Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Awards Season Update!!

New York Film Critics:

Best Picture - Milk

Best Director - Mike Leigh (Happy-Go-Lucky)

Best Actor - Sean Penn (Milk)

Best Actress - Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky)

Best Supporting Actor - Josh Brolin (Milk)

Best Supporting Actress - Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)

Best Screenplay - Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married)

Best Cinematographer - Anthony Dod Mantle (Slumdog Millionaire)

Best Foreign Film - 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Best Animated Film - WALL-E

Best First Film - Courtney Hunt (Frozen River)

Best Documentary - Man on Wire

So they clearly went down the Milk route. Very cool. I feel awful commenting on this awards season when I have seen nothing. I am allowed to have very few opinions. I had heard that the NYFC was not overly pumped about The Dark Knight. So this gives Milk a bit of a boost which is greateven though it is a lock at this point for Picture. It gives Sean Penn aboost though which is good. He does not need it either but in terms ofmaking the stakes higher between him and Mickey Rourke, he does need togather up some momentum for the possible win. So this is good.

L.A Film Critics:

Picture: “Wall-E”
Runner-up: “The Dark Knight”

Director: Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Runner-up: Christopher Nolan, “The Dark Knight”

Actor: Sean Penn, “Milk”
Runner-up: Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler”

Actress: Sally Hawkins, “Happy-Go-Lucky”
Runner-up: Melissa Leo, “Frozen River”

Supporting actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
Runner-up: Eddie Marsan, “Happy-Go-Lucky”

Supporting actress: Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and “Elegy”
Runner-up: Viola Davis, “Doubt”

Screenplay: Mike Leigh, “Happy-Go-Lucky”
Runner-up: Charlie Kaufman, “Synecdoche, New York”

Foreign-language film: “Still Life”
Runner-up: “The Class”

Documentary: “Man on Wire”
Runner-up: “Waltz With Bashir”

Animation: “Waltz With Bashir”

Cinematography: Yu Lik Wai, “Still Life”
Runner-up: Anthony Dod Mantle, “Slumdog Millionaire”

Production design: Mark Friedberg, “Synecdoche, New York”
Runner-up: Nathan Crowley, “The Dark Knight”

Music/score: A.R. Rahman, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Runner-up: Alexandre Desplat, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

New Generation: Steve McQueen, “Hunger”

Douglas E. Edwards independent/experimental film/video: James Benning,“RR” and “Casting a Glance”

Unfortunately the L.A Film Critics rewarding Wall-E Best Picture means nothing. They like to pick different things. They like to take a chance on different films that they feel will not get the credit it deserves when itcomes to the Oscars. Thus they pick Wall-E and do their part to spead theword about the gravity of the film. Looks like the L.A Film Critics are mykind of people. They picked Wonder Boys as a runner up for Best Picture in 2000. Mulholland Drive for RU in 2001 with David Lynch winning Director(fuck you Oscars) and the list goes on with interesting choices of performances and other such stuff that takes a chance to recognize people they know will not be recognized.

I think it's funny that Sasha Stone thought it was dumb to reward Wall-E (not because she does not like the film) because she feels that they were trying too hard to steer away from typical Oscar picks. I find it funny that trying not to go with the flow of the Oscars is somehow wrong. The Oscars as much as I love them have no real meaning in the end. Everyone gets that its all politics. Yes the Oscar's picks always contain some of the years best work but it is never a fair competition and there are always films that are considered to be some of the best that never get due attention because they aren't big enough or they come from other countries. Or Lord help us if it's fucking animated. So while I do not think that one should award something Best Picture just to break away from the mainstream, the fact of the matter is, the best film usually is not from the mainstream Oscar films. I believe that like twice out of the last 8 years the film that I thought was the best of the decade was not even nominated. And no these are not crappy movies, in every case the film got some of the best reviews of the year. But the Oscars by this time latch on to a select few, most of which are probably great but it does not mean that lots of other equally impressive works get the shaft. I may latch on to Awards Season like mad; it motivates me to see a ton of movies and its just plain fun. But I never take anything they have to say very seriously. I am happy to see things that I want to win, win. But in the end they are ridiculous. It's just a game So which is worse Sasha; depending on campaigning and money and big names to win Oscars along with the quality, or simply trying to look more at the work and happening to find something different. Maybe they weren't going out of their way to do that. Maybe they were just trying to be fair award givers.

I also find it amusing that Stone cannot understand the hype surrounding Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder. To each her or his own as they say.

Now for Peter Travers Top 10 of the Year:

1. Milk
2. Slumdog Millionaire
3. The Dark Knight
4. Frost/Nixon
6. Revolutionary Road
7. The Visitor
8. Doubt
9. Rachel Getting Married
10. Man on Wire

It is weird that Wall-E is number 5 since he gave it 4 stars. But I guess as time passes certain movies stick a little more. Cool for Milk. I need to see more movies! I've seen nothing! I cannot comment on this race at all this year!!

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