Friday, February 25, 2005

Mellly Mel's Oscar Picks

OK, long overdue, but still posted before the first envelope is cracked, my Oscar picks. As always, there is a diference between who I think will win and who I think should win in most categories, so the bold indicated who I will, and the italics indicate my picks. Obviously if they are the same nominee it would be bold italics.

To be fair, I only cast votes for films I have seen, which is most of the nominees, Vera Drake and Being Julia are the only 2 I've missed in major categories. I am such a nerd.

Best Motion Picture of the Year
The Aviator
Million Dollar Baby
Finding Neverland

So hard. So very hard. Aside from Jamie Foxx, Ray was dull as ass. Sideways is too indie for the Academy, Finding Neverland not enough clout. I'm with Million Dollar Baby all the way, but the Academy seems to confuse the words 'best' and 'most expensive' or 'flashiest'. Stupid Academy.

Achievement in directing
Martin Scorsese - The Aviator
Clint Eastwood - Million Dollar Baby
Taylor Hackford - Ray
Alexander Payne - Sideways
Mike Leigh - Vera Drake

Scorsese has never won. Remember when Tommy Lee Jones won Supporting Actor for The Fugitive? It's sort of like that. Sometimes the Academy just goes, "Sheeit! Dude's been overlooked a lot.We better get him an award stat, before he goes totally soft and starts cranking out crap like Man of the House." See also: Jessica Lange in Blue Sky.

Performance by an actor in a leading role
Jamie Foxx - Ray
Don Cheadle - Hotel Rwanda
Johnny Depp in- Finding Neverland
Leonardo DiCaprio -The Aviator
Clint Eastwood - Million Dollar Baby

C'mon, Ray was boring, but Jamie Foxx was amazing. And I don't like Jamie Foxx. His little rat eyes bug me. But they were glued shut or behind dark glasses for the whole film, so I could deal with it. I am sort of split here though, Don Cheadle is always overlooked, he's just so subtle and natural that it doesn't seem like acting. Which is why maybe he should win.

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Annette Bening - Being Julia
Hilary Swank - Million Dollar Baby
Kate Winslet - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Catalina Sandino Moreno - Maria Full of Grace
Imelda Staunton - Vera Drake

To be fair, Being Julia and Vera Drake are the 2 films I haven't seen. And I can't give my vote to a performance I haven't seen. Swank and Winslet are both so solid and versatile, and both have scenes of serious illness, which the acedemy loves. However, Swank beat Benning in 1999, so the consolation vote might go her way.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Thomas Haden Church -Sideways
Morgan Freeman - Million Dollar Baby
Alan Alda - The Aviator
Jamie Foxx - Collateral
Clive Owen - Closer

The supporting categories are always hardest to call. Really, Morgan Freeman should win. He's the glue that can hold even a crap Ashley Judd film together. He's like Don Cheadle, subtle enough to be overlooked. Thomas Haden Church was killer in Sideways, the Acedemy likes to go with outsiders and newcomers in the supporting categories. All Alan Alda had to do was look all soft and pink and creepy old manish, Jamie Foxx is going to win best actor, and Clive Owen, though great in Closer just sort of slips through the cracks.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Cate Blanchett - The Aviator
Natalie Portman - Closer
Laura Linney - Kinsey
Virginia Madsen - Sideways
Sophie Okonedo - Hotel Rwanda

Laura Linney is and always will be the Acedemy Bridesmaid. Sophie Okonedo is in the same position as Clive Owen. Much like Hilary Swank in 1999, Virgina Madsen has the 'been in the business forever, never recognized, in a critical darling indie film' thing going for her. But the Academy still owes Blanchett for Elizabeth, she's nominated for playing an icon and was the best thing about The Avaitor. Of course Portman played a stripper, which the academy likes almost as much as whores, so she's a contender too. Either would make me happy, with a slight edge to Portmas as I have been in love with her since Beautiful Girls.

Best animated feature film of the year

“The Incredibles” ( Buena Vista ) Brad Bird
“Shark Tale” (DreamWorks) Bill Damaschke
“Shrek 2” (DreamWorks) Andrew Adamson

I don't really do animated films, but I saw and loved Shark Tale, so it's the only one I can vote for. Word on the Street is The Incredibles is the favorite to win. Whatev's.

Achievement in art direction
The Avaitor
Finding Neverland
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
The Phantom of the Opera
A Very Long Engagement

Ok, honestly I only saw the top 2, and I don't really give a crap about this one. Most likely all the 'behind the scenes' stuff will go to The Aviator as a CYA in case it gets snubbed in major categories. Then the DVD box can still say 'winner of 4 Academy Awards' even if they are crappy ones that no one cares about.

Achievement in cinematography
The Passion of the Christ
The Aviator
House of Flying Daggers
The Phantom of the Opera
A Very Long Engagement

Passion might steal this one, the cinematography was pretty good and as it was shut out of major categories, the Academy might give it this just so God isn't too pissed off. FYI - Caleb Deschanel, the cinematographer has hot daughters! See: Zoe in Almost Famous.

Achievement in costume design
The Aviator
Finding Neverland
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

I never get this category. It usually goes to some hsitorical drama where all the designer had to do was copy crap out of a textbook. Whatever happened to innovation and creativity? No vote, I don't care.

Best documentary feature
Born into Brothels - Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski
The Story of the Weeping Camel - Luigi Falorni and Byambasuren Davaa
Super Size Me - Morgan Spurlock
Tupac: Resurrection - Lauren Lazin and Karolyn Ali
Twist of Faith - Kirby Dick and Eddie Schmidt

I've only seen Super Size Me, which is a long shot to win. Roger Ebert wants Tupac: Ressurection to win. Who new?

Best documentary short subject
Autism Is a World - Geraldine Wurzburg
The Children of Leningradsky - Hanna Polak and Andrzej Celinski
Hardwood - Hubert Davis and Erin Faith Young
Mighty Times: The Children’s March - Robert Hudson and Bobby Houston Sister Rose’s Passion - Oren Jacoby and Steve Kalafer

This is when you go to the bathroom and make a beer run. Seriously.

Achievement in film editing
The Aviator - Thelma Schoonmaker
Collateral - Jim Miller and Paul Rubell
Finding Neverland - Matt Chesse
Million Dollar Baby- Joel Cox
Ray - Paul Hirsch

See: Art Direction. The boxing scenes in Million Dollar Baby were well edited though.

Best foreign language film of the year
The Sea Inside
As It Is in Heaven
The Chorus

Javier Bardem. However you spell it. Critical Darling. Enough said.

Achievement in makeup
The Passion of the Christ
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
The Sea Inside

Oh come on, those wounds was nasty!

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
Finding Neverland - Jan A.P. Kaczmarek
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - John Williams
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events - Thomas Newman
The Passion of the Christ - John Debney
The Village - James Newton Howard

More beer, please.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
Accidentally In Love from Shrek 2
Al Otro Lado Del Río from The Motorcycle Diaries
Believe from The Polar Express
Learn To Be Lonely from The Phantom of the Opera
Look To Your Path (Vois Sur Ton Chemin) from The Chorus

Dear God, just please don't let it be Counting Crows. They should have died with the 90's.

Adapted screenplay
Before Sunset
Finding Neverland
Million Dollar Baby
The Motorcycle Diaries

Ok, Sideways, if nothing else, should win for screenplay. Men's buddy relationships are hard to write authentically. The Academy will probably go that way too as it is likely to be shut out for major awards, and it loves to give screenplay awards to indies.

Original screenplay
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The Aviator
Hotel Rwanda
The Incredibles
Vera Drake

Thank you, Charlie Kaufmann, for so unabashadly giving your acid trips and neurosis for public consumption. You are a genius. I love you.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Back in BC...sniff sniff

Well, I'm back in BC. The Montreal experiment is officially over. I would really have loved to have stayed, but poor little Anglo girls are very limited for job opportunities there. I would love to go back at some point, though I think if I were to live there it would have to be a bicoastal thing, involving winters in BC. I am delicate. And I have to say the weather in Victoria is amazing right now. All blue skies and sunshine and blooming flowers. Lovely. I'll be here until I decide what I want to be when I grow up, and pay back my family for springing me from bad job hell.

There will be more bloggage when I am settled and my thoughts are more organized. I've been negligent. I am bad. Bad blogger!

Note to Kevin: I hear you are moving to San Francisco. Awesome. I wish I were in Vancouver to celebrate. Best of luck, it's one of my favorite cities, I may have to exploit your couch.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

What's Been Going On

I was asked recently if I was getting anywhere with the LavaLife thing, and realized I haven't said anything about it for a while. In a nutshell, not so much. Though I did get a 'smile' recently from a scruffy guy with a bit of a Thom Yorke lazy eye thing. I think he might be like Stalkster though, too good on paper to be good for real. For shits n' giggles I created a really raunchy Intimate Encounters profile just to see what the response would be. Lets just say overwhelming. Could be because I professed a love of the back door, wink wink, nudge, nudge. Anyways, you would not believe the number of 45 -55 year old men looking for a little young loving. One word: EWWW GROSS!! Anyways, I think I have exhausted the amusement appeal of LavalIfe and will have to find a new hobby. Like, oh say, talking to real live people.

I was feeling a little funky yesterday, and as Salazar knows, nothing perks a girl up like blowing a wad at MAC. I could not, however, justify blowing a wad on makeup, so I went with perk up #2, a haircut. Which I needed any ways, so I could justify it easily. I went to Coupe Bizarre on St. Laurent, which being the lazy arse I am I picked because it was mentioned in a Gazette article on Pony Up!, 2 members of which work there. The place was pretty cool, but i couldl not get a handle on my stylist. She was nice and very indie rock cute, but so quiet and sooooooo slow with the cutting. Sort of an anti Priscilla. She cut it dry and used these weird nose hair looking scissors for the whole thing. It looks good though, she almost nailed the picture I brought of Catherine Moenning, so I am now the proud owner of a sort of pixie-reverse-mullet thing. Love it! I would have pictures, but I am camera free and camera shy.

Oh, if any of you are getting in on an office Oscar poll, keep an eye on the blog. I've seen almost all the films nominated in major catagories so I'll be posting a both my picks and who I think will actually win. Yes, there is a difference. Unlike the Academy I pick based on performance, not how much weight an actor gained, or if they've won before, or if they are British or playing a hooker. Stoopid Academy. I still have to see Vera Drake and Being Julia, but I've seen all the other films that are nominated for acting, directing and best film. Except the animated films. They annoy me. If I could just split the awards between Hotel Rwanda and Million Dollar Baby that would be fine with me, seriously, soooo good. February 27th, mark it on your calanders people!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Sticking It To The Man

Well, I did it. I quit. I walked in, gave my notice and walked out. It wasn't as simple as that, I was followed out and argued with despite making it very clear that it was not a conversation, but the fact that he was totally incredulous and acted as if I was an emotional nutter and he had never so much as spoken down to me actually made it a lot easier. There is something so empowering about making the decision to not allow yourself to be victimized and to take control of the situation. So I am officially unemployed and living in a city where I don't speak the language. And it actually feels good. Well, until the impending panic sets in. I passed a guy this morning in the street who was smoking and drinking from a bottle in a brown paper bag and thought, "duder, I so relate." But I'm not there. Yet.

On the upside, if you have to be unemployed in Montreal in the winter, this is the kind of weather to do it in. It is - dare I say it? - warm, I think about -2, sunny and altogether lovely. Aside from the avalanche of dog crap emerging from beneath the snow, but I just avoid the parks. I have yet to go skating, but I'm not worried, I'm sure the mercury will drop to a pipe freezing, skin cracking, nipple hardening -40 again soon. Ahhhhh.....Montreal.

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