As Cool As A Fruitstand

…and maybe as strange. A movie blog.

For Your Consideration

Posted by Hedwig on January 19, 2008

I know, I know, I generally stay away from awards hoopla. And really, I have long ago stopped really caring about the Oscars. But I’m facing a lack in content (my editor reminded me that since filmtotaal gives me the opportunity to go to screenings, I should write about them there, first, and much as I hate to admit it, he has a point there), and I’m afraid that the AMPAS will do what it always does, and leave out some of the worthier candidates.

I know, I know, nomination ballots are in already, but hey, it’s not like my little blog was going to have any influence, anyway. And I’m not saying the people and films mentioned here should win. But I think they definitely deserve a nomination, and will almost certainly be overlooked. One per category.

BEST FILM: The Assassination of Jesse James

It’s amazing how this film has grown in my estimation. I’m not sure I’ll still agree if I see it a second time. It’s not the masterpiece it wants to be, and in a year that produced so many great movies it’s understandable that it would get forgotten. But I think that more than Juno, more than Michael Clayton, this is a film that will still be watched ten years from now, a film that is so timeless that it will remain relevant. More than all that, it’s a film that takes you into its fully defined and inhabited world. And if I close my eyes, and put on the wonderful score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, I’m transported back there.

BEST DIRECTOR: Wes Anderson

The Darjeeling Limited is not Anderson’s best film. But I’ll argue that it relies much more on direction than his previous films, and a little less on script and art direction. Despite what everyone says, he is developing, and it’s crazy that one of the most creative young directors, with one of the most recognizable, idiosyncratic and inimitable personal styles, has never even been nominated for a directing oscar. Yes, you read it right, I said inimitable. Anderson may be partly to blame for the inundation of quirk we’re experiencing nowadays. But nobody has ever even approached his level.

BEST ACTOR: Viggo Mortensen

This nomination actually has a shot of happening, though it’s small. It’s a disgrace that Mortensen’s work as Tom Stall went unnominated, and he’s even better as Nicolai. “I’m just the driver” indeed. I won’t say too much because I already have before, but it’s an amazing performance, understated and layered, and it deserves to be nominated, no matter how awesome Daniel Day-Lewis is.

BEST ACTRESS: Carice van Houten

This is a tough one for me: Many of the year’s best films were very male dominated. So I’ll go for a performance I haven’t even seen, purely out of Dutch pride. I’ve seen some of Carice’s other work, and I have no doubt she knocks it out of the park in Zwartboek/Black Book too.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Garret Dillahunt

I’m not even certain whether he should be nominated for No Country For Old Men or for The Assassination of Jesse James. His somewhat bumbling, but nonetheless pretty smart deputy in No Country is great, providing laughs without being stock comic relief, while his Ed Miller is a quiet, somewhat slow, lonely man, who might just be the heart of that movie, his fear and confusion written clearly on his face. They’re two great performances that do exactly what supporting performances are supposed to do: they make the respective movies more complete.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Kelly McDonald

Do Brits have inherently better taste than Americans? I don’t know, but both Viggo and McDonald were nominated for the BAFTA’s, and it warmed my heart. Kelly McDonald has only won 1 award from a group of critics so far, and I just don’t get it. She’s the soul of this movie, and her character is what makes sure you can’t just stand outside this film and admire it just for its formal perfection. Her last scene is what makes sure there are no clean getaways for the audience, either.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: 2 days in Paris

Julie Delpy does Woody Allen, and who would have thought she’d do it so well? The movie has everything, from broad comedy to insight into relationships and why the hell we still try to make them work. It’s not a big film. It’s not quippy like I’m sure Juno is. But it’s a movie I can recommend to everyone who likes self-deprecating humor – and who doesn’t mind a somewhat uncomfortable feeling of recognition.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: nothing, really

I’m tempted to say Beowulf, but that would based on what I think the script was before it got Zemeckis’ised. Gaiman & Avery managed to make the Beowulf story more coherent, both plotwise and thematically. Unfortunately, the end product was as simplistic as could be, and more about penis-jokes than about questioning how heroic the hero really is, and how monstrous the monster.

There it goes. Any underdogs you particularly want to champion?

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4 Responses to “For Your Consideration”

  1. […] bookmarks tagged cool For Your Consideration saved by 1 others     finch250 bookmarked on 01/19/08 | […]

  2. Kaj said

    Tommmy Lee Jones. He did two of the best performances of his career this year, and he only has a very small chance at a supporting nom for No Country.

  3. sarcastig said

    I don’t know, I think he might make it. But you’re right that he’s great, and he tends to get overlooked because he’s ALWAYS great. Superficially, Ed Tom Bell is just like half a dozen other characters he played, but look a little deeper and he’s quite a different kind of guy, not least because he’s scared.

  4. Kaj said

    Fincher’s also been given the high hat this year.

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