Not much time left, so here’s a continuous quickie:
I thought The Departed is an exceptional film, something like an oasis for Martin Scorsese after his successive dry spells in “The Aviator” and “Gangs of New York”. But look at his classics, “Mean Streets”, “Taxi Driver”, “Raging Bull”, and even “The Age of Innocence” (the latter being my personal favorite). As refreshing as an oasis can be, The Departed still falls short behind those classics, but way better than his previous two films in this century. Add that with the fact that the film is a remake of “Infernal Affairs”, I doubt if it is greatly rewarding to award someone for his cover-version effort. Still, sentimentality plays a major part here, and I doubt if Clint Eastwood can pull off his fame this time.
Will win: Martin Scorsese for The Departed.
Should win: Paul Greengrass for United 93. His direction is a fine example of an exquisite, tender approach to otherwise a highly sensitive issue.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
I can’t shake off my disbelief on how meticulous the details are presented in The Queen. Peter Morgan did an extremely fine job here, balancing emotional and factual sides nicely in a work that elevates itself above an average TV-movie.
On the other hand, Guillermo del Toro churns out one of the richest fairy tales that linger on our minds long after we walk out of his Pan’s Labyrinth.
However, the Scriptwriter Guilds Association chose a crowd-pleasing Little Miss Sunshine as their annual awards’ winner in this category. I agree that the film has a handful of one-liners (“Go hug Mom”, anyone?), but I am not sure if it is strong enough to fight a gigantic presence of a faun and a stature of a queen.
Will win: Michael Arndt for Little Miss Sunshine.
Should win: Peter Morgan for The Queen.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
I may not really fall head over heels into it, but I still applaud William Monahan’s skillful approach to transfer Asian graceful-action shootings to American exploitive style. The one I’m rooting for here is Patrick Marber, who was previously denied for his daring take on “Closer”, one of the most intriguing dramas on adult relationships. Penning a screenplay entirely told from its antagonist? Now that’s something.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
One of the strongest line-ups in years. How I wish to see “Volver”, “Blackbook”, “Cafe Transit”, “Curse of the Golden Flower”, “Love for Share”, “Farewell, Falkenberg”, “White Palms”, or “Something Like Happpines” were nominated. But still, none of these can beat Guillermo del Toro’s creatures.
Will win: Pan’s Labyrinth, directed by Guillermo del Toro.
Should win: Pan’s Labyrinth, directed by Guillermo del Toro.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Hey! “Ice Age 2” is not that bad!
Will win: Cars.
Should win: Happy Feet. The film really pushes the envelope of what computer-graphic animation should be, i.e. putting audience in anxiety over roller-coasting camera works.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
I did my thorough observation. Hope it gets published, or if it doesn’t, I’ll publish it here.
Will win: Alexandre Desplat for The Queen. However, I’d like him win for “The Painted Veil” instead, which was not nominated despite winning Golden Globe earlier.
Should win: Philip Glass for Notes on a Scandal. It’ll be a make-up for his previous losses, especially for his haunting works on “The Hours”.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
C’mon, at least Dreamgirls should win something.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Girls and gays, I know how Patricia Field should be getting some recognition for both her clever picks among those designers’ galore, but against both king and queens of China and England? Nah.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURES
Like you need to ask.
My take: Dreamgirls.
BEST SOUND EDITING
My take: Letters From Iwo Jima. A perfect show-off for war films. Remember, “Pearl Harbor” won in this category five years ago.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
My take: Superman Returns. Digitizing Brandon Routh’s rumoured bulging asset? That’s something.
BEST ART DIRECTION
Again, I did my thorough observation on this. Let’s hope it gets published.
Will win: The Little Matchgirl. Yes, it’s that HCA classic.
Should win: Lifted. Coming soon this summer.
BEST DOCUMENTARY, SHORT SUBJECTS
My take: Recycled Life. A nice unintended publicity that came right after the nominations were announced. But don’t ask me what sort of publicity it created. Look for it yourself, ok?!
BEST SHORT FILM, LIVE ACTION
Will win: West Bank Story. Yes, it’s “West Side Story” being moved to the Middle East.
Should win: Binta and the Great Idea. Love it.
(And I just notice the bigger letters for “Rosebud” than anything else. Nice gesture of AMPAS who denied “Citizen Kane” from winning the Best Picture 66 years ago!)