And now, like everyone else, I will venture my generally biased and uneducated opinion on the Oscars tonight. You have been warned. Sidebar - I love, love movies. However, since I dislike sitting in theatres, I generally only see them once they hit video. I reserve my theatre-going for special effects blast-outs where screen-size has an effect - King Kong, PotC (1 & 2), etc.
Best Picture: I've seen two of these films - Little Miss Sunshine and The Departed - and from all descriptions, Babel seems to be an unnecessarily depressing, unnecessarily complicated film ... in other words, the kind of movie everyone likes because they're supposed to. Though The Departed was an awesome ride, I have to put my personal hopes on Little Miss Sunshine, because a feel-good comedy - even a black feel-good comedy, if anyone who hasn't seen the movie can imagine that - always deserves some attention. Also, The Departed loses some points with me for the meat-headed casting of Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon in roles where it is very important to be able to tell them apart and it is inordinately HARD TO DO SO at times.
Best Performance / Actor Lead: Uh, dunno. I haven't seen any of these movies. I have a lot of respect for Will Smith, though.
Best Performance / Actress Lead: I've seen only one of these movies - The Devil Wears Prada - and heard some flap about the fact that Meryl Streep shouldn't have been nominated because her character is a supporting role, not a lead. I have to say the opposite. Miranda Priestly is more than a lead character, she is scenery, theme and mood, and her presence while she is on-screen had to be imposing enough to carry into everything that happens off-screen. And again, see my love of comedies. (I am somewhat anti Dench and Winslet here because both their characters are people I could never sympathize with / admire. I recognize pulling this off takes talent, so this is purely a personal preference.)
(And why are there two categories here anyhow? Is it because they wanted to give out two awards and gender was the most convenient division?)
Best Performance / Actor Supporting: I'm kinda stunned Mark Wahlberg was nominated for this with the reams of high-profile actors in The Departed. Then I thought back to the sheer amount of venomous hatred his character generates throughout the film, never letting up. Despite being a good guy, his is the character you most actively hate, and it's due to the portrayal. Yeah, my vote's with Mark.
Best Performance / Actress Supporting: No opinion here. I think Abigail Breslin certainly deserves the nomination - like Streep, she is more than a character, she is the heart of the movie, its tone and soul. But where does a ten year old kid go from an Oscar win?
Best Writing / Original Screenplay: It is possibly a duhism here that my vote is with Little Miss Sunshine. But I was blown away by that movie while still laughing throughout. It really is the best of both words.
Makeup: ... yanno, actually, the consistent aging effects in Click were pretty impressive. (And before anyone ribs me about seeing this movie, it was not the crude comedy I was expecting. It was far more serious - and far deeper - than the desperately miscast previews.)
Cinematography: I am only commenting here because I find it difficult to believe anything could surpass The Illusionist, but I'm watching The Prestige tonight so I may change my mind.
Costume Design: I watched the entirety of Marie Antoinette just to enjoy the costumes. Nuff said.
Visual Effects: I haven't seen the new Poisedon, but I can't picture anything blowing Dead Man's Chest out of the water. *flees from groans*
That's all, folks.