Friday, July 27, 2012

Best Director picks for the 2000''s

Just for fun, I've decided to post my picks for Best Director for the 2000's because those are the films I've seen the most:

Best Director:

2000: Steven Soderbergh for Traffic, Ang Lee is amazing, but Soderberg is simply brilliant.

2001: Peter Jackson, his acheievement was terrific.

2002: Rob Marshall, he really made Chicago soar.

2003: Undecided, both Jackson, Coppola, and Eastwood are all so great!!!

2004: Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby is perfectly directed, if not perfectly written.

2005: Paul Haggis, I may be in a minority around here, but I love Crash, and his direction is fantastic. He gets incredible performances out of his cast and balances all the stories so well. But I need to rewatch Brokeback and Capote and see G.A.G.L and Munich.

2006: Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu hands down. I still need to see Eastwood and Greengrass's films (Not to mention rewatch The Departed, but innaritu's work on babel is astonishing.

2007: Another undecided, but maybe I'd lean towards Anderson.

2008: Danny Boyle. Daldry and Van Sant are close-runner's up, but I think Slumdog was the film that benefited most from the directing. It was simply dazzling.

2009: I've only seen 2 (Lee Daniels for Precious and Jason Reitman for Up In The Air), and I make it a rule that I need to see at least 3 of the nominees in any category to make my pick.

So, tell me your picks! Your thoughts, do you agree/disagree with me? I'll probably publish a post on my original screenplay and adapted screenplay picks. I also could do profiles on any of these categories!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Best Actress 2004: Kate Winslet in The Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

Kate Winslet received her 4th nomination and 2nd in Best Actress for her performance as Clementine Krucuynski, a free-spirited, wild, yet very fragile girl in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind is a masterpiece. It is brillianty written, directed, and acted. It is truly amazing. The journey it takes you on is so magical in every way: heartbreaking, horrifying, dizzying, you name it. Why it didn't get Best Picture and Best Director nominations is beyond me. Well, at least it won Best Original Screenplay... It is about a man named Joel Barish (Jim Carrey)whose girlfriend Clementine decides to erase him from her memory. Miserable and hurt, he decides to do the same. You can imagine what this process might be like, and Eternal Sunshine's version of it is simply surreal. Anyway, in the middle of it, he decides he wants her back and the two begin to try and escape from the memory erasers who are currently dealing with problems of their own.

Clementine Krucynski is the most challenging character yet in this group of nominees. The structure of the film is simply so crazy in relation to her character, given most of her scenes are the memories that are being erased from inside Joel's mind. I think Richard Roeper described it perfectly when he said "You could say Winslet almost plays multiples roles here". And she does them both wonderfully. Winslet disappears into the role of Clementine and never comes back. She captures all facets of the character: Her fun-loving crazy side, her shy awkwardness, her spontaneousness, her vulnerability, and most surprisingly, her dark side. I remember loving the role of Clementine when I first saw it, but Winslet is not afraid to show the more bitter and negative sides of her character. She can be selfish and push people away, and not care about other people's feelings. Yet, this doesn't mean I hate the character , because Winslet certainly makes her like-able.

She also has amazing chemistry with Jim Carrey, the two are simply so natural together. She's everything he's not, and he's everything she's not, but the two are able to give back so much to each other. I also love the scenes where Clementine is not in his head- Winslet is 100% believable and is so natural and real. I find all of it so terific.

I wasn't as blown away by her as I maybe used to be though. Perhaps it's because Clementine isn't quite as love-able as I thought or maybe it's because I wanted to see more of her (The film follows Carey's character much more).I'd go with the latter. But I still think it's a truly terrific performance that I love. She gets

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Best Actress 2004: Annette Benning in Being Julia

Annette Benning received her third Oscar nomination and 2nd in Best Actress for her portrayal of Julia Lambert, an aging diva of an actress who falls in love with a young boy (Shaun Evans, in an AWFUL performance) who is really manipulating and using her.

Being Julia really is a terrible movie. It is horribly written and none of the actors are up to scratch. It's just very badly made and annoys me to no end and this has to be the reason Benning lost the Oscar and her frontrunner position besides Swank. The material is nothing Oscar voters would award and to tell you the truth, showy, theatrical performances like hers hardly ever win in this category(I went through all the Best Actress winners in my mind today, and the only theatrical performance I can think of is Maggie Smith, tell me if you disagree!).

Anyway, Annette Benning is basically the only one in the film who can survive it, but only in points. In the beginning,her over the top-ness did not convince me and I was turned off by her from the start. It's obvious Julia is an over the top character, but Benning isn't convincing enough in these moments. Her over the top dramatic moments also seems to be too sudden and I just didn't buy it. But as the film goes on, the performance does get better. She displays a certain radiance as Julia starts to come out of her post-show depression as a result of her affair with the young boy and she also is able to survive his horrible interpretation. I love watching these moments, and Benning is great at showing the vulnerability of her character throughout.

The theatrical scenes also get better and become more bearable over time. but unfortunately, her material kills her. It's not like Benning isn't trying, she is trying very hard, but it's hard to believe anyone could make this script work. I also can't stand her big scene at the end, I just don't like her over- mannered style in it. But I do give Annette credit for being the best thing in her movie and being almost great in some moments and I do love her very last scene! She gets

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Poll/Open Thread

Please vote in the poll I've created! I'm having a hard time picking the next year and I've narrowed it down to:

Best Actress 1939

Best Actress 1940

Best Actress 1945

Best Actress 1956

Best Actress 1958

Best Actress 1962

Best Supporting Actress 2000

I decided to throw in a supporting year, because it makes t more interesting. I actually plan on doing supporting years in the futre and when I go back to school, I might be reviving my old Best Supporting Actress project, where I'll watch winners and review them in random order.

Other then that, how are you? Are there any years not on here that you'd like me to do?

Friday, July 20, 2012

The 75th Oscars: A Look Back

In preparation for Annette's profile either this weekend or next week, I've decided to publish another one of these.

Best Picture: Chicago deservedly took home this award, given it was a popular hit that audiences and voters love. And it brought back THE MUSICAL!!!!!! Unfortunately, we haven't had a really great one like this in awhile. Anyway, the runnerup was probably The Pianist, given it had won the BAFTA and scored surprise wins in three major categories. It may have been too quiet and reserved to win the award though. The Hours was not quite liked enough to win, G.O.N.Y was too controversial and the L.O.T.R.T.T.T had no chance given it was almost the guaranteed winner for the next year. My pick: Chicago, it's simply my favorite movie of all time! It made me love musicals and film! I like Two Towers and The Pianist though...

Best Director: Polanski scored a huge upset over frontrunners Marshall and Scorsee. I guess voters felt it was finally time to honor him and The Pianist was definitely a strong achievement. I'm guessing Marshall was an EXTREMELY close competitor given he won the DGA and his film won B.P. People thought Scorsese had a chance, but Gangs was simply so controversial, and Marshall had stolen all his buzz. The other nominees weren't contenders. My Pick: Marshall, pretty easily, but I love Almodovar too.

Best Actor: Adrien Brody pulled a surprise win over his competitors, Jack Nicholson and Daniel Day Lewis. I would have predicted Day Lewis, but I'm guessing voters thought he was too over the top and he didn't need another Oscar quite yet. I think Nicholson's buzz faded and the role is very subtle, again, not something the Academy honors a lot any more! Caine's campaigning probably turned voters off as for lack of buzz around the film, and Cage was a long-shot. My choice: I've seen 3 of them (Cage, Brody, Nicholson), and they were all great! If pressed, I'd pick Nicholson!

Best Actress: Nicole Kidman won here, and although her SAG loss to Zellweger was a blow, I think she edged her out because Nicole may have been considered the stronger, more overdue actress. She had a great year the year before, and sentiment for her divorce with Tom Cruise helped her a lot. Not to mention the role is an extremely juicy one and the past two winners were actresses showing unseen range in dramatic roles (Out of the three, Kidman had the longest dramatic resume,but it's still something that she had never done before). I think voters didn't feel Zellweger needed to win, and cast a vote for her co-star Zeta-Jones instead. Moore was the frontrunner, but her loss of momentum to Kidman and Zellweger and Far From Heaven's lack of buzz caused her to loose, as well as a nomination for her lesser work in The Hours. Diane Lane was a long-shot: I have a hard time believing the Academy would ever honor her film with an Oscar and they probably didn't think she needed an Oscar quite yet either. Salma Hayek had no chance in hell of winning. My Pick: Julianne Moore, sorry Diane and Renee, I love you, but Moore is on a whole other level. Her work in The Hours is not bad at all, but it pales in comparison to her magnificence here.

Best Supporting Actor: Chris Cooper took the award, and I think he was able to maintain his lead given he had won almost everything else and the academy wanted to honor the actor and the film. Walken was obviously the runner-up, given his SAG win, but I think the film was not a big enough hit with the Academy. My pick: Cooper, though I need to rewatch him and Walken.

Best Supporting Actress: Zeta-Jones took it, due to Chicago being the frontrunner and people loving the performance. I'm guessing Meryl was the runner-up, given her G.G and strong campaign. Moore had a shot, but all The Hours buzz seemed to be centered on Kidman, and she was still going to split the votes with her work in Far From Heaven. Neither Bates or Latifah had a chance. My pick: Zeta-Jones, though I love Streep too and respect, but not love Julianne.

Best Original Screenplay: A race between Far From Heaven and Talk To Her, and I'm guessing Talk To Her won given it was more colorful and original. My Pick: Talk To Her, closely followed by Far From Heaven.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Many felt The Hours or Adaptation would win, and I would have to agree,I would have probably given the edge to The Hours. But The Pianist won, it's a good script, but it's not what makes the movie a sucess, in my opinion. My pick: Adaptation hands down. It is so original and great.

So, what would be your picks and preferences? Who did you think would win? Who were the runnerups/dark horses?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Best Actress 2004: Imelda Staunton in Vera Drake

Imelda Staunton received her 1st Oscar nomination for playing Vera Drake, a kind and loveable woman who is actually an abortionist. Eventually, her work comes back to her and she is charged and convicted for her crimes.

Vera Drake isn't that great of a film. I just found the characters not very interesting, besides Vera and Sally Hawkins (Whose storyline is completely wasted). But I think the film was well liked by the Academy, given it was nominated for Staunton's performance, the script, and a surprise directing nomination for Mike Leigh. I think this factor was what gave Imelda the edge over Annete in the role of Hilary's competition, as well as a BAFTA win, but Hilary still walked off with the gold.

Vera Drake is a very happy woman. She is totally commited to her children and her family, and is warm and kind to everyone she meets. The role of Vera could have easily been one-note in the hands of another actress, but thanks to the way imelda plays it, it becomes a terrific one. Throughout the beginning scenes, Vera is very friendly, yet you sense a depth underneath her sunny facade. in some ways, you feel like it is a facade to a certain extent. Vera must convince others that she is not the type of woman who believes these things, and Imelda sells us from the get-go.

Yet, it's the 2nd half where the performance really becomes amazing. Vera's happiness is gone, and Imlelda is simply devastating. All her closeups are truly amazing, and Staunton breaks your heart every time. You see all the emotions in her face. She is shocked and shattered by the realization she has been found out by the authorities, and she is ashamed of the fact she kept it a secret from her children. But she is not ashamed of her actions, because she believes that this was the right thing to do. Her chemistry with her husband in these scenes and throughout the film is fantastic and it is simply so heart-wrenching to watch.

My only complaint is that the role of Vera is a little one-dimensional. Well, I shouldn't say that. I think the role could have been developed more and if it had,Staunton could have been incredible.Still, she completely disappears into the part and gives a beautiful, exceptional performance that gets

Monday, July 16, 2012

Best Actress 2004: Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby

Hilary Swank received her 2nd Oscar nomination and won the Oscar for playing Maggie Fitzgerald in Million Dollar Baby, which also took home Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor.

I think Swank won the award because Million Dollar Baby was the B.P frontrnner and the character is a sympathetic one who is easy to root for. I also think the other nominees all had obstacles that got in the way of them winning. At first, it was Swank Vs. Benning, but the latter's film was a commercial and critical flop and Benning's work isn't material voters would honor. Staunton was her biggest competition, but her momentum came to late to take the prize. The other nominees weren't contenders.

Anyway, Swank's win has to be one of the most hated, but I honestly don't find her that bad here.In the beginning, Swank's eagerness is actually well played and it seems that Swank may be pulling in a strong performance. I also really love the moment where she stands up to Clint Eastwood's character, telling him that he shouldn't say he only he looks at her out of pity.

But unfortuantely, once Eastwood begins to train her, the role becomes very one-dimensional. Maggie is simply a trailer trash girl with a dream, and Swank doesn't go any deeper then that. It's not really her fault, because this is how the character is written, but I don't think Swank found depth in the part. But that being said, her character has some great moments throughout . When they go to see her mother, Swank plays her dissapoint very well and when she tells Frankie that he's the only one she's got, she's perfect. Her later scenes when she's in the condition that she is, she has some powerful moments, but the nature of the character gets in her way again with others.

My overall thoughts are that Swank does the best she can, but she's stuck in a part that keeps her from being great. Still,not as bad as people think she is. She gets

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The 68 Oscars: A Look Back

Well, here we go again with the Oscars for the year 1995, which is a year which is considered weak and not often discussed by Oscar fanatics, which, of course, makes it all the more interesting!.

Best Picture: It's hard to say who the frontrunner was, but I think Mel Gibson's starpower helped catapult Braveheart to victory. I myself have never seen it. I have seen most of Apollo 13 from science class, and I think it's fine, but not very compelling. I think it just didn't have enough momentum to get it. Babe was probably the spoiler, given it was a big hit, but I think voters were hesitant about honoring a kids film.I think Sense And Sensibility would have been honored with Screenplay and Ill Postino had no chance. My pick: Sense And Sensibility, I barely remember Babe. I saw it in the 90' folks. Apollo 13 is not a great film, as I've said.

Best Director: Probably an easy win for Gibson, given Howard was snubbed. My pick: Tim Robbins, easily. Although I admire Figgis's work for Leaving Las Vegas .

Best Actor: Cage won for L..L.V! And it was somewhat of a slam dunk, sometimes a popular performance from an acclaimed actor catches on like wild fire and takes it. i'm guessing Penn was his only competition, and he'd be my pick (Though I need to see Cage again)but they decided to honor D.M.W by giving someone else an award for....

Best Actress: Susan Sarandon. Shue and Streep were the dark horses, but Susan was extremeley overdue and her performance is so perfect and powerful. My pick: Sarandon, although Shue is fantastic too.

Best Supporting Actor:Ed Harris was considered the frontrunner, but I think lack of support for Apollo made him lose. I think the Academy wanted to spread things out this year, and they obviously liked Suspects, given it won Screenplay, thus paving the way for Spacey. My pick: Need to watch and rewatch.

Best Supporting Actress:A very interesting 3 way race occured this year. Many seemed to feel Joan Allen would win for Nixon. I think she had a shot, but her movie wasn't liked very much and Allen didn't have the star power to pull off the win this year. I think Sorvino surprised a lot of people with her now love it or hate it performance, and Miramax's campaign must have worked wonders, plus she won the G.G. I also think Woody is an academy favorite: Wiest did win twice in this category for roles in Woody films after all, including the year before. If I had been a pundit at the time, I would have bet on Winslet. She did win the SAG and the BAFTA and Sense And Sensibility was a well liked film that Winslet did wonderfully in. I guess they figured the 20 year old would have other chances,and she got nominated 5 more times (6 in total), with 6th being the charm.Mare Winningham's film hadn't been seen enough and Quinlan's nom was most likely just filler. My pick: A rewatch is needed, but all of these nominees were great from what I can remember, besides Quinlan who is not bad, but not a standout. I'll do this year very soon as I find fascinating! Tell me your thoughts on this one especially!

Best Original Screenplay: I think The Usual Susects was the frontrunner this year, and Mighty Aphrodite and Toy Story were the spoilers.My pick: I have not seen Suspects yet, but I have seen Nixon, Mighty Aphrodite, and Toy Story. I'd probably pick Toy Story with a nod to Mighty Aphrodite (I LOVE Woody Allen!).

Best Adapted Screenplay: Sense And Sensebility's Emma Thompson was probably a lock. My pick: Probably S.A.S, but Leaving Las Vegas is fantastic too!

Let me just say that Dead Man Walking and Leaving Las Vegas were easily the best films of the year and should have been nominated! Horrible Academy mistake!

Anyway, what were your picks/predictions? What are your favorites/thoughts?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Best Actress 2004

The next Best Actress year I'll be doing is 2004 and the nominees were:

Annette Bening in Being Julia

Catalina Sandino Moreno in Maria Full Of Grace

Imelda Staunton in Vera Drake

Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby

Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

It will be 2 weeks before I officaly start this year. I'll be doing some singing stuff and then going on vacation. All I can say now is Hilary is first. Anyway though, what are your thoughts? What are your predictions? Who is your pick?

Ranking of the Best Actress nominees so far

1. Whoopi Goldberg in the Color Purple (1985)
2. Geraldine Page in The Trip To Bountiful (1985)
3. Jessica Lange in Sweet Dreams (1985)
4. Meryl Streep in Out Of Africa (1985)
5. Anne Bancroft in Agnes Of God (1985)

Since I couldn't upload this video in time on my actual ranking of the nominees, I decided to post this amazing scene here.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Best Actress 1985: The Resolution

5. Anne Bancroft in Agnes OF God: It's not a bad performance by any means, but Anne doesn't spin the part in a solid way. She's all over the place and the film's script is at fault because it didn't give her a consistent enough character. Still, some good moments.

4. Meryl Streep in Out Of Africa: Meryl Streep is at her usual best here, giving a layered and rich portrait of a unique and strong woman. It's just that her film didn't explore the character enough for her to really deliver. That said she is still very good.

3. Jessica Lange in Sweet Dreams: I thought long and hard between Streep and lange for the 3/4 spots, and I eventually gave it to Lange because she had the harder task of creating a 3 dimensional character given that she's stuck in a less- then statisfying movie . Her signature beautiful presence and her wonderful southern fire make an extremely loveable, if not flawless, performance.

2. Geraldine Page in The Trip To Bountiful: Geraldine Page gives such a heartbreaking, wonderfully simple performance in The Trip To Bountiful. She's so real and moving. I love the pain she shows in the character.

1. Whoopi Goldberg in The Color Purple: Goldberg gives such a subtle, beautifully played performance. Every note is right and her development of the character is truly like watching a flower bloom. Terrific work.

Overall Thoughts: A very strong year, though not an amazing one. 5th place was very easy, the rest were very difficult. Geraldine Page almost won, but in the end, Whoopi's quitely powerful work is too good to ignore.Still, a very worthy win for Geraldine and I'm fine with it to a certain extent. The rest, even Bancroft, are worthy nominees. Aren't you proud of me? I've finally finished a year! It's been a whole year since that happened!

My Ranking Of The Nominated Films:
1. The Color Purple(By a landslide, sorry other films! ).
2. The Trip To Bountiful
3. Out Of Africa
4. Agnes Of God
5. Sweet Dreams

I do have a year picked to do next, but I won't start till 2 weeks from now. Do you want me to reveal it now or then? If now, it'll be posted either late to today or most likely tomorrow.

Best Actress 1985: Jessica Lange in Sweet Dreams

Jessica Lange received her 4th Oscar nomination for playing Patsy Cline in Sweet Dreams.

Sweet Dreams is an entertaining film, but it lacks in a lot of crucial ways. I wish it had focused more on her stardom and much(Well,not much,but still less) on her relationship with her husband Charlie (Ed Harris).Still,it's worth seeing and I love it's southern, country feeling.

Jessica Lange plays Patsy Cline and she does an excellent job here.From the moment I saw her, I just knew I was going to love her. She is simply terrific, I think she makes the character that is written much better then any other actress would. She does a radiant job bringing Patsy to life. It's obvious Patsy is from the south, and the brand of southerness Lange brings to the part is simply a treat to watch. Her lip syncing scenes are also impressive, though a tad obvious. But she still captured Cline's style of performing very well.

That said, her performance isn't perfect. I feel the film and her chemistry with Ed Harris bring her down. The two work well together most of the time, but his character is simply so awfully written that she sometimes falls into the same trap. Not to mention the writing, which has many fake scenes that she can't help, but be stuck in. I also think Lange can sometimes be fake on her own, although these are only small moments that affect her work very little. Her dramatic scenes also could be a little better, though I love the scene in the studio with Ed Harris. What a haunting look.

So, overall, a luminous, very entertaining portrayal that is brought down by the script, but Lange's wonderful acting ability and instincts put up one hell of a fight, and, in the end, won. She gets

The 74th Oscars: A Look Back

I've decided to do more posts like these. Some of you may remember my post on the 80th Oscars almost 2 years ago on Oscarfan. If not, click here: Although I have revived my Best Actress profile work, I won't start my next year till August given I want to focus on singing right now . Don't worry though, the year will be finished tomorrow with Jessica's profile .

Anyway, these posts are so fun and stir up all sorts of opinions and thoughts about past years:

Best Picture: A Beautiful Mind won the award. It actually wasn't a sure thing at the time, given all the controversy about whether it was truthful or not to the real-life story. In the end, it was just nit-picking and the academy loved it. I think Moulin Rouge was the spoiler given it had won the P.G.A award and people really seemed to love it.But it's momentum peaked too late, luckily giving Chicago a chance to ride it's wave of buzz the year after. L.O.T.R had it's fans, but it seemed like from the beginning, people knew the third one would win. Gosford Park chances were ruined when the Academy's voter's cassete tape made the sound quality even worse and this simply isn't a movie that the Academy would honor with Best Picture. In The Bedroom is too small a film to win, unfortunately. My pick: Uh, a difficult choice. in the end, probably Moulin Rouge. Although rewatches are needed here, especially for A Beautiful Mind.

Best Director: Ron Howard. No matter what would have happened with B.P, this was his to lose. Jackson had his fans, but again, 3 times the charm. I think Altman was the one who could have surprised, but merely for sentimental reasons.My pick: As of now, Jackson, although I've heard good things about David Lynch.

Best Actor: Denzel Washington easily, if you ask me . Many felt Crowe had a big chance, but his Oscar win for Gladiator the year before and his bad antics at the time knocked him off in the ring. I also think voters felt A Beautiful mind would be honored in other categories. Denzel's performance made many oscar voters fall out of their chairs and he is an extremeley well liked actor in the industry, even today. The other nominees weren't really contenders. My pick: Tom Wilkinson, though I remember liking Washington and Crowe.

Best Actress: Halle Berry won here and I probably would have predicted her. I think many pundits were dumb to just think Sissy would cruise after losing both the SAG and the BAFTA. I think Berry was the Jodie Foster (88) /Julia Roberts of her year. She shed her average film acting style to deliver a performance which many were impressed with and rallied around. I think Sissy's work was too subtle to win the award and she lost too much momentum. Nicole could have won, but it just didn't feel like her year. Judi was actually liked a lot by voters (Well 6 of them were interviewed by E.W that year! Not much but it counts!). Maybe she was the runner-up. My pick: I need to rewatch all of them here to decide!!!

Best Supporting Actor: Ian Mckllen was considered the frontrunner here and I probably would have gone with him, but I just think people were hesitant about honoring this kind of performance. Even I am to a certain extent! Jim Broadbent won instead, and I think it was because of this performance and all of the other films he was in this year. Also, he won the G.G award and I think people underestimated his chances. I feel Ben Kingsley was the dark horse, but maybe people felt he was too over the top. My pick: I sactually really like Ethan Hawke, but once again a rewatch is needed. Same with Broadbent, though I am very mixed on him as of now.

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer was really a lock here. Her performance got so much buzz and people seem to love a young actress coming into her own to give an a acclaimed performance.But maybe I shouldn't have said she was a lock, because Helen Mirren won the SAG for her excellent performance in Gosford Park. She was a veteran, and was somewhat overdue. Still, her SAG win was probably the result of Jennifer being placed in the leading category. The rest had no chance. My pick: Oh gosh, rewatches are needed again!!! Mostly for Connely and Tomei. But from what I remember, Tomei is really good and is my pick as of now. Winslet is great and Helen is a close 2nd for her brilliant performance. So complex and layered. Smith didn't do much in G.P, if you ask me, not that she's bad, but it's just not much.

Best Original Screenplay: Gosford Park won and it's easy to see why. With no ensemble award, it was the only chance to honor the film and it is admirably written (Although Fellowe's Downton Abbey is much better to me! Please tell me if you have seen it!). Some felt Memento had a chance, but I think the Academy wasn't ready to honor such a risky movie. They got more diverse with this category as the years progressed when Talk To her and the brilliant Eternal Sunshine won this prize. My pick: Probably G.P, given I do not like Monster's Ball very much and I haven't seen Amelie in YEARS. I need to see Momento and all of The Royal Tenenbaums.

Best Adapted Screenplay: A Beautiful Mind picked up this award. As I've said before, more often then not, the B.P wins best screenplay and a lot of the time an adapted one wins. My pick: In The Bedroom, easily, although I admire L.O.T.R and Shrek is extremely funny and witty.

So what your thoughts? Who were your predictions? Who are your favorites? Do you agree/disagree on my thoughts?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Best Actress 1985: Meryl Streep in Out Of Africa

Meryl Streep received her 6th oscar nomination for playing Karen Blixen, a Dutch woman who travels to Africa to marry her best friend (Klaus Maria Brandauer) and becomes the owner of a coffee farm. Yet, she soon falls in love with an explorer named Denys Finch Hatton (Robert Redford).

Out Of Africa is a beautiful, intelligent film. I see why it won so many Oscars due to the fact that it tells an excellent story along with gorgeous visuals. However, I find the film a little underwhelming and un -engaging. It feels like it never went deep enough into the plot and I found the film hard to follow because I couldn't understand the accents at times.

But it's all brought together by Meryl Streep, one of the best actresses ever. She plays Karen, as a very cold woman who doesn't always show her emotions. Yet unlike her fellow nominee Anne Bancroft, she knew how to add more depth to the character and play her facets in a convincing and careful way. She makes Karen easily the most interesting character in the film, and I always felt she was great whenever she was on screen. Her accent takes some time getting used to, but overall, it is wonderful and has great flavor.

As for her chemistry with Robert Redford, I think Sage was right when she said he was miscast. He is great-LOOKING for the part, but his acting is completely wooden. Not to mention his character is a complete cliche. But Meryl makes us believe that she loves him.We can feel her tenderness and love of being with him. she shows her confliction with him very well. The results are less then statisfying because of him, but Meryl makes the best of it, which is pretty damn fantastic.

However, I don't fully love Streep here. She is great, but the film's problems bring her down a bit. Such as the exploration of her character in great detail and her lack of emotion in a crucial scene towards the end. yet none of these are problems are Meryl's and she still delivers a rich, terrific performance that gets