Tuesday, January 25, 2005

And the Oscar goes to... total lack of title originality!

First off, you may have noticed the new look to the blog. I was bored during pre-football limbo on Sunday and decided to spice things up. Enjoy!

And now, on to the news of the day (at least for film geeks like me): the Oscar nominations are in, and I have to admit I'm disappointed. Many of my choices to win certain awards weren't even nominated. Oh well. For anyone who's interested, here's my early take on this year's Academy Awards:

Best Original Screenplay:
What should win: "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". From the relentlessly inventive mind of Charlie Kaufman, with help from director Michel Gondry, this one managed to contain suspense and serve up plot twists while forsaking just about every convention, plus it made you think.
What will win: "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". I think they'll get this one right.

Best Adapted Screenplay:
What should win: Having only seen "Finding Neverland" of the nominees, I can't say. But I would venture to say "not 'Finding Neverland'."
What will win: "Sideways". There's entirely too much hype surrounding it for it not to win something, and since Paul Giamatti didn't even get a nom for acting, I think it's got this one wrapped up.

Best Supporting Actor:
Who should win: Clive Owen. No real comments. I just thought he did a great job.
Who will win: Not sure. I'd guess either Clive or Morgan Freeman.

Best Supporting Actress:
Who should win: Natalie Portman. And not just for that one scene. Yeah, you guys know which one I'm talking about. But also because she played the role of "Alice" to perfection.
Who will win: Cate Blanchett. It will be hard for the Academy not to give it to an actress who has been so consistently good, and versatile, over the past several years.

Best Actor:
Who should win: Jim Carrey for "Eternal Sunshine". Oh wait, he's not even nominated. AGAIN. He deserved it for "The Truman Show", he deserved it for "Man on the Moon", and dammit, he deserved it for this one too. Oh well, what can you do? Of the actual nominees, I'd say Jamie Foxx.
Who will win: Jamie Foxx. Hands down. Not even a question.

Best Actress:
Who should win: Kate Winslet. Again, "Eternal Sunshine" is the only movie on the list I've seen. But have I mentioned how much I loved it?
Who will win: Annette Bening. This time, Hilary Swank's the favorite and Annette's the underdog. How could the Academy pass that opportunity by?

Best Director:
Who should win: Martin Scorsese. Haven't seen "The Aviator", but I hear it's extremely well done.
Who will win: Martin Scorsese. It's just his year. (Which reminds me: Martin, please don't make a sequel to "Taxi Driver". Thanks.)

Best Picture:
Who should win: You guessed it, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". I know, I'm being unfair to all the nominees I haven't seen (and to the one I have seen, sorry "Neverland", but "Eternal Sunshine" has got you beat by about a mile). Maybe I'll re-evaluate once I see more.
Who will win: "Million Dollar Baby". The critical accolades this movie has received have been astounding.

Bear in mind, I still have yet to see many of the contenders, as I tried to note where relevant. It should have been quite obvious that I loved the hell out of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". I'm seeing "Million Dollar Baby" this weekend, then I'll get around to seeing the other nominees too. And I'll be back with updates.

Song lyric of the day:
"Make up your pretty face
It's a lovely trip, a lovely place
You got one life here to make it for the movies"
-Buckcherry, "For the Movies"

Saturday, January 15, 2005

At last, Virginia really is for lovers

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, even if some of his gifts arrive a few weeks late. According to the Washington Post, consensual sex between unmarried people has finally been legalized in my home state. This surely comes as a relief to friends of mine still residing there, most of whom were in serious danger of serving hard time for this very crime. In particular, one friend whose first child was born before he and his wife married might have had a difficult time beating those charges.

But fortunately, these fornicating friends have been spared. A 19th century law criminalizing sex out of wedlock has been repealed. Although I believe an even more antiquated law still requires the sex to be missionary position only. Some of the aforementioned friends might still have to answer for that one.

You can read the full article here. The court ruling stemmed from a case where a woman sued a former boyfriend for giving her herpes. As one defense lawyer noted, the irony is that "had the plaintiff complied with Virginia's fornication statute, she would not have gotten herpes." Which is pretty funny when you think about it.

So to all of my friends back in ol' Virginny (which no longer need be associated with virgins), I say, well, I say keep on doing what and who you're doing. You were never really in danger of being arrested before, and now you're officially off the hook.

Song lyric of the day (I couldn't resist):
"Come out, Virginia, don't let me wait
You Catholic girls start much too late
But sooner or later it comes down to fate
I might as well will be the one"
-Billy Joel, "Only the Good Die Young"