decade revisited: 2007, part 1
The Nominees: Ah, yes, we come to my favorite year of the decade. And let me tell you, it was probably the year in which choosing the Best Picture nominees was the hardest. I mixed my choices between popular awards fare (the sweeping epic Atonement and the funny, if over-written, pregnancy comedy Juno) and other worthy but mostly awards-less flicks (the fantastically song-scored Once, the visually stunning and darkly performed Sweeney Todd, and the suspenseful and well-crafted thriller Zodiac). And even though there were many other great candidates, these five are still admirable choices in my book.
Revisions: I’d likely keep the winner intact, still accompanied by Zodiac and Sweeney Todd. But Juno would probably be replaced with the criminally misplaced No Country for Old Men and Atonement would be swapped with the thrilling trilogy closer The Bourne Ultimatum.
The Nominees: For this category I opted for, with the exception of probably Day-Lewis and Depp, the forgotten lead performances in some great forgotten movies of the year. Damon was completely overlooked for his thinking person’s action star in the Bourne series, Pegg is the picture of buddy-cop satire in the hysterical Hot Fuzz, and Ruffalo (a constantly underestimated performer) was pure vintage ’70s cop in Zodiac. Depp was great fun, if not necessarily the greatest singer of all time, in the dark but whimsical move musical Sweeney Todd. And it’s hard to deny that Day-Lewis gave the performance of his career in 2007.
Revisions: Though I believe I’d keep this category the same (and the winner would probably stay strong as well), there would be some stiff competition from the likes of Josh Brolin in No Country for Old Men and Gordon Pinsent in Away from Her.
The Nominees: Yep, things got silly in Best Actress in 2007. Save for two, the ladies in the category include the wise-cracking pregnant teen – Ellen Page in Juno, the unshakably perky princess – Amy Adams in Enchanted, and the belting, toe-tapping high-schooler – Nikki Blonsky in Hairspray. The final two choices included Knightley, who has (along with Pride and Prejudice) managed to prove that she’s capable of delivering truly actorly performances. And finally, Julie Christie makes a comeback in a big way as a woman slowly losing her memory in Away from Her, a performance that was sadly overlooked by the Oscars.
Revisions: Though Blonsky and Knightley gave admirable (if polar opposite) performances, I’d be tempted to ditch them in favor of Helen Bonham Carter in Sweeney Todd, an assuredly fun and full-of-character take on Mrs. Lovett, and Keri Russell in Waitress, a truly movie-star turn from the otherwise TV-ridden actress.