February 1, 2006

Oscar Nominations

Actress

Judi Dench in Mrs. Henderson Presents

I haven't seen this. I have no doubt that she's awesome in this because she can never be anything less.

Felicity Huffman in Transamerica

I am clearly a fan. I've loved her since I first set my eyes on Dana Whitaker. I think she's brilliant and beautiful and don't even care that she's now on a show that I don't like. It really pisses me off when people write off her potential win of this award as some kind of a "gimme" because she's playing kind of a gimmicky part, the kind of part that Oscar likes to reward. As if any woman who does a part where she alters her appearance to become less attractive or more homely or masculine (Swank as Brandon Teena or as the boxer, Sarandon as Sr. Helen, Kidman as Virginia Woolf, Theron as the serial killer, even Halle Berry in Monster's Ball) is gunning for an award or is somehow less deserving by virtue of undergoing the physical changes the role calls for. As if the kind of part she's playing automatically discounts the idea that she might just do an amazing job of playing said part. Do you know what I'm saying? That kind of enrages me, especially when it's someone like Huffman whom I cannot tolerate being criticized in any way, shape, or form. I have not seen this movie because it's never come out here, but I plan to the moment I have a chance to. And can you imagine how wonderful her speech would be?

Keira Knightley in Pride & Prejudice

I didn't see this because I have no desire to see anyone as Elizabeth Bennet in my mind other than Jennifer Ehle for the rest of my life. I've heard that she's excellent in it, but I can't even really stand the thought of her in this movie. That she is in a category with the likes of Felicity Huffman and Judy Dench essentially makes me gag. Keira Knightley can suck it.

Charlize Theron in North Country

My sister loved this movie, but I never saw it. I don't really have strong feelings about Charlize Theron. I remember really liking her in The Cider House Rules, though, and being surprised by that.

Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line

Here's the thing. I really feel like half of what make Reese stand out in this movie are her hair and wardrobe, which are, let's face it, extraordinary. And she's cute during the musical numbers, which I really enjoyed. I don't know. She was good, but she just kind of strikes me as a robot. I cannot abide the thought of her beating Felicity Huffman. I cannot. CANNOT.

Actor

Philip Seymour Hoffman in Capote

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get over seeing him as anything but that icky masturbating character in Happiness, a movie that proved that I'm really just not one for movies about things like sexual perversions and child molestation. I'm just not. I guess it's a testament to how good he was in it that it's stayed with me for so long. I think I'm almost over it, though, and people seem to be so awed and overcome by his performance in this and to really love him as a person, and I really do want to see this movie. I read In Cold Blood when I was younger and loved it, and I also love that Dan Futterman, also known as Val in The Birdcage and Vincent on Judging Amy, wrote the script.

Terence Howard in Hustle & Flow

I first saw him in Crash, and he was definitely one of the best things in it. Like, above and beyond good. I'd like to see this movie but haven't yet.

Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain

Can you even believe that most of us first saw him in 10 Things I Hate About You? Do you remember that weird, long, black, curly hair? How is this even the same person that played paint ball with Julia Stiles? Anyway, of the three performances in this category I've seen, I think he should win. I realize that seeing Hoffman in Capote might change my mind about this, but I think that Ledger is astonishingly good in this movie.

Joaquin Phoenix in Walk the Line

I remember when he was nominated for Gladiator and how I couldn't believe that freaking Max from SpaceCamp might win an Oscar. (And I will love that movie until my dying day.) (SpaceCamp, not Gladiator.) He's so good in that, and he was so awesome as Gary in Parenthood, the troubled young boy who was freaking out because of his pubescent urges and pissed off with his dad for leaving his mother. Sometimes I forget that he's also River's little brother who was there when River died. I can't really connect the two somehow in my mind, which is weird, but I guess that my love for River Phoenix was such a profound part of my early adolescence that it's just kind of frozen in time there. Anyway. He does a great job in this role, and I'd never fault a win for him.

David Strathairn in Good Night, and Good Luck

I think my appreciation of his performance is marred by the fact that I have no idea what Edward R. Murrow looked or sounded like. Maybe that makes me a big dumb heathen, but I don't. So I don't really know if he's being praised for really nailing Murrow or just because he gives a performance of really quiet and sincere strength. I always think of him as Russell Terziak in Home for the Holidays, the repairman who comes over and tells Holly Hunter all of the horrible things going on in his life while Robert Downey, Jr. and Dylan McDermott eavesdrop and guffaw.

Supporting Actress

Amy Adams in Junebug

I just watched this recently so it's fresh on my mind, and all I have to say is that Amy Adams is sensational in it. My eyes widened pretty much the whole time by how she plays what could have been the most annoying character in the history of movies and somehow makes her come alive with such grace and humanity and lovability. I couldn't help but think of my sister and how I think she'd really like this character, especially when the family is talking negatively about the brother coming home with his new city bride and she simply, defensively, and defiantly proclaims, "I love her." As if it's the most obvious and unquestionable fact in the world. There's not a moment of this performance that's not straight up brilliant, and I think she is going to be a huge star, and there's not a nomination this year that excites me more than this one.

Catherine Keener in Capote

She's one of the best actresses around, I think. I've liked her ever since Walking and Talking (which is great even though it has Anne Heche in it), and I love her in Lovely and Amazing. And she's really great and real in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. It makes me sad that she and Dermot Mulroney appear to be splitting up. She's talented, no doubt, and I never feel like she's "acting" when she's acting.

Frances McDormand in North Country

I'm sure that she gives a great performance in this; she always does. My favorite work of hers is in Almost Famous, especially when she talks on the phone with Russell Hammond, played by Billy Crudup, whom I no longer love after being bored the point of being disturbed by that DRECK starring him and Claire Danes, Stage Beauty. That movie, coupled with their gross coupling, pretty much made me hate them both. Which I can't believe has happened. But it has. Anyway, yeah. Frances. I loved her speech when she won for Fargo, thanking her son for making a mother out of her, one of the Coen brothers for making an actor out of her, and the other Coen brother for making a woman out of her.

Rachel Weisz in The Constant Gardener

So pretty. Very good in this movie. Still don't want her to beat Amy Adams.

Michelle Williams in Brokeback Mountain

Oh my God, Jen Lindley. Who knew you had it in you? What strikes me most about Michelle Williams when I see her on the red carpet lately is how beautiful she is. How come she never looked this beautiful on the Creek? Her hair on that show through the seasons was some of the worst hair I've ever seen, and now her hair is like some kind of glorious wave of beauty. I don't know if she's glowing from new motherhood or what, but she is stunning now. She's certainly not very good looking in this movie, but I think she does a fine job. She does a lot in silence, just letting her emotions show on her face, and I admire that. It would be very bizarre for someone from Capeside to be standing onstage accepting an Academy Award, but I guess I could deal with it if she were not competing against Amy Adams, who clearly must win for all to be right with the universe.

Supporting Actor

George Clooney in Syriana

I didn't see this movie because I knew it would give me a large headache, but who doesn't want to see George Clooney give an Oscar speech? The man is just damn likeable, not so much because he's a "sex symbol" but because he's just funny and seems nice and seems to care about what's going on in the world.

Matt Dillon in Crash

What? Okay, I need a moment. Alrighty. Of all the strong performances by males in this movie, his is the one being singled out? What the hell? Granted, I did hate his character and his performance really did have a strong effect on me, how much I despised him, and maybe that stuck with other viewers, too, but I think this is very weird.

Paul Giamatti in Cinderella Man

This movie is sitting unwatched on my kitchen counter, still in its Netflix envelope. I'm determined to watch it. I really liked him in Sideways and thought he was robbed of that nomination, so I'm glad he's getting some recognition.

Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain

I recently realized that he plays Billy Crystal's very cute little son in City Slickers. And Homer Hickam! He's so great as Homer Hickam. Okay, I understand why they stuck him in this category, so he and Ledger would not have to compete against the other, because clearly this is not a supporting role in the same way that old Matt "Hardly Any Screen Time" Dylan is a supporting role. This is a lead role. But whatever. I think he is uniformly excellent in this movie. He bugged my sister, but what I realized in reading the review at Pajiba is that what seems a little off in parts of his performance might be that he's Jake playing Jack playing Jack. If that makes sense. Read the review, it's explained well there. (It's long, but it's good.)

William Hurt in A History of Violence

This is the weirdest nomination of the entire bunch to me. Sure, he's funny and strange in this part, but it's a wee, tiny little part, and it's hardly what I remember most about the movie. (That'd probably be the fiery sex scenes, but maybe I am just a big perv on that account.) Odd.

Picture

Brokeback Mountain

This movie really got to me. I thought I would like it, but I didn't know I would love it. I did love it very, very much, and it is by far the best movie of the year in my opinion. I was talking to my boyfriend recently about how of all the movies we saw last year, and it seems like we really saw a lot, none of them was really worthy of that kind of love that you feel in your actual soul. But then I saw this, and I do love it in my soul, and I really hope that it wins.

Capote

Hope to see it eventually; Jesus.

Crash

I wrote what I thought about this movie here, and I stand by it. Piece by piece, the performances are mostly all really good. But a groundbreaking, life changing, brilliant movie? It just didn't get me in that way. I hate to say anything negative about anything in which Don Cheadle appears because he is perfect and can do no wrong, but I will think it's a big fat foul stinker of a fuck-up if this movie beats Brokeback Mountain.

Good Night, and Good Luck

I definitely did like this movie and don't really have a problem with it being in this category considering that I can't think of anything I'd put in its place. Except for maybe Junebug, but I realize that's kind of foolish thinking.

Munich

The thought of seeing a movie like this right now makes me feel like vomiting. I can't really deal with gut-wrenching global issues right now. I guess I'd much rather watch movies about dysfunctional Southern families and spaceships.

:::

About this time in ...

2005

2/1:

Some of us are settled and some of us are not, some of us are still chasing our Dale Beavermans, some of us are still climbing on the bus to go to the city and waving goodbye, some of us are still waiting for our bylines, and some of us are still having sex in the shower like Ally Sheedy and Andrew McCarthy.


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