Friday, February 29, 2008

Beautiful.

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What can’t you watch? (content wise.)

I think I’m fairly OK with most movies, but I try to avoid excessive gore and sadistic violence (like in Hostel and Saw). Self-harm and mutilation and all that give me nightmares too. Rape and bullying/exploitation of people with mental disorders (like in Dead Man’s Shoes) or general ganging up on a person (like in Dogville) really makes me uncomfortable too, so I try to stay clear of that too. And, whilst I like a good romantic love scene as much as the next teenage girl, sex for sex’s sake – forceful, unromantic and overly revealing sex scenes don’t do it for me either. I’m alright on anything sweary, really; there’s nothing I hear in 18-rated films that I don’t hear in Sixth form, and as for drugs, I can stomach most drug-taking scenes, but particularly degrading scenes – like in Requiem for a Dream – make me shudder.

How about you?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oscars, 2008.

Yeah, I know it’s a half a week after the event, but I don’t have Sky, OK? Blame them, not me!

The results:

Best Motion Picture: "No Country for Old Men."
Lead Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood."
Lead Actress: Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose."
Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men."
Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton, "Michael Clayton."
Director: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men."
Foreign Language Film: "The Counterfeiters," Austria.
Adapted Screenplay: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men."
Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody, "Juno."Animated Feature Film: "Ratatouille."
Art Direction: "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street."
Cinematography: "There Will Be Blood."
Sound Mixing: "The Bourne Ultimatum."
Sound Editing: "The Bourne Ultimatum."
Original Score: "Atonement," Dario Marianelli.
Original Song: "Falling Slowly" from "Once," Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.
Costume: "Elizabeth: The Golden Age."
Documentary Feature: "Taxi to the Dark Side."
Documentary Short Subject: "Freeheld."
Film Editing: "The Bourne Ultimatum."
Makeup: "La Vie en Rose."
Animated Short Film: "Peter & the Wolf."
Live Action Short Film: "Le Mozart des Pickpockets (`The Mozart of Pickpockets')."
Visual Effects: "The Golden Compass."


What I liked: -
- Marion Cotillard’s speech. It was heartfelt, teary, emotional, and the joy shone all over. The big bear hug she shone with Forest Whitaker after was utterly adorable too. I already own two pictures of that bear hug, because it’s just so… aww!
- Jon Stewart presenting. Some of his jokes (Jolie’s babysitter, for example) felt like they’d been said a couple of times before that night in some form or another, but he was still a darn good host with charisma and comic timing to boot. "Thank god for pregnancy" and his joke about Cate Blanchett were amongst the night's finest moments.
- Furthermore, letting Marketa Irglova come back on stage after Glen Hansard had hogged the limelight and Bill Conti's orchestra had cut her off was a really classy thing to do (did anyone notice that whilst he babbled away, she stood behind him, looking like there was gonna be trouble when they got home late?). Her speech was also lovely, really genuine and heartfelt, in such a short space of time.
- Daniel Day-Lewis getting “knighted” by Dame Helen. That was really amusing. His
speech was pretty good too, thanking his grandfather, his dad, and the actor who played his adopted son in TWBB, but he loses marks for that bit about “springing like a golden sapling out of the mad, beautiful head of Paul Thomas Anderson." Bung?
- Tilda Swinton likening the Oscar to her agent.
- Javier Bardem speaking to his mother directly in Spanish during his speech. Men who still care for their mummies are total ♥.
- Audience reactions. Cate Blanchett’s look at hearing Marion Cotillard’s name called out was hilarious, and it was great watching Frances McDormand in the audience getting all excited and emotional about the Coen Brothers' win.
- Cate Blanchett truly cheering everyone throughout, like a real movie fan. I’d been ragging on her at the beginning of Oscar season because I was bitter about her taking Saoirse’s Oscar (which didn’t even happen… lol) but I guess having already won one, she didn’t mind that others got it, and her reactions throughout the night were all spirited and great.
- Diablo Cody's speech, especially her calling Ellen Page "superhuman", and Jack Nicholson's blatant perving on her. Priceless.
- James McAvoy. He could have done with a shave, but... I still would. The glimpses of Saoirse Ronan rocked too, she looked young and naive, yet mature and classy. ♥ And she stayed so close to James McAvoy and Ann-Marie Duff at the Governer's Ball! Aww!
- The kissing! Whether it be kissing a trophy, kissing George Clooney or kissing arse, there was a noticable lot more of it this year than previously. I reckon it's all down to 4 Europeans winning the 4 acting prizes. A kiss on the mouth was quite continental.
- Just the all round good taste of the stars and everyone there. Sure, there were duddy jokes, but on the whole, everyone had made a real effort and their star power shone throught. Ellen Page and Saoirse Ronan are destined to be stars.

What I didn’t like: -
- Atonement winning just one?!?!?!?! The score was integral to the film and I’m really glad Dario Marianelli got rewarded, but come on people!!! Its set! Its green dress! Saoirse Ronan!!!
- The performance of Happy Working Song, without Disney animals in the background. It just… doesn’t work without them, it’s an interactive song! Whichever idiot decided that Amy Adams should stand up onstage on her own deserves to get punished thoroughly.
- The performance of That's How You Know, by Kristin Chenoweth. She just didn't exude any of Amy Adam's loveliness.
- The bee montage when Jerry Seinfeld's "Bee" of the non-entity Bee Movie gives out an award. How dare they cut Marketa’s speech, and allow a crappy plug of a crappy movie?
- The Coens looking so utterly… unexcited about winning. I heard on Classical fm that one of them takes Oscars seriously and the other one couldn’t care less, but to be honest, they both looked rather blasé about it all. When contrasted with Scorsese’s delight, they seemed even more bored. (Still glad they won though.)
- DDL's earrings. He's a class act, but, no.
- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly coming away with nothing. nada. rien. Poop.

Banana

Final note:
The Oscars apparently hit an all-time low with viewing figures this year. I would so have watched live if it was actually broadcast on terrestrial TV, people! Overall, with the exceptions of a few moments, I didn’t find it a massively exciting ceremony, but it was still a “nice” one. I don't agree with a lot of the choices (heck, I feel quite strongly that Transformers got snubbed), but those that did win were so gracious and lovely that it would be churlish to complain.

Lovely images:
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Bung

Bung

Bung

Bung

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Class of 2008: European Love.

Bung!

They might not be my personal selection, but I have to admit, they look pretty damn cool standing together.

I bet that you look good on the red carpet.

Full Oscar report to come tomorrow, but first, let's talk fashion!


“Bananabung”

Penelope in Chanel Couture: 9/10. Hips don't lie; she's got a gorgeous figure and this lovely dress accentuates it.

“Bananabung”
Heidi Klum in John Galliano: 7/10. I'm not sure about the top of the dress and it's all a bit too red, but it certainly attracts attention

“Bananabung”

Ruby Dee: 4/10. A bit too frumpy, really.

“Bananabung”

Saoirse Ronan: 8/10. The dress itself is actually really pretty, but I'm not keen on the colour. Apparently, Keira is Saoirse's idol, so I think she was trying to emulate her on the red carpet a little... kinda like how Briony looked up to Cecilia, which is quite cute. [OK, having seen better pictures of Miss Ronan, I have upped the grade.]

“Bananabung”

Tom Wilkinson: dunno really. Thumbs up for the glasses though!

“Bananabung”

Diablo Cody: 2/10. Sorry, but the leapord print just screams "Wag".

“Bananabung”

Jason Bateman: 7/10. Plain tux and bow tie.

“Bananabung”

Javier Bardem: 9/10. He and his gal Penelope were the best dressed couple of the night (even if they refused to be photod together). He really is just too cool.

“Bananabung”

Laura Linney: 6/10. Nice dress, not sure about the hair.

“Bananabung”

Cate Blanchett in Dries Van Noten: 9/10. A really gorgeous dress, and Blanchett exudes maternal warmth. The Lorraine Schwartz jewelry does her look serious favours too.

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Katherine Heigl in Escada: 7/10. I don't respond well to Marylin wannabes, but the red dress is pretty.

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Jessica Alba in Marchesa: 8/10. Cool dress, it suits her pregnant figure.

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Marion Cotillard in John Paul Gautier: I really can't decide on this. On one hand, I think the dress really compliments her figure and it's so shiny! On the other, it's all a bit Little Mermaidy.

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Amy Adams: 8/10. Not as wonderful as her chocolate coloured dress from 2006, but she still looked sublime.

And to finish with, my favourite image of the night, of my Irish and Scottish Atonement babes:
“Bananabung”

Aww!

Monday, February 25, 2008

About the Oscars...

Wow. I got a lot wrong!

Full reaction to follow. (You know, when I've seen the whole thing.)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Independent Spirit Winners.

Robert Altman Award - Todd Haynes, Laura Rosenthal and the cast of I’m Not There
Best Director - Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Best Male Lead - Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Savages
Best Female Lead - Ellen Page, Juno
Best Feature- Juno
Best Supporting Male - Chiwetel Ejiofor, Talk To Me
Bests First Screenplay - Diablo Cody, Juno
Best First Feature - The Lookout
Best Supporting Female - Cate Blanchett
Best Foreign Film - Once
Best Screenplay - Tamara Jenkins, The Savages
Best Documentary - Crazy Love
Best Cinematography - Janusz Kaminski, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Thoughts
- Philip Seymour Hoffman was completely nominated for the wrong film! Whilst he was good in The Savages, that film belonged to Laura Linney. His best performance of the year was in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.
- I’m really happy that Ellen Page has an award now, even though Tang Wei was my favourite from that category.
- Yay for Schnabel winning Best Director and Kaminski getting cinematography!

Two random photos:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Finalized Oscar Predictions.

Catherine's doing it. Kayleigh's doing it. I shall do it too.

Best Picture
Will win: No Country for Old Men. It's like, a dead cert. (unless it doesn't win.)
Should win: No Country for Old Men is the best film, Atonement meant a little more to me.
Deserved to get nominated: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. The more I think about this film, the sadder I feel. It was something special. And The Assassination of Jesse James.

Best Director
Will win: Coen brothers
Should win: I’ve been rooting for the Coen brothers for a long while, but my new-found love for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly makes me side with Julian Schnabel. Although I liked Juno, I didn’t see what was so special about the direction, and I found There Will Be Blood’s direction a bit of a mess.
Deserved to get nominated: Christian Mungui for 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. Not exactly the easiest film to sit through, but… wow.

Best Actor
Will win: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood. The biggest certainty of the night.
Should win: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood. He really was quite good.
Deserved to get nominated: James McAvoy, Atonement. Robbie = many, many kisses and love.

Best Actress
Will win: Julie Christie, Away from Her
Should win: Laura Linney or Ellen Page. I know I cheekily gave up in the middle of my "a look ahead" series, and part of the reason for it is that I simply couldn't decide which leading female performance I liked more. Linney was absolutely outstanding in The Savages and Page, despite her too-cool-for-school character, was just a vulnerable teenager deep down.

In terms of speech, though, I just KNOW that Marion Cotillard would give one of the most heartfelt, tear speeches in years, and I’d like her to win just for that. But, you know, as long as someone other than Cate Blanchett wins, I’ll be delighted.
Deserved to get nominated: Tang Wei in Lust, Caution is the one that immediately comes to mind. She made Lust, Caution worth the watch for me. The best female performance of 2007. I also really enjoyed Amy Adams in Enchanted, but to be honest, she could appear in an episode of Hollyoaks and I’d start hailing Emmy for her.

Best Supporting Actor
Will win: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Should win: Casey Affleck. It’s just like the Sketch-in-Skins factor: I felt pity, I felt disgust, I felt pathos. A truly masterful performance, I don’t care if this is category fraud. (Hey, it didn’t stop me from rooting for Jake.)
Deserved to get nominated: Paul Dano, There Will Be Blood & Max Von Sydow in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Best Supporting Actress
Will win: Cate Blanchett, I’m not There. This category is crazy though. Ruby Dee won the SAG. Tilda Swinton won the BAFTA. Cate won the Golden Globe, and Amy Ryan won all the Critics votes. So... maybe... Saoirse might win something? (I wouldn't bet my house on it though.)
Should win: Saoirse Ronan(!!!!) The rising star. The ray of sunshine. Whatever you want to call her, this Irish actress has given all child actors a model of how to behave if you want to win an Oscar - give a good performance. (Unlike Fanning, who after years of insufferable performances, tried a Hounddog. Shudder.)
Deserved to get nominated: Kelly Macdonald, Jennifer Garner, Romola Garai, Charlotte Gainsbourg. And some others, if there were more than 5 places. A good bunch this year.

Best Original Screenplay
Will win: Juno
Should win: Juno. It did get quite annoying with all the slang and try-hard phrases, but to paraphrase Empire, the moments where least were said were the most poignant. I actually cried with happiness when Paulie and Juno shared that
cuddle at the end, so, for that, I’m sticking by wisecracking Diablo “stripper” Cody.
Deserved to get nominated: I’m Not There and 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days

Best Adapted Screenplay
Will win: No Country for Old Men
Should win: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Deserved to get nominated: Zodiac and The Assassination of Jesse James

Cinematography
Will win: No Country for Old Men
Should win: The Assassination of Jesse James
Deserved to get nominated: ??

Editing
Will win: No Country for Old Men
Should win: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly / The Bourne Ultimatum
Deserved to get nominated: Zodiac and The Assassination of Jesse James (repetition)

Art Direction
Will win: The Golden Compass
Should win: Atonement
Deserved to get nominated: The Assassination of Jesse James and Lust Caution

Costume
Will win: Atonement.
Should win: Atonement. The green dress, wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Deserved to get nominated: Lust Caution.

Makeup
Will win: La Vie En Rose
Should win: to be honest, it’s kind of hard to tell what’s make-up and what’s not, so I don’t really care. I think the La vie en rose crew would give a great speech, though so them.
Deserved to get nominated: Sweeney Todd

Score
Will win: Atonement
Should win: Atonement
Deserved to get nominated: Alexandre Desplat is raped of a nomination again for his masterwork to Lust Caution.

Song
Will win: Once
Should win: That’s How You Know. I can’t wait to see Amy perform!
Deserved to get nominated: Le Festin & The Hill

Sound
Will win: No Country for Old Men
Should win: Transformers, maybe?
Deserved to get nominated: Zodiac? Control? I know, Enchanted!

I don't like Megan Fox.

Sound Editing
Will win: Transformers
Should win: geh
Deserved to get nominated: geh

Visual Effects
Will win: Transformers
Should win: Transformers, but that doesn't mean Megan Fox is allowed to attend the Oscars. It's not fair.
Deserved to get nominated: Hairy Pot-uh

Animated
Will win: Ratatouille
Should win: Persepolis
Deserved to get nominated: The Simpsons Movie It was funny, it was funny!!!! (I remember "Spiderpig" so fondly because I had to play one of my teachers in a school play and he sang "spider-price") But it was funny, yes??!

Documentary
Will win: No End In Sight
Should win: Sicko’s the only one I’ve seen. Twas alright.
Deserved to get nominated: Dunno.

Foreign
Will win: The Counterfeiters
Should win: I dunno, it’s not like I’ve actually… seen any of them.
Deserved to get nominated: Was The Diving Bell and the Butterfly not eligible? 4 Months, 3 Weeks 2 Days it is then.

She’s Not There.

I came across two Oscar-related snippets in different papers – The London Paper, and The Guardian, last night and today, respectively, that both seem to be under the impression that Laura Linney wasn’t nominated for an Oscar. [Click for enlarged]







I mean, I was quite surprised when she was nominated, but perhaps, for some, the nomination just passed them by?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Have you ever been this obsessed?

Yesterday’s episode of Skins was one of the best I’ve seen. It revolved around a stalking teenage girl (Lucy, nickname Sketch), who is absolutely besotted with the show’s hottie, Maxxie (pictured), who happens to be gay. Her obsession with him, and the steps she takes to get close to him are really quite disturbing, even though they are hilarious to watch. For example:
- Her bedroom wall is plastered with photos of him.
- She tells her disabled mother, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, that she is “dating” Maxxie.
- We see her bandage up her boobs, because she believes that makes her more like a boy.
- She watches jealously as Maxxie kisses Michelle when they’re rehearsing for the school play, and in jealously she drops a stage light, so that it almost hits Michelle.
- She picks the lock into Maxxie’s house, goes into his bedroom, lies on his bed and gives herself a little treat, and then spends the night lying under his bed.
- She makes up a lie about being sexually harassed by the school play director, (played by Shane Ritchie) after he won’t give the lead to her.
- She gives Michelle pills to make her vomit so that she can take the lead in the school play.
- After Maxxie has told her where to go, she sleeps with his best friend Anwar, so that she can still get closer to him.

(I mean, honestly. The most obsessive thing I’ve ever done is get on the same bus as the boy I liked.)

Despite all of this, I actually felt a ridiculous amount of sympathy toward Sketch. She has all the symptoms of a textbook stalker – a bed bound mother, poor social skills, and a tendency to tell fibs, but I actually emphasised with her. I think we all know what it feels like to have loved/think we’re in love with someone who doesn’t know we exist, Sketch just went about her crush in a really disturbing way. The fact that she went dressed as Hannibal Lecter in the school’s Oscar-themed party obviously did her no favours, but I find her an interesting character that I hope to see more from.

I was thinking about it, and that episode of Skins is probably one of the best depictions of obsession/mental delusion I’ve ever seen. Come to think of it I actually can’t think of any films about obsession that I particularly enjoyed, aside from Misery, The King of Comedy (Sandra Bernhard trying to seduce Jerry Lewis… shudder) and Fatal Attraction (which I appreciate infinitely more now having watched Damages and been terrified by Glen Close in that), which has got to be the best obsessive-psycho movie ever. Vertigo is also a great depiction of obsession, but, whilstit's a great movie, I don't enjoy it as much as I do practically every other Hitchcock movie. I don't know why.

But Skins >>>>>>>> them all.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Look Ahead to Best Supporting Actor.

The nominees are:
- Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
- Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
- Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson’s War
- Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild (not seen)
- Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

How I did: 80%.

My rankings:
01. Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
2007’s film about how obsessesion and idolatry can so easily turn to jealousy and resentment stars Brad Pitt as the first titled character – the poster boy, charming but a little unhinged Jesse James, and Casey Affleck, the second, the sad loser who hero-worships him, but then love turns to hate and he kills him. Turning to the outside world, Robert Ford expects applause and adoration. Instead, he is met with curiosity, and finally, dislike.

Casey completely nails Bob Ford, he portrays the character as needy, ambitious and annoying, the creepiest of creeps, but one of the most watchable ones too. Jesse’s older brother tells him that he "give[s] me the willies," and, from the start, we suspect that his admiration for Jesse James James is a little off-balance; he's at least as crazy as Jesse in his worship. Affleck gives Bob pathos as a sad outsider, someone who tries too hard to get his way and so desperately wants to be liked, using arrogance as a facade for an insecure interior. I actually felt sorry for the coward.

Casey Affleck’s portrayal of a craven obsession turning sour, envy and desperation to be like the icon they worshipped through comics and newspaper articles (esteem he never gets, neither from Jesse James or the public) is a wonderfully pathetic, sad piece of work and one of the best charater studies of the 00s. It might be a lead performance, he might dserve to be punished for being in Ocean's 13 and his brother might be a bit turdy, but really, give Casey the Oscar. My favourite performance of the year. A

02. Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
In No Country for Old Men, Javier Bardem gives arguable the best performance of his career (I need to give The See Inside a rewatch). He plays a character who is completely deranged, completely psycho and devoid of any human qualities. Every time his hand rose to do something, or he opened his mouth to say something, the audience felt terrified. And then, when he does speak, his words (spoken in a slightly out-of-this world voice with no Spanish accent) sound like they are being directed by something truly evil. The enigmatic presence he holds and his character's obsession with fortune (the coin-toss scene with a hapless shop clerk was tense as anything) carries on throughout the film, yet I could never pin-point exactly what it was about the performance that was so terrifying. And the Briony-in-Atonement haircut only adds to his scariness factor. A-.

03. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson’s War
The best performance in a movie that also stars Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Amy Adams and Emily Blunt, Philip Seymour Hoffman is on scintillating form as the street smart CIA manipulator in a role that could potentially be small, but ends up, under him, larger than life. The scenes between him and Hanks are an absolute joy, the exchanges between their characters were the most entertaining in the movie. Stealing every scene he’s in, Phil’s got another great performance to add to his basket of good work from 2007, alongside Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead and The Savages. B+/A-
04. Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton
Like Swinton in Michael Clayton (all these names - Swinton, Wilkinson, Clayton, end in "on"), I felt Wilkinson didn’t do anything majorly wrong, had some good scenes, and, as ever, was compelling to watch, even if I never felt anything toward his character (in terms of contempt or sympathy.) B-

Who will win: Javier Bardem
Who deserves to win: Casey Affleck
Who deserved to get nominated: Paul Dano, There Will Be Blood

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Look ahead to Best Supporting Actress.

It’s half term and my computer at home keeps sporadically disallowing me from connecting to the Internet, so I don’t know how many of these I’ll be able to do this week. I will try my best though, I think I'll be fine.

Anyway.

The nominees:
- Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There.
- Ruby Dee, American Gangster
- Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
- Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
- Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

How I did: 60%. I predicted Catherine Keener (buzz and other nominations swayed me) and Kelly Macdonald (blind faith.)

I haven’t seen Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone, so I can only give comments on 4 of the performances.

01. Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Although I’ve whored and whored this performance many a time, it never gets old to talk about one of my favourite performances of the year, so let us recap: Saoirse RonaThe Beauty and the Skinny.n plays Briony Tallis, a self-proclaimed “writer” with a massive imagination. When she was younger, she had developed a crush on her family’s gardener, Robbie, which she believed to be love. Several years later, at 13, she witnesses Robbie and her sister Cecilia loitering around at the fountain, and this, along with a note that Robbie writes, sets off her imagination in the worst way.

Saoirse is… transcendent. There are few performances from young actresses that have really amazed me (Wei Minzhi in Not one Less, Ivana Baquero in Pan’s Labyrinth and Ana Torrent in The Spirit of the Beehive being some of the select few) but Ronan’s is one of them. From the very start of the film, where she runs excitedly to mummy to show off her new script, to the way she tries to direct Lola and her two brothers into acting, to the confused way she tells on Robbie, she’s got Briony down to a t - impulsive, a know-it-all, nosy, but essentially, just a child. Saoirse Ronan captures Briony’s flaws and mannerisms perfectly (her reaction at reading the c-word was hilarious), and, when I saw the more pathetic version of her later in the film, (Romola Garai in the “I am very very sorry…” scene kind of echoed Ronan when she thanked McAvoy for saving her life), I appreciated her performance even more. In Garai and Ronan we have a character who is still “just a kid”, who made a huge mistake, and, though Ronan’s selfish teenager didn’t know it, they would have to pay for it big-time.

She’s just wonderful, basically. I am both hugely jealous and in awe of 2007’s star in the making. With Emma Watson giving us so much eyebrow acrobatics and histrionics, Saoirse Ronan's subtle, haunting portrayal of Briony Tallis is exactly what cinema needs. A

^^ you knew I was just looking for an excuse to show my friend Hannah's picture again.

02. Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There.
Before I saw this movie I was pretty sniffy toward Miss Blanchett for three reasons – 1) that she’d gotten nominated for her non-supporting overacting masterclass in Notes of a Scandal last year, 2) that she got nominated this year in Lead Actress for nothing but a rehash of a performance she did better a few years back and 3) that she was gonna be taking the Oscar off Saoirse. But, watching I’m Not There., I have to grudgingly concede that this performance is more than just the whole “woman playing man” gimmick; Cate is actually pretty good. She represents the artistic Bob Dylan, and, perversely, is probably the best out of all the “Bob Dylans” at well, playing Bob Dylan (though to be fair he was kinda androgynous during that era). Aside from all the obvious ticks and mannerisms, I think she portrayed Dylan’s emotions perfectly – he was twitchy and sarcastic, yet she still conveys a layer of vulnerability. So, who woulda thunk it? An actress I’ve been hating on all Oscar season, bungs up and impresses me with their craft! B+/A-.
03. Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
Although I still can’t see her as anything other than the White Witch off Narnia, Tilda Swinton plays a woman who tries to act like one of the big boys in the legal world, has sold her soul to the corporation, but actually can’t cope. Although I wasn’t bowled over by this performance, I still found Swinton, as ever, compelling to watch. B-

04. Ruby Dee, American Gangster
I’d hate to accuse Oscar of nominating someone out of pity or something… but that’s what it must be, because there was nothing memorable or special about Dee’s performance! With the plethora of talented supporting actresses this year, you bung this in?!?!?!?!?! I’m sorry, I know it must piss you all off by now, this phrase that I keep using, but, really: “Are you havin’ a laff?” E

So.
Who will win: Cate Blanchett.
Who deserves to win: Saoirse Ronan
Who deserved to get nominated:

Three performances, actually:
Charlotte Gainsbourg in I’m Not There
Jennifer Garner in Juno
&
Kelly Macdonald in No Country for Old Men

Also, a note about Romola Garai in Atonement, ‘cos I’ve been thinking about this for a while: -

I think I may have underrated her performance on original viewing. She was terrific in the scene with the French soldier, but in my original review I said that her delivery of the “I am very very sorry” line was “a bit wooden.” Well, thinking about it, I think she was meant to be!! It was meant to sound rehearsed, I think, like she’d planned how she was going to say it for the past 5 years… and then on the big occasion, she bottles it. There really was a lot more depth to that performance than I’d originally noted.

So, thinking about it, I think it’s been a wonderful year for Supporting Actresses.

We're all in this together.

Seeing as we're less than a week away from the Oscars, I say it's time we all decide on which bandwagons we'll be sitting in.

I've finally decided to go with:
- Atonement
- Coen brothers
- DDL
- Ellen Page
- Casey Affleck
- Saoirse Ronan
- The Diving Bell & the Butterfly for Adapted Screenplay, Juno for Original

What about you?