miss Sunshine
Letters from Iwo Jima
El Laberinto del Fauno
The Queen

This is a strong group of movies. They all seemed very very good. I think it would have been close between Babel and Little Miss Sunshine for me. I'm kind of glad it went the way it did. Little Miss Sunshine was dark, but still uplifting. It was just so well written.


Winner: Martin Scorsese- The Departed
Clint Eastwood- Letters from Iwo Jima
Sephen Frears- The Queen
Paul Greengrass- United 93
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu- Babel

'Bout bloody time- that's all I have to say

Supporting Actress

Winner: Jennifer Hudson- Dreamgirls
Adriana Barraza- Babel
Cate BLanchett- Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin- Little Miss Sunshin
Rinko Kikuchi- Babel

Adriana Barraza stole the movie for me. She was so powerfull, and so convinging I would have nominated her for best lead actress- and probably given her that one. Rinko Kikuchi was also very good, as was Abigail Berslin, of course (she'll have quite a career). I am trully dissapointed, however, that Barraza was overlooked.

Best Supporting Actor

Winner: Alan Arkin- Little Miss Sunshine
Jackie Earle Haley
Little Children
Djimon Hounsou- Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy- Dreamgirl
Mark Wahlberg- The Departed

I really don't know. Alan Arkin was fantastic, but so was Mark Wahlberg and Djimon Hounsou. From what I heard Eddie Murphy was even the frontrunner. I think I would have given it to Hounsou, however.

Best Leading Actress

Winner: Helen Mirren- The Queen
Penelope Cruz- Volver
Judi Dench- Notes on a Scandal
Meryl Streep- The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet- Little Children

Again, I haven't seen any of them

Best Leading Actor

Winner: Forest Whitaker- Last King of Scotland
Leonardo DiCaprio- Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling- Half Nelson
Peter O'Toole- Venus
Will Smith- The Pursuit of Happyness

This one was not surprising either. Forest Whitaker was amazing in this movie. As you can see in my review, he was the strongest part of the mediocre movie. Will Smith was deserving in his powerfull role as well. Interestingly, however, I think I would have given it to Leonardo DiCaprio. He truly mastered his role in Blood Diamond- and after seeing it I thought about just how good he was.

Best Picture

Winner: The Departed
Letters From Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

I'm happy that the Departed won, though I think I would have been happy if any of them one. Babel was good, but I honestly don't think it was best picture quality. I have yet to see the Queen or Letter from Iwo Jima. I was thrilled to see a nod for Little Miss Sunshine. I was very surprised that a dark commedy like that would get a nomination. I was almost hoping for a win for that one, even though I know it had no shot.

There you have it, my thoughts on the Oscars. Please leave your oppinions. I'm really interested in what anyone who reads this has to say.


Anonymous said...

well, I am a huge Scorsese fan so needless to say I was absolutely thrilled with the outcome. The other happy outcome was seeing Alan Arkin win over Eddie Murphy. I am SO happy The Departed won; it would have been horrible if Little Miss Sunshine or Babel had won; both were terribly overrated esp. Babel. The Departed proved its possible to make both a highly entertaining yet beautifully made film, great dialogue, editing and of course the great cast, headed by DiCaprio. I wish he would have been nominated for The Departed although I agree he wa pretty amazing in Blood Diamond; I just didn't love that film as much as I did The Departed.

Shawn said...

My comment is going to have to be on your views as to to the art direction and cinematography. Should the prestige have won cinematography? perhaps yes, I will agree on that one. Art direction though was deservingly won by Pan's because the Prestige killed itself for me in the same exact reason as you feel it should have won. While for a bulk of the movie it would suck you in, during the scenes of showing the world fair and some of the early shots of the Research facility, the set and scenes were overdone to the point of mocking the mindset of that era towards the technologies. Those two set ups can really pull you into an outside looking in the box of the past feeling that conflicts with the art direction throughout the rest of the film. Where as the prestige hurt itself in the art direction, Pan's Labryinth was hugely complimented by the perfect blend of fantasy and darkness on its sets to match the fine line of the story.