Saturday, February 24, 2007
Unfortunately I can't TRULY pick the Best Picture of this year's five nominees because I never got a chance to see BABEL. With that aside, of the other four contenders I would have to name LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA as my favorite. But first, the other 3: I know LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE has all this front-runner buzz going on, but I just fail to see how this movie got to be in this contest at ALL. Yes, it's cute and has some really nice , ahem, little scenes, but the movie didnt make me cry, and as a comedy I sure as heck don't remember laughing all that much. The ending had too much of a Feel-Good vibe going on for it, too. This movie may deserve a Spirit Award, but not an Oscar. And I know it was flawed, but the shut-out DREAMGIRLS was a superior movie to SUNSHINE. Next up: THE DEPARTED. This was a very violent movie, though it was, ahem, executed very well by Scorcese. But again, was it the best picture of the year? Hardly. I reviewed THE DEPARTED a few months back in my blog, by the way. I can't say I was, ahem again, blown away by the movie, but I am okay with it being in the Top Five films. I just don't think it deserves the win. Finally, THE QUEEN. This movie was really entertaining. Director Stephen Frears did an admirable job of handling what could have been caricatures of Tony Blair and Queen E. Instead, I was handed insight, albeit dramatized, into the lives of these larger than life people. I also liked the blending of the real-life footage of Diana and those close to her. It all combined to make an effective time capsule of the tragedy of Diana's death and the media circus that soon followed. Give Mirren the statue, definitely. But the movie just didn't feel BIG or IMPORTANT enough to win Best Picture. That leaves me with my choice: LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA. This movie did the amazing: it actually had me rooting for the "enemy" (the Japanese, circa WW2). Eastwood did an amazing job making me feel for and finally understand that ALL soldiers (be them American, Japanese and, more timely, Middle Eastern) have fears, have families, and have faults. This is the type of movie that we should force our Commanders In Chiefs to watch ad nauseum so that they can GET IT, already! LETTERS was moving, gripping, poignant, refreshing and the Best of the five.