Now on to the sins of omission. I really only have two beefs on this account. First, why only two nods for A History of Violence? This is a superb flick and deserved a nod for Best Film, Best Director for Cronenberg, Best Actor for Viggo Mortensen and Best Actress for Maria Bello. I reckon this is going to be the “Goodfellas” of 2005. Years from now, History will be seen as a classic film. The second sin of omission is in the Best Foreign Film category, which is replete with worthy crap or pretty fromage. Where is the Cannes Palme d’Or winner, and my Best Film of 2005, Hidden/Cache?! Where is the movie that changed the face of cinema, Kung Fu Hustle?! Where is the fascinating French flick, The Beat that My Heart Skipped? Craziness. Pure craziness. Once again, history will prove me right, but in the mean time, I remain unsurprised and pissed off.
Next, the five sins of commission, and I’ll take these in nominations order. The third, fourth and fifth sins involve bad but “worthy” films that got mega-nominations. In each case the director has tried to tackle serious subject matter but has ended up stating the obvious in a really dull and patronsing manner. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I give you Good Night and Good Luck, Munich and The Constant Gardener. In the case of the former, we get a patronising history lesson; in the case of the latter two, we get narratively confused, bombastic, mediocre thrillers.
The seventh sin, also one of commission, is the inclusion of Pride and Prejudice anywhere near the Oscars. This was a very very mediocre adaptation, which made narrative compromises that undermined both the love story and the satire at the heart of the story. While I can just about forgive the “technical” nods for costume and such, I cannot forgive nominating Keira Knghtley for her role as Elizabeth Bennett when all she did was looked petulant. This hurts even more when you realise that Maria Bello missed out on a nom. for A History of Violence. I can only put Knightley’s nom. down to the fact that she is championed by Jerry Bruckheimer, who clearly wants to create a mega-star. She is destined to be the Judi Dench of her generation – the one English actress everyone recognises, who is nominated for performances regardless of their quality.
The full details of the nominations are below. As usual, I have put the films I think should win in bold type. I have asterisked the ones I think will win:
BEST FILM: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN*,
The Oscars are awarded on March 5th 2006.