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December 11, 2008

Another Dismal Year for Movie Awards

Sean_penn I've always been a fan of the Academy Awards, until this year's show when I realized that I not only hadn't seen most of the nominated films, but I also had no desire to see them. Based on the dismal list of Golden Globe nominations -- always an interesting foretaste of the Oscar nominations -- it looks like I'll have another Oscar-free night in 2009. Most of the nominated films tanked at the box office, which is just another indication that moviegoers have better taste than the average film critic in L.A. or New York. 

So, just for fun, why don't you nominate your favorites for Best Picture, Best Actor/Actress, and Best Supporting Actor/Actress. 

(Image © AP/Focus Features)

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Gina Dalfonzo

I have to say, I'm hearing wonderful things about "Slumdog Millionaire." Everyone I know who has seen it has praised it to the skies. I may not make it to the theater, but I'm hoping at least to rent it on DVD.

Jason Taylor

Favorites this year, or over all?

Doug Kimball

Exactly the film I was going to mention, Gina! I really want to see Slumdog, but I haven't yet been able to do so. Boyle is one of my favorite directors, and it sounds like he may have hit a home run with this one.


I am very interested in seeing Penn's portrayal of Harvey Milk. His election was undeniably a huge change in our political history, regardless of your feelings about gayness. And it looks like Penn does an incredible job channeling Milk. Does this film make your "dismal" list because of the subject matter, the lead actor, or is it actually a badly-made film? Though you needn't worry too much: Milk will only hit art houses in major metro areas. It won't be seen anywhere in "real" America.


I nominate Walle and Eva. They showed such a wide range of emotion with so little dialogue. ;)

Diane Singer

Jason, Just this year's films. I would call "Best Picture" a draw between Batman and Wall-E. Both Christian Bale and Heath Ledger's performances were outstanding.

Andy, I'll pass on Milk because the subject doesn't interest me and because it stars Sean Penn. He's one of those actors whose political activism is so nasty that I simply can't watch him on screen, the same way I haven't been able to watch anything with Jane Fonda since Vietnam. Given their traitorous behavior, I can't, in good conscience, put any more money into their pockets.

Jason Taylor

If it's just this year, I really can't think of any movies I especially like. I remember hearing about the Nixon movie but I only remember it because taking another bite at such a cliche target seemed like unsportsmanlike conduct. The rest I couldn't remember much, and I never went to much bother to see any of them.


Saw (so far) only a clip of "Frost/Nixon".

The actor portraying "Nixon" seemed to be mugging - Overdoing the Nixon speech as if he were part of a comedy skit.

Unless I hear otherwise, (or unless the movie becomes significant enough that I need to rent the Dvd) I will not bother seeing it.
As to the "Oscars" - they are more & more irrelevant - as more & more good to great movies seem to be missing on the Oscar list...

"Oscar nominated movies" may become the list to "avoid" if they get too politically correct in their nominations.


Forgot my nominations:

Note- I have a kind of postmodern view of Oscar categories - i.e. I make my own categories sometimes:

"Wall-E" Best Romance - Best Revival of Old Show Tune - Best Animated Choreography (the Eve and Wall-E dance number)

"Expelled" Most Interesting Documentary....Or - Best Editing of a Documentary...Or- Most Revealing Extended Interview (see the Dawkins "alien" comments)...

Jason Taylor

This is not about a production this year but it is at least about a movie which is worth digging up.
One I recently watched was "Bertie and Elizabeth". It was movie about a mild and respectable couple with the quite respectable job of Rulers of the World's Greatest Empire. Despite the fact that the dad seems like the sort that would be happier as an accountant then a King.
George VI was a shy man with a speech impediment while his brother was outgoing and charming. And yet it was he that rose to the occasion and was King during World War II. While his brother was deposed because of a venial act of selfishness which turned out to be fortunate because his brother turned out to be a very good King. The whole story is almost a repeat of Samuel's annointing of David, "Man looketh on the outward appearance but God looketh on the heart." I have always thought that it was an exactly simmilar situation and that God knew who should really be King in the upcoming time.

This movie is a subvertion of normal Hollywoodese in that it makes respectability attractive. George had a sublimely happy marriage and two beautiful daughters(the eldest one looked very much like the present Queen Lizzy). Edward who decided to "follow his bliss" instead of following his duty comes out as rather a cad, if a somewhat pitiable cad. While George did his duty and got happiness in the bargain.
One of the most touching scenes in the movie was watching the indomitable London children waving tiny Union Jacks to great the King and Queen as they visited the rubble. As they used to say, "London can take it..."

Jason Taylor

Of course this was a British production, not a Hollywood one.

Gina Dalfonzo

"Best Revival of Old Show Tune"

Yes indeed, vikingmom. That first moment in the theater when Michael Crawford's voice rang out in that old "Hello Dolly" tune was the happiest moment I've had in a movie theater in a very long time. (I love him in his gawky "Dolly" stage as well as his romantic "Phantom" one. :-) )

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