Sunday, January 27, 2008


Ryan (& Blanchett)

BFCA: Ryan

GG: Blanchett

SAG: Dee

Oscar: ?????

Any ideas? I guess the smart money's still on Blanchett (she has a double nom, lest we forget, and she played a real person). The Ruby Dee win at SAG tonight was probably more the populism bias than anything (many many people vote in those awards, and I bet they all saw American Gangster), but it still gives her momentum heading into the big race. Amy Ryan I think is the classic "critic's pick" who was never destined to transfer to an oscar win, just like Madsen and other past losers. Most academy members probably still don't really know who she is. But my dream scenario is that the confusion leads to a surprise win for SWINTON who I love beyond reason, and who could be a token win for Michael Clayton (which I also liked a lot).

Crossing my fingers for Swinton... but probably still putting money on Cate. Pray for an upset, people... pray pray pray...


SAG Awards Live-Blogging attempt by moi

I don't usually try to do this, but tonight I'm gonna. Here we go!

7:53 OMG! Titanic just happens to be on before the SAGs. It's ending... old Rose is throwing the diamond away! Aaaawwww... I haven't watched this movie (yes I said MOVIE) in a long time, even though I recently bought the new fabulous 3 or 4 disc special edition. Yes, I am a Titanic fan. It's not perfect, but it gets me like no other. Sue me. Aww, credits. I kinda wish I'd checked into TNT earlier... watching movies on TV is kinda fun in a masochistic way.

7:59 Someone is talking to someone on the red carpet over the Titanic credits. Whatever. Get to it, already. oooooh the credits are rolling at super speed. So THAT's how they make sure the film is the right length for that 4 hour bloc...

8:00 Some stupid man is talking over shots of people. She's Eva Longoria PARKER now? I didn't know that. I guess that's cause I don't care about her. Aww, Brangelina... sad they weren't nominated at the oscars. Yay for Ryan Gosling. Mmmm... Diane Lane and Josh Brolin. Look, Cate is wearing something fun.

8:02 Sally Field's voice is so shrill... good thing she's so likeable otherwise. I don't know who Doug Sevante is. !!! ELLEN BURSTYN !!! I wanna read her book. Are they really reading their own life stories off of cue cards? That's kind of lame. Why did I never make that connection before? Haha I like RR's little story. Cute. Haha, Elaine Jane Krakowski is funny too. Kyle M is looking a little past his prime tonight. Oh well.

8:05 Yay, Tina Fey and Steve Carrell! What a pair. They'd better be funny. Haha. OK they were pretty good. I wonder who will win this. I kinda wish I watched more TV. But of course now the one show I'm obsessed with is never nominated for things. One more year, one more year... get it right, Emmys, GGs and SAG. ooh, I like Hugh Laurie. I hope he wins. How is he not really American? That blows my mind. Oh, please not James Spader again. I like him, but come on. The winner is... OK James Gandolfini is pretty respectable. Can't really go wrong there. Let's see what he has to say... (this was best actor in a drama series BTW) James is so classy. I'm actually finding him really attractive right now, which is weird. Speech is short and sweet. Nice.

8:08 Nikki Blonsky, yay! John Travolta, boooo. The cast of Hairspray, yay!!! I'd kinda like them to win. Apparently come people think they're going to. But I'm not holding my breath. OK that montage was lame. Kinda over before it began. But at least maybe now the show will be short.

8:10 OMG Debra Messing's getup is amazing. The hair is maybe too much, but I can't look away. I can't decide whether it's a trainwreck or genius. But it makes me not even care what award she's presenting. Best actress in a drama series. Classy field. It'll probably be Falco. And that'd be fine by me. Not that I watch that show, or any of the others. Wow, so many great actresses. So many accents. Yup, Falco. Easy to see coming, after James. But good for her, she rocks. Sad that this'll be her last one. Not supposed to happen? Please. Come on, Edie. I didn't believe that at all. You're a better actress than that. But how great and natural she looks tonight. I love her.

8:13 Commercial. Good, I get a break.

8:18 Those commercials took forever. This history of SAG is cool, though. I never knew this stuff. I wish I had a SAG card. Damn. Someday...

8:20 Ensemble in a drama series. Well duh, this is gonna be Sopranos. You know they all would kill to be on that show. Grey's is nominated. I don't get that show. It's not that good. My mom and sister watch it all the time. The gay one is cute, though. I'd do him. T. R. Knight, that's it. rawr... but Sopranos will win. Yup. Alright, I'm bored. Maybe if I watched the show, I wouldn't be. But I don't.

8:25 Emile Hirsch and Hal Holbrook. I wonder if they're pissed that their film got snubbed. Wow, Emile Hirsch is short. And not as cute tonight as he sometimes is. Also not as charming. I totally see how he'd be a director surrogate in a Penn film, though. He is Pennesque in a way.

8:27 Marion Cotillard! She's like a pixie. What is she presenting? Supporting actor. Will it be Bardem? Afflck looks GOOOOOD. In the film, and in that tux. Dammit, I wish I didn't think so. I always used to find him smarmy. Maybe Holbrook will win. Wow, what a brief clip. Leave you wanting more... yay, Tommy Lee Jones. I really liked him in that film. And yay for the Wilkinson. Love him always. And the actor goes to... JAVIER BARDEM. Woop. And good on Marion for pronouncing his name correctly. Gotta love those Europeans. MAN, Javier is sexy. Look at that man. I want him so hard. Look how good his hair can look when he tries. Javier is such a sexy name. I want a boyfriend named Javier. Maybe I should buy Before Night Falls. God, he's sexy. Yum. Hahaha, he thanks the Coens for choosing the good takes. Amen to that. God, he's amazing.

8:36 It's baaaack. Ooh, I love Chandra Wilson. She's the only thing I really like about that show. Best actress in a comedy series. C Applegate is crying. She's pretty funny. Wow, they really do make America Ferrera look ugly. And that's hard to do. Tina Fey... that makes two nominees crying in their clips. And Mary-Louise Parker being deadpan. What a shock. And then there's Vanessa. And the actor goes to... Tina Fey! Cool! Could she win the Emmy? I never really thought of her as an actor. Oh, and apparently she doesn't either. But I love this anyway. And good on her shout-out to the writer's guild. Since you know, she's part of it.

8:39 JAMES MARSDEN! He's such a cutie. He cleans up nice. Hahahaha all these nominees are great. I think Jeremy Piven is sexy. Really sexy. Oh god, Tony Shaloub is so over, though. Please, no. Alec Baldwin. Nice. I love new blood. He's not there? Fuck that shit. Oh well.

8:42 Ruby Dee! Yay, I love her. It'd be cool if she won. Not for ensemble, though. She looks pretty good for 80 or whatever she is. People of color age so well... Russell Crowe looks kind of schlubby in AG. Glad he never got any traction, in either category. Who are these people presenting best cast in a comedy series? I don't even know who they are. Lame. I suppose 30 Rock will probably win this. I don't like Desperate Housewives. I watched one episode and totally didn't care. Mmmm, Adrien Grenier is sexy, too. I should watch Entourage. Wow, a threesome with him and Piven would really be fun. Sorry, how vulgar. Why am I so sex-obsessed tonight? Too many hotties. And the winner is... The Office. Interesting. But again, I don't really watch TV, so I don't care. Wow, they look surprised that they beat 30 Rock. I don't blame them. That was a nice speech. Kinda boring, though. I think they were all in shock.

8:48 Commercial break. Good.

8:54 Back. Someone is talking, and I don't care. OK, that was boring. Here comes the tribute to Charles Durning. I really really liked him in Tootsie. Too bad I haven't seen him in anything else. Hee, "Gayety Burlesque." Oh wow, he was almost killed at war. And then he became an actor. Sweeeeeet. Whoa, he gained a lot of weight in a rather short time. He was in The Sting? Mmmm, Paul Newman. Wow, Al Pacino was sexy when he was young. Clearly, I like latins/italians. YES, the Tootsie bit. Yay. Ew, Tom Hanks. Why does he have to be here? Oh wait, he's not, that was prerecorded. Now somebody else is gonna talk? Burt Reynolds looks like he's about to fall over. This is so awkward. Is this about his acting career or the war? Eh... I guess I should be more respectful. Aw, it's so cute that Forest Whitaker is helping him up. And now he's talking. I think I'm gonna use this time to take a break. Sorry.

9:10 OK, back. People are still applauding. This is cute, though. I think I just saw the kid from The Kite Runner in the audience. Aaaaaaaand now there's another commercial. Awesome.

9:16 Holly Hunter and James Spader are presenting best actor in a TV movie or miniseries. Holly Hunter looks a LOT like Evan Rachel Wood tonight. I'm having flashbacks to Thirteen. Kevin Kline wins. Okay. NEXT.

9:18 Ben Foster presents 3:10 to Yuma. Sorry, Ben, the other Foster is still about 10,000 times cooler than you (I'm talking about Jodie in case it isn't obvious). I'd like to see 3:10 to Yuma. I meant to, but I never did. Damn.

9:20 Mickey Rooney is here! Fun. And finally, after lots of talking, he's presenting best actress in a TV movie or miniseries. Here's Debra Messing again. That dress! That hair! Anna Paquin always looks so confused and scared all the time. Queen Latifah wins! Huh. She's not there. Hee... "Miss Latifah." That's funny.

9:25 Josh Brolin is sexy. I'm glad he got a lot more famous this year. Is he more famous than his wife now? I guess they're on a pretty even keel. Oh no, the "in memorium" thing. I can't watch... this is gonna be so sad. I think they're doing a special thing for Ledger. My dad is here being exasperated at how all these people died. Does anyone realize this music is the music from the Brokeback trailer? Sigh. So sad. And here's Heath Ledger. Are they doing another thing after the commercial? I thought they were gonna do a special thing. If it really was an accidental overdose of prescription drugs, that'd be REALLY sad. Such a waste. So pointless. But sometimes, that's just how these things go.

9:36 Another educational thing. Ooh, Debra Messing's hair again. Yowza. Oh boy, Viggo needs to lose the beard. Best supporting actress. I predicted Ruby Dee would win this. We'll see. She looked really good in that clip. Catherine Keener looks really good, too. Amy Ryan had quite an accent there. Ooooh, Tilda. LOVE. Here it is... RUBY DEE!!!!!! How much do I rock. OK, my dad just asked if it's "black night" or something, since Ruby Dee and Queen Latifah both won. My republican-leaning father, everyone. Christ. Look at her glasses! How cute. I'm still really excited that I got this right. I'm kind of awesome. She's very classy. I'm glad she won. And I'm glad she's the only one riding AG's box office to awards. Apparently dad was bored of listening to Ruby Dee speak, cause he walked away. Wow, I really don't like him sometimes. So this is a wide open race in supporting actress, huh? VERY hard to know who'll take this... maybe Tilda? That'd be sweet.

9:43 No Country for Old Men is being presented. Yay. Commercial. I'm gonna take a break to be pissed at my racist father.

9:49 Best lead actor. Matthew McCaughnahay has a bad haircut. So he's costarring with Kate Hudson again? I'm shocked. Now dad is commenting on all the clips as if he knows what he's talking about. Wow, I'm getting really sick of him. Aw, Emile Hirsch is cute again. And Viggo is a badass. Awesome. And for the win... I'm so on edge (snark)... Daniel Day-Lewis. I started typing that before they even said it, to save myself time. Oooh, I think he's gonna say something about Heath Ledger. Hmm, maybe not. Except yeah, there it was. I knew it. Good for Daniel. Classy. I feel like he really wanted to get to know Heath Ledger, and is sad he couldn't. Sad. I knew he'd dedicate it to Heath. What a wonderful man.

9:54 Forest Whitaker presents best lead actress. I think it'll be Christie... we've already had our upset. Wow, Cate Blanchett certainly is intense. Julie Christie died her hair. I don't know if I like it. There's Marion, being all pixieish again. And there's Angie. Poor, snubbed Angie. And Ellen Page. Selling that overwritten dialogue like a pro. And the actor goes to... Julie Christie. I sure am doing well tonight. Yaaaaaaaaaaay... time to hear her speak. She sure it taking her sweet time getting up there. Awww. She's adorable. Shout out to the unions! Yay. She's so eccentric. Awwww, she's givin' it up for Sarah. Good for her. She's so funny.

10:00 Ew, why does Tom Cruise have to tarnish the night? OK, ensemble... please, let it be No Country so I'm 5 for 5... YES! I rule. And No Country is getting the oscar. Go me. Go it. Go everyone. Except Tom Cruise, cause he sucks. Haha. Josh Brolin... "sad... sad for the rest of us." That's rich. I'm glad he gets to talk, at least. He's so hot, in that manly way. And he's saying smart things. Thank the Coens, thank the Coens! Haha... he's "taking his time"... this is so funny. Haha, look at Woody in the background. He's so insane. That was a funny speech.

And look at that, the show almost clocked in under two hours. I'm sad they didn't do more for Heath Ledger, but DDL rectified that. And I scored 5 for 5! I'm so happy.

Labels: ,

Pick Flick Hillary Obama I actually prefer Edwards

I find this video really funny. And it makes Election seem like an even better film.

SAG predictions + actuals

My prediction and the winner: No Country for Old Men

Pretty obvious, I think.

My prediction and the winner: Julie Christie

BUT I think it's very VERY possible that Page could upset her here. Box office is a big factor at the SAG awards. But already-cemented frontrunner status, and non-SAG-winning legend status, are big factors too. So Christie it is.

My prediction and the winner: Daniel Day-Lewis

No contest, with Depp gone.

My prediction and the winner: Ruby Dee

I'm actually gonna go out on a bit of a limb with this one and predict a win for Ruby Dee. She's in the biggest hit (by far) and is a sentimental favorite. And Blanchett's film is a bit too esoteric for the wider SAG membership, I think, so I say she splits the dissenting vote with Amy Ryan. And of course, American Gangster got an ensemble nod, too, and STILL Dee managed an individual nod for her teeny tiny performance.

My prediction and the winner: Javier Bardem

Before the ceremony, I said: This is another one I'm a little worried about. I just feel like the Tommy Lee Jones inclusion could split the No Country votes and hand the win to Hal Holbrook or someone else. But since Holbrook's film was slighted by the academy, maybe his support is not really that big? BUT since that slight happened AFTER people were turning in their ballots, maybe they voted for him anyway? BUT I suspect I'm overthinking this to the extreme. So Bardem it is.

After the ceremony, I say: I got 5/5, so I am amazing. That's really all I have to say. For more of my thoughts, see my liveblogging above. And leave comments!


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

R.I.P. Heath Ledger

I feel like I should say something about my own reaction to the Heath Ledger death before I let it go. Because I do feel that soon it will be best to move on and let it go.

My first reaction was utter disbelief. I'd first heard from unreliable sources, and I literally didn't believe it. But then, once the news was confirmed, it just seemed more and more like this was inevitable... it seemed to make a kind of sense... or maybe that's just how I've had to frame it in my head in order to make peace with it and move on.

I'd lost track of Heath Ledger lately; the "Brokeback fever" that I and so many others had felt for months after that film's release had gradually died down, and I was looking forward to his new work as the Joker, and any other films he'd be making. But I hadn't been thinking about him frequently, hadn't been hearing about him in the news, hadn't been following the circumstances of his life.

And then just two days ago - a day before all this happened - I happened to stumble upon the news that Heath had been spotted dating some model, and I thought "that can't be true, he's with Michelle Williams, and they have a child" and then of course I learned that they were no longer together. And right then, something seemed wrong. That was one celebrity split that didn't seem to make sense. Everything seemed different from the way it was supposed to be... and in retrospect it really had felt like a precursor to something else. I don't know if the split really had anything to do with this, but it had seemed that Heath had not been well lately, there'd been rumors about his friends being worried, his turning down roles, etc. And then this.

I'm not sure how to react to it except to assume that it is part of a greater plan, that we can all learn from it, and that it makes a kind of cosmic sense, simply because it is what happened. And it always will be what happened. I hope that doesn't sound morbid. But I think there is value sometimes in simply taking things as they are, and trying to find some sense in them.

I prefer to think of his daughter not in terms of the tragic loss of her father, but as one of his many gifts to the world, as a continuation of himself, and as a way he'll always be with us. Ditto Ennis Del Mar and his many other touching performances. He could have given us much more, but that was simply not to be. We can only be thankful for what he was able to give us.

Oddly, this triggered a memory I've had... one that now seems to exist out of time... but I have this strange recollection of one day, years ago, checking Heath Ledger's IMDB page and swearing that I saw a date of death... that his life and career were over before they'd begun. This makes little sense, I know, but I felt the need to share it, cause the memory seems very real to me even though it obviously wasn't. This was before Brokeback, before everything... I guess it was just some metaphorical extension of his career oblivion that I'd managed to create in my head. I suppose it's not really even a memory, but rather some kind of dream... but like some dreams, it seems like it's always been there and has been in my head forever, even if it was just created yesterday... and still lingers... and now feels eerily prescient. Just like Heath's tragic death scene in Monster's Ball. So sad.

Forgive me, but this brings me to a favorite Battlestar Galactica axiom:

"If you believe in this gods, then you believe in the cycle of time... that we're all playing our parts in a story that is repeated again and again and again throughout history."

And Heath played his own beautiful role. May he find peace wherever he is now.



This video is what finally put me over the edge into the waterworks... I was waiting for it to happen... if you need an emotional cleansing, this is a good one.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Oscar nomination predictions/reactions

Into the Wild
Michael Clayton*
No Country for Old Men*
There Will Be Blood*
alt. Diving Bell
...and Juno.

4/5... including Atonement. I knew it would make it. Yay for Into the Wild being snubbed. I've seen all 5 of these nominees, and they're all very good films, which is a nice change. So yay. I was wrong about Juno, though. That's fine.

PT Anderson (There Will Be Blood)*
Coen Bros (No Country)*
David Fincher (Zodiac)
Sean Penn (Into the Wild)
Julian Schnabel (Diving Bell)*
alt. Tony Gilroy (Clayton)
...and Jason Reitman (Juno).

3/5 (4 with my alternate). Probably about the same as most people... lots of surprises here.

Clooney (Clayton)*
DDL (There Will Be Blood)*
Depp (Sweeney Todd)*
Hirsch (Into the Wild)
Mortensen (Eastern Promises)*
alt. Gosling (Lars)
...and Tommy Lee Jones (In the Valley of Elah).

4/5... not bad. I KNEW Hirsch and Gosling were too young to be getting this much love. They like their leading men seasoned. But I went with Hirsch anyway. Not a big deal, since Jones was never the one I'd have predicted instead. Sad for McAvoy and Gosling, but oh well.

Christie (Away From Her)*
Cotillard (La Vie En Rose)*
Jolie (A Mighty Heart)
Linney (The Savages)*
Page (Juno)*
alt. Blanchett (Golden Age)

4/5 (5/5 with my alternate!) Looks like Blanchett was in fact more secure than Angelina. How baffling. But I'm SO happy for Linney. She was being unfairly shafted everywhere else. Could she win this? Probably not. But with her in and Page riding LOTS of Juno love, the race has opened up a bit. I still think Christie will take it - she's built up a lot of momentum - but it could go a few different ways.

Affleck (Assassination)*
Bardem (No Country)*
Holbrook (Into the Wild)*
Jones (No Country)
Wilkinson (Clayton)*
alt. Dano (There Will Be Blood)
...and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson's War).

4/5 here. Dammit, I should've just gone with the consensus. But I just really didn't believe in Hoffman... it seemed like one of those nominations (like Jolie's turned out to be) that was in danger of missing out due to lack of passion. I think what happened was that all the possible upsets - Dano, Jones, Von Sydow - split each other's support and allowed Hoffman to pull through. Oh well. I was right that Jones would be nominated somewhere, though...

Blanchett (I'm Not There)*
Keener (Into the Wild)
MacDonald (No Country)
Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)*
Swinton (Michael Clayton)*
alt. Dee (American Gangster)
...and Saoirse Ronan (Atonement).

3/5 (4 with my alternate). Damn, I shoulda stuck with Saorsie. I believe in her for a long time... thought it would be her, screenplay, and best pic for Atonement, which is just what it turned out to be. But then I abandoned her in favor of candidates from (presumed) frontrunner films. Oh well. Happy for Ruby Dee, though.

Juno *
Lars and the Real Girl*
Michael Clayton*
The Savages*
alt. Knocked Up

5/5 here. This category was easy.

Diving Bell*
No Country*
There Will Be Blood*
alt. Into the Wild
...and Away From Her.

4/5 here... including Atonement. I knew it was far from dead. And yay for Away From Her! I had faith in it early in the season, but lately I thought it would be crowded out of this category when all was said and done. But alas, here it is. Too bad about Zodiac, though. Oh, and I correctly predict THIS Into the Wild snub at least! Yay!

3:10 to Yuma
Harry Potter
Sweeney Todd*
There Will Be Blood*
alt. Golden Age
American Gangster
...and The Golden Compass.


3:10 to Yuma
Golden Age)*
Sweeney Todd*
alt. La Vie En Rose
...and Across the Universe.

3/5 (4 with alternate)

Diving Bell*
No Country*
There Will Be Blood*
alt. Into the Wild

5/5! Yay! Good thing they hated Into the Wild.

Into the Wild*
Michael Clayton
No Country*
There Will Be Blood*
alt. Bourne Ultimatum
...and Diving Bell.

3/5 (4 with alternate). So they nominated the snubbed Into the Wild and Diving Bell here, but not best pics Atonement and Michael Clayton (both of which were very well edited). Oh well. This branch is veering more and more away from best picture, though sometimes it seems unintentional.

DIving Bell
La Vie En Rose*
Sweeney Todd
alt. 300
...and Norbit.

1/3. Christ. This is ridiculous. Maybe La Vie En Rose will win a consolation prize here when it loses actress? As long as Norbit doesn't win.

Golden Compass*
alt. Pirates.

2/3. I don't know why I predicted 300. That was dumb. Oh well.

No Country for Old Men*
Sweeney Todd
alt. Bourne Ultimatum
3:10 to Yuma
...and Ratatouille.

2/5 (3 with my alternate). Ouch.

Bourne Ultimatum*
No Country*
alt. Beowulf
...and There Will Be Blood.

4/5. Good for me. And good for There Will Be Blood, which I'm very happy about, even if I didn't see it coming.

3:10 to Yuma*
Kite Runner*
Lust, Caution
alt. Beowulf
...and Michael Clayton.

4/5. Yay for me! And yay for everyone! Except I'm really sad for Alexandre Desplat, who still only has one nomination to his name, despite being nod-worthy every year. Booo.

Enchanted ("That's How You Know")*
Into the Wild ("Guaranteed")
Hairspray ("Come So Far")
Love in the Time of Cholera ("Despedida")
Once ("Falling Slowly")*
alt. American Gangster ("Do You Feel Me?")
two other songs from Enchanted
...and a song from August Rush.

2/5. Wow, this category never fails to shock. But yay for shunning all the rock/pop stars here (booo for the shunning of Jonny Greenwood, but that's another matter). So with the whole category being hogged by Enchanted (none of whose songs really seem to stand out), does this mean "Falling Slowly" will win it??? Please please PLEASE....

The Simpsons Movie
...and Surf's Up!

2/3. Surf's Up!? WTF!? Whatever, with 5 nods, the Rat's got this thing sewn up.

I am boycotting this category in protest.

So I'm 31/40 in the main categories (32/40 if you give me 1/2 credit for my alternates)... I basically went 4/5 everywhere, but for my perfect score in original screenplay (yay!) and my 3/5 screwups in supporting actress and director (shoulda gone with Gilroy and Dee, who I had as alternates... and don't get me started on Ronan).

But anyway, these are good nominations, barring the occasional Cate Blanchett, Surf's Up, Norbit, etc. Overall, the academy seems to know what they're doing this year. And what exactly is happening with best picture? I could still see a No Country sweep (it could easily take best pic, director, screenplay, supporting actor, cinematography, editing), but it does seem to have been knocked off its frontrunner perch a bit lately, losing the GG and now sharing "critical favorite" status with There Will Be Blood. So really, I could see almost anything winning now. Maybe the two critics' films will split that vote and hand it to either Atonement or Juno? Very possible. And how crazy is it that Juno has a best director nom??? Crazy.

I'm also wondering if Julie Christie still has her second best actress oscar coming. With Page, Cotillard and now Linney all splitting the dissenting vote, I think it'll still go to Christie, but it could go any which way. ESPECIALLY if there's a huge wave of Juno love on the horizon. Page might win the SAG award, in which case all bets are off.

How exciting.

Now let's just pray that the oscars actually happen...


Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Morning After (my first film!)

So this is my first short film (that I made last summer in school). I remember trying to put it on YouTube months ago and I thought it didn't work (it just kept uploading but never said it was done, so I finally gave up). But apparently it's online after all... and I never would've known if I hadn't been notified of someone's comment on it (someone left a comment saying "cueck"... awesome).

It is silent and very simple, but please humor me and watch it. My eternal thanks to Gustavo Santaolalla for the music (I hope he doesn't sue me).

And yes, I know there was some other movie called The Morning After before mine. Whatever.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

PGA nom predictions/reactions

Into the Wild
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
alt. There Will Be Blood

I went 3/5, 4/5 with my alternate. So let's say 3.5/5.

A bit of a shocker here with Diving Bell making it and Into the Wild missing. Although, Wild didn't make that much money, and some people didn't like it. So maybe not. But it's still getting in for oscar. This does, of course, make it an 8 or 9 film race (these 5 plus Wild plus recent globe winners Atonement and Sweeney Todd, plus maybe American Gangster). Interesting race. Now, I'd feel better if I knew the oscars were actually happening...


Golden Globe predictions/reactions

Oy. No Golden Globe ceremony this year. But I have awards fatigue anyway, so it's OK. Or maybe my awards fatigue is due to the fact that no real ceremonies seem to be happening? Anyway... I'm still doing predictions, in case they end up giving me bragging rights:

My prediction and the winner: Atonement

Duh. Why were people so surprised at this? The HFPA are not the guilds. They'll vote for whatever the hell they want. And it was clear all along that this one was their favorite.

My prediction and the winner: Sweeney Todd

My prediction and the winner: Daniel Day-Lewis

My prediction and the winner: Julie Christie

My predicion and the winner: Johnny Depp (finally!)

My prediction and the winner: Marion Cotillard
(the only pure drama performance, and hence the winner)

My prediction: The Coen Bros (No Country)
The winner: Julian Schnabel (Diving Bell)

Like, whoa! Schnabel pulled an Ang Lee on the Coens. Does this mean Diving Bell will make it into best pic after all? Or is it just another case of the HFPA liking foreign things better than most?

My prediction: Diablo Cody (Juno)
The winner: The Coen Bros (No Country)

Well, here's their consolation prize. I'm fine with them taking this from Cody, who's sure to win the oscar anyway (without really deserving it... methinks she could stand to mature a bit as a writer before winning the industry's highest honor, but whatevs).

My prediction and the winner: Cate Blanchett (see? told ya)

My prediction and the winner: Javier Bardem

My prediction and the winner: Ratatouille

My prediction and the winner: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

My prediction and the winner: Atonement

My prediction and the winner: Into the Wild ("Guaranteed")

I changed this one after going with Clint originally... glad I did.

Before the "ceremony", I said:

"The main reason I'm doing this is to put it on record that I still think Atonement will win the globe. It hadn't dropped off the radar yet (at least to this extent) while they were voting, and I think its 7 noms will still trump No Country's four. It's not exactly Cold Mountain vs Return of the King here. Atonement is much more of a "globe" type of movie. And let's not forget, for the past three years, the best pic winner at the globes has gone on to lose the oscar in the end. So their picking Atonement would actually be totally true to form. Hopefully, it gets the globe and the BAFTA wins, and thus leaves this year's award season with something to show for it."

And I stand by it. I also said:

"I'm also sticking by Cate Blanchett, who many seem to think will lose to Amy Ryan. Now, I realize I've had a history of underestimating Amy Ryan all season long, but I don't intend to stop now. I will go down fighting. Blanchett has a double nom this year and was once thought to be the frontrunner in this category, and she hasn't won a globe in 9 years (since the first Elizabeth). I really think she'll triumph here."

And so she did. And finally:

"But what does it matter anyway, since there's NO SHOW??? How depressing. I'm especially bummed that Johnny Depp will finally win an award, and we won't get a chance to hear him speak. And of course he probably won't repeat with oscar (assuming that show goes on at all). Damn."

This is the blurb I stand by most of all. I didn't even watch this thing (though let's be honest, I probably will on YouTube later), but regardless, Johnny Depp (and Sam Morton too) not getting to speak once they've finally won stuff SUCKS. Blah.

I'm depressed. Not only this, but I'm having personal life issues, and I start school tomorrow, and I'm just not in the mood to deal with it.

Oh well.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

DGA nomination reactions

Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)
The Coen Bros (No Country for Old Men)
Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton)
Sean Penn (Into the Wild)
Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)

Hmmm... interesting. I'm so glad to see Gilroy here. It gives me hope that perhaps Michael Clayton will make best picture after all (though he could easily be left out). I thought the direction on Clayton was quite excellent, and would actually like to see it with best pic AND best director noms.

Also great (though more expected) to see Anderson here. I think Blood is in for pic and director. There seems to be a groundswell of support happening, and it has all the most important precursors. Anderson could still be the lone director, but I think that slot's more likely to go to Julian Schnabel, whose film I still can't see making the cut.

I think Atonement will be in for pic but not director (though it's getting shakier and shakier), and of course Penn and his film are in (but I really don't think they can win). Burton and Scott were hurt badly by this, though, and I think the chances for them and their films are dimming considerably. I also find it harder and harder to picture Juno in the best pic list, when it doesn't have SAG ensemble, the DGA, critics awards, or tech branches. People definitely love it, but with this new setback, I'm even more convinced it's just an actress/screenplay thing.

Anyway, I think this means best pic is headed to:

Into the Wild
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

And best director to:

Paul Thomas Anderson
the Coen Bros
Sean Penn
Julian Schnabel

...and someone else. Maybe a career nod to Tim Burton? (without his film) Maybe Joe Wright can pull it out. Maybe there'll be a random resurgence for David Fincher, or a random shout-out to Todd Haynes. Perhaps Ridley isn't dead after all. Perhaps Gilroy could actually make it for best director. Very hard to say.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

BFCA madness

Man, I am losing my passion for this awards prediction stuff. I'm assuming that's because I have more of a life lately, which I guess it a good thing. Anyway, I'm gonna do this anyway, since the BFCA awards are tomorrow and I have nothing particularly better to do. Here goes:

BEST PICTURE (top ten)
American Gangster*
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Into the Wild*
The Kite Runner
Michael Clayton*
No Country for Old Men*
Sweeney Todd*
There Will Be Blood*

I did well with this - 8 of my ten predictions made it, as did one of my two alternates. The only nominee I missed entirely was The Kite Runner, which I dumbly assumed would miss since it hasn't gotten great reviews (this is a CRITICS organization after all). But true to form, they snubbed much better reviewed and more acclaimed films (including my predictions Once and Ratatouille) to make room for something they thought had a chance with oscar. Whatever.

FOR THE WIN: I'm guessing No Country for Old Men takes this since it seems to be the consensus mainstream pick right now, as well as the critical favorite... but Into the Wild, Atonement or something else could still take this, I think.

ACTUAL WINNER: No Country for Old Men

Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd*
The Coen Bros, No Country*
Sidney Lumet, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Sean Penn, Into the Wild*
Ridley Scott, American Gangster
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Joe Wright, Atonement*

Alright, so they had 6 nominees here... I guessed 4 of them out of 5 tries. If I'd chosen a 6th, I'm sure it would've been one of the other two that made it. Schnabel and Diving Bell got lots of love here and can't be counted out for oscar. Lumet can, though, I think, since his drearily nihilistic film is looking like more and more of a longshot in every category, especially here.

FOR THE WIN: This will be the Coen Bros... hard to see it going down any other way.


Charlie Wilson's War
Into the Wild
Lars and the Real Girl
Michael Clayton*
No Country for Old Men*
The Savages

This went down rather differently from how I thought. Annoying to see Sorkin popping up everywhere despite his film being something of a disappointment. Oh well. Fun to see Lars here, though... it actually has a decent shot at two oscar noms.

FOR THE WIN: That'd be Diablo Cody's Juno script -she's everyone's favorite person this year - barring a major sweep for No Country.


George Clooney (Michael Clayton)*
Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)*
Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd)*
Ryan Gosling (Lars and the Real Girl)
Emile Hirsch (Viggo Mortensen)
Tommy Lee Jones (In the Valley of Elah)
James McAvoy (Atonement)
Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)
Denzel Washington (American Gangster)

3 out of 6 here. Ouch. But yay for Gosling, Hirsh and Mortensen! Sometimes it's nice to be wrong.

FOR THE WIN: Daniel Day-Lewis is looking like a steamroller, despite Depp's being in prime position for a career award. The dream role of Sweeney Todd might not be enough to stop DDL's "legend who needs two oscars" momentum.

ACTUAL WINNER: Daniel Day-Lewis

Amy Adams (Enchanted)*
Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age)
Julie Christie (Away From Her)*
Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose)*
Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart)*
Keira Knightley (Atonement)
Laura Linney (The Savages)
Ellen Page (Juno)

4 of 6. Meh. Disappointed that they went with Blanchett here, starting the snowball effect that may well lead to her getting an oscar nod. I also missed Page, thinking they'd honor her in the young actress category instead, but it seems she's not young enough. Too bad for Knightley and Linney.

FOR THE WIN: Now that she's won the NBR, NYFCC and NSFC (and will likely win the drama globe as well), I'm betting that they're betting on Julie Christie for the oscar... which is why they'll pick her.

ACTUAL WINNER: Julie Christie

Casey Affleck (Jesse James)*
Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)*
Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson's War)*
Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood)
Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild)*
Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton)*

5/5 for me here... though I'd predicted six nominees. Why do they stupidly have 6 spots for leading actors and 5 spots for supporting? That makes no sense. Anyway, this may well be the oscar list, too... though I hope PSH is switched out for, say, Max von Sydow (it could happen).

FOR THE WIN: Holbrook could upset, but I think Bardem still has the momentum here.

ACTUAL WINNER: Javier Bardem

Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There)*
Jennifer Jason Leigh (Margot at the Wedding)
Catherine Keener (Into the Wild)
Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement)
Saoirse Ronan (Atonement)
Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)*
Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)*
Marisa Tomei (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead)

3/5. I picked the wrong Briony, and also went for Tomei instead of perennial supporting actress favorite Catherine Keener. Oh well.

FOR THE WIN: This could swing to Ryan or even Keener, but I'm going with the safe pick, Blanchett.

ACTUAL WINNER: Amy Ryan (I was wrong! argh)

3:10 to Yuma
Grace is Gone
Lust, Caution*
The Golden Compass
There Will Be Blood*

3/6 (but then I only guessed 5). Major starf*cking happening here with Eastwood. A little lazy of them voting for Enchanted. But whatever.

FOR THE WIN: I'm guessing Atonement, but I would see them honoring Greenwood or even Eastwood, too... tough to say.

ACTUAL WINNER: There Will Be Blood (wrong again... I underestimated their ability to choose a cool winner)

"A Hero Comes Home" (Beowulf)
"Come So Far" (Hairspray)*
"Do You Feel Me?" (American Gangster)
"Falling Slowly" (Once)*
"Guaranteed" (Into the Wild)*
"That's How You Know" (Enchanted)*

4/5... not bad for such a crazy category.

FOR THE WIN: I'll be optimistic and say "Falling Slowly" takes it, though I could see this going lots of different ways.

ACTUAL WINNER: "Falling Slowly" (right about this one... please please please let it win the oscar)

Across the Universe
I'm Not There
Sweeney Todd

They no longer have a soundtrack category! That's a shame, cause there were so many good choices this year. SO many musicals... sigh.

Dan in Real Life
Knocked Up*

4/5 here... not bad. I guess Enchanted was not funny enough for them to go with that instead of Dan in Real Life. Whatever.

FOR THE WIN: Probably Juno (doing gangbusters right now at the BO, and the most highly buzzed contender), but if they're just going for what's FUNNIEST (as it seems they did last year with Borat), then Knocked Up could take it.


August Rush
Bridge to Terabithia
The Golden Compass
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix*
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

3/5... so The Golden Compass is a family film? Hmmm.... curious. And one of the year's best family films? That's not what the reviews and box office seem to be saying. Ditto the reviews for August Rush. Anyway. Whatever. Why didn't they nominate Bridge to Terabithia here? I found it rather generic and mediocre but it WAS successful, and seeme a perfect fit for this category. Oh well.

FOR THE WIN: I'm saying Enchanted, since it really has that "family film" vibe, though I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Hairspray take it.


Bee Movie
The Simpsons Movie

They didn't do this category either, according to their website. Curious.

ACTUAL WINNER: Ratatouille (OK yeah they did do this category, it just wasn't on their website)

Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray)*
Ellen Page (Juno)
Dakota Blue Richards (The Golden Compass)
AnnaSophia Robb (Bridge to Terabithia)*
Saoirse Ronan (Atonement)*
Emma Watson (Harry Potter)

3/4. Why were there only 4 nominees? Weird. And how did I forget Dakota Blue Richards? Argh (though she wasn't quite as good in the film as its trailer had led me to believe).

ACTUAL WINNER: Nikki Blonsky (I forgot to predict a winner here, but it probably would've been her)

Michael Cera (Juno)
Michael Cera (Superbad)
Marcus Carl Franklin (I'm Not There)
Freddie Highmore (August Rush)*
Elijah Kelley (Hairspray)
Josh Hutcherson (Bridge to Terabithia)
Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter)
the kid from The Kite Runner
the kid from Sweeney Todd

1/5... wow, I bombed here. Whatever.

FOR THE WIN: Conventional wisdom would say Michael Cera, but I think perhaps he'll split his vote and allow it to go to the kid from The Kite Runner. That kid really deserves some kind of award for everything he put up with making that film.

ACTUAL WINNER: the kid from The Kite Runner (I was right!)

I didn't watch the awards, depressed as I was that they somehow managed to go on while the globes did not. Can you say BOYCOTT? Anyway. I did quite well in my predictions. The only two I missed were supporting actress (I keep underestimating Amy Ryan, and I'm sure I'll continue to do so) and score (I didn't think they'd have the balls to go for Johnny Greenwood... good for them). I also neglected to predict the ensemble acting category, but I would've guessed No Country there, so let's say I got three wrong (the winner was Hairspray... good for it). Still, that's not half bad for the first award show of the season.

But again, why does anyone care about these awards? The BFCAs are dumb.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

WHO'S HOTTER: (the semifinals)
Ewan McGregor or James Dean?


Hotter than:
James McAvoy
Enrique Iglesias
Colin Farrell
Clive Owen

Height: 5' 10.5''

Accent: Scottish

Hair: auburn

Eyes: blue/gray

Build: medium

Body Hair: slight
(though there's been more over time... this pic is old)

Oh Ewan... James may be the dead one, but Ewan's still an angel from heaven. Now, after conquering a fellow Scotsman, an Irishman, a Spaniard and a Brit, can he take on an American? Or, more to the point, this American? That's tough to say.


Hotter than:
Marlon Brando
Matt Damon
Paul Rudd
Daniel Craig

Height: 5' 8''

Accent: all-American

Hair: greasy, chestnut brown

Eyes: brown

Build: medium

Body Hair: minimal
(at least in his youth)

Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy... do you prefer Ewan's cuteness and warmth, or Jimmy's jaded cool? They're very different animals, but each is in a league of his own. Which league do you play in?

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WHO'S HOTTER: (the semifinals)
Eric Bana or Ralph Fiennes?


Hotter than:
Viggo Mortensen
Hugh Jackman
Russell Crowe
Jake Gyllenhaal

Height: 6' 2.5''

Accent: Aussie

Hair: dark brown

Eyes: dark brown

Build: built

Body Hair: minimal

The Bana enters the final two matches with de facto frontrunner status; his spread of victory over his last competitor was an impressive 6 points. Will his considerable assets of brawn, great hair, and that "lost puppy dog" face carry him to victory once again?


Hotter than:
Joseph Fiennes
Mark Wahlberg
James Marsden
Jude Law

Height: 6'

Accent: British

Hair: brown

Eyes: green

Build: light

Body Hair: slight

Ralph offers something very different from Eric: deep green eyes, a lithe, thin frame, and that swoony, intense, dramatic presence. Whose charms will prove more appealing? That's up to you.

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Friday, January 04, 2008

Semifinals on the way...

...and Final Four posts below.

a Brit,
a Scot,
an Aussie,
an American.

Quite the diverse bunch (click the label links to revisit their previous contests, and see how the tourney's evolved over time).

What are your thoughts on the Final Four? Is it what you expected? Who do you think will go the distance? I know I was thrown for a loop when Clive, Daniel and Jake got shown the door. I was also a bit surprised that Ewan made it further than Jude... I always thought they'd be eliminated in the same round... or that one would eliminate the other. That would've been a fun contest.

Anyway, here's an interesting hotness formula (as per your votes):

Ralph > Jude > Chris Evans > Beatty = Jake G > Paul Newman


The Final Four: JAMES DEAN

James Dean. The name says it all.

It's no secret that Dean has been this tournament's preordained favorite (at least to me). I've been trying to campaign him on inevitability, in much the same way Hillary Clinton's people have for her. So I just hope Dean doesn't crash and burn in the final stretch as Hillary has. I guess it all depends on how you, the voters, really feel.

In any case, Dean's iconic status is assured. The ultimate bad boy, the original lost boy, the first teen idol... all these labels can be and have been applied. Are they all true? Does he live up to the hype? Mostly (IMHO). That incredible openness and honesty, that complete vulnerability, combined with his utter jadedness and easy cool, will make James Dean last forever. Unfortunately, unlike his rivals, he lacks the advantage of being contemporary, and also has no large body of work. But he does have the advantage of a legend built up over time. Will that be enough? Or will it only breed resentment in readers who have their own preferences? We'll see.

Apologies for all the worshipping (and the politics)... but this is my last chance to get my say. The results, as always, will be up to you.

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Ralph Fiennes. (that's "rafe", not "ralf") The name, like the man, is graceful, exotic and mysterious. Probably the final four's least conventionally sexy man, Ralph is not your usual muscled pretty boy. Instead, he is thin, pale and intense, with an appeal that's not for everyone. But those who like him LOVE him. If you're into the seasoned, thespiannic, bewitching type, then Ralph Fiennes is your guy.

With his striking, impassioned, very British voice and eyes as deep as the ocean, Fiennes excels at playing doomed lovers and enigmatic villains, two very desirable archetypes. His classically handsome features and singularly scorching screen presence have earned him an ardent fanbase. Indeed, he's gotten this far in the tournament through his endlessly loyal and devoted niche of fans. Can they get him even farther? We'll see.

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The Final Four: EWAN McGREGOR

Ewan. It's hard to think of another actor with whom I feel so totally on a first-name basis. Maybe it's the uniqueness of that first name. Maybe it's the uniqueness of the guy. In any case, there really is nobody quite like Ewan. He's got a voice like bell and a smile that'll melt your heart (not to mention that "huge talent"), all part of his charming and open screen persona. There are certainly rangier actors out there, but none more daring or fearless. Who else has so shamelessly and majestically flaunted his body in the service of art? Who else has ventured with such abandon into such diverse realms as glam rock, erotic body art and the Star Wars universe? No one. And to top it all off, he's Scottish!

My favorite phrase I've heard used to describe him is "magically delicious"... because it's just so true (and so naughty... just like Ewan). Is he delicious enough to win yet another round? It certainly was a surprise to see him beat Clive Owen... but maybe he'll surprise us again.

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The Final Four: ERIC BANA

Eric Bana. Here's someone I'd never thought much of before... someone who I would once have described as "boring" next to the likes of Hugh Jackman (dripping with charisma) or Viggo Mortensen (raw animal magnetism), not to mention Jake G. But here he is, having bested ALL of them, suddenly looking like the frontrunner in this way-too-long-gestating affair. And you know what? I'm starting to see why.

Bana's not loud and flashy, he's not known for nudity or gay characters, he doesn't do the "smouldering evil" thing, he doesn't sing, etc. But he has his charms. For one, he's very tall, like moi. He's also seriously built, has thick, beautiful dark hair that works well both short and long, can pull off facial hair, and has a very pretty face on which to grow it. And where others have awkward cuteness, aggressive sexuality, or intense mystery, Bana has quiet charm, a lot of class, and a lovely serenity and vulnerability that bely his stature. He's a gentle giant. In short: I'm starting to see what all the fuss is about. This guy's got the goods.

Can he go all the way? That's up to you.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

It's back: WHO'S HOTTER quarterfinal results

Alright. Here's a recap, for those (including me) who lost track:

Ralph Fiennes edged Jude Law in a close race (4-3).

Ewan McGregor upset the formerly invincible Clive Owen (6-5).

Eric Bana wiped the floor with Jake Gyllenhaal (8-2), which I found to be a bit of a shocker...

...and finally James Dean handily defeated Daniel Craig (5-2).

I've decided that the two runaway winners (over Jake and Daniel, no less) have earned the right not to face each other in the semis. Ewan and Ralph, who just barely squeaked by (to my surprise, quite frankly) will each have to go up against a heavyweight. It's only fair. We'll see who the final two turn out to be.

And also, now that it's narrowed down to four, I'd like to aim not just for a winner, but for a ranked top four. So three of these men will be awarded GOLD, SILVER and BRONZE medals of hotness. As in the olympics, the two winners in the semis will duke it out for the gold, while the two losers will battle for the bronze. Sound fun? I think so.

Sorry it took so long to get to this. Holidays, traveling, job and personal life have eroded my time and energy, and since this project has been so big and the finale so long in coming, I didn't wanna do it till I felt ready. So here we go. Worshipful, photo-filled posts will follow for each member of the final four.