Everything Matters – 2/19/09 – Academy Awards Edition – Part 5
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – the nominees are Eric Roth and Robin
Swicord/The CC of BB, John Patrick Shanley/Doubt, Peter Morgan/Frost/Nixon,
David Hare/The Reader, and Simon Beaufoy/Slumdog Millionaire.
Lets’s see, The CC of BB was so long I felt that I had passed Einstein’s time-space
loop and was aging both forwards and backwards and this will not sit well with Oscar judges.
Doubt is one of those phony “important” pictures that really isn’t the more you
examine it. Oooh, Meryl Streep. Oooh, Philip Seymour Hoffman. They’re both
so well respected. This picture must matter. But it doesn’t. And the picture has the shameless Hollywood (maybe Broadway too) ending where Meryl Streep is
racked with guilt under the tree, almost shrieking, “I have doubts.” So bald, so
lame. But the costumes. Nuns in the Bronx in the early 60s? Again, straight
from Pee-Wee’s closet. Not a winner.
Frost/Nixon, phony history masquerading as important. Doubt for the secular
The Reader; why do folks think this is a good movie? Her character has no shading.
She never changes and the kid and Ralph (where the fuck does RAFE come from?)
Are the saddest people in the world because an older woman you once fucked stopped fucking you??? After a month or so when you were 15???!!! The only person still fucking the same person they were fucking at 15 is Bristol Palin! Nope.
And the Oscar goes to, Slumdog Millionaire. Not a single mis-step or mis-scene
(or even mise-en-scene), a great epic romance writ large against all of India.
And yes, I actually did write that sentence.
FOREIGN FILM – and the nominees are The Baader Meinhof Complex/Germany,
The Class/France, Departures/Japan, Revanche/Austria, and Waltz with Bashir/Israel.
(the synopses are from Oscar.com)
The Baader Meinhof Complex - The roots of the infamous German terrorist group, the Red Army Faction, are traced to the turbulent events of the late 1960s. When a political riot leaves a protester dead and an assassination attempt is made on a left-wing leader, student radicals Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin join forces with journalist Ulrike Meinhof to form a violent faction that turns to bombings, kidnappings, and murder to achieve its goals. I came of age during this time and I am the audience for this. And this will never come to Asheville, a city of 72,000 in formerly red North Carolina. Netflix, baby.
But no Oscar.
The Class - This portrait of a year in the life of a class of Parisian middle school students focuses on the ethnically diverse children who comprise the group and their dedicated teacher, François Marin. Unfolding almost entirely within the classroom itself, the story explores the diversity of personality and background among the students that makes Marin's work both challenging and rewarding. Oscar voters love realistic portrayals of public school, considering none of their children will ever drive by one, much less see the inside of one. Makes limousine liberals feel good about themselves. And limousine is a French word. Possible winner.
Deprtures - When cellist Daigo Kobayashi finds himself unemployed, he returns with his wife to his hometown and answers an ad he believes has been placed by a travel agency. The available position, however, turns out to be with a company that prepares corpses for cremation--an elaborate ritual for which the stunned Daigo proves to have a surprising aptitude. An unemployed cellist. Corpse preparation? How did I miss this?
Or better yet – How did this get made? Even in Japan? Well, in two years we’ll get the American remake with Sarah Michelle Gellar and it will be really good. I’m sure.
Revanche - A crime results in a web of guilt and revenge that knits together the lives of two very different couples. Ex-con Alex plans to help his girlfriend, Tamara, escape from her life in a brothel by robbing a bank in his grandfather's small town. When the plan goes awry, Alex is drawn into a complex relationship with Robert, a local policeman, and his kindhearted wife, Suzanne. This is the story of every girl from the Ukraine since the beginning of the internet. Not a chance.
And the winner is – Waltz with Bashir - Filmmaker Ari Folman's animated feature explores his own participation as part of the Israeli army in the 1982 Lebanon War. Unable to recall key parts of his actions during the war, Folman interviews other former soldiers and begins to piece together both his own past and the repercussions of a troubling period in modern history. We can learn from this film and demand that the entire Bush Administration be held accountable for the last 8 years. Friends, who I love and respect, as opposed to friends I just love, have said this is a great film. It will open in Asheville, NC in 17 years.
DIRECTOR – The nominees are David Fincher/The CC of BB,
Ron Howard/Frost/Nixon, Gus Van Sant/Milk, Stephen Daldry/The Reader,
and Danny Boyle/Slumdog Millionaire.
David Fincher directed a lot of CGI ghosts and Brad Pitt with those EKG things stuck to his body for motion-capture and we know how good that Tom Hanks Xmas train movie was a few years back? I don’t care that it’s technology.
That doesn’t make it good.
Although the Blind Clockmaker at the beginning of the film is an allegory for Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Anything that makes religious fanatics crazy I am for.
But an Oscar, Nope.
Ron Howard always casts his brother Clint. Ron was Opie and he was and may still
be cute. But Clint looks like one of the People Under the Stairs or a Boogen and history be damned, it’s all blown when Clint’s giganto-cephalic profile appears. Nope.
Gus Van Sant is the other person who can win. Milk is a great biopic and a very good movie. But he won’t.
Stephen Daldry is in the running to give them 5 nominees. Let’s be honest here.
He got to tell his good friend Sam Mendes’s wife, Kate Winselt, to parade around naked
for weeks at a time. I’ve tried that with wives of friends and nothing. Not even a quick shot using my cellphone. Call it what you will, it won’t win an Oscar.
But the Oscar will go to Danny Boyle for Slumdog. The Indian landslide continues.
Thanks to Shiva and Allah, as the lead character says. And the voters of the Academy.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS – the nominees are Amy Adams/Doubt, Penelope Cruz/Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Viola Davis/Doubt, Taraji P. Henson/The CC of BB, and
Marisa Tomei/The Wrestler.
Well, first off, the two women from Doubt cancel each other out, Amy Adams and Viola Davis. So then it’s a choice between Taraji P. Henson who may have been a Muppet in another lifetime and since she ages about 60 years in The CC of BB, may well be a Muppet. And I love that she’s Taraji P. Henson as if there was another Taraji Henson when she went to get her SAG card so she threw that P. in. She was fine but the most amazing thing about her character, and the thing that was never ever explored, WHY SHE NEVER SAID ANYTHING TO ANYONE ABOUT THIS MIRACULOUS BACKWARDS-AGIN PERSON SHE WAS RASING AS HER SON???!!! She shouldn’t win just for that.
So for me it’s a choice between Penelope Cruz, so hot, and that hair, my god, I want to live in her hair, and Marisa Tomei playing an exotic dancer in The Wrstler, who paraded around naked almost as much as Kate Winslet. Mickey Rourke may have the broad back to carry Tomei to another win but I say Penelope Cruz, if only for showing the world what real, hot Latin sexuality is all about.
The winner – Penelope Cruz.