Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bull's Eye!

I got 4 out of 5 of my predictions right for each of the four categories that I had made predictions for!! And the 5th one came from the dark horses I had listed in all of them except Best Actress where Keira Knightly got a nomination for Pride and Prejudice... hmmm... I guess I'll have to see that movie too... sigh!!

Anyway, here are the results....

Best Movie: Crash made it ahead of The Constant Gardener. That fulfills one of my wishes.. :)

Best Director: Bennett Miller (Capote) made it ahead of Fernando Meirelles (The Constant Gardener). Seems the academy didn't like The Constant Gardener much. I still have to see it (planning to see it sometime this week) but going by whatever I have heard till now, I think it is probably quite good... anyway... I'm happy that both Clooney and Haggis got nominated.

Best Actor: Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain) sneaks ahead of Russell Crowe (Cinderella Man). Hmmm... I dunno.. I have seen both, and I personally would've chosen Crowe's performance over Ledger's... Doesn't matter though. Its just a nomination. They aren't going to win it anyway. That's just going to be Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote). Or maybe Joaquin Phoenix has a long shot forWalk The Line.

Best Actress: Zhang Ziyi didn't get nominated. :) Knightley got in. Again, doesn't matter at all. Its going to be a toss up between Felicity Huffman (Transamerica) and Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line).

As for my wishes... Crash DID get nominated for original screenplay. Good Night and Good Luck got the cinematography nod. And George Clooney got a supporting actor nomination but not for Good Night and Good Luck, they gave it to him for Syriana.

Am also happy for Paul Giamatti as he got a supporting actor nomination for Cinderella Man. Also, Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle got a nomination for best animation movie!! As most of you already know, I am a fan of Miyazaki's movies and even though I don't think Howl's Moving Castle is his best movie, it still completely deserves its nomination, especially because there was no Pixar movie this year.. :)

As for 2046, I just realized that its not China's official entry to oscars. So it couldn't be nominated for best foreign language movie anyway. I'd still have liked Sony to lobby for a cinematography and a background score nomination for it. Its really a pity that 2046 wasn't released in enough theatres here in US. Anyway, I think between 2046 and In the Mood for Love (and to a smaller extent Chungking Express) Wong Kar Wai has done enough to justify starting a "Wong Kar Wai award for best music in a motion picture" award all by itself. :)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Mandatory predictions....

No time for a big, well researched post. But then, no time to wait either. Its Jan 30, and the oscar nominations will be announced tomorrow. So, just a quick post about my predictions and hopes for the nominations... The "hopes" part is mostly based on just the movies that I have caught till now. And I still have to see quite a few of the movies that are likely to win most awards... Among them are Walk The Line, The Constant Gardener, Capote, Match Point, Syriana, Memoirs of a Geisha, Paradise Now, Tsotsi and Cache.

Anyway... the predictions...

Best Movie: Brokeback Mountain, The Constant Gardener, Good Night and Good Luck, Capote, Munich (Dark horses: Walk The Line, A History of Violence, Crash)

I hope: Crash gets a nomination....

Best Director: Ang Lee, George Clooney, Steven Spielberg, Fernando Meirelles, Paul Haggis (Dark horses: Bennett Miller, Woody Allen)

I hope: George Clooney and Paul Haggis don't miss out...

Best Actor in Leading Role: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, David Strathairn, Russel l Crowe, Terrence Howard (Dark Horse: Heath Ledger)

I hope: David Strathairn doesn't miss out...

Best Actress in Leading Role: Felicity Huffman, Reese Witherspoon, Charlize Theron, Judi Dench, Zhang Ziyi (Dark horses: Rachel Weiss, Maria Bello)

I hope: Zhang Ziyi gets a nomination.. not that I have seen Memoirs of a Geisha or that her past performances make me think that she is a great actress or anything... But I LOVE her!! Left to myself, I'd give Zhang Ziyi and Natalie Portman a lifetime achievement oscar and be done with it... :P

Thats it then.. no time to go into supporting actors, screenplay, foreign movie, cinematography etc in detail.... Should talk about some wishes though... Most of these won't come true, but registering them with the Oscar gods anyway..

I wish...

Crash gets nominated for best original screenplay.

2046 gets nominated for best foreign movie, best cinematography AND best music.

Good Night and Good Luck, Sin City and maybe even Jarhead get recognition for theri cinematography.

George Clooney gets nomination for Good Night and Good Luck.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Aakash on Veeru

I have read some of the columns that former indian opener Aakash Chopra used to write when he was playing in England last year. The columns were initially pointed out by Prem Panicker on his blog, and I must say they were some of the most interesting cricketer-written columns that I have ever read. He rarely talks about matches and scores and such things. His columns are more about the culture of the city, the team meetings etc. Anyone can write a reasonably authentic looking match report based on just a scorecard. What we don't get often are these insightful articles which tell us so much more about a cricketer's life.

His current column - again pointed out by Prem on Sightscreen - is about a more usual subject viz. a player. Aakash has been Sehwag's opening partner for both Delhi and India and so he probably knows a lot more about Veeru than many other former-cricketers-turned-sports-columnists. Its a delightful article, and not just because it is about Sehwag who happens to be such a delightful character himself.

Read the column here.

As for other things....

The new year was celebrated in the company of the lady in the robe (and out of the shackles). The other lady, who has been cropped out of the pic, also mattered a little but I couldn't post her pic here because:

A) She'd have made me look fat. The lady in the pic has a girth about 20 times my own, so she's fine...

B) I am partial towards blue, and she was wearing black!

C) Contacting her at 3 am to ask for her permission isn't all that easy. People do sleep sometimes. Mostly. Unless they are called Rahul Tyagi. In which case they sleep more than they should, but rarely at 3 am....... Something tells me that I am at liberty to use the lady-in-the-robe's pic on the blog without asking her permission though. In fact, now that I think about it, something tells me that I am at Liberty, period.

Have a good look at my coiffure! At the rate I am losing my hair, there's a good chance that this might be my last pic with any coiffure at all. You know, the "before" part of one of those before/after advertisements for a PhD degree!! Posted by Picasa

There.. There...

Now don't get all disheartened! I know I haven't rocked the blog world for quite some time now but I assure you I haven't deserted you. I fully intend to come back. There are things to write. Posts bubbling in the head (but then, when does that not happen?). Bad but bloggable puns are being collected for later use. But before all that... there are manuscripts to write, deadlines to meet, new project to begin, advisor to mollify...

And did I mention how happy I am that I didn't give in to the temptation of buying the Ind-Pak cricket package?? :) 410/0 or no, I'd have hated to have spent around 50 dollars for that one match!!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Chungking Express in Delhi!

For those of you in and around Delhi, who might've got interested in Wong Kar-Wai and his movies after reading about some of his work here, you have a chance to see his Chungking Express as per this story in The Hindu. I don't think Chungking Express is his best - I liked In the Mood for Love and the recent 2046 more - but it still was pretty exciting, specially because it was completely unlike I had ever seen before. You can read my brief comments about it here.

See if you can catch it in this film festival.