Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"And the Oscar goes to..."

2007 was an amazing year for film and I am thrilled to say that all five of the nominations for Best Picture this year were among my top ten of the season! I would like to take a moment to comment quickly on each;

"No Country for Old Men" is simply perfect. This is the Coen Brothers at there best, doing a story that is familiar, handling the direction with assurance, and allowing actors to breathe in their film like I have not seen before.

Jones, Brolin, and Bardem all knock their roles completely into the stratosphere - all should have received nominations!

The film is taut - frightening - layered - fascinating... and perfect.

Paul Thomas Anderson is a really interesting filmmaker who continues to explore his creative abilities within a storytelling structure - "There Will Be Blood" does not play out like a historical biography, but more like a scattered image of a driven mad man. I loved watching the imagery and Anderson's direction - but Lewis' portrayal of Daniel Plainview dominated every aspect of the film.

He will win the Oscar - he is amazing in the film - it is fantastic.

"Juno" was marvelous. It is a story that I was happy to hear, a young girl who finds herself pregnant - decides to keep the baby and give it up to a couple in need... yet does not struggle with that decision but more with the relationships that surround her.

Cara, my mother, my brother and I got out to see this the weekend it opened in town, and we all really enjoyed the film. As most people mention, I was a little thrown off by Cody's ultra groovie dialog at the beginning of the film but the performances eased me back into a love for "Juno."

I would not complain if Ellen Page won for Best Actress.

"Pride and Prejudice" was a beautiful surprise for me - I am not a huge Keira Knightly fan and I had never heard of Joe Wright... but that film was captivating and a joy. "Atonement" was just as good.

The story was compelling - the acting was superberb... but the direction was what really excited me. There is a moment in the film where events are played backwards and we watch as Knightly is separated, yet joined, to her lover, McAvoy. The colors - the movement - everything worked fantastically in that scene.

Though the film was not perfect (8 min long take that did not work) - I would recommend it to anyone!

"Michael Clayton" is all about taking a story that we have seen before, but making it real. Screw "Erin Brokovich," this film actually looks at what it takes in a person to sell your soul for financial gain.

Clooney was really good but it is Tilda Swinton who steals every scene she is involved in. Her final moments in the film are brilliant.

Gilroy directed with a light touch (and I even loved those horses at the beginning) and I appreciated his respect for the characters. The film is very very good.


with out a doubt "No Country for Old Men" is a film that 40 years from now the world will still be looking at - still be analyzing... still be admiring.

It is the Best Picture of the year.

Now we just have to wait til Sunday for the world to concur.


No comments: