Saturday, 10 January 2009

Best Supporting Actress Race

My Golden Globe Predictions

The HFPA love an epic romance, so I am thinking ‘Button’ takes this. I figure they are chomping at the bit to give Penelope an award, so Winslet should take Lead Actress Drama - I mean she has yet to win one.

I would be surprised if Hawkins doesn’t win Comedy Actress, but if Streep looses Drama they could want to reward her here.

Drama Actor should go to Penn easily, and Comedy Actor should either go to Franco or Farrell. I say Franco by a hair.














Mini Review - "Milk"

I am not the biggest bio-pic fan in the world. I usually find them rather dull, and with performances that, most of the time, are nothing but mimicry (there are those that transcend into something wonderful). The ones that come immediately to mind are ‘Erin Brokovich’ and ‘A Mighty Heart’ but those films had bigger fish to fry than just the telling of one persons story.

‘Milk’ will have to be added to these films. In the 30 years since his death, gay rights have taken a great leap forward, and recently, a few steps back.

Harvey Milk fought for gay rights, the rights many of the youth today take for granted (especially over here in London where the only fight they seem to deal with is the daily fight of getting into their skinny jeans). So it is fitting that 30 years later Gus Van Sant brings us this deeply moving, vastly entertaining film about the life of someone who was and still is, a symbol of hope to many.

Sean Penn, well, there are no words I can come up with. Other reviewers are much more eloquent that I am. I will use clichés like ‘he disappears into the role’, so let me just leave it at he deserves every accolade thrown at him. It goes far past mimicry to become something altogether completely whole and real.
As Dan White Josh Brolin continues his acting showcases by making this villainous historical character into something you as the viewer can feel sympathy for. That is a feat indeed.
Equally impressive is James Franco who inhabits his supporting wife character with ease and charm. Emile Hirsch also impresses greatly. His fast wit and camp demeanour help flesh out a rather small role and help keep things light for the viewer...'cause we all know what is coming.

On a more personal note, growing up in Bermuda, where being gay was only made legal when I was 18, and equal rights to this day is still a pipe dream, 'Milk' reminds me yet again that even though we have come far...we have so much further to go. Put on your walking shoes people.


Friday, 9 January 2009

"Young Victoria' Trailer

Can Emily Blunt's name be the talk of the town this time next year? Not too sure based on this. That "get out of my way!" line made me have a little embarrassed laugh.

The Great

"I don't think we really need another film about the Holocaust, do we? It's like, how many have there been? We get it! It was grim! Move on! No, I'm doing it because I've noticed that if you do a film about the Holocaust? Guaranteed Oscar."

If this happens I think I may just smile about it forever.

The Numbers

Well I was looking at the Metacritic rating of this year Best Picture Oscar contenders:
93 - WALL-E
86 - Slumdog Millionaire
84 - Milk
84 - Happy-Go-Lucky
82 - The Dark Knight
82 - Rachel Getting Married
81 - The Wrestler
80 - Frost/Nixon
73 - Gran Torino
71 - Revolutionary Road
70 - Doubt
69 - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
58 - The Reader

At the top is 'WALL-E' so I figured that there i no way the top rated film can be nominated for Best Picture. Well it appears it can which is wonderful news. Near the bottom is ‘Benjamin Button’ with 69, so I began to wonder. What is lowest meta critic ranking for a Best Picture nominee.

I automatically though ‘Chocolat’, and when looking it up, indeed is scored a very low 46 on meta critic. However there are very few films that scored below 70.

The list is here:
69 - Crash - 2005
69 - Babel - 2006
67 - Finding Neverland - 2004
66 - Moulin Rouge! - 2001
64 - Chocolat - 2000
61 - The Green Mile - 1999
59 - Life is Beautiful - 1998

Moulin Rouge! That is a travesty!

One should not count out ‘Button’ based on that low score… just look at ‘Crash’. 69 is apparently a safe number as well as being a great position.

Can you imagine if the five films nominated for Best Picture were in fact the five best reviewed films of the year? That would give you the following nominees:

The Dark Knight, Happy-Go-Lucky, Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, WALL-E

Would that be too shabby?
I think not - you could flip 'The Dark Knight' for 'Rachel Getting Married' (both scored a nice fat 82)and people would still be happy.

This is all well and good in predicting the Oscars, but with all these critics input I have to the numbers matter?

I mean if you look at some of the films left off (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Almost Famous, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, American Splendor, Before Sunset, United 93, to name a few) you see the bigger picture and realise how little these awards matter in terms of film merit and longevity.
However in terms of public perception and money they are so important.

The Broadcast Film Critics Awards

And they do their best to try and predict the Oscars.
Best Comedy Movie: Tropic Thunder
Best Acting Ensemble: Milk
Best Young Actor/Actress: Dev Patel
Best Writer: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Action Film: The Dark Knight
Best Composer: A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Song: Bruce Springsteen, The Wrestler
Best Documentary: Man On Wire
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader
Best Foreign Language Film: Waltz With Bashir
Best Animated Feature: WALL·E
Best Movie Made for TV: John Adams
Best Actress: tie: Meryl Streep, Doubt; Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Best Actor: Sean Penn, Milk
Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire

Ok, I liked it and all, but is 'Slumdog Millionaire' that good a movie? Perhaps people just need a fantasy film to give them hope. Considering the rest of the Best Picture contenders all critique society (aside from 'Benjamin Button' which is fantasy as well but not considered nearly as uplifting), perhaps people just want some escapism these days, and if it makes them forget reality for a minute, they will reward it.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

The DGA nominations, or how I should just stop getting my hopes up

because this race is Bo-or-ing.

The same old contenders again. Could they not have shaken things up and left off Ron Howard?
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
Gus Van Sant, Milk

In saying it is boring, loads of bloggers were saying Nolan would be left off the list. I was always a firm believer, but as always, reading too many comments can cause doubt.
Silly silly Michael.

Who can still surprise?

'The Hurt Locker' trailer

Since it is moved to 2009, can it fair better in the Oscar race?

DGA Prediction update

Ok, Andrew Stanton is not eligible.

Here are my new Predictions. Laugh all you want.
1 - Christopher Nolan – ‘The Dark Knight’
2 – Danny Boyle – ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
3 – David Fincher – ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’
4 – Gus Van Sant – ‘Milk’
5 - Mike Leigh – ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’
6 – Darren Aronofsky – ‘The Wrestler’

Because I love her

And any news on her is post worthy.

I just read Variety's review of 'The United States of Tara'.

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! Skippity skip skip. I feel like twirling a baton (if I could) in front of a huge parade! And all because of one review.
Despite the boldfaced names behind the scenes -- Steven Spielberg! Diablo Cody! -- it's the woman at its center who ensures "United States of Tara" is more than a gimmick with a cutesy name. By turns oozing sexuality, vulnerability and confusion, Toni Collette gives Showtime's latest half-hour its buoyant pulse -- and a credible shot at the accolades the channel covets. Although it flirts with the preciousness that proved an irritant in the Cody-scripted "Juno," there's an innate sweetness at the show's core that essentially says people become inured to all manner of strangeness in the context of family -- even a woman with four disparate personalities....Ultimately, "Tara" will probably work best for those who embrace its pleasures without nitpicking its inconsistencies, instead delighting in the opportunity to spend a breezy half-hour with Collette on a weekly basis. Because whatever the show's modest shortcomings, this is unabashedly a vehicle for a star who brings meaning to the notion of having personality aplenty -- and then some.


Mini Review ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’

Well Mike Leigh has done it again. Perhaps the WGA and DGA feel that his methods do not warrant praise, but indeed they do. H is the one who controls the film, not letting it spiral out of control.

As you all know, the film centres around Poppy, a bright funny and outgoing woman who tries to bring a little smile to the people around her.
Some people find her annoying both in the film and as an audience, while others embrace her cheery outlook on like.

Luckily I am the latter. Living in London gave me an entirely different perspective on the film. I see all those miserable angry people every single day and boy do I wish I could see a Poppy during my daily commute.

Sally Hawkins in a sensation in this. You can see the hidden sadness she feels for those around her beneath her smile. She is not just a simple clown, she knows she is not every ones cup of tea and will eventually back off from trying to bring joy to the joyless, but not for want of trying. The layers Hawkins brings to the role are mind boggling. She is a fully fledged human being. My bf looked over to me halfway through the film and said “I want to know her”. That I how good Hawkins is, you believe Poppy is real…there is no higher compliment I can give than that.

Equally as good in the film is Eddie Marsan as Scott, the angry driving instructor who feels tormented by Poppy’s constant jokes and laughter.
He brings such sorry and back story in his outbursts, and although you hate him at times, and laugh at him, you see him through her eyes and enormous sympathy is evoked.
I would not be surprised to see his name come up when the Oscars are announced.

One of my favourites was Alexis Zegerman who is absolutely brilliant as Zoe, Poppy’s best friend and flat mate. She has invested so much back story into the role, that you feel you understand their entire friendship. She is the one who seems to know that Poppy too had a dark place, and perhaps only she has seen it. It is such a shame she has not been noticed more this awards season, then again she has had no big emotional scene, she is a true supporting character.

Also I must not Forget a Kate O’Flynn in the small role of Poppy’s little sister Suzy. In a few small scenes she completely defines her character and her relationship to her sister….wonderful work.

I am going to take the Poppy attitude, or at least try to. Mike Leigh has helped create a character for the ages, a person who just wants to spread a little happiness to the people she encounters. A scene where she encounters a homeless man, she does something unthinkable to most people. She talks to him, and listens.

This is a story that makes you take a long hard look at yourself and asks you the question: Are you a Poppy or are you a Scott?


Looking Ahead

It looks as though 2009 is going to be an interesting year for one very busy actress.
In terms of film, she has five on the way, one of which is very high profile.

Of course I am talking about Susan Sarandon.

In ‘The Greatest’, about a family still coping with the death of their son when their son's girlfriend reveals that she is carrying his child, she stars with Peirce Bronson. It could be ‘Moonlight Mile’ territory, or it could be wonderful. This is writer Shana Feste’s first film as director so we will have to wait and see.

‘O’ and ‘The Grey Zone’ director will point his lens towards her in Leaves of Grass’. Sure the title is terrible, but this crime drama has a fantastic cast including Richard Dreyfuss, Edward Norton, Keru Russell and Melanie Lynskey.

She co-stars with Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy and Bill Pullman in the thriller Peacock.

The Michael Douglas starrer Solitary Man should get some notices (advance word has been very good) especially with such a talented cast.

And finally she has a key role in the little film you may have heard about called The Lovely Bones.

Could 2009 be the year of the Sarandon?

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

The Writers Guild Nominations

They chime in and make me jump for joy, and cry with sorrow all at the same time.

Burn After Reading, Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Focus Features
Milk, Written by Dustin Lance Black, Focus Features
Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Written by Woody Allen, The Weinstein Company
The Visitor, Written by Tom McCarthy, Overture Films
The Wrestler, Written by Robert Siegel, Fox Searchlight Pictures

Great news for 'The Visitor' but devastating news for the superb 'WALL-E', and the film I have just finished watching, and can delcare as my favourite of the year thus far, 'Happy-Go-Lucky'. More on that film later, but a big ole slap in the face.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Screenplay by Eric Roth; Screen Story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord; Based on the Short Story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures
The Dark Knight, Screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan; Story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer; Based on Characters Appearing in Comic Books Published by DC Comics; Batman Created by Bob Kane, Warner Bros. Pictures
Doubt, Screenplay by John Patrick Shanley, Based on his Stage Play, Miramax Films
Frost/Nixon, Screenplay by Peter Morgan, Based on his Stage Play, Universal Pictures
Slumdog Millionaire, Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy, Based on the Novel Q and A by Vikas Swarup, Fox Searchlight Pictures

WOW. The Guilds really do hate 'Revolutionary Road'. Wonderful news for 'The Dark Knight' though. I highly agree with that nomination.

United Stakes of Toni

Yes, that spelling was purposeful. She is taking a great risk moving to television. I mean I would watch the woman iron at this point, but the more she is on TV, the less she is on the big screen, and that means even less chance of her finally winning that long over due Oscar (unless she takes back the one Jolie stole from her).

Here is hoping she has a slew of SAG, EMMY and Golden Globe awards heading her way.

But I shouldn.t be worried should I really? I mean she was still able to survive the mess that was 'Connie and Carla' so I am thinking she will be walking away with a few awards and nominations soon. GOD I LOVE HER!

I drank up my Tang

Guess what this little blogger finally did. He watched ‘Lust, Caution’ last night.
Ang Lee is just one of the finest and most consistent directors working, and the fact that he found Wei Tang is a miracle. I mean, not to copy Nat at The Film Experience and all, but this was her film debut??!?!?

What a find, and what a talent and why the hell has she got nothing lined up?
Come on casting directors…. Sign the woman up!

The ASC Nominees

Or how I am saddened that the vibrant and gorgeous 'Australia' didn't make the mix.

Roger Deakins, Revolutionary Road

Anthony Dod Mantle, Slumdog Millionaire

Chris Menges & Roger Deakins, The Reader

Claudio Miranda,The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

Wally Pfister, The Dark Knight

ASC Predictions

The American Society of Cinematographers announce their nominees today.
Here are my guesses.

Mini Review – ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’

I am usually not a Woody Allen fan. There is something about looking at him that just really angers me.
Perhaps I just do not like the nebbish man.
However I will see a film of his, and I will even like them, all I ask is he not be in it.

He is not in 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona'.

I loved it.

Aside from the brilliant tornado of a performance from Penelope Cruz ( I mean who would have though that Allen dialogue would be so brilliant coming out of her mouth?), the sexy and smouldering Javier Bardem and the quiet and touching performance by Rebecca Hall (Oscar take note), the film tells an interesting story about love and life, and living for the moment. A life lived with passion may be dangerous, but it can also be far more interesting that spending your life fearful of living out your desires.

The weak link seemed to be Scarlett Johansson who although was radiant, just seemed a little lost amongst the rest of the strong cast.

Also the camera is obviously in love with Spain. The gold and orange drenched imagery evokes the majestic city better than anything I have seen.

Good job Woody, you may make a convert of me yet.


Bourne Again

Until a few days ago, I had never seen a single one of the ‘Bourne’ films. I know, I know, but I do tend to shy away from Action films, unless they are Superhero movies.

However everyone kept going on and on about these films, so when me and the bf went raiding a DVD store here in London going out of business we picked up all 3 films and basically watched them back to back.

Oh My Fudging Christ!

Brilliant, brilliant movies.

There is so much to love: The story, the direction, the action, the set pieces, Matt Damon. But what I love the most about them, is although it is a male driven film, each director (Doug Liman for ‘Identity’ and Paul Greengrass for ‘Supremacy’ and ‘Ultimatum’) gives the three main female characters interesting and captivating shades.
Franka Pontente is much more than just the love interest. She is an interesting and lovable character, who is able to develop greatly amidst all the action.
Throughout the three films Julia Stiles is given very little screen time, but manages to make an impression and is able to fully round out her character with her line delivery.
Of course Joan Allen in brilliant, but what is so good about her character the way she actually thinks things out and asks questions. She appears to be the only human in the agency.

Anyway with talks of a forth ‘Bourne’ films being made without Greengrass or Matt Damon filling my head with dread, I will cherish finally seeing these films. Thee for me where everything the Bond franchise tried, and failed to be: Complex, emotional, thrilling and entertaining, and that does include ‘Casino Royal’.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Mini Review – ‘Tropic Thunder’

So we sat down and watched the movie that so many people have raved about.
It bored me.
Well I have to give Robert Downey, Jr. props as he was excellent and hysterical in the role. I can understand all the buzz around him getting an Oscar nomination, although he would not make my ballot (or at least I hope I see some better performances this year).

However the rest of the film was just a big pile of poo.
I laughed at Robert Downey, Jr. a few times, and I did laugh at how ridiculous the Golden Globe nomination for Tom Cruise was as he was neither engaging or funny.
Dancing in a fat suit should not get awards attention ever! Ask Courtney Cox Arquette if it worked.
I won’t review it further.


Note to J.J. Abrams

Dear J.J.

I loved ‘Cloverfield’ when I saw it in the cinema.
I even over looked the annoying and terrible performance of T.J. Miller.

However, with a second viewing on DVD it is a different matter. His 'performance', aside from being completely inappropriate, grates like rusty nails down a black board.
Please, please release a version of the film without his performance, or at least 90% of it cut out.
I mean seriously, who in their right mind would make jokes during a time like that?
I can understand nervous jokes and the such but he was acting like it was a day out at Disney Land. A MONSTER IS EATING YOUR FRIENDS AND DESTROYING YOUR CITY!!! Act appropriately.

As annoying as Heather in The Blair Witch Project was, you understood her motives (come on, we all know a person just like her). But Hud – my God I would have killed him myself.
No wonder the creature spat him out.

I know I am not the target audience for a big ole studio disaster film (being as I am more intelligent than a gnat) but let me tell you I how would be acting should I be unfortunate enough to witness such a disaster.
I would be terrified.
I would grab hold of my loved ones' by the hand and run like Forrest.
If I had a camera on my possession I may film a little, but the overall need for survival would outrank the need for documentation (unless I was a film maker of course....then I could understand - like I did with 'Blair Witch' Heather).
If I had witnessed the deaths of friends, I would not be making any type of joke. Sure some people react differently, and there may be some hysterical laughter on my part, but not joking, especially amongst all that death.

Any way, I digress.

J.J., please re-release the DVD without him in it (or minimally in it) and you will have a near perfect movie.



Predicting the DGA

The Directors Guild are a far better precursor for the Best Picture Oscar that the PGA are. In fact they are better at predicting Best Picture than they are at Best Director.

I am completely under the impression (perhaps deluded) that Christopher Nolan is a lock for ‘The Dark Knight’.
I am also pretty sure that David Fincher and Danny Boyle are locks for their respective films.

The final two are going to be interesting. The DGA has no animate category, so they may want to reward the director of the best reviewed films of the year and give Andrew Stanton and nod for WALL-E. Animation is not an easy thing to direct. If it were there would be a lot more quality animated films out there, and there are not.

Perhaps they will want to reward a smaller film, and give a nod to Mike Leigh or Jonathan Demme for their wonderful, but difficult to pull off films.
Or will critical darlings Gus Van Sant and Darren Aronofsky a nod? I am not convinced (or rather I need it not to be so for the sake of dying of boredom with this years race) that Ron Howard is going to garner a nod here.

In ranking I predict
1 - Christopher Nolan – ‘The Dark Knight’
2 – Danny Boyle – ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
3 – David Fincher – ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’
4 – Gus Van Sant – ‘Milk’
5 - Andrew Stanton – ‘WALL-E’

And the rest
6 – Darren Aronofsky – ‘The Wrestler’
7 – Ron Howard – ‘Frost/Nixon’
8 – Mike Leigh – ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’
9 - Jonathan Demme – ‘Rachel Getting Married’

Monday, 5 January 2009

The Producers Guild Awards Announce

And really they are just so zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
I mean they could have shaken things up a little. This damn animated category is getting like foreign film, dump the films in there to keep them from shining where they really belong.

Anyway, here are the nominees:
Feature Film:

Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight


Kung-Fu Panda


Man on Wire
Trouble the Water
Standard Operating Procedure

Have these old men no sense of adventure?

How do you predict the PGA?

Many feel ‘WALL-E’ will not be in the line up since they have a new category for animated films in 2006. This may be true. Sure previous animated films have made the shortlist, such as ‘The Incredibles’, and ‘Shrek’, but can ‘WALL-E’ cross over? Sure it is good enough, but will they want to leave the main category for live actions films only.
The like fantasy films that make money. ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Lord of the Rings (x 3)’ and ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ were all nominated.

They also like a popular comedy (How else can you explain ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ ). The like an epic as well as a popular musical and they have nominated both ‘Adaptation’ and ‘Being John Malkovich’ so they like Kaufman.

Also they sometimes go into the Golden Globe tradition of having six films nominated.

I would say that the safe bets are really:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire

So who to round out the final 2 or 3. Most feel ‘WALL-E’ is going to be stuck in the animated category (I will stick to my original predictions for the time being) so I leave that out.

Could ‘Mamma Mia’ make it in? Could we see Synecdoche, New York’ surprise? Can ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’ be the serious comedy they love to embrace?

In a few minutes we will know, but it is kind of exciting to think there could be a huge shake up here!

Village Voice Critics Poll

What is most interesting about these awards is the choices. Usually all over the place, but this year pretty much in line with the main stream thinking (especially the acting categories).

Could 'Happy-Go-Lucky' be one that surprises everyone?
Best Film

(Andrew Stanton, U.S.)
237 points/35 mentions

Determined little whatsit saves Earth and rocks the vote. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

2. The Flight of the Red Balloon 
(Hou Hsiao-hsien, France)
163 points/26 mentions
Great Chinese filmmaker remakes a 50-year-old French kiddie classic. Paris has never seemed more gloriously strange—nor has puppeteer Juliette Binoche.

3. Happy-Go-Lucky
(Mike Leigh, UK) 
159 points/26 mentions
Insanely cheerful little earful teaches kindergarten kids (and the rest of us) how to work and play with others in normally dour British filmmaker's greatest crowd-pleaser.

4. Still Life
(Jia Zhangke, China)
147 points/23 mentions
Part archaeological dig, part science fiction, this is a documentary with actors—and Jia's latest report on China burying its past and entering the future.

5. A Christmas Tale
(Arnaud Desplechin, France) 
146 points/24 mentions
Dysfunctional French family clusters around matriarch Catherine Deneuve. She's gravely ill and in need of a compatible transplant— the real infusion is the film's superabundance of cinematic brio.

6. Waltz With Bashir
(Ari Folman, Israel)
140 points/22 mentions
War is treated (and "treated") twice removed in Folman's animated documentary of the nightmares, memories, and fantasies suffered by Israeli soldiers a quarter century after invading Lebanon.

7. Milk
(Gus Van Sant, U.S.)
123 points/21 mentions
Van Sant goes straight . . . for the heartstrings, that is, in this wildly affirmative biopic of the San Francisco activist Harvey Milk, played with a controlled enthusiasm by Sean Penn.

8. Wendy and Lucy
(Kelly Reichardt, U.S.)
122 points/25 mentions
Boxcars, hobos, no money for gas—the Great Depression happening today: Stranded somewhere in Oregon, Michelle Williams is so lonesome she cannot cry.

9. Let the Right One In
(Tomas Alfredson, Sweden) 
113 points/20 mentions
Bullied 12-year-old boy falls in puppy love with the androgynous 200-year-old child vampire next door, in this gritty, wintry, bloody adaptation of Sweden's equivalent of the Twilight novels.

10. Synecdoche, New York
(Charlie Kaufman, U.S.)
106 points/18 mentions
First-time director wrestles with the convoluted script he wrote for himself—it's self-reflexive to the max and beyond, with Philip Seymour Hoffman as Kaufman's alter ego.

Best Actor

Sean Penn, Milk (86 votes):

Reining in his mannerisms, Hollywood's moodiest male star triumphantly vanished into the role of community organizer–political martyr Harvey Milk—and could well emerge brandishing an Oscar.

Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler (74 votes):
Gotta be the comeback performance of the decade—aging bad boy as an aging, almost lovable, broken-down professional wrestler.

Benicio Del Toro, Che (25 votes):
A sometime showboat demonstrates his own brand of revolutionary discipline, playing the icon of icons as a dedicated professional.

Best Actress

Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky (83 votes):
Erupting out of the Mike Leigh ensemble, Hawkins riffs an indelible character into existence—a London kindergarten teacher, at once grating and irresistible in her boundless good nature.

Michelle Williams, Wendy and Lucy (60 votes):
Williams performs a virtual solo as a young woman who loses everything when she loses her dog. No one this year held a close-up better.

Juliette Binoche, The Flight of the Red Balloon (55 votes):
Encouraged by director Hou Hsiao-hsien to invent her own character, Binoche broke new ground playing a professional puppeteer as eccentric as the movie in which she found herself.

Supporting Actor

Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight (75 points):

A no-brainer. Even had the release of Christopher Nolan's Batman sequel not been preceded by Ledger's untimely death, his turn as the anarchic Joker in Louise Brooks eyeshadow would have immortalized him among a generation of moviegoers and aspirant Method actors.

Eddie Marsan, Happy-Go-Lucky (43 points):
As the dyspeptic yang to Sally Hawkins's ebullient yin, this pug-faced Mike Leigh regular proved a formidable test case for the limits of positive thinking and gave a bad name to driving instructors everywhere.

Josh Brolin, Milk (30 points):
After playing Dubya for Oliver Stone, Brolin stepped down the political hierarchy to render an even more chilling impersonation of San Francisco supervisor and avid Twinkie consumer Dan White.

Supporting Actress

Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona (42 points):
Woody Allen's sun-drenched Spanish ménage à quatre is chugging along pleasantly enough, and then Cruz enters the frame as Javier Bardem's homicidal ex—and sets the whole thing ablaze like a raging comic fireball.

Viola Davis, Doubt (35 points):
As the pragmatic mother of an allegedly molested boy at a Catholic high school, Davis has just one major scene, but it is the kind that stops an audience dead in its tracks and colors the absolutist logic of John Patrick Shanley's modern morality play with much-needed splotches of gray.

Rosemary DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married (30 points):
Although Anne Hathaway has commanded the lion's share of press, it's DeWitt's less showboating performance as the titular betrothed that provides a welcome oasis of calm at the center of Jonathan Demme's big, fat U.N. wedding party.

Mini Review ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’

I am going to try and keep these reviews as short as possible for 09. If you want to read great reviews go to Fataculture or Movies Kick Ass.

Ok, so I had heard terrible things about this film, so didn’t go to see it in the cinema. The bf is a big fan so when he opened his blu-ray disc he threw it in the machine and we sat back and watched it.

You know what. I really enjoyed it. It took me back to the simpler time of my youth and recaptured the excitement of those long ago days. Sure the film is not perfect, but it is true to the legacy. People complained that the plot line was silly, but in all seriousness, are any of the plots of the first three films really that brilliant? No, they were about entertainment and set pieces that made your jaw drop.

Of course I am older and it takes a lot more to make my jaw drop, and to be honest, that is kind of sad. It was a film made with love, and you can really tell, so for that, and for making me remember a time when a rollicking adventure film was pure movie magic.


My PGA Predictions

These have no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…I will dispense these predictions now.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL-E - (Yes, I rescue it out of the Animated ghetto)

First person to guess the above quote is Genius of the Universe.