Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

01 December 2004

Oscar Season Begins

National Board of Review

Best Picture: Finding Neverland
2. The Aviator
3. Closer
4. Million Dollar Baby
5. Sideways
6. Kinsey
7. Vera Drake
8. Ray
9. Collateral
10. Hotel Rwanda

Best Director: Michael Mann, Collateral

Best Actor: Jamie Foxx, Ray

Best Actress: Annette Bening, Being Julia

Best Supporting Actor: Thomas Haden Church, Sideways

Best Supporting Actress: Laura Linney, Kinsey

Breakthrough Performances:

Topher Grace, P.S. and In the Company of Men (what, no mention of Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!?)
Emmy Rossum, The Phantom of the Opera

Best Foreign Language Film: El Mar Adentro (The Sea Inside)
2. La Mala Educación (Bad Education)
3. Maria Full of Grace
4. Les Choristes
5. Diarios de Motocicleta (The Motorcycle Diaries)

Best Animated Feature: The Incredibles

The big winners here is obviously Neverland, which I think is a ludicrous choice for Best Picture, but... hey, it's the National Board of Review and they're a bunch of nuts anyway.
I think Thomas Haden Church wins big here, too. I guess steam is building for his performance, but I frankly hope it subsides soon. I thought he was the worst thing in Sideways, and I don't know what people think they see, but I just didn't believe this guy when he was talking.
Million Dollar Baby looks like it is going to be a big force soon, and that's good. I hadn't heard of this film three weeks ago and now the buzz is everywhere. Good for Clint Eastwood, I say.
And Collateral! Hello. This movie is getting buzz again and that's awesome. Notice how the NBR didn't mention Jamie Foxx as Best Actor for Collateral and Ray. That's because they're pushing him as supporting for Collateral. Whatever, but that means he might actually get two nominations this year... geez. But good news for Michael Mann, and congratulations: Collateral is an excellent film with a soul of iron and I respect it a Hell of a lot.
Good news also for France and Spain for The Sea Inside and Choristes, respectively. Those are the only two flicks on this list up for the Foreign Language Oscar, and their pedigree definitely increases being mentioned today.

Big losers today: Spanglish, The Phantom of the Opera, and I'd mention Alexander, but it's already dead and there's no need to trample on it.

I have put the movies I've already seen in bold-face, so as you can see, there aren't too many flicks left to catch this year, which, I guess, is a bit of a disappointment. Hopefully a few more good films will emerge in the next couple of weeks.

Best Directorial Debut: Zach Braff, Garden State

Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Sideways

Best Original Screenplay: Charlie Kaufman, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Best Ensemble: Closer

Best Production Design: House of Flying Daggers