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

23 January 2007

Christmas Morning

Some thoughts...

BEST PICTURE
Babel
The Departed
Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

*I got 4 out of 5 here. Just like last year. The Dreamgirls snub is a big talking point everywhere. The film is not that great, so I really don't blame them for snubbing this movie. They also, if you'll remember, snubbed the similarly musical Walk the Line last year in favor of Munich. Letters is the big story here. No one thought it had as much traction as all this.

BEST DIRECTOR
Babel, Alejandro González Iñárritu
The Departed, Martin Scorsese
Letters from Iwo Jima, Clint Eastwood
The Queen, Stephen Frears
United 93, Paul Greengrass
*With its strong showings elsewhere, I'm very surprised Del Toro didn't make the cut here. Everyone seems crazy over Labyrinth. I got 3 out of 5 here, but I don't really care because Paul Greengrass made it in and I'm very excited for that. A little sad Alfonso Cuarón didn't score here, but I recognize not everyone thinks Children of Men is as brilliant as I do.

BEST ACTOR
Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson
Peter O’Toole in Venus
Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland
*Okay, Blood Diamond sucks. Didn't anyone see it? Boo to Leo being snubbed for The Departed. I got 4 out of 5 here.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine
Jackie Earle Haley in Little Children
Djimon Hounsou in Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls
Mark Wahlberg in The Departed
*This is the category I am most happy about. Mark Wahlberg's nomination makes my whole day. It was a longshot prediction and I'm delighted. I think he's hugely talented (I would've nominated him in this category two years ago for I ♥ Huckabees as well.)

BEST ACTRESS
Penélope Cruz in Volver
Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren in The Queen
Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet in Little Children
*5 for 5 on this one. It's a good list.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Adriana Barraza in Babel
Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi in Babel
*5 for 5 again. As I said before, I'm not crazy about this list at all, but it was sort of easy to predict.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Children of Men
The Departed
Little Children
Notes on a Scandal

*Woo hoo! I'm delighted Borat showed up here. The Last King of Scotland should have been here for sure, but I guess no one was paying attention to anything but Forest Whitaker in that film.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Babel
Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
Pan’s Labyrinth
The Queen

*I think Babel's kind of a mess, but this is an adequate list. I would substitute Half Nelson and Volver for any of these movies, though.

ANIMATED FILM
Cars
Happy Feet
Monster House

*I'm out of the loop on Cars, but the others are fine choices.

ART DIRECTION
Dreamgirls
The Good Shepherd
Pan’s Labyrinth
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
The Prestige

*Fucking Pirates?!?! That's so ridiculous. What about Curse of the Golden Flower?

CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Black Dahlia, Vilmos Zsigmond
Children of Men, Emmanuel Lubezki
The Illusionist, Dick Pope
Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo Navarro
The Prestige, Wally Pfister
*I'm sort of anti-Illusionist, but good for Dick Pope on his first nomination. I think Lubezki is my favorite in this list. He shot my fave from last year, too: The New World. This is a cool list, though, I would've loved to have seen The Fountain place.

COSTUME DESIGN
Curse of the Golden Flower
The Devil Wears Prada
Dreamgirls
Marie Antoinette
The Queen

*The academy done good here. That Prada got a nomination is really a great step in the right direction for the costume branch, which has consistently ignored brilliant contemporary work (Remember Clueless?) The others on the list are excellent. I love Sharen Davis's work and I think the costumes from Golden Flower are out of control and fabulous. And Milena Canonero deserves all the nominations she gets.

EDITING
Babel
Blood Diamond
Children of Men
The Departed
United 93

*Another nice list. Except for fucking Blood Diamond. Why is that picture making an appearance anywhere?

FOREIGN LANGUAGE
After the Wedding - Denmark
Days of Glory (Indigènes) - Algeria
The Lives of Others - Germany
Pan’s Labyrinth - Mexico
Water - Canada
*These better be some damn good films, because Volver, which didn't place is brilliant. To be fair, I love Water and I really liked Pan's Labyrinth, but no Volver??? I am sad about that. I love me some Pedro.

MAKEUP
Apocalypto
Click
Pan’s Labyrinth

*Um, Click? Really?

ORIGINAL SCORE
Babel - Gustavo Santaolalla
The Good German - Thomas Newman
Notes on a Scandal - Philip Glass
Pan’s Labyrinth - Javier Navarrete
The Queen - Alexandre Desplat
*Now, you know I love Philip Glass, but the score for Notes on a Scandal is insistent and jarring. I mean, I'm glad he got a nomination and all, but I wish it had been for The Illusionist or something else. Ditto Alexandre Desplat's first nomination. I wish he had gotten nominated for The Painted Veil instead of The Queen. As usual, the music branch is on crack and brilliant at the same time. Thank god, though, that John Williams didn't make an appearance this year. He's ineligible this year, which is the only reason. Expect him back in 2008.

ORIGINAL SONG
"I Need to Wake Up" from An Inconvenient Truth, Music and Lyric by Melissa Etheridge
"Listen" from Dreamgirls Music by Henry Krieger and Scott Cutler, Lyric by Anne Preven
"Love You I Do" from Dreamgirls, Music by Henry Krieger, Lyric by Siedah Garrett
"Our Town" from Cars, Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
"Patience" from Dreamgirls, Music by Henry Krieger, Lyric by Willie Reale
*Hee hee. Three Dreamgirls tunes. So nice for Henry Krieger. They're good songs, too. I have to say.

SOUND EDITING
Apocalypto
Blood Diamond
Flags of Our Fathers
Letters from Iwo Jima
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

*Should I complain some more about Blood Diamond? I am happy to see Flags here, though. I'm the only one in the world who loved that film, it seems, except for the sound branch at AMPAS.

SOUND MIXING
Apocalypto
Blood Diamond
Dreamgirls
Flags of Our Fathers
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

*Um, how are these two categories different? I've never understood that.

VISUAL EFFECTS
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Poseidon
Superman Returns

*This makes me want to sing "There's Got to Be a Morning After". And I guess this means I have to finally see Poseidon.

Award Totals:
8 Dreamgirls
7 Babel
6 El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan's Labyrinth)
6 The Queen
5 Blood Diamond
5 The Departed
4 Letters from Iwo Jima
4 Little Miss Sunshine
4 Notes on a Scandal
4 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
3 Apocalypto
3 Children of Men
3 Little Children
2 Cars
2 Flags of Our Fathers
2 The Devil Wears Prada
2 The Prestige
2 United 93


Big winner of the day: Pan's Labyrinth and Blood Diamond (fist to the sky!), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (second fist to the sky!)
Big losers of the day: Dreamgirls, Casino Royale, Flags of Our Fathers, Volver