Thoughtful reviews, the Boulder film scene

Jaffa

Jaffa views the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through the lens of young love. —Matt Anderson (DVD review...)

" Why did the armadillo cross the road? It didn’t. "
— Steve Zahn, Happy, Texas

MRQE Top Critic

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The nominations for the 2006 Oscars were announced yesterday morning, generating some interest and some yawns from Movie Habit contributors. Or skip the commentary and scroll to the bottom of the page to see the list.

Matt Anderson: ... and the Most Undeserving Nomination of the Year goes to Meryl Streep. Please. Aside from her one lengthy speech about the progression from High Street fashion to the bargain bin, her performance was notably unremarkable.

But at least the Best Picture nominees are interesting, Little Miss Sunshine notwithstanding. I can see that award going to Letters from Iwo Jima or The Queen and Scorsese once again getting the shaft.

Andrea Birgers: Oh I don’t know. Many of the nominees are probably deserving of a nomination. It’s interesting that the speculation regarding potential winners immediately turns to factors other than the merits of the movies themselves (as if it is truly possible to decide which is the best). Martin Scorsese hasn’t won, so he should win this time; never mind that The Departed is no Raging Bull or Goodfellas. But what about Clint Eastwood’s two-film juggernaut? Never mind that one of those films only received nominations in sound categories. And what about Peter O’Toole? No doubt he’s a sentimental favorite, but can he stand up to Forest Whitaker’s flamboyant performance as Idi Amin? Personally, I’d give it to Ryan Gosling, but Half Nelson probably wasn’t seen in enough theaters. (See, now I’m doing it.)

So I guess I don’t really have much to say about this year’s nominees. (As for Meryl, well, she was the most interesting thing about The Devil Wears Prada.) Some decent movies got nominations; some decent movies will win. I’ll be curious about who wins, but my opinions about the movies and performances won’t be changed by who takes home the gold statuettes.

Marty Mapes: My love of movies has nothing to do with how popular a movie is, or how many awards it may win. It’s nice when a deserving movie or filmmaker gets a golden statue, but the hype and the hoopla are often the antithesis of the intimacy and personal connection that can make a movie great.

So I take the Oscars with a grain of salt.

But if Forest Whitaker, Mark Wahlberg, Guillermo Del Toro, Alan Arkin, and Martin Scorsese get golden statues, they will have earned them.

Almost none of the nominees make me want to scoff, although I think The Devil Wears Prada was barely saved by Meryl Streep. And Pixar’s Cars was probably nominated more out of habit than anything else. It would have been nice to see A Scanner Darkly recognized, if only to show that animation doesn’t have to mean “kids movie.”

Nick Reed: Luis Buñuel, one of the most legendary directors in the history of film, once said “Nothing would disgust me more morally than winning an Oscar.” With these nominations, I can see how receiving one could be considered offensive.

... and the nominees are...

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Leonardo DiCaprio - BLOOD DIAMOND
Ryan Gosling - HALF NELSON
Peter O'Toole - VENUS
Will Smith - THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS
Forest Whitaker - THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Alan Arkin - LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
Jackie Earle Haley - LITTLE CHILDREN
Djimon Hounsou - BLOOD DIAMOND
Eddie Murphy - DREAMGIRLS
Mark Wahlberg - THE DEPARTED

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Penélope Cruz - VOLVER
Judi Dench - NOTES ON A SCANDAL
Helen Mirren - THE QUEEN
Meryl Streep - THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
Kate Winslet - LITTLE CHILDREN

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Adriana Barraza - BABEL
Cate Blanchett - NOTES ON A SCANDAL
Abigail Breslin - LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
Jennifer Hudson - DREAMGIRLS
Rinko Kikuchi - BABEL

Best animated feature film of the year

CARS
HAPPY FEET
MONSTER HOUSE

Achievement in art direction

DREAMGIRLS
THE GOOD SHEPHERD
PAN'S LABYRINTH
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST
THE PRESTIGE

Achievement in cinematography

THE BLACK DAHLIA
CHILDREN OF MEN
THE ILLUSIONIST
PAN'S LABYRINTH
THE PRESTIGE

Achievement in costume design

CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
DREAMGIRLS
MARIE ANTOINETTE
THE QUEEN

Achievement in directing

BABEL
THE DEPARTED
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
THE QUEEN
UNITED 93

Best documentary feature

DELIVER US FROM EVIL
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH
IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS
JESUS CAMP
MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY

Best documentary short subject

THE BLOOD OF YINGZHOU DISTRICT
RECYCLED LIFE
REHEARSING A DREAM
TWO HANDS

Achievement in film editing

BABEL
BLOOD DIAMOND
CHILDREN OF MEN
THE DEPARTED
UNITED 93

Best foreign language film of the year

AFTER THE WEDDING
DAYS OF GLORY (INDIGÈNES)
THE LIVES OF OTHERS
PAN'S LABYRINTH
WATER

Achievement in makeup

APOCALYPTO
CLICK
PAN'S LABYRINTH

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

BABEL
THE GOOD GERMAN
NOTES ON A SCANDAL
PAN'S LABYRINTH
THE QUEEN

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

"I Need to Wake Up" - AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH
"Listen" - DREAMGIRLS
"Love You I Do" - DREAMGIRLS
"Our Town" - CARS
"Patience" - DREAMGIRLS

Best motion picture of the year

BABEL
THE DEPARTED
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
THE QUEEN

Best animated short film

THE DANISH POET
LIFTED
THE LITTLE MATCHGIRL
MAESTRO
NO TIME FOR NUTS

Best live action short film

BINTA AND THE GREAT IDEA (BINTA Y LA GRAN IDEA)
ÉRAMOS POCOS (ONE TOO MANY)
HELMER & SON
THE SAVIOUR
WEST BANK STORY

Achievement in sound editing

APOCALYPTO
BLOOD DIAMOND
FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST

Achievement in sound mixing

APOCALYPTO
BLOOD DIAMOND
DREAMGIRLS
FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST

Achievement in visual effects

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST
POSEIDON
SUPERMAN RETURNS

Adapted screenplay

BORAT CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN
CHILDREN OF MEN
THE DEPARTED
LITTLE CHILDREN
NOTES ON A SCANDAL

Original screenplay

BABEL
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
PAN'S LABYRINTH
THE QUEEN