Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

News
Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA

It’s just days `til Oscar time. Are you up to speed on your nominated films? It’s not too late to catch up. Newsday’s Jan Stuart and Gene Seymour offer a last-minute roundup of what to see and where to see it.


MICHAEL CLAYTON


Remind me: George Clooney cleans up other people’s messes in a twisty legal thriller that makes you feel very smart, provided you can keep up with it. Bring pad and pen: You’ll want to spring some of these lines on your boss.


What it’s up for: Picture, actor, supporting actor, supporting actress, director, original score, original screenplay.


How to see it: In theaters. On DVD Tuesday.


NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN


Remind me: Joel and Ethan Coen bring their idiosyncrasies to Cormac McCarthy’s grim-faced thriller and have managed so far to pull up every award in sight. And so has Javier Bardem as a stun-gun-wielding psychotic with a bad haircut who’s leaving corpses scattered all over West Texas.


What it’s up for: Picture, supporting actor, cinematography, director, film editing, sound editing, sound mixing, adapted screenplay.


How to see it: In theaters.


SWEENEY TODD


Remind me: Attend the tale of teeny voice. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter croak through gorgeous Sondheim songs and make the meat pies of Nigella Lawson’s worst nightmares. Tim Burton directs, so the blood really sings.


What it’s up for: Actor, art direction, costume design.


How to see it: In theaters.


ELIZABETH, THE GOLDEN AGE


Remind me: The Virgin Queen as played by Bob Dylan. No, Katharine Hepburn. Oh, it must be Cate Blanchett. More fractured history, more gilded fabrics, more crashing music and Clive Owen throwing his cloak over a puddle.


What it’s up for: Actress, costume design.


How to see it: On DVD.


JUNO


Remind me: Now certified as 2007’s “little movie that could,” this indie comedy about a hyper-articulate pregnant teenager (Ellen Page) deciding who’s best suited to raise her baby has now passed the $100-million box-office barrier normally reserved for blockbuster shows.


What it’s up for: Picture, actress, director, original screenplay.


How to see it: In theaters.


THERE WILL BE BLOOD


Remind me: Oil and God duke it out, with acting heavyweights Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano in the ring. Epic screen storytelling like they don’t do it anymore, via writing/directing marvel Paul Thomas Anderson. Ah, the photography, ooh, the music, oh, that final line.


What it’s up for: Picture, actor, art direction, cinematography, director, film editing, sound editing, adapted screenplay.


How to see it: In theaters.


AMERICAN GANGSTER


Remind me: Ridley Scott’s stab at a sprawling, “Godfather”-y epic, Harlem style. Denzel Washington traipses to Vietnam to shop for drugs and beats the competition. Ruby Dee shines as the good southern Mom in serious denial about what’s paying for her big estate.


What it’s up for: Supporting actress, art direction.


How to see it: On DVD Tuesday.


THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY


Remind me: A French magazine editor, trapped inside a paralyzed body. Julian Schnabel’s gorgeously rendered true-life story is so visceral, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh, you’ll wince when he has his eye sewn up.


What it’s up for: Cinematography, director, film editing, adapted screenplay.


How to see it: In theaters.


THE SAVAGES


Remind me: Peerless actors Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman play dysfunctional sibs bickering over how and where to care for dementia-addled dad. Insults and recriminations fly like snowballs and still, somehow, you cry as much as you laugh.


What it’s up for: Actress, original screenplay.


How to see it: In theaters.


ATONEMENT


Remind me: From Ian McEwan’s novel, an English society brat so selfish and calculating it took three actresses to play her: Vanessa Redgrave, Romola Garai and, in her youngest incarnation, the transfixing, deservedly nominated Saorise Ronan.


What it’s up for: Picture, supporting actress, art direction, cinematography, costume design, original score, adapted screenplay.


How to see it: In theaters.


AWAY FROM HER


Remind me: “I feel as if I were beginning to disappear” is how Julie Christie’s character describes the first stirrings of Alzheimer’s. Gordon Pinsent plays her husband, who fights to hold on to her in Sarah Polley’s prodigious adaptation of Alice Munro’s short story.


What it’s up for: Actress, adapted screenplay.


How to see it: On DVD.


IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH


Remind me: The “Crash” filmmaker returns with a Johnny-comes-marching home tale for the war in Iraq. Tommy Lee Jones looks implacable and righteous, like all four heads of Mount Rushmore rolled into one.


What it’s up for: Actor.


How to see it: On DVD Tuesday.


EASTERN PROMISES


Remind me: David Cronenberg’s London-based crime thriller about the Russian mob stars Viggo Mortensen as yet another scary guy with a questionable hair style. Lots of skin-crawling violence and thematic content but, hey, it’s Cronenberg, right?


What it’s up for: Actor.


How to see it: On DVD.


LA VIE EN ROSE


Remind me: Marion Cotillard stunned the world as she melded her very being with the spirit of Edith Piaf in this dreamlike story of France’s “little sparrow.”


What it’s up for: Actress, costume design, makeup.


How to see it: On DVD.


Tagged as: academy awards | oscars
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements
PopMatters' LUCY Giveaway! in PopMatters's Hangs on LockerDome

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.