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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

And the Oscar Doesn't Go To...

While I enjoy the Academy Awards as much as a straight man possibly can, it is a yearly frustration to watch quality genre films get routinely ignored. Aside from the patronizing technical categories, most great science-fiction, fantasy and horror movies are nowhere to be found come Oscar night. And so, in collaboration with Cinefantastique Online, where you can find an all-encompassing run-down of overlooked genre pictures, The Vault of Horror presents the nominees we should've seen:


Carlyle got far more attention for his light-hearted comedic turn in The Full Monty, and that's a real shame. I defy you to find a performance more nuanced and multi-faceted than his in 28 Weeks Later in any other 2007 horror film. The talented Scotsman conveys all the guilt and pain of a failed husband/father, and later plays it to the hilt as the movie's crazed star zombie. It's a role worthy of his acting chops, and it anchors the entire film.

Who Would I Bump? Much like Tom Cruise, George Clooney is a competent leading man, and he delivers a competent performance in Michael Clayton. But when you get right down to it, it's the same performance he gives in most of his dramatic pictures.

Best Director: Robert Zemeckis (Beowulf)

Nothing illustrates the plight of genre filmmakers like Zemeckis' legacy. Not to take away from Forrest Gump (I love the film) but it's very telling that one of our generation's finest sci-fi/fantasy/horror directors has received only a single nomination/win, and it was for one of his only non-genre efforts. Zemeckis' achievement in further innovating photo-realistic CGI moviemaking with Beowulf is something that has gone sorely underrecognized.

Who Would I Bump? Not to hate too much on Michael Clayton, which I greatly enjoyed, but does Tony Gilroy deserve this much recognition for crafting a well-made but not particularly mind-blowing espionage thriller of a type that's been a Hollywood standard for years?


The best performance in this excellent motion picture is not Johnny Depp's, but rather the enthralling work of this tenured British character actor in the role of the deliciously despicable Beadle Bamford. You literally can't take your eyes off him while he occupies the screen.

Who Would I Bump? This one's tough to call, as I admit I haven't seen all the films in the category. The performances I have seen--such as that of Tom Wilkinson--are simply too good to get rid of.

Best Original Screenplay: Andrew Currie, Robert Chomiak & Dennis Heaton (Fido)

This one is the biggest tragedy of them all. The witty, satirical script for this amazing horror comedy is what makes it such a modern classic. In parts hysterically funny, while in others filled with charm and pathos, it's the kind of material which--had it been written for a more mainstream picture--would surely have been nominated.
Who Would I Bump? The nomination of Ratatouille baffles me. While an enjoyable effort from Pixar, it's far from their best work, particularly in the script department, in which it falls short of flicks like Cars and The Incredibles.

Best Animated Feature: Beowulf

In a category with so few releases to choose from in the first place, how does this solid piece of epic filmmaking get ignored? With great performances, an intelligent adaptation of one of Western civilizations' oldest stories, and some truly groundbreaking technique, it's a gem from top to bottom.

Who Would I Bump? Surf's Up. Enough with the penguins already.

7 comments:

Jo said...

Agreed on all points.
And woohooo. I can access your blog from work. Now to figure out what;s going on with my computer.

B-Sol said...

Nice to have ya back, Jo. I suspect your computer may be the victim of some kind of weird Canadian plot.

Ryne said...

Hmm, I haven't seen any of those movies but I trust your judgment.
Fido looks like it might be a great movie.

B-Sol said...

Yes, it's a joy to watch. I highly recommend checking it out. If you click on the title in my blog post, it'll take you to my full review.

CG said...

I would've liked to have seen Beowulf get more recognition for sure. Great film, and an excellent return (to making good movies) for Zemeckis.

Not to sure about Fido though, I felt that one would've worked better as a short film, as it tends to drag and get repetitive. So, not really feeling it as a contender script wise.

B-Sol said...

Fido seems to have divided a lot of fans. I've heard several opinions similar to your own, but others like myself found the flick to be pretty brilliant.

Anonymous said...

^^

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