It's A Wonderful Morning for Oscar
So we now have the nominations for next month's academy awards. Let me start by saying that because of the arrival of Isaac, Jr., Mrs. Bartender and I have not seen as many of the contenders as usual although we have seen 3 of the 5 best picture nominees (The Departed, The Queen, and Little Miss Sunshine). Here are some thoughts:
1. The no brainers: Martin Scorsese is finally going to win his Oscar for Best Director and Helen Mirren better be working on her acceptance speech. I would also put Forest Whittaker in this category (for his amazing portrayal of Idi Amin) but Peter O'Toole has a shot simply as someone who has been nominated 8 times and never won. And his acceptance speech would be one for the ages (although I am looking forward even more to Ricky Henderson's when he enters the baseball Hall of Fame in 2009, assuming he doesn't make another comeback).
2. The pleasant surprises: The success of Little Miss Sunshine and Paul Greengrass getting nominated for the outstanding United 93. I haven't yet seen Letters from Iwo Jima, but I hear it is a fantastic movie as well.
3. The disappointments: Well, obviously that Sacha Baron Cohen was not nominated for Best Actor. (He was nominated for best adapted screenplay, however.) Also, Dreamgirls has to be mighty disappointed not to have snagged a Best Picture or Director nomination.
4. So what's the bottom line: I think The Departed will ultimately win the big prize, but the race is certainly wide open. I really liked all three of the nominated films I have seen although I would lean towards The Departed as the best of the three. As indicated, I am excited to see Letters from Iwo Jima. As for Babel, almost everyone I know who has seen it thinks it is nothing special. So we'll see.
Remember, the Oscars are February 25. I'm sure I'll have more to say.