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

12 February 2007

The Nominees: Part VI of VIII


DAS LEBEN DER ANDEREN (THE LIVES OF OTHERS)
1 Nomination:

  • Best Foreign Language Film: Germany (Sophie Scholl: the Final Days, Downfall and a win for Nowhere in Africa in 2003)

  • Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
    Cast: Ulrich Mühe, Sebastian Koch, Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Tukur

    This movie is getting stellar reviews and is considered the one that can beat Pan's Labyrinth for the Foreign Language Oscar. The Del Toro film, of course, has six Oscar nominations and should be pretty much unbeatable, but everyone thought that about Amélie in 2002 and it didn't go home with a trophy (it lost to the far superior No Man's Land). I have yet to see this picture. It's out in Los Angeles, but has not ambled its way to Tallahassee, so though I can barely wait, I guess I will have to.
    Will Win: N/A
    Might Also Win: Best Foreign Language Film
    My Rating: Unranked: Released in 2007.

    WATER
    1 Nomination:

  • Best Foreign Language Film: Canada (recent winner for Denys Arcand's The Barbarian Invasions. Canada's other two nominations are also Arcand films: Jesus of Montreal and The Decline of the American Empire)

  • Director: Deepa Mehta (Earth, Fire, Bollywood/Hollywood, The Republic of Love)
    Cast: Sarala, Lisa Ray, Seema Biswas, John Abraham, Waheeda Rehman

    This movie is very moving and beautifully shot. It also has a good back-story. The film is part of a series of films by Mehta concerning the four elements. The Academy changed its rules this year for the language of the films in this category. Last year, Italy submitted a film entirely in Aramaic, but it was asked to resubmit because according to the old rules the foreign language had to be one that was actually spoken by a large number of the population of the film's home country. This happened a couple years earlier with the UK as well (they had submitted a British film shot entirely in an Indian language (Urdu? I can't remember.)) At any rate, this year they changed the rules, allowing Canada to submit Water, a film made by Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta and shot almost entirely in Hindi.
    Will Win: N/A
    Might Also Win: N/A
    My Rating: #7 of 71

    EFTER BRYLLUPPET (AFTER THE WEDDING)
    1 Nomination:

  • Best Foreign Language Film: Denmark (two wins in the 1980s—Babette's Feast and Pelle the Conqueror, but nothing in the last fifteen years)

  • Director: Susanne Bier (Brothers)
    Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Rolf Lassgård, Sidse Babett Knudsen

    Bier's previous movie was a moody war drama of which a lot of people were fond. I wasn't particularly enamored, but it did star the lovely Connie Nielsen. This film is supposedly excellent (it ought to be, since it beat out Volver for a nomination in this category). It probably doesn't have much of a chance of winning, but this nomination ensures a pretty kind reception by movie-goers when it is eventually released in theatres in this country.
    Will Win: N/A
    Might Also Win: N/A
    My Rating: Unranked: Released in 2007.

    INDIGÈNES (DAYS OF GLORY)
    1 Nomination:

  • Best Foreign Language Film: Algeria (Dust of Life ['96], Le Bal ['84], and a win in 1970 for Costa-Gavras's Z)

  • Director: Rachid Bouchareb (Little Senegal, Dust of Life)
    Cast: Jamel Debbouze, Samy Naceri, Roschdy Zem, Sami Bouajila

    I know next to nothing about this film except that it's a WWII movie. You know how the Academy loves its WWII dramas. This probably won't translate to a win for Algeria, but it's nice to see Bouchareb get another nomination. Again, I hope this movie is really good, because it beat out the magnificent Volver for a nomination.
    Will Win: N/A
    Might Also Win: N/A
    My Rating: Unranked: Released in 2007.

    THE BLACK DAHLIA
    1 Nomination:

  • Best Cinematography: Vilmos Zsigmond (The River, The Deer Hunter, and a trophy for Close Encounters of the Third Kind)

  • Director: Brian De Palma (Mission to Mars, Snake Eyes, Mission: Impossible, The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Untouchables, Scarface, Carrie)
    Cast: Josh Hartnett, Aaron Eckhart, Scarlett Johanssen, Hilary Swank, Mia Kirshner, Fiona Shaw

    This movie, I think, expected a lot more. This film was supposed to be the second coming of the brilliance that was L.A. Confidential. It wasn't. Everyone I know hated this movie, and when I was in Los Angeles last I was listening to a radio program on NPR, where people were calling in trashing this film. The guest on the show was—of all people—head Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan, who had a new book out and was spending a lot of his time trashing on The Black Dahlia. When I finally saw the film, I understood why everyone was so down on the movie, but despite the general hatred for the film. There are very few people who dislike Vilmos Zsigmond. He's a widely respected guy who deserves his nomination, despite the film's many failings.
    Will Win: N/A
    Might Also Win: N/A
    My Rating: #66 of 71