Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Very Brief Notes on Many Scandals

Little Miss Sunshine here, dashing off some first impressions on the way to work:

YAY! for Gosling. The Dreamgirls camp must be reeeeeeeally glum. Surely it's never happened that the movie with the most nominations isn't even nominated for Best Picture? By my count, the five movies that did squeeze into the top race only racked up 26 nominations among them—an incredibly low number, even lower than last year's 29. In 1998, for example, the Best Picture nominees combined for 45 nominations, with Shakespeare in Love getting 13 by its damn self. This downward trend is bad for Best Picture producers, but good for the Academy, and for audiences, because the categories don't repeat each other so endlessly.

By the way, speaking of Best Picture producers, how come everyone's still figuring out who gets credit for The Departed and Little Miss Sunshine? Is Brad Pitt, co-producer of The Departed, about to get two smackdowns this morning?

Nice showings for Children of Men (Lubezki!) and Pan's Labyrinth...with 6 noms, I can't have been far off with all those Pan's predictions, even though I'd counted on higher-category mentions.

Only five nominations for The Departed? And Wahlberg's the only acting nominee? That's a little bit Rod Serling, isn't it?

Here's what it looks like when Oscar truly doesn't care about your movie, though: I came thisclose to predicting against Volver (I was right when I said the Academy "might be a little Pedro'd out"); the movie missed in Original Screenplay and even in Best Foreign-Language Film. More surprising to me is the flat-out rejection of Casino Royale; even though I didn't hate Blood Diamond the way some of my colleagues did, it's a much less inspiring film to rack up all those technical nods—to say nothing of the weird Leo problem. (I didn't even hear "Blood Diamond" when they read that nom.)

I'm still waiting for someone to explain to me what Borat is "adapting" (wasn't Nia Vardalos an "original" for doing the same thing, even with a one-woman playscript in her hand?), or how Iris Yamashita didn't adapt the published letters of Gen. Kuribayashi, as the on-screen credits attest. Why aren't those nods flipped?

I don't have a single memory of the Good German score; the composers sure jacked The Painted Veil, but at least Desplat got in for The Queen.

An Oscar nomination for Click is sort of a hurtful thing, at least in the abstract, but I guess I'll take a look at the movie in an attempt to understand. Conversely, I am quite pleased for the unfairly maligned Poseidon, though I don't think its visual effects were even at the level of its cinematography, production design, and sound work.

I have to admit I'm kind of bored by the magician movies in Cinematography. The Prestige looked good but not incredible, and The Illusionist looked inexpensively fussed-over but sort of blah. I know all the reviews said it was brilliantly in keeping with Victorian palettes and lighting effects, etc., but I actually thought it looked tacky. Still, I hate to kick a movie when it's down and all, but I'm really gratified that Dreamgirls missed out in this particular category: that was one fugly movie, from a lighting or framing perspective. (I'm thrilled, though, for costume designer Sharen Davis, who hopefully has a decent shot against Devil Wears Prada's Pat Field. I think they're each other's competition.)

Am I right to have called for a three-wide category for Best Song? "Our Town" from Cars? Seriously? Did the Academy understand, or did I misunderstand, that within the logic of Dreamgirls, "Patience" represents a blandified selling out to a conservative, quietistic 80s aesthetic?

I bet Modern Fabulousity is pissed about Dreamgirls, but happy for Paul Greengrass; Nathaniel is trying to deal with the Clint Eastwood steamroll through Picture, Director, and Screenplay; StinkyLulu is having his worst fears confirmed about an uninteresting roster in Best Supporting Actress, even though I saw Little Miss Sunshine with him, and I remember how much he liked Abigail Breslin; and Tim R, like me, is ready to congratulate Ryan Gosling and go back to sleep. Even though a lot of us Oscar queens will find plenty to be miffed about, I loved that Salma Hayek, at least, was so emotional and excited.

Meanwhile, "I Need to Wake Up," but it's time that I Departed. That's All.

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Blogger StinkyLulu said...

Yes yes yes, I did quite like Miss Abigail.

And though I need to wait until I finally have the opportunity to see Notes on a Scandal (maybe opening at a theatre near YOU, but not ME)... I suspect she's in my first or second slot of the actual nominees. (We'll have to wait until the Supporting Actress Smackdown - 2006 to be sure...)

9:23 AM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger tim r said...

YAY for Gosling, yay for Greengrass and Lubezki, yay for Wahlberg over Nicholson — the day's biggest upset? — and, yeah, pretty much zzz for everything else. Thanks for hosting, Nick!

2:41 PM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger tim r said...

I'm glad United 93 got editing too, that's surely well deserved (and certainly on my own list). But I'm surprised there's no make-up mention for The Queen. I think it's the one nomination I'd actually give it!

This year's nod for being beautiful, black, photogenically sweaty and, y'know, noble, and in a movie, goes to... Djimon Hounsou! There's one thing to thank Blood Diamond for: they'd have had to nominate him for Eragon otherwise.

2:58 PM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger J.J. said...

Fugly. That's the word.

3:54 PM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

actually I'm OK for now with the Clint thing (partially because i predicted he was still in the race -lack of precursor support isn't that big of a deal if you're a god to the industry and the media.

what I ain't OK with is that B- for Duck Season. why you wanna hurt me?
almost all my favorites this year B-!!!! when will we ever agree again ;)

6:48 PM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Ali said...

This post has been removed by the author.

9:41 PM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Ali said...

I can understand the B- for Duck Season somewhat; my grade is only slightly higher. The first half really bothered me (the endless fades to black, the transparent machinery of the initial plot turns - getting all those characters into the apartment namely, the overstating of what the painting "means" re: the title), but I was mostly won over with what came after.

But Nick and Tim are definitely spot-on with the Death of Mr. Lazarescu love. Incredible film.

9:42 PM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger tim r said...

I really liked Duck Season too, Nat. Think I gave it a B+.

2:34 AM, January 24, 2007  

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