All entries for Monday 23 February 2009
February 23, 2009
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Paramount & Warner Bros. - Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Cean Chaffin
- Frost/Nixon - Universal - Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Eric Fellner
- Milk - Focus Features - Dan Jinks, Bruce Cohen
- The Reader - The Weinstein Company - Anthony Minghella, Sydney Pollack, Donna Gigliotti, Redmond Morris
- Slumdog Millionaire - Fox Searchlight, Warner Bros., Pathe - Christian Colson
Only seen Milk and Slumdog, but Milk is 10 times the film Slumdog is.
- 2007 No Country for Old Men - Miramax & Paramount Vantage - Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
- Atonement - Focus Features - Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster
- Juno - Fox Searchlight - Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick, Russell Smith
- Michael Clayton - Warner Bros. - Jennifer Fox, Kerry Orent, Sydney Pollack
- There Will Be Blood - Paramount Vantage & Miramax - Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Lupi, JoAnne Sellar
All four other films are worthier winners than the empty and vapid blandity of No Country For Old Men. Seen it three times, first time I fell asleep, other times I wish I had.
- 2006 The Departed - Warner Bros. - Graham King
- Babel - Paramount Vantage - Alejandro González Iñárritu, Steve Golin, Jon Kilik
- Letters from Iwo Jima - Warner Bros. - Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, Robert Lorenz
- Little Miss Sunshine - Fox Searchlight - David T. Friendly, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub
- The Queen - Miramax - Andy Harries, Christine Langan, Tracey Seaward
Have not seen Iwo Jima. The Queen and Babel are only solid films, but still better than the festering pile of shite that is The Departed. A 5 year old could have written that film. Little Miss Sunshine is the stand out piece of genius from that list.
- 2005 Crash - Lions Gate - Paul Haggis, Cathy Schulman
- Brokeback Mountain - Focus Features - Diana Ossana, James Schamus
- Capote - United Artists & Sony Pictures Classics - Caroline Baron, William Vince, Michael Ohoven
- Good Night, and Good Luck. - Warner Bros. - Grant Heslov
- Munich - DreamWorks & Universal - Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Barry Mendel
Fell asleep during Capote, and have not seen Good Night and Good Luck. That said Munich is a good movie with one of the most amazing and powerful pieces of cinematography I have ever seen (the sex/kidnap juxtaposition scene), and Brokeback mountain is an excellent film. Both tower above Crash, which suffers from the Pulp Fiction "we don't really need a story, just chuck in a load of (not at all) interesting characters and people will care" syndrome.
- 2004 Million Dollar Baby - Warner Bros. - Clint Eastwood, Albert S. Ruddy, Tom Rosenburg
It literally hurts my soul that Million Dollar Baby won an Oscar. This was the start of the malaise, the current bad streak, and what a start. I wish I had fallen asleep - oh, for the comforts of the land of nod that Capote and No Country For Old Men provided, rather than the stale and fetid turd of canned manipulative emotion and shitty, unengaging dialogue and action that characterise this film. Ray was passable, though still not Oscar worthy, and I can't claim to have seen The Aviator, Finding Neverland or Sideways, but I find it hard to believe that none of those three is better than Million Dollar Baby...
2000-2003 marked a good streak for the Academy.
- 1999 American Beauty - DreamWorks SKG - Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks
American Beauty is a very good film. In most years, I would not have contested its place as an Oscar winner. But the Green Mile is a work of absolute cinematic majesty, and all those involved can feel justifiedly robbed, even if by such a staunch contender as American Beauty.
- 1998 Shakespeare in Love - Miramax, Universal - David Parfitt, Donna Gigliotti, Harvey Weinstein, Edward Zwick, Marc Norman
- Elizabeth - PolyGram Filmed Entertainment - Shekhar Kapur, Alison Owen, Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan
- Life Is Beautiful (La vita è bella) - Miramax - Elda Ferri, Gianluigi Braschi
- Saving Private Ryan - DreamWorks SKG, Paramount - Steven Spielberg, Ian Bryce, Mark Gordon, Gary Levinsohn
- The Thin Red Line - 20th Century Fox - Robert Michael Geisler, John Roberdeau, Grant Hill
However much love I harbour for Shakespeare, Saving Private Ryan is one of the finest war movies ever made. Shakespeare in Love is an above average rom-com. The difference in comparison to the rest of their respective genres alone should make Saving Private Ryan the clear choice, let alone the direct comparison between the films. I haven't seen La Vita E Bella all the way through, but, by reputation alone, it may well also be a challenger.
From 1998-2007, the Oscars are 4 from 10. We can only hope for better form this time round...