Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Oscar Frenzy by Britta Coleman

Academy Award nominations were announced this morning, and my official Oscar quest has begun.  As a lover of great stories in all forms, I make a sincere effort every year to watch as many of the nominated films as possible.  It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it. 

So far I love:

"Capote."  Philip Seymour Hoffman should win for best actor.  He's a revelation.  I highly recommend reading Capote's In Cold Blood before you take in the film.  It's a book that literally changed the face of literature, and a total page-turner.  Plus it'll help you respect the man before he comes on screen with his simpering lisp and Bergdorf scarves.

"Crash."  So many twists and turns, with characters the way they should be:  complex, flawed and beyond fascinating.  So far Matt Dillon gets my vote for supporting actor.  Never before in the same movie have I so completely hated a person, only to find an aspect of redemption I couldn't deny.  It's a movie that'll surprise you and truly make you think.

"Junebug."  Not nominated for Best Picture, but Amy Adams deserves an Oscar.  Crazy family, fish out of water storyline, and nuanced performances all steeped in rich Southern color.  It's out on DVD.  Bring hankies.

"Pride and Prejudice."  Personally, I think it's a matter of both pride and prejudice this outstanding film wasn't nominated for Best Picture.  Is it because of the unabashedly romantic storyline?  Keira Knightly makes a lovely and rebellious Elizabeth, and I'll go down on record saying I *liked* Matthew Macfadyen as Darcy.  Anyone who can emote the passion of an unfulfilled love through the singular movement of a flexed hand deserves kudos.

"Walk the Line."  My husband and I have differing opinions on this.  As a lifelong Johnny Cash fan, he didn't feel Joaquin could quite measure up to the man in black, but then again, who could?  Personally, I found his portrayal mesmerizing, authentic, and raw.  Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash could forge a second career as a country singer, and she dazzled in every scene.

"Murderball."  Nominated for Best Documentary Feature, this film about quadriplegic Olympians may have been my favorite film of last year.  It's visceral, no-holds barred storytelling with a cast full of competitive athletes who not only disdain sympathy and pandering, but look like they'd take on any street fight and win.

On my list to see:

"Brokeback Mountain."  I know, I can't believe I haven't seen it yet either.  My question:  will the film live up to the buzz?

"Memoirs of a Geisha."  Loved the book, hope the movie works.  Plus I'm a sucker for those flowing red costumes.

"Match Point."  Woody Allen and a dark, murderous story?  I'm so there.

"Hustle & Flow."  The story looks terrific, and I bet the soundtrack rocks.

"The Squid and the Whale."  Funky title, family dynamics, an excellent cast.

Okay, your turn.  What do you like, what did you hate, and what are you dying to see?  


Britta Coleman said...

Let me be the first to comment that Keira plays Elizabeth, not Jane. Sorry for the typo...somehow the edited version didn't post! :)

Michelle Rowen said...

I fixed it for you Britta. :-)

I haven't seen any of the nominated pictures. I used to see a movie every week but lately, not so much. I really want to see Brokeback Mountain.

Lori Wilde said...

I'm woefully behind on my movie watching. Have only seen Crash and it was very thought provoking. Weird to see Sandra Bullock in a role as a racist but her performance rang true. Not sure I want to see Brokeback Mountain. Cowboys just aren't my cup of tea.

Britta Coleman said...

Thanks for the fix, Michelle. And for getting rid of all my erroneous spaces! I'm learning...
Lori, I agree about Sandra. Her role in Crash was so different than her usual girl-next-door gig. I thought she was tremendous.

Diane Perkins said...

I hardly ever go to movies, Britta, but when I do, I go all out. Hence the four times I saw Pride & Prejudice. (only four times, I lament)

I totally agree about its Oscar snub. This was a beautiful movie, terrifically acted and filmed. I loved Matthew Macfadyen! But my earlier post belabours that point...