Monday, March 2, 2009

2006 "Shouldawonit" Oscars

Next verse, same as the first:

BEST ACTOR (Forest Whitaker / The Last King of Scotland):
Tommy Lee Jones / The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (1 vote)
Forest Whitaker / The Last King of Scotland (1 vote)
Ryan Gosling / Half Nelson (1 vote)

BEST ACTRESS (Helen Mirren / The Queen):
Kate Winslet / Little Children (3 votes)

BEST DIRECTOR (Martin Scorsese / The Departed):
Paul Greengrass / United 93 (1 vote)
Alfonso Cuaron / Children of Men (2 votes)

BEST PICTURE (The Departed):
United 93 (2 votes)
Pan's Labyrinth (1 vote)


Joseph Wyatt said...

Actress: Again, Winslet Little Children. I absolutely love Kate Winslet btw.

Actor: Whitaker.

Director: Alfonso Cauron, man I like Greengrass, but Cauron is working on Ridley Scott Blade Runner level here.

Picture: United 93, still can't believe this didn't win best pic. This film had to be one of the hardest films to make ever. And it succeeds on every level.

Britt said...

This has little to do with your actual lists, but perhaps can be considered as you debate.

Why has the Academy in recent years been so eager to award actors who portray actual historical personages in a mimetic style (ie performances like Miren's as opposed to the actors who portray Dylan in I'm Not There)?

T. Azimuth Schwitters said...

That's a good thought, Britt. My gut reaction is that its a matter of recognizability and safety. I think most voters are incredibly self-conscious about their choices, and I think they figure a spot-on impersonation of a known personage is easier to recognize without feeling susceptible to criticism. When Helen Mirren comes on screen looking and acting EXACTLY like they EXPECT her to (being familiar with Queen Elizabeth), they don't feel nervous pointing a finger and saying "Hey! That's a great impression!" The stakes are different, though, when you're pointing a finger and saying "Hey! That person really captured the emotion and motivation of that fictional character!," because I think they are always a bit nervous that they are wrong, that in fact, the actor is just 'playing a more true version of him or herself.' To see why that kind of pick is perceived as 'dangerous,' look no further than Mickey Rourke. I think the Mickster suffered because his performance in THE WRESTLER was billed as being so 'personal'...meaning (apparently) that it took less 'work.' Thus, the Oscar goes to Sean Penn, who "really nails" Harvey Milk.

Of course, the problem with this whole system is that Jamie Foxx has more Oscars than Johnny Depp, Robert Downey, Jr., or Christian Bale.

T. Azimuth Schwitters said...

To the World:

Screw you for shafting UNITED 93. That movie, as Joe has pointed out, has to have been one of the most difficult films to make in the past 20 years, and not only did Greengrass make it without embarassing himself (a task Oliver Stone couldn't handle in the abysmal WORLD TRADE CENTER), he did while respecting BOTH the heroes on that plane AND the villains that killed them. This is a flat-out unbelievable film, and the fact that it was almost totally ignored critically is a freaking shame.

Joseph Wyatt said...

God all this does is make me wish I was seeing these films again for the first time. What an amazing year in cinema. 3 films in my opinion that arguably belong up with the top 100 films of all time. (United 93, Children of Men, Pan's Labyrinth)

You still have a couple of other really great films in "The Departed" and "Apocalypto" both also arguably 4 star films.

Then a few really, really solid films like "Letters from Iwo Jima", and the brilliant "The Lives of Others"

Heck Lynch aficionados could even argue the brilliance of "Inland Empire".

Gaston Monescu said...

I thought The Departed was excellent the first two times I saw it in the theater (both on the opening weekend). I have since soured. Eminently watchable, but not much beyond that. Really the Casino of the new millennium.

Roger Ebert loved United 93. Roger and you, Kenny (and Joseph, it seems). Maybe that's the name of your new documentary.

I didn't think CoM was in the ballpark of Pan's Labyrinth. Julianne Moore's part just isn't that good, and it sort of bogs down the middle of the film. That tracking shot is probably my single favorite sequence of the entire year.

Here's another question about actors: should we keep celebrating the Whitakers of the world who are great in middling movies? At least Milk was better than King of Scotland.

Winslett in Little Children
Gosling in Half Nelson (which hasn't gotten any love yet)
Cuaron for CoM
Pan's Labyrinth