OSCAR GOODNESS

The 80th Annual Academy Awards nominations came down today, and while there’s serious doubt that the awards ceremony we’ve known and… well, I won’t say loved, but at least appreciated, won’t be the same this year in light of this never-ending WGA strike (I’m firmly on the side of the writers, just for the record – funny how writers are now suddenly the most important aspect of life in the entertainment industry), this past year has been a pretty good one for movies.

I won’t go into a huge post here about my personal favourites, but I’ll just list off a few choices I’m personally rooting for.

Best Picture – No Country For Old Men. This film is, quite possibly, one of the best films I’ve seen in some time. Relentlessly bleak and truly haunting for days after seeing it, No Country is immaculately written, acted and shot. It’s a breathtaking work and it’s hard to deny this film the honour it deserves.

Best Actor – Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises. I have a soft spot for Viggo after LOTR and A History Of Violence, but really, he’s absolutely note-perfect in Eastern Promises. I know it’s pretty hard to deny Daniel-Day Lewis yet another Oscar for his insanely brilliant work in There Will Be Blood, but come on – Viggo’s take on a Russian mobster has to be recognized. He’s been snubbed once too often.

Best Actress – Ellen Page, Juno. Oh Ellen. You were just so on top of your game in Juno it is your performance that holds that masterpiece of a film together. And yes, Julie Christie was excellent in Away From Her (thanks Academy for ignoring Gordon Pinsent and giving George Clooney yet another nomination… seriously, what was that? I like George Clooney but come on, Pinsent deserved at the very least a nomination) but just because it is Julie Christie doesn’t mean she gets a free pass.

Best Supporting Actor – Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men. As much as I would love to give Casey Affleck this award, Bardem’s performance is already the stuff of legend. If he doesn’t win this, it will be a major upset.

Best Supporting Actress – Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There. To witness the virtually perfect performance of Blanchett as Jude Quinn in I’m Not There is to witness the heart and soul of that film. She’s exceptional, bar none. While she’ll be fending off some serious competition from Amy Ryan and Tilda Swinton, I think it has to go to Blanchett here.

Advertisements

INTERNET PAR-TAY

Here’s a video posted by the good folks at Cracked.com – Queen’s alumnus Jay Pinkerton is the humour magazine’s Managing Editor – called an Internet Party. All the web’s services – Facebook, Wikipedia, et al – get to show up for a party while Google’s parents are out of town. Definitely worth checking out, even if you’re not a nerd like me.

A CAUTIONARY TALE

I think sports journalism is one of the most contradictory forms of reporting out there. On one hand, sports journalism is by definition an exercise in celebrating largely inconsequential acts that have little to no bearing on everyday life. On the other hand, the people involved in sport are affected by events and actions so profoundly that it’s hard to not consider the importance of individuals participating in the sports (and their off-the-field antics).

ESPN has posted a story about Clayton Holmes – a former NFL player whom is now living effectively on skid row. It’s sad and profoundly moving to read. It’s also a story about how one’s past is never fully excised, in spite of everything one tries to do.

Do check this story out.

BRITNEY AND KELLY… TOGETHER AT LAST

In the Morbid Curiosity Department, I heard about a web site today on the radio that’s just a wee bit disturbing: When Is Britney Going To Die. This is just so wrong. You pick the most accurate date of Britney’s demise, you win a PlayStation 3. Wow. That’s really screwed up. Normally I don’t care about celebrity stuff like this, but wow. That train wreck known as Spears couldn’t get more insane at this point.

And here’s your moment of zen for today… remember Kellie Pickler from American Idol? Of course not. Well, she was recently on that ode to Mensa-level intelligence known as Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? She was participating for charity. This video says a lot about the state of American celebrity, if not what ignorance will do to a person.

Most Telling Moment: “I thought Europe was a country! Is France a country?”
*sigh*… I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

JPOD!

 jpod.jpg

It’s rare for me to get super-primed over a new TV series coming out (I tend to either go online to watch them at a later date once they’ve been out there for awhile) but the CBC has a really cool show coming out tonight: JPod. The book the show is based on is easily one of Coupland’s finest works – early buzz has it this show might be one of the CBC’s best in years (not to mention the show’s got a terrific web page – holy web 2.0 friendly…)