Sacred & Profane – Art, Beauty & stuff that doesn't suck

"Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your poetry" -Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wrap-up February 24, 2009

Well the biggest Oscar surprise I think was the relative lack of unbearably awkward moments that typically plague most awards shows. It was a welcome change. Hugh Jackman proved himself to be a classic entertainer and showcased talents I didn’t even know he had. The writing was very good and the show moved along less sluggishly than normal (the first half anyway). I must add that I hope the 900 commercials that JC Penney aired during the show doesn’t put them out of business…Mainly because I have a gift card for $17 from Christmas ’06 I received in exchange for a plaid sweater vest I returned.

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As far as my predictions are concerned, I suppose I did reasonably well. 8 out of 11. I feel as if I’m deserving of some sort of award…Perhaps a plaid sweater vest? I was thrilled that Slumdog Millionaire did so well but the Best Leading Actor fiasco really messed me up. I was back and forth between Mickey Rourke and Sean Penn. I went with Rourke but ultimately the Academy just couldn’t resist a very very gay Sean Penn; they don’t do well resisting a straight Sean Penn either. Penn is a classy guy and well deserving of his 2nd Oscar.

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It’s just as well though, as my previous statement about the lack of awkwardness would not have been possible had Rourke taken the stage. Anyone who saw his speech at the Independent Spirit Awards knows what I’m talking about. So in light of this here is my advice to any male actor who wants to win an Oscar: Star in a biopic (biographical film) about some guy who was once alive and is now dead. Just go back over the last 5 years and ask:

sean_pennSean Penn

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forest-whitakerForest Whitaker

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ps-hoffmanPhilip Seymour Hoffman and

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jamie20foxxJamie Foxx. They’ll all concur.

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I’m growing bored so in closing let me congratulate my all time favorite actress Kate Winslet for her first Best Leading Actress Oscar last night for The Reader. I was thrilled but I will go on record saying that it’s absurd that she wasn’t also nominated for Revolutionary Road. But whatever…Peace everyone.

 

Oscar Predictions February 22, 2009

the_wrestler_mickey_rourkeActor in a Leading Role

Who Will Win: Mickey RourkeThe Wrestler

Who Should Win: Mickey RourkeThe Wrestler

Both Sean Penn and Rourke have achieved something memorable with their performances and are both deserving. 3 of the last 4 Oscars awarded in this category were from biopics, which smiles on Penn’. He also won the SAG award, is highly respected by his voting peers as has been evident with his 4 previous nominations and 1 win…The “art imitating life” qualities are too powerfully paralleled in Rourke’s portrayal of a washed up, broken wrestler who is seeking redemption and forgiveness. Rourke has burned a lot of bridges in Hollywood that Director Darren Aranofsky has given him the opportunity to rebuild. Hopefully he is a more successful bridge builder than his on screen counterpart.

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the-dark-knight-heathActor in a Supporting Role

Who Will Win: Heath Ledger Dark Knight

Who Should Win: Heath LedgerDark Knight

I’m sure many will write this off as a “legacy” award considering Ledger’s tragic passing early last year but that isn’t the case here. Big budget blockbusters typically earn a lot of profit but few awards outside of the technical categories. This will be the exception and rightfully so. He created a very unique character in the Joker and stole the show. Ledger was one of our finest developing young actors and hopefully this award will be the source of some solace to his family and fans.

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the-reader-kate-winsletActress in a Leading Role

Who Will Win: Kate Winslet The Reader

Who Should Win: Kate WinsletThe Reader

This is as close to a lock as you’re likely to find. Kate in my estimation is the most admirable actress of her generation and with a 0-6 record at the Oscar’s is long overdue. She has cleaned up at every awards ceremony this year and I expect the same tonight.

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penelope-cruz-vicky-cristina-barcelonaActress in a Supporting Role

Who Will Win: Penélope Cruz – Vicki Cristina Barcelona

Who Should Win: Taraji P. Henson – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Don’t get me wrong, I love Penélope and she was excellent in a very challenging role when. My hesitation is that her role, though central to the story, didn’t call for enough screen time to justify her winning over the other well deserving nominees. Woody Allen’s actresses also do well at the Oscar’s and her 2006 loss for Volver is still fresh in the voters minds. Taraji P. Henson displayed an abnormally broad range of talent in her role as Brad Pitt’s surrogate mother in Benjamin Button. I think she is deserving but I don’t know if there has been enough buzz for her or the film. Amy Adams could also factor in here somewhere for her role as a naïve nun in Doubt.

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Best Director

Who Will Win: Danny BoyleSlumdog Millionaire

Who Should Win: Danny BoyleSlumdog Millionaire

Stephen Daldry will be a very close 2nd here for The Reader (if not a surprise winner) but Danny Boyle’s delicate and graceful work in Slumdog without the safety net of a recognizable or experienced cast, seems unstoppable.

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Cinematography

Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Should Win: Slumdog Millionaire

I could make a legitimate case for Benjamin Button or The Dark Knight, and then I’m reminded of the haunting, unforgettable visuals of Mumbai and the train scene in Slumdog Millionaire. The rich color that was used amidst the dreary slums was used to great effect as a symbol of hope. Beautiful.

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manonwireDocumentary Feature

Will Win: Man on Wire

Who Should Win: ???

I haven’t seen enough of these to be fair about who should win, but Man on Wire was as engaging a documentary as I have seen in years. It is a retelling of the realization of French performance artist Phillipe Petit’s dream of walking across the World Trade Center on a tight rope. The doc benefitted from a wealth of original video from the 70’s and extremely animated interviews from the crew that helped make it happen. It was so suspenseful and well crafted that I forgot it was a documentary.

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slumdog_millionaireBest Picture

Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Who Should Win: Slumdog Millionaire

Benjamin Button lead all films with 13 nominations but I think it’s destined to be this years Babel. Both are films that peaked too early. Slumdog is the clear favorite and came out of nowhere. I think history and the Academy will remember Slumdog as 2008’s most memorable film.

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Foreign Language Film

Will Win: Waltz with Bashir

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the_reader2Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Will Win: The Reader


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milk-2008-movieWriting (Original Screenplay)

Will Win: Milk

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Musical Score

Will Win: James Newton Howard for “Defiance”

 

Worst Blogger Ever… February 18, 2009

Filed under: Film,Musings — davidjdecker @ 1:01 pm
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So I’m pretty sure I’m the worst blogger ever. I was under the impression that a successful blog follows a “two weeks on, three weeks off” pattern. Apparently I was mistaken. I can however explain and exploit your sympathies at the same time…

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I am a casualty of the economic employment downsizing we all hear so much about and found out that I fell outside of the unemployment extension eligibility by 6 days. Seeing that my clock is ticking quite rapidly I have been spent all of my blogging time doing additional fruitless job searching and feeling sorry for myself. So now that all 4 of you forgive my inconsistency I will move on.

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Also, I’ll just throw it out there…if anyone wants to write me giant monthly checks I’ll happily cash them, stop job searching and blog daily. I’m just throwing it out there. I also accept cash. But sorry, I don’t currently accept stock, bond or mutual fund transfers.    : )  

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Seeing that The Oscar’s are on Sunday I will be posting some musings tomorrow and Saturday on which actors/films should win and make predictions on which ones will win followed by a rant on Monday about all of the ceremony’s awkward moments and injustices.

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Thanks for being patient and awesome…Peace

 

The Piano and things to come… January 21, 2009

So today is Jan. 21st which means tomorrow is Jan. 22nd – the day that Oscar Nominations are being announced, which means I’m excited. I’m in the process of viewing all of the films that will be up for significant awards. I’ve seen several, and I will begin posting reflections on them as well as opinions/predictions of the Oscars and the Independent Spirit Awards that will be held Feb 22nd and 21st respectively. First up will be a film that fared reasonable well at the Golden Globes and also has what seems like a 2 to 1 “F”-bomb to normal word ratio. Quite an impressive feat!

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Until then…Here is a very short animation video I’d like to share that is absolutely beautiful. The video by Aidan Gibbons is built around the main theme of Jean-Pierre Juenet’s wonderful 2001 French film Amélie that was composed by Yann Tierson. It very delicately shows a man in the twilight of his life looking back on the passage of time. Very touching. I hope you all enjoy.
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Vodpod videos no longer available.