Monday, January 01, 2007

The best (so far)

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe natural instinct is to look back at a year in movies, but since I live in out-of-the-way Greenville, SC most of the serious Oscar contenders haven't made it here yet. But, it is New Year's Day. I'll offer a few Best-Ofs, subject to change. In another month or so I'll hopefully have more to work with, and I'll also make some choices based on the Oscar nominees:

  • Best Picture - Little Miss Sunshine - I find myself drawn to Sunshine precisely because it's the kind of film that doesn't win Best Picture. A family on the verge of complete disintegration is saved by a series of unlikely and absurd events. It would have been so easy for this to be ugly or condescending, but it wasn't. Full-length review here.

  • Best Actress - Helen Mirren in The Queen - This one's not going to change.

  • Best Supporting Actress - Rinko Kikuchi in Babel - Yes, Jennifer Hudson is a major talent. But Kikuchi's performance as a sexually tormented deaf girl required a good deal more acting and a hell of a lot of bravery. Probably my favorite performance of the year.

  • Best Director - Paul Greengrass for United 93 - For finding the perfect way to tell this story. Honorable mention to Spike Lee for directing a great crowd-pleaser (Inside Man) and a monumental work of history (When the Levees Broke).

    I don't have a feel for Best Actor, since I haven't seen Forest Whitaker's turn in The Last King of Scotland yet, but watch this space.

    Reel Fanatic said...

    I'm definitely with you on Rinko Kikuchi ... Jennifer Hudson was great, but no performance has lingered longer in my mind than Kikuchi's powerful one .. I hope she wins, but it looks highly unlikely

    Simon Crowe said...

    Yes, there's always one performance each year that seems certain to win an Oscar no matter who else is out there.

    Kikuchi's chances would be helped if Babel was a little more cohesive as a movie. There was extraordinary stuff in it, but then there was the nanny and the two kids wandering around in the desert...