Wednesday, March 9, 2011

If I Were An Academy Voter - 2008 Part I

Best Picture
Academy Winner/My Pick - Slumdog Millionaire
Commentary - My pick would have been either The Dark Knight or WALL-E had they not be snubbed. So out of the bunch it came down to Slumdog Millionaire, a highly flying romance that, while it wasn't as revolutionary as it was claimed, definitely the best film of the five.

Best Director
Academy Winner/My Pick - Danny Boyle "Slumdog Millionaire"
Commentary - The reason that Slumdog Millionaire worked was because of the recently discovered visionary Danny Boyle. I also would have been happy with Fincher, but I prefered Slumdog to Curious Case, so Boyle gets my support.

Best Actor
Academy Winner - Sean Penn "Milk"
My Pick - Mickey Rourke "The Wrestler"
Commentary - Sean Penn should have won in 1995 (as you will see in a few weeks), so that in 2003, and in this year, another worthy performance could have been recognized. The realism, and honesty that Mickey Rourke brought to the completely underrated The Wrestler, was bar none the best performance of the year, although Penn was incredibly close. Plus this would have been a vote in recognition at the revival of Rourke's career.

Best Actress
Academy Winner - Kate Winslet "The Reader"
My Pick - Anne Hathaway "Rachel Getting Married"
Commentary - Kate Winslet should have won in 1997, (See Sean Penn above for a similar diatribe), then she wouldn't need this redemption win for a less-than-stellar Academy vehicle. While I love Meryl Streep, I think my vote would have gone to Anne Hathaway. It wasn't just the shock factor of the sweet Anne playing a druggie, but she showed that he was versatile, and it truly was an amazing performance.

Best Supporting Actor
Academy Winner/My Pick - Heath Ledger "The Dark Knight"
Commentary - See my Top Ten Performances of the Decade to see all of the reasons why Heath Ledger should have one, simply put he was amazing. Some people claim that he won because he had died, and that is a load of shit. Heath won this because he was the best.

Best Supporting Actress
Academy Winner - Penelope Cruz "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
My Pick - Viola Davis "Doubt"
Commentary - Vicky Cristina Barcelona was definitely one of Allen's better efforts of the last decade, and Cruz was hilarious, but Viola Davis packed so much emotion into her small screen time, that I remembered her performance hours after leaving the theatre.

Best Original Screenplay
Academy Winner - Dustin Lance Black "Milk"
My Pick - Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, & Pete Docter "Wall-E"
Commentary - Milk was definitely an excellent movie, but Wall-E was a revolutionary film. Who would have thought that an almost completely silent movie could be so endearing? That is because of its incredible script, and it would have gotten my vote.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Academy Winner - Simon Beaufoy "Slumdog Millionaire"
My Pick - Eric Roth and Robin Swicord "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Commentary - I loved Slumdog Millionaire, but it was on the back of Danny Boyle. In terms of the better story, the nod has to be given to the Curious Case writers that took a short story and turned it into an epic. That takes skill, and it was the strongest part of the film.

Best Animated Feature
Academy Winner/My Pick - Wall-E
Commentary - Duh!

Best Documentary Feature
Academy Winner/My Pick - Man on Wire
Commentary - It takes a lot for a documentary to not only be informational but also extremely entertaining, and Man on Wire was as high-flying as its acrobatic muse.

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