Monday, January 22, 2007
I'm Killing You, I Know
So. I've got my entire list of personal film awards for the year gone all worked out and stuff, but it's driving me nuts trying to explain it all. I want the lists to mean something, you know. It's the eternal problem: to blog properly, or not to blog at all. To post all this stuff up and grade it and rank it and let it smugly sit here, bald and unjustified, or to actually get a conversation going. I'm determined to do the latter, but it's going to take time. In so many ways I'm just too lazy and slow and have exactly the wrong temperament for this.
Anyway, Nick is inevitably and shame-makingly setting a gold standard over at his place, building up a head of steam with Oscar predictions and keeping us tantalised with a Jan 30 deadline for his own honorees. Before I start working my way up the technical achievements from last year — yes, those mainlymovies best make-up citations that keep Hollywood's leading prosthetics experts awake at night — I want to throw out just a couple of my own Oscar Thoughts before tomorrow's announcement.
Fingers crossed for:
Ryan Gosling (Best Actor, Half Nelson). I hope he hasn't lost traction because of the film's early release date. He's tremendous, and this will be the most heartening nomination of the day if it happens, but it's touch and go. Forest Whitaker, Peter O'Toole and Will Smith aren't going to be dislodged, but I think Leonardo DiCaprio might be, much as I liked him in The Departed, and that would leave Borat and Bond to fight it out for the final slot. I give Borat the edge, certainly if it came down to nude wrestling, and I suspect there aren't many Daniel Craig fans around here who would cry foul at that, right?
Fingers crossed against:
Babel and The Queen. I'm not averse to the acting nods here — knocking Mirren, who appears to have far more widespread global support than the actual Queen, is hardly worth it, I'd be pleased to see the diligent and skilled Michael Sheen ride his film's coattails to a supporting nod, and Kikuchi and especially Barraza find an emotional urgency in their stories that impressed me enormously even as I was gritting my teeth, on a second viewing, through the crazy-making manipulations of Guillermo Arriaga's screenplay. But these are the two likely Best Picture nominees I'd least like to see crowned on the big night, for various reasons. A few snubs tomorrow in some key categories — one or other director missing out, say, to an Eastwood or Del Toro — would get the backlash in motion.
Why not swap:
...Cate Blanchett (Supporting Actress, despite being a miscast co-lead in Notes on a Scandal) for the brilliant-in-a-stock-role Vera Farmiga (The Departed)?
...Happy Feet (Animated Feature) for the far wittier and more inventive Monster House?
...Gustavo Santaolalla (Best, though I'd say least, Original Score, having lazily reprised his "Iguazu" theme from The Insider in Babel) for the man who poured all his talent into The Fountain, Clint Mansell?
More, very soon, I promise.