Who Will Win Best Picture at the Oscars? by Bill Larson
Ah, it's that time of year again! Awards season, and there is no other award show that captures all of the glitz and glamour or Hollywood than the Oscars. With the writer's strike now over we can look forward to a great awards telecast. But what's that? What did you say? You haven't seen any of the nominees yet? Have no fear, dear reader...I can actually help you out (at least for the three I have seen so far) with some of the Best Picture nominees.
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN - in this film, Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon some dead bodies, a stash of heroin and more than $2 million in cash near the Rio Grande. Javier Bardem plays assasin Anton Chigurh, who has been contracted to locate the cash and believe me when I tell you - NOTHING stands in his way. This movie reminded me very much of THE TERMINATOR in the ways Chigurh keeps coming after people and Bardem is chilling as the hitman who even bets the lives of the innocent on the flip of a coin. Should this be Best Picture, nah, but it is definitely worth seeing. Is Bardem great in it? Sure, but what knocked me sideways about this film is the ending, which most people have a problem with. I did not. It just proves that the world doesn't always work the way you think it ought to.
ATONEMENT - Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's (Keira Knightley) lover (James McAvoy) of a crime he did not commit. Based on the ads for this film I started out feeling like this was going to be another ENGLISH PATIENT/LAST OF THE MOHICANS "I will find you" kind-of flick. Boy was I wrong. But it's really good. I just felt cheated at the end. Not because the movie is substandard in any way but because of what happens in the movie. But I guess then I got the point as it was intended. Should it win? Probably not but I think it will. It's just the kind of Oscar movie that does take Best Picture.
JUNO - This is the film that should win (at least of the three that I've seen). This year's LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE is about an offbeat young teenager, Juno, faced with an unplanned pregnancy, who makes an unusual decision regarding her unborn child and decides to give it up for adoption to a family played by Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman. I have got to say that this film really touches you and reaches out. And who would have thought about the resurgence of Jason "yes I played the title character in TEEN WOLF 2" Bateman. He is great (as he was in last year's THE KINGDOM) and really deserves more and more parts from Hollywood. Run to see this one and root for it on Oscar night. I know I will.
Also, don't forget that if you are in the mood for love and a walk down memory lane log onto philadelphiazoo.org and see the most romantic moment in Philadelphia film history - when Rocky proposes to Adrian at the Philadelphia Zoo.