Sunday, February 24, 2008

Academy Awards: 4 out of 5 Ain't Bad

I saw JUNO on Friday night and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN last night, getting me to 4 out of 5 of the Best Picture nominees. Unfortunately, THERE WILL BE BLOOD won't get viewed in time{sorry, Doug, I can't help you out on that one}.

Random thoughts...

JUNO and NCFOM wre both good, but personally I don't see what all the fuss is about- I neither loved nor hated both of these. JUNO is a George W Bush film {a great divider}, and people are either raving about it or hating on it hard. I'm right in the middle- I didn't hate it but it's not the most amazing shit I've seen either. As far as the dialog, yeah maybe it was mildly annoying, but hell I have no idea how 16 year olds talk these days, so no biggie. My problem with this movie is that although it was wonderfully acted, I just didn't find Juno's character to be that believable or realistic. I find it hard to believe that a 16 year old would really be so nonchalant and flippant through that whole experience, and that her dad would be so chill as well. That's more down to the story and the writing, as I said the acting was great- I especially liked how Jason Bateman played his likable character and Jennifer Garner played her not so likable character so well.

NCFOM did an amazing job of creating truly suspenseful/tense/scary scenes that were unpredictable and made me genuinely on edge, but methinks that falls more in line with the Best Direction category than Best Picture. The unresolved ending didn't really bother me, as this movie doesn't seem to be about a linear storyline rather than the theme of being an old man and trying to come to terms with the world passing you by, so no worries there. The story was good but not great, and I'm trying to figure out if all the violence was really merited or if it was violence for violence sake & a bit of violence porn like in PULP FICTION.

Anyhow, that leaves ATONEMENT and MICHAEL CLAYTON, both of which I personally liked better than the aforementioned two, which along with THERE WILL BE BLOOD seem to be getting all the buzz. They are pretty damn different, so it's had to choose between the two, but I suppose in the end ATONEMENT gave me more to think about afterwards and got me pondering some pretty philosophical shit- how to you make amends for a sin that is unforgivable? etc, etc. On the other hand, I'm sure if I had read the book before hand I wouldn't have liked it, since the next movie that is as good as or better than the book will be the first.

So of the 4 I saw I would rank them 1A ATONEMENT, 1B MICHAEL CLAYTON, 3 NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, 4 JUNO.

Bardem was good in NCFOM, but not to the level that everyone is freaking out about. I thought that Wilkinson was better in MICHAEL CLAYTON, and I thought that Phillip Seymour Hoffman was better than both of them in CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR.

I didn't see 4 of the 5 films for Best Actor, so no use in talking about that. I did think that Tommy Lee Jones was outstanding in NCFOM fwiw.

And although I failed to catch either of the 2 documentaries about Iraq, or the one about the Afghan taxi driver, I did see SICKO and WARDANCE, and I am pulling hard for WARDANCE to win Best Documentary- I thought the movie was amazing, and if it doesn't win then I am running out to watch what beats it, cause you are going to have to come pretty damn strong to beat that.

So there it is. My $0.02, even though I'm not nearly as knowledgeable as Solon, whose Oscars breakdown can be seen here.

Show's in 1 hour. Enjoy.

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