We watched the Academy Awards show last night. I actually like watching the program, particularly when I can do some web surfing at the same time. It's one of those wonderful shows where only about 20% of it is actual content. This makes it perfect for surf viewing. (Yes, I just coined that phrase!)
As much as I love Jon Stewart, I have to say that Ellen DeGeneres was much better. I laughed out loud several times at her performance. (Not as much as I laughed tonight at Jon Stewart's self-deprecating humour on The Daily Show. I had tears streaming down my face at the line, "Once Peter O'Toole tastes panda, there's no stopping him.") They could have done without the dancers... or the songs. In particular, what the hell was that song Celine Dion was singing? I always thought that instead of running those stupid bits, they should actually run the animation short nominees. Or, later on in the show, they could actually run the Best Animated Short and Best Live Action Short (whatever the actual name for that award is). Hey, they could even run the best acceptance speeches from the technical Oscars!
I used to try to watch as many Oscar nominees for best film as I could. I hardly saw more than two or three, but I at least tried (often after the fact, like a month or two after the Oscars). This year I've only seen one, the winner for the best picture, The Departed. Alana got it for me on DVD as a Valentine's present. We watched it last Tuesday.
I really liked the film. Was it flawless? No. There was a point about half way through that it dragged a little. I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending. I've come to the conclusion that Matt Damon is going to be a wonderful actor when he's in his 50s but right now he's just a little too good looking. Mark Wahlberg is good looking, too, but he has a grittier look about him. It's hard to think of Matt Damon as a real person, sometimes.
This week's Entertainment Weekly had the Oscar picks of three members of the Academy. All three felt that The Departed would not win. They attacked the casting of the film. Personally, I liked the cast. I thought Leonardo DiCaprio was particularly good. I certainly felt for the character. And Jack Nicholson was, well, Jack Nicholson...
An indicator of a film's worth is how much it haunts me in the days after I've watched it. I still think about scenes from The Departed a week later. It reminds me a lot of when I saw Reservoir Dogs...
As you can tell, I enjoyed the film. I heartily recommend it.
I checked out the Best Picture nominations from the last couple of years.
From the 2003 Academy Awards the only two films I haven't seen are Master and Commander (which I own, albeit as a used DVD) and Mystic River. Both are on my list of movies to watch.
From 2004 I have The Aviator (again used; most of our DVDs the last couple of years have been "pre-owned) but haven't seen. I'd like to see Sideways. I haven't seen the others and they don't really grab me.
I'm not sure I want to see Crash, last year's winner. Or, rather, I'm not sure I want to pay to see it. I do have Good Night and Good Luck (used). I want to see Capote and Munich. I'm not sure about Brokeback Mountain, mainly because of the country theme. (Seriously.)
Strangely enough, I want to see all of this year's nominees. Babel was the one I wasn't sure about, but the reviews (even the negative ones) have me curious. I already wanted to see The Queen and Little Miss Sunshine. I would have gone to see Letters From Iwo Jima but it never played in Monroe!
(I almost bought Flags of Our Fathers, the sister movie to Letters. It wasn't on sale, though, and there were no extras. It was obvious that it was just thrown out to attract interest in Letters. I decided to wait to see if they sell them together in a boxed set later this year.)
Of the other big movies from this year I also want to watch Pan's Labyrinth and The Last King of Scotland.
I will, of course, post if I see any of these films. I'm sure this time next year I'll be mentioning how I haven't seen any of them... Okay, except for Letters From Iwo Jima. I will see that this year!
4 Good Years
1 year ago