Monday, November 28, 2005

Pride & Prejudice

Saw Pride & Prejudice last night. Liked it a lot. I suppose I didn't "love" it the way I love some films - it just didn't have that spark of magic I sometimes find - though it does seem worthy of repeated viewing. It's one of those movies where everything just works... that sounds so simple, but it's really quite rare. A work of art that seems simple and effortless is, as always, the mark of a great artist with real skill. So kudos to Joe Wright.

Sadly, though, he's not the one likely to reap awards when the time comes. That honor would go to the lovely Keira Knightley. Given the weak best actress field, I'd be surprised not to see her nominated. I just hope she goes drama at the golden globes (where she might actually win the trophy); otherwise, she might have some trouble. Comedy/drama-wise, the film is right on the line and could go either way. Usually with a movie like this it would be a good idea to just go comedy to assure recognition, but this year, the comedy field is unusually strong, especially for actresses, while drama is pretty empty. In fact, I can't see who could actually win the drama globe if Knightley is not nominated there... but her breakout starlet story would fit the bill.

The whole cast deserves credit, though. It's a great ensemble piece. Knightley just happened to have the leading role, and she, like her castmates, delivered. I'd like to see the screenplay, director, sets, costumes and music all honored, and the ensemble nominated at the SAGs, but that's a lot to ask for a small movie handled by a studio that's already got its hands full (Focus Features' real loyalty is to Brokeback Mountain... and I REALLY hope they give it a good campaign). Still, we'll see. Everybody really likes this film. Mass awardage is quite possible.


Blogger Kamikaze Camel said...

I thought Keira, the sets, costumes, cinematography and score were all great and would not be surprised to see them in there.

People are still underestimating this movie methinks. There aren't many traditional period type films this year.

I personally really loved the cinematography. The long takes introducing us to every character, the zoom ins, the knack of getting in the middle of a busy room...

and, yes, drama it should go.


1:03 AM  
Blogger adam k. said...

Oh, right! The cinematography WAS really good. I forgot about that. Perhaps since I wasn't wearing my glasses and it was all just a bit blurry, I didn't fully appreciate its beauty and crispness. Plus, I just immediately think of sets and costumes more than cinematography with films like this, even if the cinematography is great. Bad me! That's a typical academy-type error in judgment.

Regarding Keira, I won't complain a bit if she's nommed (especially in such a weak year), but she didn't really scream "oscar!" to me. Rather like Catalina Moreno in Maria Full of Grace, it felt like she was just the most visible part of a very well-oiled machine. You know? Like, she was very good, but no better than the rest of the cast, or for that matter, the rest of the movie. I don't know if the part required quite enough of her to justify major awardage. I'd rather see the whole ensemble recognized equally. But that said, they could do far worse. She did the role proud, that's for sure.

2:29 AM  
Blogger adam k. said...

Oh and regarding globe placement... do you know if it's the film studio that decides the category or the HFPA? I think I heard that the studio can request something, but that the HFPA had final say. Or something. But then, do they all decide by committee where something goes before they vote, or what? And what are their motivations?

Like, if they just want to kill someone's chances (say, Jennifer Aniston in The Good Girl) they could put them in drama and then watch them miss out (bet she was upset about that one). Or if they want to give something a boost but know it can't make their drama shortlist (say, Big Fish, for example) they can put it in comedy as a kind of compromise.

Whatever, I don't know. The HFPA people are so weird. And can be easily bought anyway. So whatever.

2:35 AM  
Blogger Kamikaze Camel said...

I know the HFPA has final choice when it comes to lead/supporting. Which is why we got Renee and Catherine both in Best Actress M/C for Chicago, whereas everywhere else Catherine was supporting.

Which is also why I think Matthew Broderick will be Lead at the Globes, but nowhere else (for The Producers, obviously).

But when it comes to the films themselves I think it's up the studio. I remember reading on MCN that Paramount has decided to make Hustle & Flow a musical/comedy contender.

I hope that answers your question!

Oh, and I have a big giant massive soft-spot for cinematography. I love great compositions and lighing and such. If I had the money to spend on a great camera I'd take up photography. I even considered heading in that direction career wise.

That's why I consider Collateral's miss in the category last year one of the all-time worst snubs (of nominees that HAD a chance. No Christian Bale for American Psycho there).


9:22 AM  
Blogger adam k. said...

I know the HFPA decides on lead/supporting (and they often place tough calls in lead - comedy), but I thought I heard that they decide comedy/drama also. I remember hearing that Big Fish was placed in comedy even though it wanted drama. But I could be wrong, I guess.

Broderick will definitely be lead at the globes, and nowhere else (and by nowhere else, I mean not nominated anywhere else, for anything, period).

And yes, cinematography is nifty.

11:22 AM  

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