I guess it's time for me to get back in the saddle over here at "The Moviegoer." My apologies to the readers who've been coming here for the past few weeks looking for commentary about the year in movies. I've been working and trying to get "The Think Tank" in a good place. But I'll be back here and posting regularly, particularly on the Oscar race.
A few things:
My 2008 Top 10: 1) The Dark Knight; 2) Synedoche, New York; 3) Milk; 4) Slumdog Millionaire; 5) The Vistor; 6) 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days; 7) Rachel Getting Married; 8) The Flight of the Red Balloon; 9) The Edge of Heaven; 10) WALL-E.
Since that time I've seen "Frost/Nixon," "The Wrestler," "Revolutionary Road," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Gran Torino" and "Doubt." None of these would enter my Top 10, although I thought all of the actors in "Doubt" were spectacular along with Kate Winslet and Michael Shannon in "Revolutionary Road," Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei in "The Wrestler," Frank Langella in "Frost/Nixon" and Clint Eastwood in "Gran Torino."
I have a spectacular dislike for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" despite liking pretty much everything David Fincher has made to date, including "Zodiac" "Fight Club" and "Se7en" all in the top flight crop of movies in their respective years.
I have not seen "The Reader," arguably the biggest surprise of the recent Oscar nominations. And I have not seen "Defiance," a film that generated some very positive comments from critics. "Frozen River," a film that has earned Melissa Leo and Oscar nomination, will be out of DVD next week is another one I need to see. "I've Loved You So Long," a French film starring Kristin Scott Thomas, also is on my radar.
And I'll catch many of the best films of year - from foreign countries - when they arrive on disk. "Gomorrah," "The Class," "Waltz with Bashir," "A Christmas Tale" . . . to name a few.
As for the Oscar nominations, well, there's not much to be glad or upset about, although I think "The Dark Knight" deserved Best Picture, Best Dircetor and Best Adapted Screenplay nominations. I would have nominated Jenny Lumet for "Rachel Getting Married" in the Best Original Screenplay catagory; Tom McCarthy for "The Visitor" as well. And I'd gladly kick "In Bruges" to the curb. Bruce Springsteen deserved a Best Original Song nomination for "The Wrestler," a devastating and gorgeous tune.
I'm very excited for Richard Jenkins ("The Visitor"), Heath Ledger ("The Dark Knight"), Anne Hathaway ("Rachel Getting Married"), Michael Shannon ("Revolutionary Road"), and Viola Davis ("Doubt"). Mr. Ledger and Ms. Davis could both win.
I point you to this discussion of the Oscars
between A.O. Scott of and David Denby of The New York TimesThe New Yorker on The Charlie Rose Show.