Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Oscars ahoy (incomplete post)

I never got chance to finish my response to the BAFTA nominations, and I'm a bit cross with myself for that because I don't like to just concentrate on the acting/directing categories. The behind-the-scenes stuff is also important, as is the writing. So here I have tried to address some of these but its still incomplete and I've a student due (after having a hideous time doing a workshop, not getting lunch till 3pm, and thankully a cancellation in my 3pm slot).

So here it is in all its incomplete ingloriousness: I hope to come back to it but you know what I'm like....

The nominations:

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Philip Seymour Hoffman - CAPOTE
Terrence Howard - HUSTLE & FLOW
Heath Ledger - BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
Joaquin Phoenix - WALK THE LINE
David Strathairn - GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK.

I still rate Strathairn, but the swing may now be behind PSH for Capote, a film I am truly looking forward to seeing. Whilst for the BAFTAs you have to take account of the home vote for Fiennes, as well as the mixed desire to pre-empt the Oscars and reward those who may not get the Oscar look-in, in the US I think this may have now become more clear-cut.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
George Clooney - SYRIANA
Matt Dillon - CRASH
Paul Giamatti - CINDERELLA MAN
Jake Gyllenhaal - BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
William Hurt - A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

Not sure why Hurt is nominated for HoV: an old favourite back in favour with the academy? Paul Giamatti may swing this for losing out last year. Nice to see Crash getting nominations in abundance though, despite being last year's film rather than a more recent release for Oscar season.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Judi Dench - MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS
Felicity Huffman - TRANSAMERICA
Keira Knightley - PRIDE & PREJUDICE
Charlize Theron - NORTH COUNTRY
Reese Witherspoon - WALK THE LINE

It seems as if Reese may be the hot favourite for this, closely followed by Felicity Huffman. It all depends on if they want to reward a musical in the acting nominations for the second year running (it's also why I don't think JP is front-runner for the actor award). If the two Brit nominations get whiff of this award I will scream "are you insane?" Prior winner Charlize Theron may lose out because of her winner status.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Amy Adams - JUNEBUG
Catherine Keener - CAPOTE
Frances McDormand - NORTH COUNTRY
Rachel Weisz - THE CONSTANT GARDENER
Michelle Williams - BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

I love Catherine Keener, but the swing may be behind Rachel Weisz for this one.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR
HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE
TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE
WALLACE & GROMIT IN THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT

Tough, tough, tough but my heart goes with W&G of course...

ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION
GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK Jim Bissell (Art Direction); Jan Pascale (Set Decoration)
HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE Stuart Craig (Art Direction); Stephenie McMillan (Set Decoration)
KING KONG Grant Major (Art Direction); Dan Hennah and Simon Bright (Set Decoration)
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA John Myhre (Art Direction); Gretchen Rau (Set Decoration)
PRIDE & PREJUDICE Sarah Greenwood (Art Direction); Katie Spencer (Set Decoration)

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
BATMAN BEGINS Wally Pfister
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN Rodrigo Prieto
GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK Robert Elswit
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA Dion Beebe
THE NEW WORLD Emmanuel Lubezki

The look of a film can be so important, and all the director's vision in the world will not help if those making it look good (set, photography) are not equally matched to the director. In an age where we have grown used to colour, working in black and white always seems to look spectacularly wonderful on-screen, but getting it to look that way isn't easy: after all, we're not seeing the world in bloack and white through our eyes, and we're less used to critically comparing different black and white cinematography. Would it be a cop-out to reward the work then in GN&GL? I don't think so. Malik always seems to inspire good visuals though, so nice to see that getting a nod. I do admit though that Batman Begins did look amazing...

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA
MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS
PRIDE & PREJUDICE
WALK THE LINE

ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN Ang Lee
CAPOTE Bennett Miller
CRASH Paul Haggis
GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK George Clooney
MUNICH Steven Spielberg

Horrid to predict this one, except to say that I doubt Spielberg will scoop direction for Munich: but this is a very strong list with merit (or expectations of merit for those I've not yet seen) across the board in the category.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
DARWIN'S NIGHTMARE
ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM
MARCH OF THE PENGUINS
MURDERBALL
STREET FIGHT

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
THE DEATH OF KEVIN CARTER: CASUALTY OF THE BANG BANG CLUB
GOD SLEEPS IN RWANDA
THE MUSHROOM CLUB
A NOTE OF TRIUMPH: THE GOLDEN AGE OF NORMAN CORWIN

ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
CINDERELLA MAN Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
THE CONSTANT GARDENER Claire Simpson
CRASH Hughes Winborne
MUNICH Michael Kahn
WALK THE LINE Michael McCusker

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
DON'T TELL
JOYEUX NOèL
PARADISE NOW
SOPHIE SCHOLL - THE FINAL DAYS
TSOTSI

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE CINDERELLA MAN
STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SCORE)
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
THE CONSTANT GARDENER
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA
MUNICH
PRIDE & PREJUDICE

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SONG)
"In the Deep" - CRASH
"It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" - HUSTLE & FLOW
"Travelin' Thru" - TRANSAMERICA

BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
CAPOTE
CRASH
GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK
MUNICH

There was much speculation that Munich would not make much indentation on the Oscars this year - still at least they seemed to get the DVDs out to the voters. I suspect the weight is still behind Brokeback Mountain, though again this is a strong list.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
BADGERED THE MOON AND THE SON: AN IMAGINED CONVERSATION
THE MYSTERIOUS GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORATIONS OF JASPER MORELLO 9 ONE MAN BAND

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
AUSREISSER (THE RUNAWAY)
CASHBACK
THE LAST FARM
OUR TIME IS UP SIX SHOOTER

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
KING KONG
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA
WAR OF THE WORLDS

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE
KING KONG
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA
WALK THE LINE
WAR OF THE WORLDS

ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE Dean Wright, Bill Westenhofer, Jim Berney and Scott Farrar
KING KONG Joe Letteri, Brian Van't Hul, Christian Rivers and Richard Taylor
WAR OF THE WORLDS Dennis Muren, Pablo Helman, Randy Dutra and Daniel Sudick

Effects date so badly, but the big monkey may win this...

Oh, by the way, how long into Friday's RadioFive broadcast from Mark Kermode before he complains about Andy Serkis not being nominated for best actor? Or has he already spouted off on this?

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN Screenplay by Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana
CAPOTE Screenplay by Dan Futterman
THE CONSTANT GARDENER Screenplay by Jeffrey Caine
A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE Screenplay by Josh Olson
MUNICH Screenplay by Tony Kushner and Eric Roth

For all the things I liked about Munich, to reward its screenplay would be the hardest to justify. I'd personally like to see History of Violence get this, but suspect it will be tight between Brokeback Mountain and Capote. TCG may have more chance in the BAFTAs...

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
CRASH Screenplay by Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco; Story by Paul Haggis
GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK. Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov
MATCH POINT Woody Allen
THE SQUID AND THE WHALE Noah Baumbach
SYRIANA Stephen Gaghan

Nominating Woody Allen?! I don't get it... not for this. Otherwise, given I have only seen Crash it would be hard to comment (never stopped me before you say!). I'd happily see either Clooney venture rewarded, but for me Crash was good enough to win through.

2 comments:

HolyhosesRob said...

Jane Garvey interviewed that Jeffrey Caine last night about his nomination for Best Adapted, and he came across as right up himself. She asked him about his "work on Bergerac," and he bristled (if you can bristle on the radio) and said he's worked on one episode and was so annoyed by what they'd done with his script that he took his name off. "I don't know how you found out about that," he said.

You could tell that Jane wanted to sing, "Bergerac, Bergerac, nya nya, Bergerac..." at him.

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

That is VERY funny!