So the day of Academy Awards and I'm less than thrilled about this year's show. At least last year, I could get jazzed about Jon Stewart hosting, Dolly Parton performing, and Walk the Line. Ellen is so milquetoast as a host; I guess after two more "controversial" hosts (Chris Rock and Stewart), the Academy wanted to play it safe.
The best pictures of 2006 (in my humble opinion) were not even nominated and got crumbs in the nominations: Children of Men and Casino Royale. I've seen all but one of the Best Pic noms and they leave me with an "eh" feeling. While I enjoyed all of them in their own way (especially Sunshine), none of them really bowled me over. I was also disappointed to see no love for V for Vendetta, especially not for Hugo Weaving who performed brilliantly in a style of acting that could almost be considered a throwback to ancient Greece. He created a character strictly using his voice and body, and by the end of the movie, I had no problem feeling empathy for a mask. But the Academy is known for giving the cold shoulder to sci-fi/futuristic/action/comic book movies except in technical noms. Sigh. No love for us geeks.
The other big awards:
Helen Mirren WAS the Queen. I stopped seeing her as an actor, and after about 30 minutes into the movie, I fully believed I was watching a documentary on QE II herself.
I'm miffed that Hugo Weaving and Daniel Craig weren't recognized in acting noms, but from what everyone has said, Forrest Whittaker is the bomb so I'm okay if he wins (Despite his involvement in that retarded ER subplot.). I can't bring myself to see Half Nelson because I am so tired of the Hollywood cliche "white teacher as middle class savior in an urban school who learns something about life from his/her disadvantaged charges" film.
I'm sure Eddie Murphy will win for Supporting, but Alan Arkin's performance was fab: acerbic humor tinged with pathos and love. Still think Steve Carrell should have also been nominated for his pleasantly non-cartoonish and sweetly human portrayal of a gay man. Ya don't see much of that in the movies.
While I am sure Jennifer Hudson will waltz away with the Oscar for her showy role, Rinko Kikuchi's performance absolutely broke my heart. She deftly portrayed both the frustrations of being a teenage girl and the isolation of her disability. Beautiful.
All the other noms are really up in the air. Hoping Pan's Labrinyth will get recognized for something. I was also sad to see little recognition for The Prestige, even though I haven't seen it. It's a Christopher Nolan film with Christian Bale. I mean, jeez, they should create an award to give these guys.
I'd like to see one year where certain films don't sweep all the catagories. Last year, when there was no Brokeback tidal wave, I was relieved. I think it is more interesting when the little gold men are spread around and shows that the Academy isn't getting carried away by the hype of one of two movies and actually judging each film by its merits.
Again, thank the good Lord for TiVo so I can go to bed at a reasonable hour and not be forced to suffer through endless Hollywood back-patting to find out Best Picture. I love that "bloop-bloop" of the fast forward!