All of us survived the Oscars Marathon.Â Olaina and I actually stayed for all five.Â There was a good 45 minutes break between Ben Button and Slumdog Millionaire.Â We all had a wonderful time.
I still like Slumdog Millionaire best.Â An FB friend raised a question of Slumdog being overrated and that there are better screenplays out there that should win.Â I agree with him on that.Â Lord knows how the Academy votes this year.Â Are they looking at the craftsmanship?Â That case, Benjamin Button should take the cake for the epic scale.Â Screenplay and directing? Perhaps Frost/Nixon should win for that.Â Overall excellence plus the effects on your emotions? Slumdog should be the winner for the fact that I was completely lost in the movie.
Will I be disppointed if Ben Button took the cake tonight? Yes and no. It’s a superbly crafted film. But N’awleans doesn’t have my heart the way Mumbai does.Â So I’m sticking with my choice even if I’m completely wrong about it.
Sean Penn carries Milk through. I don’t think this movie would’ve survived anywhere without him.Â He’s the only well known actor out of this five that truly disappears.Â Ditto Emile Hirsch and Josh Brolin.Â I kept slipping that I was watching a documentary until someone else showed up to remind me that it wasn’t.
The Reader left me pondering my own morality afterward.Â You can shoot me now but I was rooting for Hanna and hating Michael for not being a man he needed to be.Â You can also shoot me for agreeing with Hanna’s explanation of why she did what she did.Â However, unlike Milk, I still see Kate shining through Hanna.Â But yes, it was a very raw performance.
Benjamin Button is excellent.Â It’s a lot like Forrest Gump and instead of being “stupid”, it’s aging backward.Â Taraji Henson is wonderful, and I think someone should’ve given Cate Blanchett an award too.Â Brad Pitt’s performance, however, isn’t mind blowing to me.Â It feels like watching Legends of the Fall all over again.Â Ah, the glory and yumminess that is Brad Pitt!Â To quote Daisy, he’s “perfection” here.Â And THAT distracts from what the movie is supposed to be.Â I can see this movie being a much better one if it’s someone else not on the list for the Sexiest Man Alive.Â Seriously.
You already know my stand on Slumdog Millionaire.Â It’s a jubilant film, that’s how I describe it.Â Beautifully shot. I laughed. I cried. I cringed. I cheered. I gasped.Â And the entire theater were doing the same thing more than any of the movies at the marathon.Â Both dramatic and serious, and yet funny and has the heart all at the same time.Â It’s like a bacon caramel: sounds weird, but it’s the sweet and savory combination that is pure magic and make you want more.Â Wow. I just compared a movie to food. Good god.
Finally, Frost/Nixon.Â I actually nodded off here and there through this movie, but the bits of screenplay banter I caught were great.Â Frank Langella did wonderfully.Â I have a hard time connecting with ANY of the characters in this one.Â Frost is desparate but I had no sympathy for the man. The girlfriend? WTF is her purpose really?Â NOTHING!Â And I guess the major disconnect for me is that it’s the part of U.S. history I don’t really care about much.
Here’s my explanation about that.Â I came to the U.S. in 1993 for 11th grade, just in time for U.S. history class.Â When Forrest Gump came out, I understood most of the relevance.Â However, when I came home for the summer, I can’t even find one person who liked the movie.Â Nobody really knows that much about American history outside of America to really care, apparently.Â Frost/Nixon feels like that to me.Â I know about Watergate from history lessons, but I wasn’t all that into it.Â I didn’t feel that burning betrayal Americans of the time felt.Â I didn’t care about that.Â Sure, for some people, this was like a metaphor for George W.’s comeuppance.Â But it’s not Dubya on my screen.Â I can’t connect with it.Â At all.
Now, it’s ballot time.Â I’ll update with my statistics after the Oscars.Â I actually saw 2 of the nominated documentaries this year.Â So the wild guesses are going to the shorts and the foreign films. My prediction in **bold/italic.**
ETA: 58% accuracy this year, kids.Â Still off my A game but not quite as bad as last year’s.Â I had second thoughts on many of these because my super emotional ties to Slumdog.Â And those were the ones that cost me.Â Next year, listen to my gut for sure.
Winner: **â€œSlumdog Millionaireâ€**
Winner: **Kate Winslet, â€œThe Readerâ€**
Winner: **Sean Penn, â€œMilkâ€**
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Winner: Penelope Cruz, â€œVicky Cristina Barcelonaâ€
**Taraji P. Henson, â€œThe Curious Case of Benjamin Buttonâ€ **
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Winner: **Heath Ledger, â€œThe Dark Knightâ€**
Winner: **Danny Boyle, â€œSlumdog Millionaireâ€**
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Winner: Dustin Lance Black, â€œMilk
**Marttin McDonagh, â€œIn Brugesâ€**
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Winner: **Simon Beaufoy, â€œSlumdog Millionaireâ€**
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Winner: â€œDeparturesâ€ (Japan) – Is everyone as surprised as the entire room?? **â€œWaltz with Bashirâ€ (Israel)**
BEST ANIMATED FILM
BEST ART DIRECTION
Winner: **â€œThe Curious Case Of Benjamin Buttonâ€**
Winner: â€œSlumdog Millionaire,â€ Anthony Dod Mantle
**â€œThe Curious Case Of Benjamin Button,â€ Claudio Miranda**
BEST FILM EDITING
Winner: â€œSlumdog Millionaire,â€ Chris Dickens
**â€œThe Dark Knight,â€ Lee Smith**
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Winner: **â€œThe Duchess,â€ Michael Oâ€™Conner**
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Winner: **â€œMan on Wireâ€**
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Winner: â€œSlumdog Millionaire,â€ â€œJai Ho,â€ A.R. Rahman
**â€œWALL-E,â€ â€œDown To Earth,â€ Peter Gabriel & Thomas Newman**
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Winner: **â€œSlumdog Millionaire,â€ A.R. Rahman**
Winner: **â€œThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button,â€ Colleen Callaghan, Fionagh Cush**
BEST SOUND EDITING
Winner: â€œThe Dark Knight,â€ Richard King
**â€œWALL-E,â€ Ben Burtt, Matthew Wood**
BEST SOUND MIXING
Winner: â€œSlumdog Millionaire,â€ Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty
**â€œWALL-E,â€ Ben Burtt, Tom Myers, Michael Semanick**
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Winner: **â€œThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button,â€ Eric Barba**
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
Winner: â€œSpielzeugland (Toyland)â€
â€œManon on the Asphaltâ€ – And I was going to pick the German sounding one. You know, the holocaust story almost always wins, right?
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Winner: â€œLa Maison en Petits Cubesâ€
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM
Winner: â€œSmile Pinkiâ€
â€œThe Final Inchâ€