Oscar Night 2009 is right around the corner. There's a few relative certainties within the mix: Ledger winning a statue for portraying a nihilistic jester fleeing from Batman's clutches, Mickey Rourke receiving accolades for flexing both figurative and physical muscle in The Wrestler, and that absolutely ... 100% ... a computer-generated animated film will win Best Animated Feature. But it's also a year of uncertainties, questionable appearances, and surprising heart. Moreover, it's just an interesting year for film, for better and for worse.

One thing is becoming certain: mainstream films, ones that the people can really get behind, are getting better and better. Comic book films, like Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and Jov Favreai's Iron Man, both dazzled the eyes and took our breath away with how "dark" and "stark" they could be.

Why Slumdog Millionaire Will Win:

Danny Boyle’s film has pure momentum behind it now. Practically every single award ceremony has placed their gold stamp of approval on his kinetic, well-tempered tale of survival and love under extreme circumstances in Mumbai. Plus, it’s an extremely evocative picture, one marked by outstanding cinematography and fantastic musical cues that pump extra life into its adaptation of Vikas Swarup’s heartwarming novel. Slumdog surrenders to emotional convention, but not without a passionate show of attitude as it tells Jamal’s story.

Why I’m Rooting for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button:

With the knowledge that Slumdog Millionaire will likely take the Academy Award’s crown this year, it’s still hard not to push for David Fincher’s whimsical outlook on “carpe diem”. Sure, there’s a familiar tone that looks back on Zemeckis’ Forrest Gump – it’s a story of triumph over a man’s unique physical challenges, all of which lean heavily on the preposterous side. But there’s more lying underneath Fincher’s take on Eric Roth’s story, as it draws its audience into the subtle magic within Benjamin’s reverse-aging. A lot of people wonder what they’d do differently if they had the chance to live young again; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, though fantasy-based and reliant on Brad Pitt’s charisma, becomes a stirring portrait of the decisions one man makes as he approaches youth with a world of battered, well-aged experienced behind him.

Why Wall-E Will Win:

Wall-E has a potent, overwhelmingly important message that it communicates, though it lays the lather on thick while doing so. Adorable, identifiable characters and an outstanding visual design make it quite an experience to behold, all the while maintaining a humorous and vibrant enough tone to keep both kids and adults dialed in to its typical Pixar magic. Plus, the bold-faced “get off your rear and enjoy this wonderful life” punch near the end of Wall-E might be bold, but it‘s also highly effective. From start to finish, Pixar’s science-fiction feature is a timely epic that gathers together everything strong about the studio – from animation chops and amazing sound design to pure-blooded magnetism – and condenses them into a tightly-orchestrated package much like Wall-E’s little cubes of material.

Why I’m Rooting for Kung Fu Panda:

It’s simple: Kung Fu Panda is a beautifully-orchestrated and winning animated feature, one that keeps its messages streamlined so that the audience can indulge in pure amusement with the martial arts rambunctiousness. Wall-E might have a few strong, involving characters, but Dreamworks’ roster fights back with a surprisingly vibrant and well-voiced horde of entities that echo back to Chinese lore. What impresses the most, however, is the ways that Dreamworks blends the punchy action of a ‘70s-infused martial arts film with a vibrant child-friendly demeanor, which builds an experience that knows how to convincingly charm and excite animated film lovers of all ages. As rambled on in my review, it’s an absolute blast that draws nothing but adoring sentiment from here. Current News


Post a Comment

Thoughts? Love to hear 'em -- if they're kept clean and civil.