Archive for January, 2009

Oscar Nominations 2009

22 January, 2009

Well, the judges have spoken and here lies the list of this year’s Oscars candidates.

It’s an interesting array this year. Despite the dead cert ‘Oscar Bait’ films of Frost/Nixon, Milk and Revolutionary Road cropping up in all the right places, I don’t think many would have anticipated The Curious Case of Benjamin Button topping the list of nominations with 13.

I’m sure many would have been expecting The Wrestler to have landed a few more nods as well. Although in my humble – yet prestigious – opinion, nominations in Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories for Mickey Rourke and Marissa Tomei respectively just about fits the bill.

I’ve got big hopes for Slumdog Millionaire after seeing it thunder towards a totally deserved ten nominations. And, although it would make for an utterly cringeworthy barrage of  ‘The British Are Coming” headlines, there’s no doubting that the film is easily one of the finest to show on this year’s shortlist and would be robbed to not see at least a glimpse of the gold stuff.

Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and Gus Van Saint’s Milk take a joint third position with eight nominations a piece, while Wall-E, The Reader, Frost/Nixon and Doubt each bagged five.

As per usual for the Oscars, Best Film nominations have come hand in hand with Best Director, which makes for an interesting face off for four extremely talented, if often overlooked, directors in David Fincher, Ron Howard, Gus Van Sant, Stephen Daldry and Danny Boyle.

Predictably Heath Ledger’s name has appeared in the Best Actor Called Heath Ledger category, which – although quite deserved – does make you feel a little bit sorry for the other supporting actors nominated, who’s names are clearly not Heath Ledger. Still everyone loves a posthumous clap-along…

In all it’s a very ‘Artsy’ list of candidates this year. Hopefully this could make for an interesting set of results come the big night on 22nd February, but it is certainly good to see the academy finally looking towards films which show off a real talent, rather than the obvious big name choices.

Anyway, here is the list of nominees in full. I’ve highlighted my predictions for this year’s winners in italics, while my personal preferences are in a delightful shade of Chad Racing Green.  

Let me know what you think. Do you agree with my predictions? What films should have made the shortlist?

Best Film
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire
 
Director
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – David Fincher
Frost/Nixon – Ron Howard
Milk – Gus Van Sant
The Reader – Stephen Daldry
Slumdog Millionaire – Danny Boyle
 
Actor In A Leading Role
The Visitor – Richard Jenkins
Frost/Nixon – Frank Langella
Milk – Sean Penn
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Brad Pitt
The Wrestler – Mickey Rourke
 
Actor In A Supporting Role
Milk – Josh Brolin
Tropic Thunder – Robert Downey Jr.
Doubt – Philip Seymour Hoffman
The Dark Knight – Heath Ledger
Revolutionary Road – Michael Shannon
 
Actress In A Leading Role
Rachel Getting Married – Anne Hathaway
Changeling – Angelina Jolie
Frozen River – Melissa Leo
Doubt – Meryl Streep
The Reader – Kate Winslet
 
Actress In A Supporting Role
Doubt – Amy Adams
Vicky Cristina Barcelona – Penélope Cruz
Doubt – Viola Davis
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Taraji P. Henson
The Wrestler – Marisa Tomei
 
Adapted Screenplay
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Eric Roth, Robin Swicord
Doubt – John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon – Peter Morgan
The Reader – David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire – Simon Beaufoy
 
Original Screenplay
Frozen River – Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky – Mike Leigh
In Bruges – Martin McDonagh
Milk – Dustin Lance Black
WALL-E – Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Pete Docter
 
Animated Feature
Bolt
Kung Fu Panda
WALL-E
 
Art Direction
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road
 
Cinematography
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire
 
Costume Design
Australia
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Duchess
Milk
Revolutionary Road
 
Documentary Feature
The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Man on Wire
Trouble the Water
 
Documentary Short
The Conscience of Nhem En
The Final Inch
Smile Pinki
The Witness – From the Balcony of Room 306
 
Editing
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire
 
Best Foreign Language Film
The Baader Meinhof Complex
The Class
Departures
Austria
Waltz with Bashir
 
Makeup
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
 
Original Score
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Alexandre Desplat
Defiance – James Newton Howard
Milk – Danny Elfman
Slumdog Millionaire – A.R. Rahman
WALL-E – Thomas Newman
 
Original Song
WALL-E – “Down to Earth”
Slumdog Millionaire – “Jai Ho”
Slumdog Millionaire – “O Saya”
 
Sound Editing
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL-E
Wanted
 
Sound Mixing
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL-E
Wanted
 
Visual Effects
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
 
Animated Short
La Maison de Petits Cubes
Lavatory – Lovestory
Oktapodi
Presto
This Way Up
 
Live Action Short
Auf der Strecke (On the Line)
Manon on the Asphalt
New Boy
The Pig
Spielzeugland (Toyland)
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Golden Globes roundup 2009

13 January, 2009

The film awards season kicked off with a bang this week with a shimmering ceremony of all Hollywood’s rich and beautiful things meeting for the Golden Globes.

The big news this year however is the storming success British films have had, snatching an impressive sounding seven awards from collective Brit talent. And although we’ve already had the typical barage of surprised responses across the media as a whole I’m more impressed at the fact that British films are finally being given the recognition they deserve. It is not, and hasn’t for some time, been the case that British cinema is not churning out fantastic films, the problem lies in people not going to see them and distribution companies trying to work around this by marketing great films as arthouse films when they should be saturating multiplexes across the country.

But anyway, ranting aside this is a good thing for British films. Old hand Kate Winslett grabbed two absurdly overtitled awards, Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture Drama and Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture, for Revolutionary Road and The Reader respectively, neither are on UK release yet so I can’t really comment on how deserved these are – although Revolutionary Road has been given a lot of Oscars mumbling stateside. So it’s probably rubbish. You can watch her act like an idiot here.

More exciting is the news that Danny Boyle scooped four awards for the truly superb Slumdog Millionaire, Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score. You can check out my review of the film here and I would urge anyone to go and catch it in cinemas while they can, as I would already wager this as being one of the best films you will get to see this year.

Elsewhere it’s great to see WALL-E grabbing Best Animated Feature Film (all but a dead certainty for the equivalent Oscar) and Waltz With Bashir winning Best Foreign Language Film. Mickey Rourke’s victory for The Wrestler also looks promising for more gold in the future, especially with the film getting rave reviews in the build up to its release this Friday.

Although the Golden Globes aren’t usually seen as a big hitter in terms of prestigious awards, these results do more often than not give an indication as to what the big wigs at the Bafta’s and Oscar’s may be leaning towards come their crack of the whip. Personally, I’d love to see Slumdog Millionaire upset the Yanks when the Oscars come around, although if I’m brutally honest I don’t fancy it’s chances in the infamously nepotistic awards.

Here is the full list of winners and nominees, let me know what you think about the awards. Was Slumdog Millionaire a rightful winner?

 Best Motion Picture – Drama
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
The Reader
Revolutionary Road
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture – Drama
Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie – Changeling
Meryl Streep – Doubt
Kristin Scott Thomas – I’ve Loved You So Long
Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road

Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture – Drama
Leonardo DiCaprio – Revolutionary Road
Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn – Milk
Brad Pitt – The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler

Best Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical
Burn After Reading
Happy-Go-Lucky
In Bruges
Mamma Mia!
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical
Rebecca Hall – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Sally Hawkins – Happy-Go-Lucky
Frances McDormand – Burn After Reading
Meryl Streep – Mamma Mia!
Emma Thompson – Last Chance Harvey

Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical
Javier Bardem – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Colin Farrell – In Bruges
James Franco – Pineapple Express
Brendan Gleeson – In Bruges
Dustin Hoffman – Last Chance Harvey

Best Animated Feature Film
Bolt
Kung Fu Panda
Wall-E

Best Foreign Language Film
The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany)
Everlasting Moments (Sweden/Denmark)
Gomorrah (Italy)
I’ve Loved You So Long (France)
Waltz With Bashir (Israel)

Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture
Amy Adams – Doubt
Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis – Doubt
Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler
Kate Winslet – The Reader

Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture
Tom Cruise – Tropic Thunder
Robert Downey Jr. – Tropic Thunder
Ralph Fiennes – The Duchess
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight

Best Director – Motion Picture
Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry – The Reader
David Fincher – The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon
Sam Mendes – Revolutionary Road

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Simon Beaufoy – Slumdog Millionaire
David Hare – The Reader
Peter Morgan – Frost/Nixon
Eric Roth – The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
John Patrick Shanley – Doubt

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Alexandre Desplat – The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Clint Eastwood – Changeling
James Newton Howard – Defiance
A. R. Rahman – Slumdog Millionaire
Hans Zimmer – Frost/Nixon

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“Down To Earth” — Wall-E
“Gran Torino” — Gran Torino
“I Thought I Lost You” — Bolt
“Once In A Lifetime” — Cadillac Records
“The Wrestler” — The Wrestler

Best Television Series – Drama
Dexter (Showtime)
House (Fox)
In Treatment (HBO)
Mad Men (AMC)
True Blood (HBO)

Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series – Drama
Sally Field – Brothers And Sisters
Mariska Hargitay – Law And Order: Special Victims Unit
January Jones – Mad Men
Anna Paquin – True Blood
Kyra Sedgwick – The Closer

Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series – Drama
Gabriel Byrne – In Treatment
Michael C. Hall – Dexter
Jon Hamm – Mad Men
Hugh Laurie – House
Jonathan Rhys Meyers – The Tudors

Best Television Series – Comedy Or Musical
30 Rock (NBC)
Californication (Showtime)
Entourage (HBO)
The Office (NBC)
Weeds (Showtime)

Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series –Comedy Or Musical
Christina Applegate – Samantha Who?
America Ferrera – Ugly Betty
Tina Fey – 30 Rock
Debra Messing – The Starter Wife
Mary-Louise Parker – Weeds

Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series – Comedy Or Musical
Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock
Steve Carell – The Office
Kevin Connolly – Entourage
David Duchovny – Californication
Tony Shalhoub – Monk

Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television
A Raisin In The Sun (ABC)
Bernard And Doris (HBO)
Cranford (PBS)
John Adams (HBO)
Recount (HBO)

Best Performance By An Actress In A Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television
Judi Dench – Cranford
Catherine Keener – An American Crime
Laura Linney – John Adams
Shirley Maclaine – Coco Chanel
Susan Sarandon – Bernard And Doris

Best Performance By An Actor In A Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television
Ralph Fiennes – Bernard And Doris
Paul Giamatti – John Adams
Kevin Spacey – Recount
Kiefer Sutherland – 24: Redemption
Tom Wilkinson – Recount