Battle of the stars
24 Jan 2012
The Oscar nominations are a display of great American filmmakers, but they wont beat the French silent movie. The Artist is the film, we didn’t know we craved for.
Big battles of the stars will take place on February 26th when the most celebrated buddys of the hour – Brad Pitt and George Clooney – will compete for the Oscars, being nominated for best actor for respectively Moneyball and The Descendants.
With another good part in Terence Malick’s beautiful The Tree of Life, it could be Pitt’s chance, only Clooney is a better actor, and already bagged the Golden Globe this year.
Sadly, the Academy overlooked the man who above all deserves the Oscar this year Michael Fassbender for his precise and extremely moving performance as a sex addict in Shame. As a matter of fact, Steve McQueen’s Shame was shamelessly entirely left out of this years’ Oscar race.
Instead, another high profile battle stands between big contenders Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, and of course Woody Allen, all nominated for best film for respectively War Horse, Hugo and the delightful Midnigt in Paris. And two of the other titles nominated for best film – Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and Moneyball were directed by filmmakers Stephen Daldry and Bennett Miller, who both made Oscarwinners – The Reader and Capote.
Yet, hithertoo little known French director Michel Hazanavicius is more likely to win the Oscar for The Artist, which sets out to teach movie maker’s that you don’t need 3D to tell a compelling story. Michel H gives us the movie, we didn’t know we were longing for amidst the masses of not so special special effects movies.
Also exciting is the competition between Meryl Streep – whose performanece in The Iron Lady is unbeatable, but is challenged by Michelle Williams for her respectful portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn. A performance that helps us heal our broken heart for the sweet, tragic diva.
The best director category also reveals that American cinema is alive and well despite the horrible qualities of commercial movie making synonymous with sequel-making. A relatively young filmmaker, Alexander Payne who made The Descendants and Sideways is an extraordinary filmmaker, and veteran Terence Malick is still a great artist. But this category should have found room for Clooney for his smart politcal drama The Ides of March. Instead Clooney has to settle for a nominations for best adaptation an all to quiet nod to a new, talented and risktaking director who deserves more than that.
Stephen Daldry adapted Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close from Jonathan Safran Foer’s touching novel on a boy who lost his father in 9-11. For his supporting part as the enigmatic grandfather Max von Sydow received a well deserved nomination. And for a Scandinavian, like my self, who – in vain – had hoped and wished that Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive would be celebrated for his creative and original direction or see the charming Danish comedy Superclasico nominated, it helps to see Sydow’s nomination. As well as the one Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Tomas Alfredson got for his stylish adaption of John Le Carrés, for best adaptation.
Surprising newcomers in the Oscar race were Rooney Mara with a nomination for best actress for her arresting delivery of Lisbeth Salander and Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, who got a nomination for their screenplay for the hilariously dirty comedy Bridesmaids, that this year redefined chick flick with a badass attitude.
May the best (wo)man win. Seriously.
Ps. Vote at the box office. Go see Shame. If you have the guts for that kind of caliber movie.
Check out more names and nominations on http://www.oscars.org/live/index.html