Monday, January 12, 2009

My Oscar Picks for 2008

*All of this is solely based of what I have seen and heared for my self. There are still quite a few movies I have not seen yet that I would like to that may alter my opinions here. Chiefly among the films I'd still like to see are Milk, Doubt, and Revolutionary Road. Frost/Nixon is getting a lot of attention and I am sure it's a decent movie but I am really put off by its trailer. It just feels like that actor is doing a bad impersonation of Nixon the whole time. I have started reading the screenplay though so that might change my mind about it. It was written by the screenwriter that wrote The Queen which I liked very much.

Below are my picks for nominees in various categories. The ones I would like to see win are in BOLD. I know this is entirely self indulgent but I love movies and I love this time of year when the artistic accomplishments of film are celebrated, however political the process may be.

"Down to Earth" by Peter Gabriel from WALL-E
"Another Way to Die" by Jack White and Alicia Keys from Quantum of Solace
"Traveling Song" by from Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
"Jai Ho" by A.R. Rahman from Slumdog Millionaire

You can hear samples of the songs in the player below:

The Dark Knight, Benjamin Button, Slumdog Millionaire, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The Fall, Slumdog Millionaire, The Dark Knight

Benjamin Button
, Iron Man, The Dark Knight

, Slumdog Millionaire, The Dark Knight, Iron Man

Production Design:
Quantum of Solace, The Fall, Benjamin Button

Animated Feature:
Kung Fu Panda
I wanted to mention here that this category is the toughest for me to pick this year. I love Kung Fu Panda through and through. I loved it the first time I saw and it it only got better upon repeat viewings. WALL-E on the other hand has not been so easy for me to peg. When I first saw it I loved it. I had a few reservations with some of the creative choices but I enjoyed the film. After a while though the reservations I had grew and I became extremely critical of it. Recently though I have found my self going back to the film repeatedly. I watch it to figure out what it is that I loved about it when I first saw it. I watch it wondering why it is being so lavishly praised by critics in general. I watch it because I simply enjoy watching it. I have come to the conclusion that I do in fact like the film and were it to win I would not be disappointed for it is a great film. At the same time I don't think it is as impervious to criticism as some would like to see it. The film has it faults, but I guess in the end I am won over the the power of the story and Andrew Stanton's courage to do something different.

Animated Short:
Presto, A Matter of Loaf and Death (the new Wallace and Gromit short), La Maison en Petits Cubes, Secrets of the Furious Five
I saw La Maison en Petits Cubes, which translates House of Small Cubes, during a short film festival at work and I was enamored with the charm and emotion that the short carried. I really really like both Presto and the new Wallace and Gromit short and it would be extremely hard to choose between the three but if I were casting a vote and had to choose I would go with La Maison en Petits Cubes. I hope it gets nominated at the very least so that it get the exposure it deserves.

Best Picture:
Slumdog Millionaire, The Dark Knight
More than any other movies I would like to see Slumdog Millionaire and The Dark Knight nominated with Slumdog taking home the top prize on Oscar night.

BTW... I finally saw The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. That film was robbed last year! It deserved way more recognition. It's a great movie. Very underrated... check it out if you can.

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