Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Star or the Country Girl?

Finally finally finally I get to see what all the fuss is about and form my own opinion about who should have won the 1954 Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role. Not to disrespect or disregard the other performances of this year, but this particularly race has historic relevance.

Although the academy do not release the amount of votes each nominee received (they never have done), rumours have surfaced that there were just eight votes in it between these two, with Kelly emerging victorious. Of course it's impossible to know for sure, but I really feel, as an Oscar fanatic and fan of these two ladies, have a thorough standpoint on this.

The two films arrived this morning in the mail, and I will see one of them tonight and one of them tomorrow night. I can't wait!

What's Hot: Music

It's that time of year once again. The time of the year when men don tight shirts (ooh la la), women wear feather boas, and all the colours of the world are on display. Yes, you've guessed it. The campfest that is known as the Eurovision Song Contest, taking place this year on May 20th.

The even more exciting news? The UK actually has a half-decent entry. Total unknown thirty-something Daz Sampson's rap track, 'Teenage Life', features schoolgirls who sing the chorus and dance around desks in their uniform. Despite being rather pervy -- oops, I mean, 'suspect', the tune is actually rather catchy in a weird sense. It also has admirable messages, but it's Eurovision so who on earth gives a damn what the songs mean?

Nevertheless, this makes my current ITunes Top Ten:

1. The Beatles - Something (NE)
2. Madonna - Human Nature (NE)
3. Don Mclean - Vincent (NE)
4. The Cranberries - Zombie (NE)
5. Madonna - Dear Jessie (U1)
6. Anthony and the Johnsons - River of Sorrow (D5)
7. Pink - Stupid Girls (D2)
8. Daz Sampson - Teenage Life (NE)
9. Westlife - Uptown Girl (NE)
10. Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares to You (NE)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I think it's about time that I profess my new-found adoration of the super talented Vera Farmiga . By the way -- don't you just love the colour of her eyes? A stunning bluish teal.

Thirty-two year old Vera was relatively unknown until last year's LAFCA win for
Down to the Bone, a film in which she plays a young mother caught in her cocaine drug addiction. Although the film lacks sufficient effect and fees distinctly underdeveloped, Farmiga's portrayal is very believeable, and represents the film's entire appeal.

Moving onto this year, my first movie of 2006 was Running Scared, a painfully awful film led by the woeful leading performance from Paul Walker -- thank god he has something else going for him besides acting eh? As you may have guessed, the film is saved by Vera's sheer brilliance, even in the most hideously written scene regarding paedofilia, she manages to make it mildly believable.

With my 2006 Oscar Predictions coming up, there is plenty to look forward to regarding this promising lady. A sufficient role in Scorsese's new one, The Departed at the top of that list. She also stars in Anthony Minghella's new film too, alongside Jude. As a late starter, so to speak, her early success will hopefully only continue.

Good luck Vera.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Goodbye 2005

Whether it be Harvey Weinstein and all the corporate bigwigs who saw box-office plummet, the film lovers who saw such a large amount of underwhelming flicks, or the mass of Brokeback fans that saw their film pipped at the final hurdle, I don't think anybody will be particularly devastated to see the back of the cinematic year that was, 2005.

Indeed, there really is very little to take out of this year. Perhaps the emergence of young talent such as Cillian Murphy and Rachel McAdams. Perhaps the return to form of the legendary Woody Allen. Perhaps the vast quality of the year's actors. Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps.

It's been clear for a while that 2005 was not your usual year. After all, this is a year where, a picture without a Globe or a SAG nomination can manage a Best Picture nod. A year where a film released in Early May with virtually no precursor wins whatsoever can walk away with the biggest prize in cinema. For all the mild interest in seeing who would grab the last two tight Picture spots, nearly every awarding body agreed on the winner except the one that mattered.

I think though, the main thing to learn from 2005: Timing is everything. Last year's Million Dollar Baby similarly stole in, though perhaps not as surprisingly, to grab the big prize from The Aviator. Although I am not the film's greatest fan (an understatement if ever there was one), I remember at the time saying that MDB was a very admirable pick for Best Picture, given that it showed that they voted with their hearts rather than anything else. I now retract every single bit of admiration. The decision to award Crash is safe, conservative, shallow, and is thoroughly down to the last two months of media hype, trying to create competition for the seemingly invincible Brokeback Mountain. Had BBM had even the remotest amount of competiton, and not have been in such an unasailable lead, it would be Best Picture Winner 2005. Nobody likes a frontrunner -- especially when it's a gay cowboy movie.

As for the acting, well that is similarly boring. Does it take more than one Oscar bait/Overdue/Raved about/Biopic/Popular nominee in the same category to make the Oscar race close? Is it such a stretch for people in Hollywood, or anywhere else for that matter, to disagree? Debate is healthy. I actually like the four acting winners, something very alien to me. But it doesn't stop 2 of the 4 being the favourites since November. I sincerely hope that next year, we can have a decent race in at least one of the leading categories. The last 3 years have been too predictable.

As the Oscars are over for another year, I will be making beginning of year predictions at the end of the week (and the race starts here -- yay) . But first, the good, the bad, and the downright TERRIBLE of Oscar's Awards, Moments, and Fashion.

  • Reese Witherspoon winning a thoroughly deserved (and six years overdue) Best Actress win. I got a very last-gasp attack of nerves that Felicity Huffman might take it. In retrospect it was just paranoia, but I was so overjoyed. Well done Reese.
  • Ang Lee winning Best Director - I may have killed myself if he had lost. He doesn't have a bad word to say about anybody. God bless him.
  • The host Jon Stewart. I suspect he's too liberal to bring back but I loved him.
  • Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin presenting Altman's Oscar. Better acting than most of the Actress nominees.
  • 'It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp' winning Best Song. It was by far the best. Great choice.
  • The Actress Ads. Charlize's one was so accurate.

The BAD:

  • Obviously, 'Crash' winning Best Picture. I've said enough about that. I actually don't mind it winning screenplay. Bizzarely, it's my 2nd fave of the nominees. Just not Oscar worthy.
  • The montages of films. What on earth is the point?
  • The music playing while speeches are delivered. Totally and utterly disrespectful.
  • Lack of tears. More people should have cried.

Fashion Winners:

  • Keira Knightley (as ever). Wonderfully complimentary dress. Divine colour. Smoky eyes. Perfect.
  • Salma Hayek. Stunningly fiery. Hot. Hot. Hot.
  • Jennifer Aniston. Brad who?

Fashion Losers:

  • Michelle Williams. Awful awful awful mustard coloured dress.
  • Charlize Theron. What the....?
  • Naomi Watts. Too puffy.

Monday, March 06, 2006



This is the biggest travesty in the Oscar history. Ever. How on earth...? I don't even want to think about what this means. And the worst part is: I actually liked 'Crash', and now I want to burn my DVD of it and scatter the remains upon Brokeback Mountain.

I think I need a holiday.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Final Predictions Finished!

With 4 Hours and 20 Minutes remaining my predictions are now finished! View them at the site

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Final Predictions - Director

Newly updated final predictions for animated feature, art direction (Go King Kong!) and Director. All of them were fairly straightforward, and altogether very decent picks.

See them at the site . Final predictions are highlighted, and also in the right frame of the blog.

What's Hot: Music

So this week, it seems the people of the UK actually got it right for once. The top two singles in the country right now .. Madonna's 'Sorry' (the best of the album), and rising star Corinne Bailey Rae's second release from her self-titled album, 'Put Your Records On'. Both very worthy of your attention, even though they may not be in my most played tracks of the moment.

On the Ipod: My 10 Hottest Tracks

1. Antony and the Johnsons - River of Sorrow (NE)
2. Aaliyah - I Care 4 U (NE)
3. Bjork - Play Dead (NE)
4. Goldfrapp - Ride a White Horse (D3)
5. Pink - Stupid Girls (D3)
6. Madonna - Dear Jessie (NE)
7. Kate Bush - Mrs. Bartolozzi (NE)
8. Kate Bush - Hounds of Love (D4)
9. Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine (D6)
10. Fiona Apple - O Sailor (NE)