Friday, November 20, 2009

Best Documentary

The Academy has selected it's semi-finalists to be competing for documentary feature. I've seen one of these films, so my criticism is not all that worthy here I guess. I don't see enough documentaries every year to be a cohesive enthusiast.

Notably absent are Kirby Dick's incisive critique of closeted senators Outrage (my grade: A-), and Michael Moore's latest opus, Capitalism: A Love Story, thus far the highest grossing documentary of the year, as well as two successful and critically accepted music documentaries-- It Might Get Loud and Anvil: The Story of Anvil!. The finalists are:

The Beaches of Agnes
Burma VJ
The Cove
Every Little Step
Facing Ali
Food, Inc.
Garbage Dreams
Living in Emergency: The Stories of Doctors Without Borders
The Most Dangerous Man in the World: Daniel Ellsberg & the Pentagon Papers
Mugabe & the White African
Soundtrack for a Revolution
Under Our Skin
Valentino: The Last Emperor
Which Way Home

My track records pretty good this year actually-- saw one of them (Every Little Step, about the casting of the revival of A Chorus Line) and have heard of all but three. YAY ME!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Best Animated Feature

And so on a lesser front from the big Best Picture 10 scenario, there's going to be 5 nominees this year for Best Animated Feature, and as a viewer of most of this product I say Hooray-- except that the one's I viewed this year are the best of 2009 thus far (Up, Coraline, Ponyo)....still awaiting The Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Princess and the Frog, but either way, 2009 is a year of quality animated films.

The lineup:

Alvin & the Chipmunks 2: The Squeakel
Astro Boy
Battle for Terra
A Christmas Carol
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
The Dolphin: State of a Dreamer
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Mary & Max
The Missing Lynx
Monsters vs. Aliens
Planet 51
The Princess & the Frog
The Secret of Kells
Tinkerbell: The Lost Treasure
A Town Called Panic

Of course it's not much of a contest, since we already know Up is going to win-- still I'd be more than fine for a Coraline surprise... there's real depth here and Pixar doesn't have a stranglehold of the category, just a majority rule (Monsters, Inc. lost to Shrek; Cars lost to Happy Feet.)

CORRECTION (11\20\09)-- the Academy may opt for 5 nominees if it chooses too, it's not a guarantee.
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