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

31 January 2007

The Nominees: Part I of VIII

I did this last year and I like how it turned out, so I'm going to do it again. There are more films this year (40 as opposed to last year's 35) and I've seen fewer (I had seen 81 by this time last year and this year I've seen a mere 67). Also, you should note that I have 34 films I'd like to see before I close the books on 2006, and so this list and especially the rankings remain in flux--since I know I'm seeing Marie Antoinette tomorrow evening and will doubtless see The Black Dahlia this weekend, etc., etc. At any rate, this is the first of eight planned entries, so from the top:


DREAMGIRLS
8 Nominations:

  • Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy
  • Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson
  • Best Costume Design: Sharen Davis (Ray)
  • Best Art Direction: John Myhre (last year's winner: Memoirs of a Geisha), Nancy Haigh (who also has a trophy, for Bugsy)
  • Best Sound Mixing
  • Best Original Song: "Listen" sung by Beyoncé Knowles and written by Henry Kreiger, Scott Cutler and Anne Preven
  • Best Original Song: "Love You I Do" sung by Jennifer Hudson and written by Henry Kreiger and Siedah Garrett
  • Best Original Song: "Patience" sung by Eddie Murphy & Anika Noni Rose and written by Henry Kreiger and Willie Reale

  • Director: Bill Condon (Kinsey, Gods and Monsters)
    Cast: Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy, Anika Noni Rose, Danny Glover, Keith Robinson

    This movie was slated as the frontrunner for Best Picture by pundits and was thought to be the frontrunner for the big trophy on Oscar night but, alas, the film was not nearly as good as everyone predicted it would be and failed to get its predicted Best Picture nomination. Bill Condon also got snubbed as Best Director. The film failed for all sorts of reasons, but critics mostly agree that the film's stars, Beyoncé Knowles and Jamie Foxx, are the ones who really failed. Nevertheless, it looks pretty (much like last year's Memoirs of a Geisha) and got the most nominations of any film. Oscar was paying attention to this movie, but didn't particularly care for it.
    Will Win: Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Sound Mixing
    Might Also Win: Best Art Direction, Best Original Song
    My Rating: #34 out of 67

    BABEL
    7 Nominations:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Best Supporting Actress: Rinko Kikuchi
  • Best Supporting Actress: Adriana Barraza
  • Best Original Screenplay: Guillermo Arriaga
  • Best Original Score: Gustavo Santaloalla (last year's winner Brokeback Mountain)
  • Best Film Editing

  • Director: Iñárritu (21 Grams, Amores Perros)
    Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael García Bernal, Adriana Barraza, Rinko Kikuchi, Kôji Yakusho, Michael Peña, Clifton Collins Jr.

    Everyone seems to think this film has prestige written all over it. It has some great movie-star-in-makeup-that-makes-me-look-ugly parts and is genuinely emotionally affecting if heavy-handed. The film has support across the board, though it may end up going home with nothing, like last year's Good Night, and Good Luck.
    Will Win: N/A
    Might Also Win: Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, Best Film Editing, Best Origina; Score
    My Rating: #24 out of 67

    THE QUEEN
    6 Nominations:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Director: Stephen Frears (The Grifters)
  • Best Actress: Helen Mirren (Gosford Park, The Madness of King George)
  • Best Original Screenplay: Peter Morgan
  • Best Costume Design: Consolata Boyle
  • Best Original Score: Alexandre Desplat

  • Director: Frears (Mrs Henderson Presents, Dirty Pretty Things, High Fidelity, Dangerous Liaisons, My Beautiful Laundrette)
    Cast: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, Helen McCrory, James Cromwell, Sylvia Syms, Alex Jennings

    Michael Sheen was totally robbed for a nomination. I also really loved Helen McCrory in this film. This is easily my favorite of the Best Picture nominees. As far as Oscar goes, I think for them this film is "The Helen Mirren Show" and not much more, a lot like last year's Capote.
    Will Win: Best Actress, Best Original Score
    Might Also Win: Best Original Screenplay
    My Rating: #9 out of 67

    EL LABERINTO DEL FAUNO (PAN'S LABYRINTH)
    6 Nominations:

  • Best Original Screenplay: Guillermo Del Toro
  • Best Foreign Language Film: Mexico (El Crimen del Padre Amaro, Amores Perros)
  • Best Cinematography: Guillermo Navarro
  • Best Art Direction: Eugenio Caballero, Pilar Revuelta
  • Best Original Score: Javier Navarrete
  • Best Makeup

  • Director: Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, The Devil's Backbone, Blade II, Mimic)
    Cast: Sergi López, Maribel Verdú, Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Álex Angulo, Doug Jones

    This is a horror film! The fact that it's doing so well with the Academy is a bit of an anomaly. Fantasy films occasionally do well--okay not that often. But that a horror film did this well is really shocking. These nominations surprised a lot of people, me included, but the film is excellent and I feel like the Academy really did something right here.
    Will Win: Best Foreign Language Film, Best Art Direction, Best Makeup
    Might Also Win: Best Cinematography
    My Rating: #16 out of 67

    THE DEPARTED
    5 Nominations:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Director: Martin Scorsese (The Aviator, Gangs of New York, GoodFellas, The Last Temptation of Christ, Taxi Driver)
  • Best Supporting Actor: Mark Wahlberg
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: William Monahan
  • Best Film Editing

  • Director: Scorsese (Bringing Out the Dead, Kundun, Casino, The Age of Innocence, Cape Fear, The Color of Money, Raging Bull)
    Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, Alec Baldwin

    This movie is probably the most widely loved of all the candidates this year (as opposed to just generally supported). And the public loves this movie too. It made tons of money and boasts--bar none--the best acting ensemble of any film this year, in my opinion. Warner completely botched the marketing of this film, or you would see many more nominations than you do, including one for Best Actor, one for Cinematography, and an additional one for Best Supporting Actor. The performances in this movie are really outstanding. I expect this movie to take the big prize at the end of the night, but we all know that Best Picture is the most confusing it's been in forever, so who knows what will happen. let me just give one final shout out to the Academy for nominating the perennially underappreciated Mark Wahlberg. His was my favorite performance in the film and I was as excited as I've ever been on nomination morning to hear his name read. Now, if they could just get around to recognizing the brilliance that is Alec Baldwin...
    Will Win: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing
    Might Also Win: N/A
    My Rating: #30 out of 67

    More to come...