Daily Archives: 02/22/2007

Let’s Bet! (for Oscar, that is) — Part 2

Interesting line-ups of thespians in equally attractive roles. And I couldn’t help but shouting “Hallelujah!” for strong roles in women fields, both leading and supporting categories. Quite a reminiscence of 2002’s leading actress category, when Salma Hayek, Nicole Kidman, Diane Lane, Julianne Moore and Renee Zellwegger competed. (Darn the prosthetic nose!)

Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson
Peter O’Toole in Venus
Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland.

A lock, eh?! Unless AMPAS members were busy watching “Lawrence of Arabia”, “My Favorite Year”, “Becket”, “The Lion in Winter”, and many others for the past few weeks, while regretting their past mistakes. In another note, where’s the old Leo who gripped us to a shocking effect in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”, “The Basketball Diaries” and “Marvin’s Room”?

Will win: Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland.
Should win: Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland.

Penelope Cruz in Volver
Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren in The Queen
Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet in Little Children.

Wow. A total of 29 Oscar acting nominations among them. What a company! Again, who can defy Her Majesty?

Will win: Helen Mirren in The Queen.
Should win: Helen Mirren in The Queen.

Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine
Jackie Earle Haley in Little Children
Djimon Hounsou in Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls
Mark Wahlberg in The Departed.

In a highly subjective way, I can’t shake off the ruggedly gorgeous look of Mark Wahlberg ever since I finished my write-up on him here.
But again, looking at the nominees, I seem to rely more on Alan Arkin, for his brief-yet-nuanced performance in Little Miss Sunshine. If Academy wants to play sentimental vote, this is the perfect category to do so, since he is the most veteran actor here.
The only obstacle? The recent award-showering to Eddie Murphy.

Will win: Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls.
Should win: Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine.

Adriana Barraza in Babel
Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi in Babel.

As much as I try not to follow what others have said, Jennifer Hudson’s soulful belt in “And I am Telling You I’m Not Going” is proved to be unstoppable.

Will win: Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls.
Should win/should have been nominated: Maribel Verdu in “Pan’s Labyrinth”.

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Posted by on 02/22/2007 in English, Film


Let’s Bet! (for Oscar, that is) — Part 1

This is my entry that loudly speaks: You ask for it!

And no matter how hard I have persuaded printed media to release my Oscar predictions (i love you, guys! hahaha!), they lean more towards what news agencies provide. Let’s see if my predictions match:

Nominees for BEST PICTURE are:

The Departed
Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

Earlier this week, I discussed with my colleague, who traveled regularly to film festivals in the world, over why it is so hard for Indonesia and many other countries to score a nomination, at least for Best Foreign Language film. His answer is simple: “Most of AMPAS members who vote for this event reside in the US, so, it’s easier for them to vote for films they are familiar with. By familiar, it can be by getting a release in LA/NY, or media coverage, or any medium of promotions. Like everything else, it’s all about connection.”

Add that with “getting close to them, the voters”.

Four of five Best Picture winners in this century are films with stories originally concepted in America, set in the USA and directed by American directors (the exception being “The Return of the King” by New Zealander Peter Jackson). From “A Beautiful Mind” to “Crash”, they all have the Star Spangled Banner notes embedded within.

So, what does this tell us? Easy. The only very American film is Little Miss Sunshine.

If one would like to push The Departed, it is quick to note that the film is an adaptation of much superior “Infernal Affairs” from Hong Kong. The Queen and Letters from Iwo Jima are out of question, and Babel does babble in multiple languages in several continents.

The fact that Little comes with a dose of good-hearted humor is a bonus, and in a time of disheartening events around the world, I guess most of right-wing, liberal voters would like to light up the world with one thing they know best: entertaining.

Will win
: Little Miss Sunshine
Should win: Letters from Iwo Jima (hasn’t it been some time that we see a war film winning Best Picture? The last time a war drama won Best Picture was, believe it or not, “Platoon” in 1986!)

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Posted by on 02/22/2007 in English, Film