Oscar Time Part Deux

A couple weeks ago when the nominations came out, I offered up my list of flicks that I intended to see before the beeg pahtee on 2/25.

Well, of course I won’t have a chance to see ALL of those, but let’s have a look through the nominees that I have seen, and the categories that I have some license to talk about…

BEST PICTURE
You may have seen my initial review of The Departed earlier in the year, I might have talked about a couple others, and I’m not feeling like re-hashing thoughts on the individual films. So with that said, here is a one-sentence review of each:

The Departed— Scorsese’s best flick since Goodfellas hits on all cylinders, and the end is a surprise.

BabelCrash-like in plot, but no racist aftertaste; more of a comment on a shrinking global community.

Letters from Iwo Jima— Strong performances against a gritty Eastwoodian backdrop, with a (relatively) uplifting finale.

Little Miss Sunshine— Superb screenplay made better by a terrific ensemble.

The Queen— The movie with this year’s Best Actress winner is an interesting flick regardless of historical accuracy.

My pick is The Departed. Best chance for an upset will come from Letters from Iwo Jima, since it is well-known that everything Clint Eastwood touches turns to gold,* unless nominated in the same year as a movie with hobbits.**

BEST DIRECTOR
Nominees here are the same as best pic, with the exception of Paul Greengrass and United 93 subbing in for Little Miss Sunshine. Greengrass did a phenomenal job, and that movie actually made me want to not watch any other 9/11 movies for a while. I guess for me, though, the proof of that film’s quality will come with time, when the people who were NOT around to witness 9/11 firsthand look at it. Other people might think about it differently…

But in any case, I’ll pick Martin again. Of course, there’s always the chance that the Academy will kick him in the balls one more time and hand this statue to Josey Wales.

That might be a much more interesting way to settle the Best Director award, no? Eastwood gets dressed up like he’s back in Fistful of Dollars and he and the little Italian wiseguy count off 10 paces in front of Mann’s Chinese Theater, turn and fire. Done and done. Once and for all. Christ, man, it would be like Blazing Saddles.

That covers both categories where I’ve seen all the nominees, but I could make a couple other random picks, I suppose…

– Would like to see Alan Arkin win for supporting actor in Little Miss Sunshine. Thought he really gave that character an edge.
– How did Dreamgirls get all these nominations?
– How bout an award for Click, just for the sake of putting the words “ACADEMY AWARD WINNER” on the DVD box (it’s up for an award for makeup)?
– I would have to see Pan’s Labyrinth to make a call in the Original Screenplay category, but out of the other four (Babel, Iwo Jima, Miss Sunshine, and The Queen), I will be pulling for Little Miss Sunshine.

* - see the 77th Academy Awards
** - see the 76th Academy Awards

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