Matthew Fox – We Are Marshall
My Overall Thoughts:
This was a very mediocre year for nominees and none of them are that inspiring so the choice in the end came down to which of the actors were more deserving of winning a career award. Two of them were neck and neck throughout the awards season and it was anyone’s guess who would win.
5. Djimon Hounsou
4. Jackie Earle Haley
3. Mark Wahlberg
2. Alan Arkin
1. Eddie Murphy
5. Dreamgirls – Amazing music but the story itself is dragged along for too much time and feels much more like a soap opera than it should. Great cast but they all seem to be fighting for screen time which hurts the way the characters are presented. Murphy and Hudson are both standout among the very talented cast and both received Supporting category Oscar nominations with Hudson winning. The film tries too hard too cover too much territory and it all feels too crammed and loses much of its impact.
4. Blood Diamond – Enjoyable film despite it’s over politicizing. Gives a nice perspective on the whole situation because we get to see the views of numerous key players in the whole drama of conflict diamonds. Cast is fine here and Hounsou stands out among them all. Not sure why Dicaprio got an Oscar nomination for this film and not the Departed (2006), because he had a much more powerful and commanding role in that film than he does here. Shows the complexity of the situations very well and unfortunately things in the world haven’t changed as much as one would hope.
3. Little Children – Powerful film that shows the complexities of suburban life while also showing the cracks along the way. Winslet and Wilson have great chemistry together throughout so even when there may be moral questions that arise, they still seem so great onscreen together. The way that the story moves in and out of personal lives and community issues works very well and Haley is the perfect actor for tackling the creepy role he is given and was quite deserving of his Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance here. The voice over narration is a bit annoying and the film might have been even better of it had been omitted even though it’s somewhat understandable why it was used here.
2. Little Miss Sunshine – Excellent road trip movie with very quirky and funny characters. Arkin is the best of the lot and was truly deserving of his Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Carrell does a great job showing that he can be a great dramatic actor. This family is really the epitome of dysfunctional families and the movie’s message about success and failure hinges on this fact.
1. The Departed – Amazing cat and mouse plot keeps thing thrilling the whole way thru. This is far superior a story than the original Asian version of the story. The cast is unbelievably talented and Scorsese does a wonderful job keeping us on the edge of our seats the whole time. The choice to place this film in Boston is genius because of the crime culture there really toeing the line between good and evil. Definitely was deserving of winning Best Picture that year at the Oscars along with 3 other wins for Director, Adapted Screenplay and Film Editing. This is by far my favorite film by Scorsese.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! Unfortunately, none of these nominees really inspire and no less than three of them could have deserved to win because they are all on similar levels, so Arkin was as good of a choice as any.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!