Saturday, March 27, 2010


2006 Best Actress. This is one of the Smackdowns when picking #1 is as easy as it can be, but the rest is awfully hard to decide. Three of them (almost) completely control their movies and two of them easily could have been pushed supporting. My pick is very obvious because it's one of the greatest performances ever given.

1. Judi Dench in Notes on Scandal: When you first hear Barbara you don't know much about her, she just seems to be an old snobbish spinster complaining about how the world has changed. BUT, in time you realize that she's a manipulative old bitch ruining other people's lives while saying it's the best for them and acting like a good guy. Many say that she plays a crazy lesbian, but I think this is not the case (at least not completely). Barbara became crazy because of her loneliness and is desperate to have some connection to someone. But no matter what you think about Dame Judi's character, we can agree that she's brilliant (even more brilliant than the usual).
My Grade: *****(*****)

2. Kate Winslet in Little Children: Little Children was an excellent movie even with its flaws, but Kate Winslet completely shines in her role as the adulterous and bored housewife, who is simply frustrated in her life. I think this performance could have been campaigned supporting, because the movie is not really about her (at least not only about her), she probably a co-lead, but personally I would have given her a supporting win. However, she's (by all means) amazing. That scene where she's watching Patrick Wilson and his family from the car and then stars sobbing is so breathtaking that Kate would immediately get my vote if it wasn't for Dame Judi.
My Grade: *****

3. Helen Mirren in The Queen: I love Mirren in everything she does and I can understand why everyone (including me) went crazy for this performance when The Queen came ot. It's one of the most subtle performances ever with absolutely no showy moments in it. The first thing is that comes to my mind about this performance is dignity. Mirren plays Queen Elizabeth II with such respect and yeah dignity, that it's simply magical and I'm very happy that she received the nomination, I just feel she should not have won (at least not over Dame Judi).
My Grade: ****

4. Penélope Cruz in Volver: Hmmm, this movie is delicious. I watched last Saturday for the third time and I enjoyed it so much. I'm always saying that Penélope gave her greatest performance in All About my Mother but she's also brilliant as Raimunda, the hard-working single mother (actually she's not single at the beginning). There's everything in her performance which one needs: comedy, drama, grief and tits. OK, I'm just kidding, comedy is not that important XD. But seriousy, Cruz may not have been fully deserving of her supporting Oscar last year, but no one can deny that she's a great actress.
My Grade: ****

5. Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada: The Devil Wears Prada is a movie that I would avoid (under normal circumstances), but when Meryl is in it, it makes me think if it's a movie worth watching. Well, it isn't. But Meryl is simply magnificent in her role as the bitchy editor of a fashion magazine.She could have been pushed supporting, yeah, but she totally commands the screen every time she appears. Meryl's great sense of humor and subtle acting makes this performance one of the greatest comedy nominees.
My Grade: ****

I'm eager to read your thoughts.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


So Best Actress 1988. I don't comment much, except that my pick is obvious, but #2 and #3 are not bad either.
So the ranking:

1. Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons: Surprised, huh? In a career full of magnificent and unforgettable performances, Glenn Close did her (probably) finest work in Dangerous Liaisons, a beautifully made movie about decadence where she plays Marquise de Merteuil, a manipulative and bored aristocrat, whose only pleasures are sex and ruining other people's happiness. She's a strong woman, not afraid of anything or anybody, but after all it's herself who causes her ultimate and painful defeat. A magnificent work by a magnificent actress, robbed of an Oscar. And don't forget her last scene! :-)

2. Jodie Foster in The Accused: First I wanted to make her #3 but then I decided not to and that's all due to one of her courtroom scenes (when she says "Yes, that's fair!"). So to tell the truth, The Accused is a mediocore TV movie, but Foster is able to shine in it. She's not flawless, because at the beginning sometimes she was a bit unnatural, but in the end she manages to give an unforgettable and amazing performance which would immediately get my vote if it wasn't for Glenn Close.

3. Meryl Streep in A Cry in the Dark: You know why I love Meryl? Because she's never disappointed me. Just like The Accused, A Cry in the Dark is also a mediocore TV movie (a bit better than The Accused) and these two performances are not very different either. Still, Meryl is so great, that it almost breaks your heart. She manages to say some awkward lines convincingly and makes this character much more interesting than she is. So it's a great achievement by one of the greatest actresses that ever lived.

4. Sigourney Weaver in Gorillas in the Mist: As far as I'm concerned she was the frontrunner to win this award. I love her in general but I'm happy she did not win. Again Gorillas in the Mist is a mediocore TV movie and Weaver is simply good in it. She has some great moments (especially at the beginning of the movie), but her crazy scenes are quite overacted, but it might have been my dislike for her character, that I did not really like this performance either. But good job, anyway.

5. Melanie Griffith in Working Girl: What the hell was Working Girl doing at the Oscars as a Best Picture nominee and a Best Actress nomineee? Now Working Girl is not a mediocore TV movie, it's a boring TV movie. And Griffith did not do anything to earn this nomination. I mean, her voice is annoying, she is not a brilliant actress anyhow, so the succes of hers in this movie is some kind of a mistery for me. I guess she was very popular back than so this was probably a career-nomination (like Bullock's this year should have been).

So what do you think?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Review: Reversal of Fortune (1990)

Wow, this was probably the first Glenn Close movie which I did not want to see because of Great Glenn, but to see a Best Actor winning performance. But if I had watched it only because of her I would not have been disappointed, because this is a brilliant, intelligent and first-class movie.
The movie deals with the infamous case of Claus von Bülov (Jeremy Irons), who is found guilty of attempting to kill his wealthy wife, Sunny (Glenn Close) and afterwards hires Alan Dershowitz (Ron Silver) for his appeal. Of course the story is not nearly as simple as it seems to be as Sunny narrates the whole movie and we can see different points of view concerning the night of the (crime?).
The most fascinating thing about this movie is that it keeps us in uncertainty. You don't know anything and if you want to be 100% sure if Claus was guilty, you will be disappointed. This movie is not a courtroom drama, it's rather a fascinating character study with a fabulously written, simply brilliant screenplay (which IMO deserved the Oscar much more than Dances with Wolves even though I love that movie) and equally amazing performances by Jeremy Irons, Ron Silver and Great Glenn.
Of course the reason why I watched this film was Jeremy Irons. Let me say that I'm not a big fan of his, I haven't seen many of his movies, but in this role he was simply flawless. His subtlety and great sense of humor added a real depth to this exciting character and that's why I think he was 100% deserving of that Best Actor, which is (undeservedly) one of the least mentioned and most forgotten wins ever. Nevertheless, he was very worthy.
Ron Silver is also excellent as Alan Dershowitz, the lawyer, but somehow I did not understand the character and what he believed and did not believe about Claus. Anyway, he was great and IMO easily could have received a "co-lead type" supporting actor nomination.
And the fabulous Glenn Close was simply robbed of a supporting actress WIN. Yes, she's that brilliant as the unhappy Sunny. I mean the scenes where she breaks down are unbelievable. I think the main reason that she did not receive the nomination (and the Oscar) was a general confusion if she was leading or supporting. Although she received the top billing (she's the most famous cast member), I think she's rather supporting, because this is the story of Claus and Alan and her scenes are important only because of Claus and not her. Anyway, she's brilliant.
The rest of the cast is also excellent, including Felicity Huffman or (in an extremely minor role) Edie Falco. But this movie is really not about them.
I forgot to praise the excellently accurate direction of Barbet Schroeder which was brilliant and worthy of the nomination. And so was the movie itself, but I guess the Academy just had to nominate the audience-favorite Ghost (which is only tolerable good of the brilliant Whoopi Goldberg). Whatever.
Grade: 9.5/10 A true masterpiece. It still has its effect on me.
Nominations: Best Director (Schroeder), Best Actor (Jeremy Irons, WON), Best Adapted Screenplay
My wins: Irons for Actor and the Screenplay with Glenn for Supporting/Lead Actress (in a perfect world where she would have been nominated)

P.S.: Thanks to Louis Morgan for the help.

Monday, March 8, 2010


The shows: My fears did not come true, but this show was... boring and it had awful timing. I mean presenting the lead categories took at least 20 minutes. About that horror tribute: I think it was great, except for including New Moon it was very good and I liked it. Somehow we went back 25 years in time and they say the winner is... again. The Oscar goes to was better and so much more full of suspense IMO, but I guess they wanted to emphasise that this is a competition. (they used to want to do the contrary).

The winners: Now I was satisfied with almost all of them. The Hurt Locker's sweep made me incredibly happy and it's so great that the backlash did not affect its chances, thank God. And of course history was made as Kathryn Bigelow won her well-deserved directing Oscar.
And finally, my favorite nominee also received his first Oscar after waiting 38 years (yeah, Jeff Bridges). I think when Michelle Pfeiffer was talking about him, Baker Boys' fans had an orgasm XD. But he was really great.
Now surprise in the supporting categories: Mo'Nique and Christoph Waltz received their first award adn deservedly so (yes, Waltz deserved it, whatever).
And Sandra Bullock. In the last moment I said hell, let her win who cares, she's never gonna be even nominated so whatever. She did win and stole Meryl's and Gabby's Oscar, but at least she delivered probably the best speech of the evening. I still like her, but this really wasn't the best female performance of the year. And the standing ovation was WAY TOO MUCH! But they seemed to be happy for her. It's gonna be hard to give her a ranking.
And Avatar won "only" 3 awards, but those were deserved. But something that was definitely not the best decision: the win of the screenplay of Precious. Up in the Air should have won that one in my opinion.

So overall, good winners, disappointing show.

Semi-live blogssing

I just want to express how great that Mo'Nique won! YAY! :-) And screenplay, I'm shocked. :-) Are you happy Sage? :-)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Should win/Will win

I couldn't wait, so I'm gonna post it right now. So I reveal my picks in the top categories and add some comments when I feel like doing so. So here we go (hell I can't CAN'T CAN'T WAIT):

Best Picture:
Will win: The Hurt Locker
Should win: The Hurt Locker, which is IMO the best movie I've seen in the last three years. I hope that the sudden backlash against it won't hurt its chances significantly (I bet Harvey Weinstein or James Cameron is behind it).

Best Director:
Will win: Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
Should win: Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, because I'm not rooting for her because she would be the first woman to win this one, but because she deserves it more than anyone.

Best Actor:
Will win: Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart
Should win: Jeff Bridges, because 1) he gave the best performance of the year, 2) and he's one of the best actors not recognised yet and 3) and he's Jeff Bridges.

Best Actress:
Will win: Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side (people say, not me I'm in denial)
Should win: Gabourey Sidibe for Precious or Meryl Streep for Julie and Julia, because both of them were amazing, excellent performances, which excellently mixed humor and drama. I don't know why (maybe because of the 2 Razzie wins for Bullock HAHA), but I think either of them is likely to pull of a much-deserved upset in this race which is much tighter than one would think and clearly the most exciting one this year (I'm smelling a Gabby upset, she might win like Tilda did, but it would be nice to see Streep's third win).

Best Supporting Actor:
Will win: Christoph Waltz
Should win: Haven't seen enough of them to decide, but I had a thought Woody Harrelson winning. Wishful thinking?

Best Supporting Actress
Will win: Mo'Nique in Precious
Should win: see the previous post to fin out who andy why :-)

Best Original Screenplay
Will win: The Hurt Locker
Should win: The Hurt Locker or Up. Many say Basterds will get it, but it's only possible if it gets Best Picture IMO. It might win it after all considering its popularity, but THL has WGA, which is a great indicator and they LOVE independent films in the screenplay categories.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Will win/Should Win: Up in the Air. This is its only chance to win and it will happen deservedly, so go on Mr. Reitman win this one.

Best Animated Feature
Will and should win: Up. It's not nearly as brilliant and magnificent as Wall-E was, but it's still awesome and the first 10 minutes are heartbreaking.

I also wanted to do Best Foreign Language Picture, but after I haven't seen enough of those nominees (zero, to tell the truth).
And about the will win section: these are not official predictions (because I keep them), these are just opinions about who we can expect to win. (I have pretty wild predictions, though, but I'm not gonna tell what I saw in my chrystal ball LOLXD)

The show: I have gigantic fears of the "So You Think You Can Dance" Oscars, but I guess I will just try to enjoy it and root for my faves Jeff, Kathryn, Mo, Gabby and Meryl.


The category is Best Supporting Actress and the year is 2009. Yes, as we come closer to the 82nd Academy Awards, I must do this. First of all, this line-up (apart from one or maybe two of them) is actually quite weak and nothing really special. I guess this is an easily predictable ranking but here it is:

1. Mo'Nique in Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire: The best supporting performance since Linda Hunt in The Year of Living Dangerously. Yes, I said what many people have said before. This performance is... amazing. I was one of those who was very sceptic about the brilliance of Mo'Nique. People say that a limited actress gave a great performance. I disagree. Mo'Nique showed us that she's definitely NOT a limited actress. Mary is disappointed, lonely, cruel, broken-down, lazy, someone who you could call an awful human being. But the way Mo'Nique gets across the pain of this character is simply brilliant. A new member of the Top 10.
Grade (isn't it obvious): *****

2. Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air: Well, this performance is overrated. Yes, I said it. She's fine. But really what else can I say about her? She plays this mysterious woman in a very tricky way, but this is certainly the type of performance that amazes most people. Sure, she has her great moments and I liked her very much, but really I just can't say much about her, except that she was great.

3. Anna Kendrick in Up in the Air: Although I loved Up in the Air, I really can't say that about Kendrick. She gave a very decent performance which is neither as great as some say nor as bad as others say. Kendrick is very good and amusing as a pushy young girl going through a big change. Sometimes she's extremely annoying, but she was supposed to be, right? But I forgive her everything for her "breakdown" scene, which was hilarious IMO. So this is an enjoyable performance, but not one for the ages.
Grade:*** (I'm a bit generous)

4. Maggie Gyllenhaal: Although I'm never able to spell her name right, I love this actress, I especially loved her in Stranger than Fiction (which is excellent). And before watching Crazy Heart, I was ecstatic about this nomination. Now I don't think she really earned it, but she has her moments in Crazy Heart. It's clearly the movie of Jeff Bridges and all the others could only be in his shadow, but Maggie could have been a bit more active, if you know what I mean. But who cares, if Bridges wins I'm gonna be OK.

5. Penélope Cruz in Nine: I'm one of the few people who actually liked Nine. But not Cruz. She plays Maria Elena, I'm sorry Carla, a neurotic and funny woman. I have seen this before, yes last year she won for playing almost exactly the same character. I'm pissed about this nomination, because: Cruz can do better and I can say three actresses right now who deserved this one much more (Marion Cotillard in PUBLIC ENEMIES, Judi Dench in Nine, Melanie Laurent in Inglourious Basterds). Her big musical number was not as sexy as I expected, but her scene at the restaurant was great, so it got Cruz a better grade.

So what do you think? I think this is Mo's to lose. Oh, and I revealed one pick of my Should Win/Will Win post tomorrow. :-)

Monday, March 1, 2010

My plans...

The Should win/Will win things come on Sunday or Saturday! :-) I'm not going to tell my picks yet, but you must now that my frontrunners are The Hurt Locker, Jeff Bridges and Mo'Nique. I'm eager to hear your opinions! :-)