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So as the fourth and last to post on the movie, there’s not much I can add to the discussion. But as my title should indicate, I join Adam and Jared in my distaste and ambivalence for La Vie en Rose.

I guess it was a bad sign when I fell asleep for about 10 minutes in the first hour of the film, sometime during Gerard Depardieu’s cameo in the film as Piaf’s first manager. It was probably an even worse sign when I woke up, asked Jared if I missed anything, and he said, “No, not really.” Like all of us other than Jared, I knew nothing about Piaf’s life, but I think that the poor editing job hindered anyone’s ability to get a good handle on her life.

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Jared, I’ll take your two-day delay and raise it by a day-and-a-half. So there. And John? I know I only have myself to blame, dammit, but I started writing this before you posted yours and now you stole most of my thoughts.

  • Eddie Vedder’s non-nomination was clearly the biggest head-scratcher for me. If the Academy is going to withhold an Oscar eligibility for Best Score because it’s based mostly on songs, then at least nominate his damn song. I thought it was a shoo-in for the Oscar beforehand, and now it’s not even nominated?
  • Along the same lines, I’m the only one to date who even saw Enchanted. “That’s How You Know” is your typical cheery Disney melody, and it deserves a nomination mostly because the song and dance number through Central Park is the sole highlight of the otherwise uninteresting movie.
  • My biggest disappointment had to be the exclusion of Angelina Jolie from A Mighty Heart. As I wrote in my post, Jolie’s performance was nothing short of brilliant. I was looking forward to having the Page/Jolie debate with Jared and (in all likelihood Adam), but now I’m resigned to take my second choice. And is there an over/under on years before Cate Blanchett plays Queen Victoria? What about Catherine the Great? or Maria Theresa? I’d be convinced that Oscar voters don’t actually go to the movies if it weren’t for…
  • Laura Linney. Yay. I know Gavin disagrees with the crew here (pipe up, dude), but her acting was superb throughout. She made a role that could have been overacted look easy.
  • Original Score. This is my favorite category. And I agree with John on the technicality with the There Will be Blood score. It is awe-inspiring and matches the movie perfectly. In the future, in a music/video culture where mashups are becoming increasingly common, perhaps there will be changes in the award process. But Greenwood’s work wasn’t fully original, so the ruling makes sense.
    • On that note…the actual nominees will bear more listening to. My favorite so far is Atonement, though I do remember liking 3:10 to Yuma on the XM Cinematical station on my flight out to California last month.
  • And…Best Picture. I can’t figure why Michael Clayton has had such staying power. It’s a strong legal thriller with lots of strong acting. But it came out at the end of September, and for a movie that isn’t terribly original in scope or message, I don’t get the huge buzz. Oh wait, it stars George Clooney. Now I get it.

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The biggest surprise is clearly Tommy Lee Jones’ nomination for In the Valley of Elah. He got absolutely no recognition for that role from critics groups or the SAG. And now Jared has to watch the latest Haggis film, which I admit amuses me some in a mean sort of way.

The only real big surprise is Surf’s Up taking the third Animated Feature Film slot. The Simpsons Movie was my sentimental choice, but I’d admit that the surprisingly sweet and trippy Meet the Robinsons was even better. Surf’s Up looks absolutely terrific, which might have given it a big boost. You feel like you’re surfing with those penguins. Plus the creators pioneered a new way of “filming” animation. The scenes were animated in 3-D and then a “cameraman” “walked” through the scene (really an empty space with motion sensors) “filming” the action, allowing it to really feel like a documentary.

But it’s not a very good movie. It’s like they spent all their time on the style and not enough on story or characters. Minus the spectacular imagery it’s mostly a big yawn.

I’m most upset that I spent all that time breaking down the Original Song contenders just to have such a bad list of nominees. It’s not even that the songs are bad, but that the list is so unoriginal. Three songs from Enchated? Are you kidding me? Pick one, sure, but three? Then after the requisite Once pick (and at least they got that right) and the three Enchanted songs they squeeze out Eddie Vedder’s awesome work for Into the Wild for an August Rush song? I do like “Raise it Up” and can give the Academy some credit for choosing a song outside the usual mold, but it’s nowhere close to Vedder’s work, which felt like another character in the film.

Ruby Dee popped up from mid-pack with her SAG nomination but we clearly missed the boat since not a single one of us mentioned her in our reviews.

I was very happy to see Laura Linney get nominated for The Savages. She got a “YES” and a fist pump when her name was announced (the only other nominee to get the same treatment was Juno for Best Picture).

Sad but not particularly surprising to see Knocked Up shut out of Original Screenplay, though it’s nice that Lars and the Real Girl got some love. The Adapted Screenplay nod for Away From Her was mildly surprisin.

Jared thinks the disqualification of the score from There Will Be Blood is a joke. Maybe it’s a joke that the decision only came out a day before the nominations, but it’s not a joke of a decision. Significantly less than half of the score was composed by Greenwood and he also relied heavily on a BBC-commissioned work he created a few years back. It’s called “Original” Score for a reason, otherwise everyone could just throw on some Beethoven and collect their trophy.

Anyway, it’s a good spread-out year this year (just one film – Michael Clayton – grabbed more than one acting nomination) and I’m looking forward to catching up with the films I’ve missed.

January 2008
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