Friday, February 15, 2008

My Oscar Pick for Leading Actor

This year is a rich one for the Lead Actor category for the Academy Awards. I've seen just three of the five movies that are nominated for the Actor in a Leading Role category.

There Will Be Blood: Daniel Day-Lewis
Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street : Johnny Depp
Eastern Promises : Viggo Mortensen
Michael Clayton : George Clooney
In the Valley of Elah : Tommy Lee Jones

Now, because I haven't seen "...Elah" or "Clayton" it may not be a fair assessment to make a prediction just yet. However, after finally watching the UNBELIEVABLE performance by Daniel Day-Lewis in "There Will Be Blood", I think it's safe to say that Day-Lewis will walk away with the award. No doubt, hands down. And if not, then the members of the Academy need some serious retooling.

The Movie

Although the movie clocked in at over two and a half hours, the pacing was excellent through the direction of Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia). And although his style was made clear, he wasn't afraid to shine the emphasis on the actors' abilities to push the direction of the movie even further.

The Actors

Nuts. Just Nuts! The energy in this movie is like none that I've ever seen before - and I did see the Coen's "No Country for Old Men" which was a masterpiece in itself, but for reasons largely due to the Coen's direction. "Blood", however knocked my socks off with a performance from Day-Lewis that I didn't know could exist in today's cinema.

Starring opposite Day-Lewis is Paul Dano who scored huge points especially after his work in one of my all-time favorite movies, "The King". He gives Day-Lewis the perfect complement to bounce off such intense interaction scene after scene.

Academy Hating on The Score

From the opening to closing credits and everywhere in between, the haunting orchestral score by Radiohead's guitarist Jonny Greenwood not only added its own horrific character to the movie, but knew how to make everyone squirm in their seats at any given moment. It was the score that played a crucial part in making me want to go and see this movie. It's that powerful.

It beats the heck out of me as to how this score was "overlooked" (ahem...snubbed...huh?...what?) among the five nominees for Best Original Score. The members of the Academy must be hating on Radiohead for turning the entertainment industry on its ear by setting examples to all artists with their new distribution method. And now probably setting an example of their own, perhaps?

From the opening titles to the last scene, the score, the acting and the direction has made this movie an instant classic for moviegoers everywhere (especially with the last "Milkshake" scene). "There Will Be Blood" will strike the form of a statue, come February 24th.