Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscars '9

This evening, I will be live-blogging the 2009 Academy Awards. I've seen all five movies nominated for Best Pic. Here's how I'd rank them:

1. Slumdog Millionaire -fantastic, life-affirming film, great music

2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - a good tour-de-force, but not one I'd care to revisit

3. The Reader - very provocative opening 75 minutes, deflates a good deal over its last 45

4. Frost/Nixon - though many portions were invented, a pleasingly intense film

5. Milk - a bit by-the-numbers, but really nails the early 70's

I'm glad The Dark Knight wasn't nominated for Best Pic as I didn't believe it was a strong enough movie, but feel that Wall-e (my fave film of '08) should've been.

8:10pm Wow, only one commercial break in the first 40 minutes. I love the way they've made the Kodak Theatre super-intimate. Jackman's opening song and dance was fantastic.

9:21pm Nice to see "Man on Wire" win Best Doc. I Netflixed it a few months ago.

9:37pm Will Smith presents 4 separate awards (visual effects, sound, sound mixing, editing). Damn.

11:00pm I loved how 5 prior Oscar winners would take the stage and give kudos to each of the '09 nominees. Absolutely fantastic show overall. The producers did an incredible job. Great to see "Slumdog" get Best Pic and Director. Also nice to see Winslet finally win one and Penn get his second.


Timothy Smith said...

I don't care much for the comic book movies but the Dark Night was easily the best of the Batman movies and I did get a few laughs from IronMan.

Still waiting to catch Defiance and Valkyrie.

Never heard of the other movies you mentioned.

I did catch Bill on HBO and he had me laughing out loud more then once but thought the panel was a little winded this time out. Did you notice when Bill made some jokes about the economy even his audience could not bring themselves to laugh?

Really drove it home how bad things are getting.

Thomas said...

Tim, I also liked IronMan and am looking forward to seeing Valkyrie in the near future.

Regarding Real Time, I agree that the panel wasn't the greatest, but it was illuminating to hear Ron Paul's views on the current meltdown. I didn't notice the non-receptiveness of the crowd to some of the economic jokes. I'll have to see if I can pick it out on next week's show.

Maher put together a great doc last year called "Religilous". It just came out on DVD. I think you'll like it.

disestablishingpuritanism said...


I have to disagree with you on "The Dark Knight." Sometimes, I think the Academy should view how the public received the film. The Dark Knight was one of the top grossing films of all-time. Christopher Nolan (director), visual effects team, and all-star cast I feel were snubbed. I know, I know. I didn't fully appreciate this film the first time around. After a second viewing, the choreography in "Slumdog" I feel exceeded what The Dark Knight did. However, I've seen many surveys saying "The Dark Knight" not only should've been nominated, but won Best Pic.

I'm with you on Winslet. As far as Sean's role, I still think Mickey Rourke's character was much more difficult to pull off. I know Arnofsky is known for his dark ambiance and films depressing stories, but there's always so much that can be said about those in our society who are ignored and neglected. The physical toll Rourke endured, mimicking a beaten down performer, and his expressions sold me.

Rocketstar said...

I wouldn't have watched it (as I can't stand seeing rich hoollywood actors kiss each other asses, I thik they get enough of that everyday) but the wife saw Slumdog and wanted to see how it did.

We watched the 3 1/2 hour show in 30 minutes with the DVR, just the way I like it. SOOOOOO much fluff, unreal.

The highlight for me was Ben Stiller's impression of Quaqien(sp?) Phoenix

Timothy Smith said...

I will add Religious to NetFlix, Bill said it was released on DVD now.

The show was great, just need to tone down the lame panel members. Bill struggles with run-away mouths on his panel sometimes. Usually its members from the congress spouting their tired rhetoric word for word. Everyone knows what they are going to say and Bill kinda slouches back down in his chair knowing its going to be a long story.

I saw some glimmers of hope as he steam rolled that woman a few times cutting her off.

He seems to have one stinker on the panel per show. Every once in a while he will have someone that I doubt can tie their own shoes.

But he is always funny as hell and near the end I was laughing out loud pretty good.

I never watch the Oscar stuff. Seems like a big circle-jerk as Carlin use to say!

Melvin Udall said...

I have to agree with your sentiments concerning Wall-E ... an excellent film but alas most animation films are never considered for top awards, which I think is a shame because this one really was a great film!!

Mags said...

I'm psyched that Slumdog won as many as it did. I saw it a while back and just loved it. It easily won its way into my heart and into my favorite movies list.