I squeezed in viewings of "Million Dollar Baby" and "The Aviator" this weekend so now I've finally seen all the Best Picture nominees. Both very good, but not perfect. I am now leaning toward "The Aviator" because I think Scorsese is the more accomplished filmmaker and his film is more of a "movie movie," bigger in scope, more dazzling, more cinematic. I tend to favor epics over character dramas when it comes to giving out the big prize, and I think the Academy does too. But I loved the performances and relationships between the characters in "Million Dollar Baby," so if that wins, I will certainly understand why. Both films are really an homage to classic Hollywood and that makes me smile.
And have you all heard about the new ways they are presenting the Oscars in some categories? How reality TV: some will be presented to the winner in his/her seat. Or all the nominees will be herded up on stage, like at a beauty pageant or reality show finale, and *then* the winner announced. How awkward and cruel!
I am not very fond of Chris Rock as a host. As a stand-up, great, as a host, meh bordering on actual dislike. I do like the Academy Awards to be family friendly and not as blue as, say, Whoopi likes to go so I'm worried what Chris will do. At least it's not David Letterman again!
So, here's my picks:
Best Picture: The Aviator
Best Director: Marty!
Best Actor: Believe it or not, I loved Leo in "The Aviator." Very reminiscent of "A Beautiful Mind," although Russell is still the better actor, in my book. But I think Jamie Foxx will win, and deservedly so. Johnny, I love you too, but you'll be back, won't you? If Clint upsets in this category, that would actually be kind of cool. He was funny *and* sad and I didn't know he had that kind or range. Go, you old codger, you!
Best Actress: Hilary Swank's role was so demanding physically and emotionally, I think she deserves it.
Best Supporting Actor: As much as I love Clive Owen, I think it's Morgan Freeman's year to finally be rewarded.
Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett managed to do more than just a caricature of Katharine Hepburn. She made her funny, likable, and still prickly. Also really liked Laura Linney and Virginia Madsen, but Blanchett had much more of an impact in her film.
I haven't seen *any* of the Best Animated film nominees, but I gotta go with Pixar and "The Incredibles." "Shark Tale" looked like crass commercialism and the trailer turned me off completely.
So, hope it's a good show! I know I'll be tearing up at the annual "In Memoriam" clip reel. Lost a lot of good ones this year!