Thursday, January 22, 2009

Time for the Oscars

For a complete list of Oscar nominations, go to:

My picks are in bold. They may not win, but based on what I've seen they seem like the best picks.
Best motion picture of the year
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), A Kennedy/Marshall Production, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
“Frost/Nixon” (Universal), A Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment and Working Title Production,Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Eric Fellner, Producers
“Milk” (Focus Features), A Groundswell and Jinks/Cohen Company Production, Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, Producers
“The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), A Mirage Enterprises and Neunte Babelsberg Film GmbH Production, Nominees to be determined
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), A Celador Films Production,Christian Colson, Producer

Performance by an actor in a leading role
Richard Jenkins in “The Visitor” (Overture Films)
Frank Langella in “Frost/Nixon” (Universal)
Sean Penn in “Milk” (Focus Features)
Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Josh Brolin in “Milk” (Focus Features)
Robert Downey Jr. in “Tropic Thunder” (DreamWorks, Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Doubt” (Miramax)
Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.)
Michael Shannon in “Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage)

I don't think any of these actors deserve a nod. Haven't seen: Tropic Thunder.

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Angelina Jolie in “Changeling” (Universal)
Melissa Leo in “Frozen River” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Meryl Streep in “Doubt” (Miramax)
Kate Winslet in “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company)

-Wasn't impressed by Kate Winslet
-Haven't seen Rachel Getting Married (want to) or Changeling (don't want to)
-Seeing Frozen River next week before I make a final decision

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Amy Adams in “Doubt” (Miramax)
Penélope Cruz in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (The Weinstein Company)
Viola Davis in “Doubt” (Miramax)
Taraji P. Henson in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)
I'm split on this one.:
-Viola Davis is probably the best.
-Penélope Cruz's best role was Volver and she probably should have won that year. However, she was very good in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
-Marisa Tomei was good, especially with a role that most other actresses would have played two-dimensionally.

Best animated feature film of the year
“Bolt” (Walt Disney), Chris Williams and Byron Howard
“Kung Fu Panda” (DreamWorks Animation, Distributed by Paramount), John Stevenson and Mark Osborne
“WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Andrew Stanton

I guess Wall-E will win, but I am not excited about any of these features.

Achievement in art direction
“Changeling” (Universal), Art Direction: James J. Murakami, Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt, Set Decoration: Victor J. Zolfo
“The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Nathan Crowley, Set Decoration: Peter Lando
“The Duchess” (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Art Direction: Michael Carlin, Set Decoration: Rebecca Alleway
“Revolutionary Road”(DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage), Art Direction: Kristi Zea, Set Decoration: Debra Schutt

-Haven't seen Changeling and Duchess.

Achievement in cinematography
“Changeling” (Universal), Tom Stern
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Claudio Miranda
“The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Wally Pfister
“The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Chris Menges and Roger Deakins
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Anthony Dod Mantle

Achievement in costume design
“Australia” (20th Century Fox), Catherine Martin
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Jacqueline West
“The Duchess” (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Michael O’Connor
“Milk” (Focus Features), Danny Glicker
“Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage), Albert Wolsky

-Haven't seen: Australia or The Duchess.
-Not impressed: with Milk or Revolutionary Road.

Achievement in directing
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), David Fincher
“Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Ron Howard
“Milk” (Focus Features), Gus Van Sant
“The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Stephen Daldry
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Danny Boyle

Best documentary feature
“The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)” (Cinema Guild), A Pandinlao Films Production, Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath
“Encounters at the End of the World” (THINKFilm and Image Entertainment), A Creative Differences Production, Werner Herzog and Henry Kaiser
“The Garden” A Black Valley Films Production, Scott Hamilton Kennedy
“Man on Wire” (Magnolia Pictures), A Wall to Wall Production, James Marsh and Simon Chinn
“Trouble the Water” (Zeitgeist Films), An Elsewhere Films Production, Tia Lessin and Carl Deal

-Missed The Betrayal darn it.
Haven't seen any.

Best documentary short subject
“The Conscience of Nhem En” A Farallon Films Production, Steven Okazaki
“The Final Inch” A Vermilion Films Production, Irene Taylor Brodsky and Tom Grant
“Smile Pinki” A Principe Production, Megan Mylan
“The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306” A Rock Paper Scissors Production, Adam Pertofsky and Margaret Hyde

-Haven't seen any.

Achievement in film editing
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
“The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Lee Smith
“Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
“Milk” (Focus Features), Elliot Graham
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Chris Dickens

Best foreign language film of the year
“The Baader Meinhof Complex” A Constantin Film Production, Germany
“The Class” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Haut et Court Production, France
“Departures” (Regent Releasing), A Departures Film Partners Production, Japan
“Revanche” (Janus Films), A Prisma Film/Fernseh Production, Austria
“Waltz with Bashir” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Bridgit Folman Film Gang Production, Israel

-Haven't seen any, but am excited perhaps about The Class.
-Really want to see all of the choices though.

Achievement in makeup
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Greg Cannom
“The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), John Caglione, Jr. and Conor O’Sullivan
“Hellboy II: The Golden Army” (Universal), Mike Elizalde and Thom Floutz

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Alexandre Desplat
“Defiance” (Paramount Vantage), James Newton Howard
“Milk” (Focus Features), Danny Elfman
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), A.R. Rahman
“WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Thomas Newman

-Love Alexandre Desplat but wasn't overwhelmed by the music in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
-Slumdog Millionaire's
music was great.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Down to Earth” from “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, Lyric by Peter Gabriel
“Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Gulzar
“O Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Music and Lyric by A.R. Rahman andMaya Arulpragasam

-One of the Slumdog songs should win.

Best animated short film
“La Maison en Petits Cubes” A Robot Communications Production, Kunio Kato
“Lavatory - Lovestory” A Melnitsa Animation Studio and CTB Film Company Production, Konstantin Bronzit
“Oktapodi” (Talantis Films) A Gobelins, L’école de l’image Production, Emud Mokhberi and Thierry Marchand
“Presto” (Walt Disney) A Pixar Animation Studios Production, Doug Sweetland
“This Way Up”, A Nexus Production, Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes

-Haven't seen any.

Best live action short film
“Auf der Strecke (On the Line)” (Hamburg Shortfilmagency), An Academy of Media Arts Cologne Production, Reto Caffi
“Manon on the Asphalt” (La Luna Productions), A La Luna Production, Elizabeth Marre and Olivier Pont
“New Boy” (Network Ireland Television), A Zanzibar Films Production, Steph Green and Tamara Anghie
“The Pig” An M & M Production, Tivi Magnusson and Dorte Høgh
“Spielzeugland (Toyland)” A Mephisto Film Production, Jochen Alexander Freydank

-Haven't seen any.

Achievement in sound editing
“The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Richard King
“Iron Man” (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment), Frank Eulner and Christopher Boyes
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Tom Sayers
“WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood
“Wanted” (Universal),Wylie Stateman

Achievement in sound mixing
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Mark Weingarten
“The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty
“WALL-E” (Walt Disney),Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt
“Wanted” (Universal), Chris Jenkins, Frank A. Montaño and Petr Forejt

Achievement in visual effects
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron
“The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber and Paul Franklin
“Iron Man” (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment), John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick and Shane Mahan

-Haven't seen Iron Man.

Adapted screenplay
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Screenplay by Eric Roth, Screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
“Doubt” (Miramax), Written by John Patrick Shanley
“Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Screenplay by Peter Morgan
“The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Hare
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy

-Amazing how Slumdog was adapted from the book to make it what it is.

Original screenplay
“Frozen River” (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Courtney Hunt
“Happy-Go-Lucky” (Miramax), Written by Mike Leigh
“In Bruges” (Focus Features), Written by Martin McDonagh
“Milk” (Focus Features), Written by Dustin Lance Black
“WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter

-Haven't seen Frozen River or Happy-Go-Lucky. Waiting to make a decision.

Monday, January 12, 2009

2008: A Year in Review
(Philip Seymour Hoffman being directed by Charlie Kaufman in Synecdoche, New York)

2008 - Top 10 Theatrical Releases

  1. Synecdoche, New York (2008)
  2. Roman de gare (2007)
  3. Il y a longtemps que je t'aime/I've Loved You So Long (2008)
  4. Elegy (2008)
  5. Heure d'été, L' /Summer Hours(2008)
  6. The Visitor (2007/I)
  7. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)
  8. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
  9. Last Chance Harvey (2008)
  10. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

2008 - Top 25 Viewed & adored for the first time
  1. Tess (1979)
  2. Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki/When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960)
  3. The Night of the Iguana (1964)
  4. Angèle (1934)
  5. O Lucky Man! (1973)
  6. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
  7. Bigger Than Life (1956)
  8. Cluny Brown (1946)
  9. Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987) Video Link (short)
  10. Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965)
  11. Basquiat (1996)
  12. Château de ma mère, Le / My Mother's Castle (1990)
  13. The Old, Weird America: Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music (2007)
  14. Kárhozat/Damnation (1988)
  15. Broken Lullaby (1932)
  16. Vieil homme et l'enfant, Le /The Two of Us (1967)
  17. Suture (1993)
  18. Thieves' Highway (1949)
  19. Design for Living (1933)
  20. Chameleon Street (1989)
  21. Forbidden (1932)
  22. Hula (1927)
  23. Zezowate szczescie/Bad Luck (1960)
  24. Gimme Shelter (1970)
  25. Craig's Wife (1936)

Honorable Mention
  1. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
  2. Ich möchte kein Mann sein/I Don't Want to Be a Man (1918)
  3. Panelkapcsolat / Pre-Fab People (1982)
  4. Palais royal! (2005)
  5. You Think You Really Know Me: The Gary Wilson Story (2005)
  6. Gates of Heaven (1978)
  7. Schpountz, Le (1938)
  8. The Slender Thread (1965)
  9. Huitième jour, Le/The Eighth Day (1996)
  10. Beröringen / The Touch (1971) Blog
  11. Days of Waiting (1990)
  12. American Dream (1990)
  13. My Name Is Julia Ross (1945)
  14. Bellissima (1951)
  15. Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol (1990)
  16. Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film (2006)
  17. Shopworn (1932) Video Clip
  18. À l'intérieur (2007)
  19. Pinky (1949)
  20. Charlie Is My Darling (1966)
  21. Tourneuse de pages, La (2006)
  22. Under the Covers (2002) (V)
  23. Monkey Business (1952)
  24. Top Hat (1935)
  25. Lifeboat (1944)
  26. Love Letters (1945)
  27. Training Day (2001)
  28. Cry-Baby (1990)
  29. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)
  30. A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995) (TV)
  31. No Sex Last Night (1996) Video
  32. Pointe-courte, La (1954)
  33. Washington Square (1997)
  34. Deliver Us from Evil (2006)
  35. The Amazing Mr. X / The Spiritualist (1948)
  36. Summertime (1955)
  37. Communion (1989)
  38. Citizen Ruth (1996)
  39. Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938)
  40. Angel (1937)
  41. Puppe, Die/The Doll (1919)
  42. A Royal Scandal (1945)
  43. Un monde sans pitié (1989)
  44. Femme du boulanger, La /The Baker's Wife (1938)
  45. Johnny Apollo (1940)
  46. Secret Beyond the Door... (1948)
  47. Une vraie jeune fille (1976)
  48. Kontroll (2003)
  49. J'accuse! (1938)
  50. Frau im Mond Woman in the Moon (By Rocket to the Moon) (1929)
  51. Amour par terre, L' / Love on the Ground (1984)
  52. Play Misty for Me (1971)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

20 Favourite Actors

Meme borrowed from the idea "20 Favourite Actresses"
01. Daniel Auteuil
Key roles:
La Fille sur le pont
Le Placard
Après vous...
Le Huitième jour
02. Humphrey Bogart
Key roles:
High Sierra
The Harder They Fall
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
03. Anthony Hopkins
Key roles:
The Silence of the Lambs
The Elephant Man
Surviving Picasso
04. Gérard Depardieu
Key roles
Bon voyage
Jean de Florette
Camille Claudel
Quand j'étais chanteur
La Môme
05. Cary Grant
Key roles:
His Girl Friday
North by Northwest
An Affair to Remember
The Bishop's Wife
Bringing Up Baby
06. Owen Wilson
Key roles:
The Royal Tenenbaums
Shanghai Noon
The Darjeeling Limited
Meet the Parents
07. Dustin Hoffman
Key roles:
The Graduate
Midnight Cowboy
Little Big Man
Straight Time
I Heart Huckabees
08. Clive Owen
Key roles:
Shoot 'Em Up
Gosford Park
The Bourne Identity
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
09. Bill Murray
Key roles:
Broken Flowers
The Royal Tenenbaums
What About Bob?
Groundhog Day
10. Grégori Derangère
Key roles:
Bon voyage
The Murder of Princess Diana
Mille millièmes
11. Joseph Cotten
Key roles:
Shadow of a Doubt
The Magnificent Ambersons
Citizen Kane
Love Letters
12. William Holden
Key roles:
Sunset Blvd.
Stalag 17
The Moon Is Blue
13. Elliott Gould
Key roles:
The Long Goodbye
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
California Split
Little Murders
14. Kevin Spacey
Key roles:
L.A. Confidential
Pay It Forward
American Beauty
Beyond the Sea
15. Fabrice Luchini
Key roles:
Confidences trop intimes
Le Bossu
La Discrète
Les Nuits de la pleine lune
Beaumarchais, l'insolent
16. Paul Giamatti
Key roles:
American Splendor
Shoot 'Em Up
My Best Friend's Wedding
17. Steve Martin
Key roles:
A Simple Twist of Fate
Grand Canyon
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
18. Jason Schwartzman
Key roles:
I Heart Huckabees
The Darjeeling Limited
19. Jean Reno
Key roles:
Léon: The Professional
French Kiss
Décalage horaire
20. Jean-Louis Trintignant
Key roles:
Trois couleurs: Rouge
Vivement dimanche!
Ma nuit chez Maud
Les Biches
Il Conformista