Matt Damon for Invictus
Woody Harrelson for The Messenger
Christopher Plummer for The Insider
Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds
A few months ago, this would have been a serious race between two of the contenders. Really, up until anyone with a Twitter or blog saw The Lovely Bones, Stanley Tucci was the major frontrunner to take the prize. After seeing that performance, I would argue strongly for his inclusion, but for his role in Julie & Julia instead. Due to the poor reviews for Peter Jackson’s horrendous film, Tucci will have to give up his leading place in the category to Mr Waltz.
There is plenty of criticism to fling at the article written on The Quietus this week by Josh Saco seemingly in defence of Peter Jackson, currently drowining under a flood of criticism for his The Lovely Bones adaptation. Just for the purpose of keeping this simple, I’ll concentrate on the assertions made about the film itself and its place in Jackson’s body of work.
“In The Lovely Bones he plays out his darkest, most macabre, and most mature film to date, exploring the afterlife and life in ways he never has before.”
I would agree that Jackson definitely explores the afterlife in ways he, indeed no one, has done before. Jackson’s CGI-rendered afterlife, or ‘In-Between’, involves shifting landscapes of mountains, perfect green grass and glistening bodies of water. The CGI (and I realise how much I have marked myself out as a luddite-misanthrope as regards this technology) is unbelievably poor for the man behind the creation of Golem. There are moments in which it resembles a PS1-era edition of Final Fantasy, while the man appears pathologically intent on using effects work even when simply having a camera move through a window. Not a spectacular, otherworldly window, just a basic window which could have been built without even one computer in the room.
I did predict a few little while ago, but much has changed in the interim and I feel it necessary to update my prediction season for the nominees, something I will do again in early February just before the nominations are announced.
The primary change is the fall of Nine, previously considered a shoe-in for most categories, which looks likely to win absolutely nothing outside of a possible couple of technicals. Add to that the rising popularity of Inglourious Basterds and the seemingly-unstoppable attention being given to The Hurt Locker, plus the apparently disastrous The Lovely Bones, and some things have to change.
Below then are my predictions for the top few categories, with some explanation as to why and, bold as it may be, my predictions for the likely winners in each category.
Time to have a little guess again at which films could be nominated for Oscars in a couple of months time, just entirely based on hype and vague attempts to understand the predictable nature of the Academy. So, for debate and conjecture’s stake, enjoy these predictions for the Oscar nominations in 2010, post jump. Continue reading →
As we are prone to do, it feels like to kick-off the Oscar buzz season as awards from major film festivals begin to roll in and the ceremony approaches. I realise that this may feel like the kind of wishing-life-away feeling that it given as you walk into shops in mid-September and see Christmas stock out all over the place, but these will get more frequent as we get closer and can begin to actually predict what could win. This is more to provide an interesting gauge of how buzz works, how it changes and how wrong we could well end up being by the time the awards come around.
So, just for the big few categories, here’s what seems like it’s going to cause a stir this year: Continue reading →
Outside of the painfully awkward intro from Peter Jackson at the top of this trailer, this looks to be a pretty solid effort. The trailer seems to try and fit in everything and the kitchen sink into its runtime. The story, about a young girl who is murdered and the aftermath of her death for her family and friends, seems to be nearly wholly included in the two-and-a-bit minutes of the clip.
Jackson has certainly not tried to shy away from tacking the puratory-representations which are likely to cause a very, very minor stir here and there, although on the small screen of the trailer it looks like a better attempt than achievement.
The worry originally for most would have been the replacement of Ryan Gosling as the father with Marky Mark Wahlberg. Argue for eternity, if you see fit, that he was good in Boogie Nights and The Departed (the latter most just shouting and the former primarily playing dumb), but Wahlberg just ain’t the actor Gosling is. However, the trailer puts him in quite a reasonable light and, given his own parenthood, could allow him to bring something to the role which Gosling would have had to create rather than draw upon.
The book is one of my co-host’s favourites from the past few years so I’ll be interested to gauge his opinion when he returns from his Spanish sojourn, but for now I’ll give some backing to this. The cast is strong and, although the trailer plays up the melodrama and latter thriller elements a little too much, this has solid stock and should prove a good bet.
Empire has a photo from Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the acclaimed The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. The picture is purportedly part of the afterlife vision created for the film by Jackson, an exciting prospect in itself for the potential that it may well be a visual feast.
Check out the picture below and in full size on Empire’s site.