And the winner is…

It’s Academy Awards week coming up. For my take on the likely winners: Oscars: the winners should be no surprise

Latest Flick Crit at Cinema Takes: French phoenix: I’ve loved you for so long

One of the best films doing the rounds of the silver screen. Another French language movie.

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48 Responses

  1. Personally I would’ve prefered Ledger to receive an award for his performance in Brokeback Mountain compared to Dark Knight..

  2. And yes reb I’m a Brokeback fan too. Dark Knight is a little too contrived for my liking, but that’s just me.

  3. “in Brokeback Mountain compared to Dark Knight.”

    For sure reb & Min…but it is an interesting performance. Just wish there was more of it.

    I thought he was great in ‘Two Hands’, ‘The Patriot’ & ‘Monster’s Ball’.

    N’

  4. renniek, you probably missed my comment re: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button & director David Fincher here:

    nasking, on February 20th, 2009 at 7:27 pm at Frolykz! thread.

    Cheers
    N’

  5. “For my take on the likely winners: Oscars: the winners should be no surprise”

    Not having seen the majority…I’ll take your word for it renniek .

    Heard Sean Penn in ‘Milk’ was brilliant. That’s a MUST SEE for me.

    I thought ‘There Will Be Blood’ or ‘Michael Clayton’ should’ve won last year.

    But I still haven’t seen ‘Diving Bell and the Butterfly’, ‘Juno’, ‘Eastern Promises’. ‘Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead’ & ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’…& a few others that got high critical praise.

    Don’t get me wrong, I reckon ‘No Country for Old Men’ is an intriguing & brilliantly acted, shot & edited film. But I found it a bit confusing & disjointed in places. Weird mood tho. Kinda disturbing. Got me wondering about the future of America…& how war returnees are used for bad deeds sometimes.

    I preferred the Coen bros ‘Miller’s Crossing’, ‘Barton Fink’, ‘The Big Lebowski’, ‘Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?’, ‘Fargo’ & ‘Blood Simple’.

    Looking forward to Burn after Reading.

    From that previous year I also loved ‘Ratatouille’. Good fun.

    ‘This is England’ stood out from a mediocre crowd. . As did ‘The Lives of Others’.

    Enjoyed the pace of ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’.

    N’

  6. Anyone heard about The Time Travellers Wife..have read the book but haven’t heard anything about the movie with Eric Bana. Am thinking that it might be compared with Benjamin Button under the heading of the same but different.

  7. Nasking,

    Burn After Reading is excellent.

    I’ve just finished watching The Reader with Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes.

    (No they were’nt sitting on the couch with me, they’re in the movie)…

  8. The movie Dark Knight was ok, but the guy who played batman fit the role much better. The joker was a fool in this movie and showed weekness instead of strength.
    During the movie i thought the Joker was going to trip over and kill himself.

  9. Aqua,

    My favourite quote from Dark Knight is from Alfred (Michael Caine) the butler…

    “If you at least make an effort try and have some fun, you might find that you actually end up having some by mistake.”

  10. Michael caine has a way of making me forget im watching an actor same with a few others. Thats what i enjoy about a movie, being dragged into it.

  11. I’ll stir the pot a bit.

    I’ve never seen Brokeback Mountain – I have no “desire” to (‘scuse the pun). The plot appears to be a flimsy attempt to portray all men as having homosexual tendencies or denying them… or is it homosexual men having heterosexual tendencies?

    Sorry, I’m from 1947. What BS!

    As for Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight – very ordinary skills – as if “unusual” clown make-up and an attempt at voice change – something any actor at that level should be capable of – makes for exceptional peformance, GMAB.

    Ledger died of an overdose and people want to put him on a pedestal – what a “role model”, no wonder the Western world has lost the plot….and every man and his dog wants to jump on the band wagon…

    Compare Michael Caine and Ledger in the same movie – a universe apart in skill…presence…delivery…you name it…

    Always reminds me of James Dean – he made three “very ordinary” films, wrapped his car around a tree and people spend half a century telling each other what he “could have been” – same, sentimental tripe…

  12. “The plot appears to be a flimsy attempt to portray all men as having homosexual tendencies or denying them… or is it homosexual men having heterosexual tendencies? ”

    Couldn’t be further from the truth TB.

    Might be a good idea to get it out on DVD before casting judgement.

    But yes, I agree about putting Ledger on a pedestal after he’s snuffed it. His performance as the joker, was nowhere near as good as his performance in Brokeback Mountain.

  13. I will watch broke back one day.
    I have no problem whats so ever with two people sharing affections but to me its like a love story and they are always at the bottom of my list.

  14. What really bugs me about some movies.
    Equallity, but mose females are still the heros trophey.

  15. most

  16. reb, on February 21st, 2009 at 6:52 pm Said:
    Might be a good idea to get it out on DVD before casting judgement.

    Just for you, sreb!

    ..and I’ll post my verdict.

    Open mind and all that…

  17. Imo, best thing about Dark Knight was the amazing camerawork. Particularly overhead shots. Partially shot with IMAX cameras.

    Technically highly proficient film. Reminiscent of the original Die Hard. And John Woo’s Hard Boiled. Tall buildings & fireworks, so to speak…:)

    Cinematographer Wally Pfister has worked closely w/ director Chritopher Nolan before… on Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins and The Prestige.

    And speaking of interesting connections, he was also Director of Photography on F. Gary Gray’s The Italian Job. A remake of the 1969 film of the same name…starring as TB certainly knows, Michael Caine.

    Anybody remember this?

    Sleuth (1972)

    N’

  18. reb..to me Brokeback was all about ‘forbidden love’ – how some had (or still have to) supress their true selves. It could just as easily have been a movie about racism or caste.

  19. “Brokeback was all about ‘forbidden love’ – how some had (or still have to) supress their true selves.”

    Well said Min. About attempting to break out of THE CAGE…finding love & comfort in unexpected places. I found the final sequence very moving.

    Here’s a song from it:

    The wings – Brokeback Mountain soundtrack

    N’

  20. Thank you N’..love it, such haunting music.

    One thing that I find strange is that every female young and old of my acquaintance loves Brokeback, yet males (heteros) are shy/reluctant about it.

  21. Brokeback reminds me somewhat of Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show (1971):

    (The Last Picture Show – “Getting Old”)

    N’

  22. That’s a ripper N’. Hubby took me to see this in our courting days..followed by Chinese then to the Pancake Parlor. One used to get hungry following Chinese in those days due to the MSG me thinks.

  23. “yet males (heteros) are shy/reluctant about it.”

    I’m similatr to aquanut in that I don’t usually watch films that are portrayed as ‘Romance’. But the occasional one has pulled me in, like The Way We Were.

    But I guess romance is really all thru genres…so it might have something to do w/ the advertising & promotion of a film…the intitial target audience as such. Then it grows by word of mouth. The perception of the film can mutate…bring in those initially reluctant.

    My best male mate in Sydney is gay…& I’m pretty Hetro – tho some myopic characters like to think otherwise at times, try to pigeonhole me…if you don’t have an automatic love for cars & blood sports and try to live an alternative lifestyle it can be troublesome for them folk who think the old ways are going & that which wasn’t sanctioned by the Church, their mates and such is being stuffed down their throats.

    Irony is, the so called alternative lifestyles have existed since time immemorial. Often making something ‘forbidden’ is about power…and controlling people to fit them into an easily identifiable BOX or CAGE…less effort…more predictable…easy way to make money & exploit people. Use GUILT to drive them into CHURCHES & vote certain ways.

    I reckon some Righties &/or profiteers are waking up to the fact that they can monetarily benefit from Gay & Lesbian unions, gay/bi-sexual films/TV & such…and are reluctantly coming around.

    ‘Bout time.

    “Money makes the world go around”. Sigh.

    My mate informs me that plenty of ocker, blood sports, hard living fellas go to ‘the Saunas’ & such…are searching for intimate relationships, friendship & sometimes fast-paced sexual expression outside of their marriages.

    I just wish the society was more tolerant, less fundy religion-based…and then these guys could open up to their partners. I’m not one for SECRET LOVE…for health & honesty reasons. But society & dominant ideology & perceptions cause the problems sometimes.

    That’s got me thinking about my fave films w/ gay/lesbian themes. Later.

    N’

  24. “Burn After Reading is excellent.”

    reb, good to hear.

    “Anyone heard about The Time Travellers Wife..have read the book but haven’t heard anything about the movie with Eric Bana. ”

    No I haven’t Min. Sounds interesting from the Wikipedia info. They reckon the film has been completed but release date delayed til later 09.

    Dan Simmon’s brilliant sci-fi series ‘Hyperion’ has a character who ages backwards:

    Sol Weintraub is a Jewish scholar. His daughter was afflicted with an illness dubbed the “Merlin Sickness” that caused her to age backwards; she gets younger as time progresses.

    And a real menacing character:

    The Shrike is the monster and anti-hero of the novel. It is known for impaling people on a massive tree made of metal, whose branches are massive thorns. It is named after the “Shrike” bird which impales insects and small animals on the thorns of a tree.
    It is the object of a cult, the Church of the Final Atonement, and guards the Tombs of Time. The church sends a prime-number of pilgrims to the Time Tombs; all but one are killed and the remaining pilgrim gets his request granted. The Shrike is capable of manipulating time. This, along with its martial art skills backed up with four arms and a spiked armored body, makes it an essentially unbeatable opponent, capable of slaughtering entire corps.
    (Wiki pedia)

    Wish they’d make it into a film or mini-series.

    N’

  25. Burn After Reading is wonderful fluff. Excellent lifestyle satire with a bit of Maxwell Smart thrown in. Stellar cast is a bit wasted on the material. But enjoy it if you can. Milk is very well made but it’s conventional narrative style is a bit disappointing. Didn’t get far beneath his political persona. Loved Brokeback but then I was a big Randolf Scott fan in the fifties.

  26. “Milk is very well made but it’s conventional narrative style is a bit disappointing. Didn’t get far beneath his political persona.”

    Darn, I was hoping for more…guess that’s the problem w/ fitting a complex life into 120 minutes or so. Thank gawd for HBO & mini-series. Thought ‘Rome’ was amazing.

    And where would you put Benjamin Button in the list of Fincher films renniek? I hope it’s near the top.

    you can tell I’m a man of lists…:) Tho try not to be too reductionist.
    N’

  27. nasking

    BB (sound and courageous) fits behind Fight Club (ground breaking)and ahead of The Game (interesting), Panic Room (predictable). Alien 3 is in the void somewhere between long term and short term memory – can’t visualise a single scene.

  28. “behind Fight Club (ground breaking)”

    Couldn’t agree more re: ground breaking. Blew me away in the cinema.

    “BB (sound and courageous)”

    Yes, my interest is peaked.

    “Alien 3 is in the void somewhere between long term and short term memory – can’t visualise a single scene.”

    I’m one of the few he really enjoyed it. Seen it numerous times. The ending is so cool. And the tunnel chase scenes are great for the time. Interesting use of exiled convicts.

    I think some viewers hated the fact the girl is killed…& the main bloke. War can be hell. Even against Aliens…:)

    (Alien 3 Theatrical Trailer)

  29. “And the winner is…”

    not the opening number that’s for sure…well, at least as far as i’m concerned. The Oscar stage looks like something gauche out of Las Vegas or Disney. Some refer to it as elegant…I reckon it represents much that’s wrong w/ America…too much glitz, illusion & facade. And hosts having to demonstrate faux sycophantic attitudes towards the filmic aristocracy. Brrr…

    N’

  30. A very moving speech from the winner of the “Original Screenplay” award. I won’t give it away. But has something to do w/ a discussion above.

    And we even got a speech partially in Spanish from the “best supporting actress” winner.

    Hala, que guay!

    Thought Whoopi was funny.
    N’

  31. I’m pleased the best animated film winner was the one S’ & I really enjoyed a month ago.

    This not giving much away thing could really catch on.
    N’

  32. The Duchess wins an award, can you guess what for?:

    and no, that’s not reb after midnight.

    N’

  33. Actually I’m finding the whole academy awards hoo-ha quite nauseating…

  34. Just trying to catch up..and so apologies for things missed. The theme of the Time Traveller’s Wife is a man who through no wish or fault of his own time travels. He would do anything if he could just stand in one place.

  35. “Actually I’m finding the whole academy awards hoo-ha quite nauseating…”

    Thought the stage improved part way thru…nothing like a warehouse full of packing crates to make one feel at home.

    We was robbed…how could the Academy pass over Hellboy 2 for makeup?

    I like your new Gravatar reb…:)

    N’

  36. N’..if men are coy about romance then they are double and triple coy about boy/boy romance.

    Sadly all that the media can manage about female/female love is a few pics regarding tongies.

    Such is the current standard.

  37. And now that Heath Ledger has his Oscar can the Murdoch media please find something worthwhile to write about.

  38. “Sadly all that the media can manage about female/female love is a few pics regarding tongies.”

    Sadly, you’re right Min.

    My fave films w/ Lesbian themes:

    Better Than Chocolate
    Go Fish
    I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing
    If These Walls Could Talk 2
    Heavenly Creatures
    When Night is falling
    My Summer of Love

    N’

  39. Thank you Nasking.

    I think it was Kittylitter who hinted that I was a toffee nosed git, so I may as well live up to expectations!

    Now where did I put those velvet slippers…..

  40. “If These Walls Could Talk 2?”

    Does Missus Nasking know about that one…?

  41. “Now where did I put those velvet slippers…..”

    You mean the persian ones? What are you hiding in the toe of them?…not a seven percent solution me hopes…:)

    “Does Missus Nasking know about that one…?”

    She loved it. Wide thinker.

    Enjoyed some of the mock 70s stoner sequence, ahhh, the good old days…but some of the other award presenters are acting like they’ve got toothpicks up their arses…perhaps they should opt for avatars next year. They’d probably be more animated. Hey! how about an animated Oscars?

    N’

  42. Get the South Park guys to animate it. And when an actor doesn’t win they can go “Screw you guys, I’m going home!”.

  43. “And when an actor doesn’t win they can go “Screw you guys, I’m going home!”.”

    Great idea. Mr. Hankey the “Christmas Poo” & Towelie would make great presenters.

    Whoa, that “top hat” song & dance scene was rough. Where’s Bob Fosse when you need him?

    N’

  44. “And now that Heath Ledger has his Oscar can the Murdoch media please find something worthwhile to write about.”

    Here, here. Well said Min.

    Ya know, I was kinda, partially, rooting for Robert Downey Jr. It was a freakin’ funny part. ‘Tropic Thunder’ was much better than I expected. Cinematography, editing & explosion scenes were pretty good.

    And that dance by Tom Cruise at the end is weirdly mesmerising. Reminded me of my Dad on the dance floor.

    N’

  45. And if Mr Hankey gives out the awards we can all be vicarious winners. hehe

  46. lol joni.

    It’s good they give out awards to documentaries. Even short ones.

    Funny watching Will Smith give a passionate & humorous justification for watching action films…only to have to hand out the ‘Visual effects’ award to a film about aging backwards that seems to have little action.

    N’

  47. I didn’t know Stan Winston died. Or Kon Ichikawa the director. The roll of the deceased at the Oscars always gets me…so many brilliant visionaries, technicians & artisans pass on every year.

    STAN WINSTON TRIBUTE

    N’

  48. Didn’t manage to finish the awards recording. I’m sure I’ll discover who the winners are over the next year or so…

    Hmmm…maybe I was watching a recording of the Golden Globes…

    N’

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