Saturday, February 23, 2008

Speaking of Wood, Hay and Straw

The Oscars are tomorrow.

And you are invited to come hang out and watch them with me. Bring something to munch on, though.
Red carpet starts at 3 pm; the actual awards ceremony starts at 5 pm. Come & go, as you like.

Due to a rather small pool of resources and friends, I didn't make it to see all the movies I really wanted to this past month. However, here's a list of the nominees I did manage to see, and why they were nominated:

Across the Universe--Costume Design/ Not quite the hallucinogenic trip I thought it would be, and while I enjoyed it, since I really don't know many songs by the Beatles, I was kind of lost most of the movie.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford--Supporting Actor, Casey Affleck; Cinematography/ Casey did an amazing job; also, check out his stunning performance in Gone Baby Gone. The despair in this movie was accurately portrayed by shots of bleak countrysides.

Atonement--Supporting Actress, Saoirse Ronan; Art Direction; Cinematography; Costume Design; Original Score; Best Picture; Adapted Screenplay/ Visually stunning movie--the way they framed shots was beautiful! Also, I'm surprised this movie wasn't nominated for Sound Editing/Mixing; the way they mixed the sound of a typewriter throughout, and highlighted sounds like a bee at the window served to draw you in to an already intriguing story.

Away From Her--Leading Actress, Julie Christie; Adapted Screenplay/ When I read that this was the story of a wife beginning to develop Alzheimer's, I thought it would be depressing, but instead I discovered the beautiful ache of an aging couple discovering that there was something before death that could rip them apart. It made me cry--in a good way!

The Bourne Ultimatum--Film Editing; Sound Editing; Sound Mixing/ The rooftop scene where Bourne then jumps from balcony to balcony was especially memorable.

Eastern Promises--Leading Actor, Viggo Mortensen/ A lot of "escenas fuertes" in this one--that is, very impactful images, and certainly not for the faint of heart. But Viggo pulls off this unlikely member of the Russian mafia, even with a hint of comedic genius.

Enchanted--3 Original Songs/ Fun movie, but I couldn't tell you which songs they should/shouldn't have nominated--they all ran together by the end.

The Golden Compass--Art Direction; Visual Effects/ Here's one for controversy! I'll just say this: interesting story, and yes, visually stunning.

Gone Baby Gone--Supporting Actress, Amy Ryan/ Solid performance by Amy Ryan, but I think Casey Affleck stood out more. VERY well made movie, though. Lots to think about.

Michael Clayton--Leading Actor, George Clooney; Supporting Actor, Tom Wilkinson; Supporting Actress, Tilda Swinton; Directing; Original Score; Best Picture; Original Screenplay/ It was odd to see Clooney as a dad, and definitely not a ladies' man; so believable as this new kind of character! And both Wilkinson (Cornwallis from The Patriot) and Swinton (the icy and intimidating White Witch from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe) swept me away with their lucid, yet somewhat erratic characters.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End--Makeup; Visual Effects/ My favorite makeup/visual effect? Bill Nighy as Davy Jones. Still couldn't disguise the curl of his lip, though. Also, I'd like to know: what kind of eyeliner does Jack Sparrow use? It stays on hell or high water and doesn't even seem to smudge!

Ratatouille--Animated Picture; Original Score; Sound Mixing; Sound Editing; Original Screenplay/ Saw this one in Costa Rica... ;)

3:10 to Yuma--Original Score; Sound Mixing/ For me, the most notable elements of this movie where performances by Christian Bale and Ben Foster; when are they going to get nominated? Bale caught my eye in 1987 with Empire of the Sun, and Foster creeped me out in Hostage. Where's their recognition?

Transformers--Sound Mixing; Sound Editing; Visual Effects/ I grew up watching their cartoon every morning before heading off to kindergarten (at least for the fall semester of 1985, when we were living in the US). I was fascinated then, and I am fascinated now.

Here's the nominated movies I wish I'd seen beforehand, and might still pick up in the near future:

Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett)
I'm Not There (Again, Cate Blanchett!)
Into the Wild
The Kite Runner
Lars and the Real Girl (Ryan Gosling!)
No Country For Old Men
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
There Will Be Blood (Daniel Day Lewis)

[Until just a moment ago, when I finished these lists, I didn't realize how many nominated films I'd seen! Maybe I'm better prepared than I thought for tomorrow's ceremony.]

Perhaps I should be studying for my first History of Architecture test this semester, for Monday morning, instead of watching the Oscars... :)

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