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Oscar Predictions

Posted by: Matthew Turner 16/02/2009 @ 17:29
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 42
Films seen last week: Hotel for Dogs, The Pink Panther 2, Gigantic, Fuck, Friday the 13th, The International (plus the Oscar nominated short films and animated shorts)

BAFTA Reactions and Oscar Predictions
So, another BAFTAs has come and gone. The Slumdog Millionaire clean (well, slightly smudged) sweep will have surprised precisely no-one, but I was pleased to see I've Loved You So Long pick up Best Foreign Film (especially as both the film and Kristin Scott Thomas seem to have been shut out of the Oscars) and glad that Man On Wire won Best British Film. I was also pleased that Noel Clarke won The Orange Rising Star Award.

As for how the BAFTAs will translate to the Oscars, I don't really believe that they have any real influence per se, but I do think that this year, in particular, the Oscars are likely to follow suit. So, my Oscar predictions are that I fully expect Slumdog Millionaire to take Best Picture, Danny Boyle to take Best Director (although I think Gus Van Sant should win for Milk), Mickey Rourke to win Best Actor (though I desperately want Richard Jenkins to win), Penelope Cruz to win Best Supporting Actress (no contest) and Heath Ledger to win Best Supporting Actor (also no contest, though Josh Brolin definitely deserves it). Ultimately, of the big six, I think only Best Actress is likely to go elsewhere and even then, it's between Anne Hathaway or Kate Winslet. For what it's worth, my other Oscar predictions include WALL-E winning Best Animated Feature, Man On Wire winning Best Documentary (though Trouble the Water could sneak in there) and either Waltz With Bashir or The Class winning Best Foreign Film.

Films I'm Looking Forward To: Inglourious Basterds
For the record, the deliberate misspelling still annoys the hell out of me, but Tarantino's latest does look like it's going to be a lot of fun. I'm not convinced by Hostel director Eli Roth (he's the one shouting "Ten hut! Eyes forward!" and smirking) as an actor and it worries me that he seems to have a fairly prominent part in this. I'm also extremely amused that Brad Pitt's squad of Nazi-killing Basterds appears to include both Ryan The Temp (B.J. Novak) from The Office and Neal Schweiber (Samm Levine) from Freaks & Geeks. Also, if you can get through the trailer without giggling at the shot of Hitler shouting "NEIN! NEIN! NEIN! NEIN! NEIN! NEIN!" then you're a better man (or woman) than I am. Remember people, Brad Pitt wants his scalps!

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
There's no change at all this week, as all the new releases this week were decidedly mediocre, although I did like Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Three Monkeys enough to want to check out Climates (which, coincidentally, we won in the Curzon Film Quiz last week). Other than that, the best of this week's new releases is probably King of the Hill, though it hasn't made the top ten. Also, I'm keen to hear from anyone who saw and enjoyed He's Just Not That Into You, as there seems to be an interesting frontlash going on...

1. Slumdog Millionaire
2. Revolutionary Road
3. The Wrestler
4. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
5. Milk
6. Frost/Nixon
7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
8. Bolt
9. Doubt
10. Waltz With Bashir

DVD of the Week: Burn After Reading (out now, RRP £19.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is the Coen Brothers' comedy thriller Burn After Reading, starring Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand as two dim-witted gym employees trying to extort a CIA agent (John Malkovich) for the return of his memoirs. Well worth a second look if, like me, you felt it didn't quite live up to your expectations when it first came out. The performances are, of course, fabulous (Pitt, in particular, is hilarious) and there are loads of quotable lines and amusing expletives, if you like that sort of thing. Shame the trailer gave away THAT moment, though. The extras are also pretty disappointing, with only three short cast and crew featurettes (five mins, 12 mins, two mins), one of which is just George Clooney's section of the 12 minute one, only given its own title.

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