Michelle Yeoh – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
My Overall Thoughts:
This was a year where 3 of the nominees give great performances and the other two are just ok.
5. Ellen Burstyn
4. Juliette Binoche
3. Laura Linney
2. Julia Roberts
1. Joan Allen
5. Requiem for a Dream – This movie was so boring to me because of the fact that the narrative was very abstract and too many aspects of the movie just weren’t straightforward. I’m willing to admit that Aronovsky used many cool editing techniques in this movie, but ultimately the thousands of ‘cuts’ are distracting instead of helpful to moving the story forward. I believe that the best way to perhaps appreciate this movie is by being stone drunk when watching it because the way it is presented makes one think that Aronovsky and crew were completely high on something when they filmed it. Suffice it to say, I have once again been extremely disappointed by one of Aronovsky’s movies, but the fact that I really enjoyed The Wrestler (2008) gives me hope that one day he’ll make another movie that I can enjoy as much.
4. Chocolat – Interesting idea that just doesn’t work through most of the film. Great performances by Binoche, Molina and Dench can’t help make this story more enjoyable. The chemistry between Binoche and Depp is non-existent which makes the love story moot. The atmosphere is done well but the way that it is presented as a fable takes away from what is meant as a morality play. Still not sure how this film got nominated for Best Picture.
3. Erin Brockovich – Inspirational movie that shows that anyone can exert themselves and make a difference in the world. IMHO, not Roberts’ best performance, but she did prove that she can play these kind of roles too.
2. You Can Count on Me – Great first film from Lonergan which shows his ability to write such great characters in real life situations which he continued to do. Great cast led by Ruffalo and Linney with Broderick doing a fine job against type. It’s so easy to care about these characters because they all feel so genuine and could be our neighbor, friend or even a relative. The dialogue is nice and subtle and is also proof of Lonergan’s genius in storytelling.
1. The Contender – This is one of my favorite Political dramas because it feels so real. Allen was the perfect choice for this role and definitely deserved her Oscar nomination for the role. Despite being made 16 years ago, this film’s scenario could still be played out today in the exact same manner, so it proves the timelessness of the idea. Loved the dialogue because it is so crisp and lightning fast. The characters are all developed quite well and because it’s politics, you never know who you can really trust and what they do next. Really would love to see more of Rod Lurie’s scripts being made into such amazing films.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – I guess so! JR is a great actress, but this is far from being her best role. Both LL and JA would also have been quite deserving of winning this year.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!