So, I’m not going to mouth off about this too much, but:
Slumdog won Best Picture and Best Director (amongst MANY others – some deserved, some surprising).
Now I’m torn about Best Director. I absolutely adore Boyle, and I think he’s one of the best directors out there, but he just has NOT made a remarkable film. Of all of his films that are closest to greatness, Trainspotting is it. I love Shallow Grave, and I think 28 Days Later is easily the most intelligent zombie related film you’ll ever see. So, on that basis I suppose we can say he ‘deserves’ it. But then, what about Aranofsky? Pi, Requiem, The Fountain, The Wrestler? Doesn’t he on that basis ‘deserve’ it? Either way, I can’t argue much about Boyle. He’s a really good director, so here’s to hoping he sooner rather than later makes a mind-numbing film.
Best Film: Slumdog Millionaire.
That left me gobsmacked. I should’ve expected it, but fucking hell. Now make no mistake, I like the film, but Best Film means a film that changes you, that inspires you, a film that when you watch a decade from now will still stir whatever is inside of you. SDM is good, but it is NOT that.
The Wrestler was that, maybe even Milk. But Slumdog? Maybe I keep missing what the ‘criteria’ for Best Film seems to be. I mean after all, Crash won it a year or two ago as well didn’t it? Good, but not great films. There were times when SDM was obvious and almost seemed to charter Bollywood territory – and not good bollywood. It seemed to also be packaged for Hollywood specially (I dunno if that was Boyle’s intent or not).
Not to mention that two of this year’s best movies weren’t even nominated; The Wrestler and Gran Torino.
Best Actor: Sean Penn.
Again, as with Boyle, Sean Penn is a fantastic actor, and probably ‘deserves’ an oscar in his lifetime. This year, though, Mickey Rourke was so far above his competition it wasn’t even funny. It really, really rankles my mind sometimes.
I can only hope that this time around Rourke intends on staying around…