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Oscar Season and A Tribute To Heath Ledger

Posted by: Matthew Turner 25/01/2008 @ 15:11
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 22

Awards season: It’s Oscar Time!
No sooner are the BAFTA nominations announced than the Oscars follow suit, in a ceremony that seemed to signal it was business as usual as far as the Academy were concerned, Writers Strike-wise. Everything is still up in the air at the moment but here’s hoping that the writers and studios manage to reach some sort of agreement before the big day. Nominations-wise, there weren’t too many shocks this year, although some were surprised that Keira Knightley and James McAvoy missed out on acting nominations for Atonement. Most people (me included) seem to think that No Country For Old Men will win Best Picture, the Coens will win Best Director and that Daniel Day-Lewis will win Best Actor for There Will Be Blood. Personally, I was delighted to see Marion Cotillard amongst the Best Actress nominees for La Vie En Rose and I’d also like to go on record as saying that Tim Burton wuz robbed in both the Best Director and Best Picture categories. Finally, one of the most interesting Oscar fights this year will be between Pixar’s superb Ratatouille and Marjane Satrapi’s equally wonderful Persepolis in the Best Animated Film category. Could this be the year that Pixar meets its match? Only time will tell.

Heath Ledger
Like film fans everywhere I was shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic and untimely death of Heath Ledger this week. I’ll be honest - prior to Brokeback Mountain I had very little time for Ledger as an actor. Sure, he was fine in Ten Things I Hate About You but I really hated A Knight’s Tale and he followed that up with a string of wooden performances in stinkers like Ned Kelly  and Four Feathers. So I was completely unprepared for his performance in Brokeback Mountain (my favourite film of 2006) and he just blew me away.

He was then equally superb in Candy (playing, um, a drug addict) and gave one of the best performances in the recent I’m Not There - in fact, I was just telling a friend on Saturday night that Ledger would definitely win an Oscar in the next five years. Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to seeing his final performance as The Joker in the upcoming Batman sequel The Dark Knight (assuming the release goes ahead as planned) and he will be sadly missed.

Top 5 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):

1. No Country For Old Men
2. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
3. The Savages
4. Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead
5. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

DVD of the Week: Eagle Vs Shark (released 21st Jan, RRP £17.99)

Fans of Flight of the Conchords may want to check out this delightful New Zealand rom-com that stars Conchords co-star Jermaine Clement - the film came out before the series started on BBC Three and deserves to be more widely seen. It’s basically a love story between two socially-challenged geeks (Clement and co-star Loren Horsley) with a spot of revenge thrown in for good measure - as a result, it comes across as a New Zealand version of Napoleon Dynamite. The DVD is a slightly better than average release and includes 17 minutes of deleted scenes (including an alternative credits sequence) and a 22 minute interview with the director.

Comments

by  Anonymous  28/01/2008 @ 15:24
You're right about Keira, she deserved a nomination for atonement she was amazing, but i have no idea what the fuss is about for ratatouille?!
by  Anonymous  29/01/2008 @ 12:18
You're right Heath would have won an oscar, and he was robbed of one for Brokeback mountain. Apparently his turn as a joker in batman was so good that it made Michael Caine lose his lines because he was so scared. Shame to lose such a good actor.
by  Anonymous  29/01/2008 @ 15:25
R.I.P. Heath
by  Anonymous  29/01/2008 @ 17:10
Sweeney Todd was out of this world, another perfect film from Tim Burton and I think that its totally unfair he didn't get nominated for at least best picture and certainly best director.
by  Anonymous  30/01/2008 @ 12:28
I just watched the trailer for the new Batman movie - Heath Ledger looked so scary as the joker! I hope they do release it, if only to commemorate Heath's performance.
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