Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Will The Road Win Best Picture?

About a week ago, my good buddy and fellow movie geek Mac sent me an e-mail.

There was no subject line.

After I clicked on the e-mail, the copy inside simply read…

August 26, 2008. I'm going on the record and saying "The Road" will sweep the Oscars this year.

That’s it. No other copy.

Simple. Tactful. And to the point.

No “Hey, how’s it going good buddy!” or “How’s the kids?” or “Hey what do you think about Obama?”

Just your friendly neighborhood Spider-man bellowing a Mayan 2012-like prediction that The Road will sweep the Oscars this year.

I soaked the e-mail in, took a couple blinks and hit delete.

After logging off the computer for four-straight days, enjoying the Labor Day weekend, mowing the lawn, drinking a couple beers and giving my dog a bath, I’ve thought about his prediction a bit and I have this to say…

Not Gonna Happen.

Now, I’m not trying to be negative or mean or anything like that. I’ve thought long and hard about this and I’m prepared to give my reasons:

Judging by the screenplay review that he sent, I think this movie is going to be too much of a bitch slap to the members of the Academy. The plot is way too dark. The characters are bleak. There doesn’t seem to be any humor whatsoever.

It's going to be a different type of movie.

In short, it’s gonna be like Fight Club, Se7en, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Reservoir Dogs, Blade Runner or even Empire Strikes Back. Fantastic stories. Great direction. Great acting. Simply great films. And cult classics to boot.

But simply overlooked by the Academy for reasons out of our understanding. I mean, I’m still trying to figure out how Forrest Gump beat out Pulp Fiction for Best Picture during the 1995 Academy Awards.

In a nutshell, I think that’s what's going to happen with The Road.

Do I think it will be nominated? Without seeing one piece of film, I’m going to say Hell Yeah.

With Director John Hillcoat (The Proposition) at the helm, cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe (The Others, Talk to Her) working behind the lens, a kick-ass screenplay adaptation of McCarthy's novel by semi-newcomer Joe Penhall not mention reading a New York Times article about the final days of s of shooting, I’m thinking it's going to be a fantastic movie.

Also, had No Country For Old Men not swept the Oscars last year, I might be onboard for my good buddy’s prediction. But, I’m thinking some other type of cream might rise to the top this year.

Something a little less depressing.

Something a bit more uplifting.

Something not as dark.

Something that doesn’t have people eating infants

With that, I'm going to one-up my good buddy Mac and give my predictions for the five Academy-award best picture nominees for the 81st Academy Awards…

The Road
Read all about what I thought about the book right here. I’m predicting nominations for screenplay, cinematography and acting.

The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan’s darkly Frank Miller-esque take on the bat is simply too good to not get the Academy’s notice. Expect a post-humus acting nod for Ledger as well.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
I’ve written about it here and am convinced that Director David Fincher will chisel his almost 4-hour over-blown opus into an easily watchable 2 ½ hour masterpiece.

Miracle at St. Anna
Spike Lee’s World War II epic - based on author James McBride's fiction book - about black U.S. infantrymen trapped behind enemy lines in an Italian village with the Nazis closing in.

Revolutionary Road
Sam Mendes directs Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio as a 1950’s couple trying to escape the everyday conventions of their small-town life.

So there you have it. Let’s see where the dust settles in 7 months during the 81st Academy Awards ceremony.

So, what do you think?


Kameron D Kiggins said...

This movie has a definite Oscar aroma; like you wrote, even without seeing a second, I'd be shocked if it doesn't score a few of the big nominations.

I'm kinda dreading the movie, however. The book lanced my heart and I could only read a few pages a day without feeling overwhelmed. Remembering McCarthy's Outer Dark and Child of God and The Crossing and Blood Meridian as I read The Road, I thought: Please Cormac, please don't make me journey with this father and son and end the book how I'm afraid you'll end it. And I haven't re-read The Road, so to sit through the story in 2 or 3 hours, and to see some of those scenes might be different than reading the book over two weeks. Never responded to a book that same way before, or since.

Incidentally, Henry Rollins turned me on to McCarthy in a late '90s interview. Rollins said his own books sold mainly because he had an established audience as a singer, and he sometimes felt embarrassed knowing his books were on the same shelves that also held Blood Meridian.

Nick said...

Eimer, you old dog. I think "Saw V" is going to sweep the Oscars in 2009.

-- Nick C.

Nick said...

Eimer, you old dog. I have it on good authority that 'Saw V' is a masterpiece and will sweep the Oscars in 2009.

Nick said...

Eimer, you old dog. I have it on good authority that 'Saw V' is a masterpiece and will sweep the Oscars in 2009.

-- Nick C.