Oscars 2008

Has 2007 been a great year for the movies? I think so. Have the Oscars been reflective of that? Not so much.

Certain movies have overshadowed much of everything else that went on during the year. There are movies that are good, and those that do well at the Oscars.

In the former category, Before the Devil Knows You are Dead was largely unnoticed. It does have the oscillating non-linear narrative, but the dialogue is brilliant. Albert Finney, Ethan Hawke and Philip Seymour Hoffman are excellent in this fast-paced story of family, personal demons, and things spiralling quickly out of control. Nominations - 0.

Another movie that sort of died too soon was The Darjeeling Unlimited. Wes Anderson is the heir to Robert Altman in many ways. The soundtrack was a homage to the Merchant-Ivory 'Bombay Talkies'. But, India was simply a backdrop. With the same actors and the same sort of story, this is what can be called a paraquel to the Royal Tenenbaums.

In the Oscar-friendly category we have Exhibit A - No Country For Old Men - lot's of great actors, wonderful locations, complex plot with parallel stories. The Babel of last year. Then there is a new kind of movie that is gaining favour, Exhibit B - Juno - a dramatic-comedy on a serious issue, with very likable characters, an unusual soundtrack, and new actors. The Little Miss Sunshine of the year. These two represent the two extremes - the much larger than life and the true 1:1 scale that are very Oscar friendly. The old staple - the biopic also always works. Everything else seems to fall between the cracks. The real shocker has been Michael Clayton. A good movie, but far from outstanding that I feel has been undeservedly been overrepresented. Perhaps indication of the clout of the people behind the movie?

Predictions up next...


Sumedha said...

'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly' is, in my opinion, the best movie of 2007. The French had an abundance of riches last year, so it isn't even nominated in the best foreign film category. The French sent in the politically sensitive 'Persepolis' instead.

'La Vie En Rose' and 'The Darjeeling Limited' did get largely ignored, not to mention 'The Namesake'.

Ashutosh said...

I have not watched The Bell, but Before The Devil Knows was amazing. It's not often that a movie has made me feel so gloomy.
Ebert agrees with you on Hoffman's versatility.
Other than that, all the awards seemed well-deserved and there were no surprises. The ceremony itself did not seem so glamorous to me this time, and at times even labored; Jon Stewart hardly got time to do his act well. Next on my list is Persepolis which has been much lauded.

Hirak said...

Yeah, the Jon as a host is mediocre. The writer's strike is over, couldn't he get better jokes?