late last night i made my oscar picks for cnn's 'inside the envelope' game, hoping that this year i might win that home theater system. mostly, though, i just like making my choices. i like list--they're something to discuss and debate.
so here's what i think:
best film editing- 'babel'- i loved the movie, and its ability to interweave four stories was just as impressive as the way the four were cut within themselves. if not 'babel', my second choice would be scorsese's perennial editor, thelma schoonmaker. 'the departed' was also expertly done as it carried so many layers and told them clearly.
best cinematography- 'the prestige'- five great dp's were up but wall pfister's work was the only one i'd seen and it looked good. i would have voted for 'babel', had it been nominated.
best adapted screenplay- 'the departed'- great story adapted from hong kong's 'internal affairs'. a plot with sub-plots, fake good guys and fake bad guys [and then some], it's a good movie. also, can 'borat' really be considered a script?
best original screenplay- 'little miss sunshine'- i don't think this will get best picture but people love it enough that they want to honor it somehow, and the 'little sundance that could' [and did] did so because of it's script. this is where it will be recognized.
*this is a year in which all four acting categories seemed to be locked. that being said, i think there is a danger in being a 'sure winner' as soon as the nominations are announced; as many of these actors have been gathering awards all year, i think the tide begins to turn as people start to rethink their choices. i only chose one of the four 'certainties.'
best supporting actress- rinko kikuchi for 'babel'- jennifer hudson is the crowd favorite from 'dreamgirls', and she may very well win. kikuchi seems to be second most talked about, and i chose her because i really liked her, though i will be a little surprised [albeit pleasantly] if the academy aslo picks her.
best supporting actor- alan arkin for 'little miss sunshine'- i initially marked eddie murphy in my entertainment weekly list, as he is the other 'sure on' favorite. but arkin has been gaining steam, and 'norbit' has not helped murphy in the eyes of the actors [or anyone else].
best actress- hellen mirren for 'the queen'- yes, she will win it. she has won everything else and there seems to be no one to stop her. and i think she deserves it. she was excellent in as elizabeth II.
best actor- peter o'toole for 'venus'- scorsese has lost five times; o'toole has lost seven. even when his quintessential movie, 'lawrence of arabia' swept the oscars in 1961, the eponymous star lost to gregory peck in 'to kill a mockingbird' [not that anyone could have beaten that]. forrest whitaker is the odds on favorite for 'the last king of scotland', but he has won every other acting award on the planet for that, and there seems to be just enough sentiment around that people would like to see o'toole win that it might actually happen. might.
best director- martin scorsese for 'the departed'- i want him to get his oscar as much as anyone does, but i want him to deserve it; he did not deserve it for 'the aviator' [i'll let you know what i think of 'gangs of new york' later this week]; he did deserve it 17 years ago for 'goodfellas' but lost it. now is his time again, and i think everyone is aware of it. the sixth time is the charm, and the gold will taste sweet.
best picture- 'babel'- i've said so much about it, you know how i feel. there are no headrunners here, though 'the departed' and 'babel' seem to be just a little more talked about. if any of the other three that i have seen win instead, i will be happy for them; they are all very different movies with different stories behind them, and it will be a noteworthy accomplishment for whichever wins. but 'babel' is the best movie of the year. it deserves to be 'best picture', too.
--i do like that itunes has the nominated shorts up for sale; i've never seen more than one or two, but they are interesting, especially considering the directors tell a story in a short amount of time.
--what is the difference between 'sound mixing' and 'sound editing' and what should i look for indetermining my choice for best work?