2007 Verve Awards

2006 Verve Awards


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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

 

Oscar-ology: Getting The Independent Spirit

Yesterday's announcement of 2007's first major film nominations, the Indie Spirits, didn't do much to clear up an already muddy Oscar season. While there was much love for (spiritually, if not actually) independent movies like the Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There and Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, I don't think it makes either one an automatic front-runner. Neither movie is currently positioned for a mainstream Oscar run, preferring the wait-and-see strategy of a platform release. To me, that indicates concern that both films might be too esoteric for garden variety Oscar voters.

I'm struck by some heartening inclusions among the Spirits, however. Best First Feature nominee The Lookout remains one of the best films I saw all year; I just wish that Joseph Gordon-Levitt's masterful performance had also been remembered. I liked Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor's work in Talk To Me, and thought Steve Zahn was the best thing about Rescue Dawn. I'm surprised by the omission in most categories of Before The Devil Knows You're Dead, but I'm heartened that Marisa Tomei was nominated for her undervalued performance (and Kelly Masterson for her script). And how about that battle royal shaping up in the Foreign Film category?

Surprises among the missing: where is Laura Linney for The Savages? Or Ang Lee for Lust, Caution? Or the Juno avalanche that everyone was predicting? I'm sure (someone out there can verify this) that No Country For Old Men was ineligible. Because it ran circles around most of the movies listed here.

Among the ModFab Circle, A Blog Next Door wished for a nomination for Keri Russell; The Film Experience implied that the Spirits might not have much impact come Oscar time; and Daily GreenCine rounded up the internet chatter. Your thoughts?

BEST FEATURE
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly [IMDb]
I’m Not There [IMDb]
Juno [IMDb]
A Mighty Heart [IMDb]
Paranoid Park [IMDb]

BEST FIRST FEATURE
2 Days in Paris [IMDb]
Great World of Sound [IMDb]
The Lookout [IMDb]
Rocket Science [IMDb]
Vanaja [IMDb]

BEST DIRECTOR
Todd Haynes - I’m Not There [IMDb]
Tamara Jenkins - The Savages [IMDb]
Jason Reitman - Juno [IMDb]
Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly [IMDb]
Gus Van Sant - Paranoid Park [IMDb]

BEST MALE LEAD
Pedro Castaneda - August Evening [IMDb]
Don Cheadle - Talk To Me [IMDb]
Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Savages [IMDb]
Frank Langella - Starting Out in the Evening [IMDb]
Tony Leung - Lust, Caution [IMDb]
BEST FEMALE LEAD
Angelina Jolie - A Mighty Heart [IMDb]
Sienna Miller - Interview [IMDb]
Ellen Page - Juno [IMDb]
Parker Posey - Broken English [IMDb]
Tang Wei - Lust, Caution [IMDb]

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Chiwetel Ejiofor - Talk To Me [IMDb]
Marcus Carl Franklin - I’m Not There [IMDb]
Kene Holliday - Great World of Sound [IMDb]
Irrfan Khan - The Namesake [IMDb]
Steve Zahn - Rescue Dawn [IMDb]

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Cate Blanchett - I’m Not There [IMDb]
Anna Kendrick - Rocket Science [IMDb]
Jennifer Jason Leigh - Margot at the Wedding [IMDb]
Tamara Podemski - Four Sheets to the Wind [IMDb]
Marisa Tomei - Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead [IMDb]

BEST SCREENPLAY
Ronald Harwood - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly [IMDb]
Tamara Jenkins - The Savages [IMDb]
Fred Parnes & Andrew Wagner - Starting Out in the Evening [IMDb]
Adrienne Shelly - Waitress [IMDb]
Mike White - Year of the Dog [IMDb]

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Jeffrey Blitz - Rocket Science [IMDb]
Zoe Cassavetes - Broken English [IMDb]
Diablo Cody - Juno [IMDb]
Kelly Masterson - Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead [IMDb]
John Orloff - A Mighty Heart [IMDb]

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Mott Hupfel - The Savages [IMDb]
Janusz Kaminski - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly [IMDb]
Milton Kam - Vanaja [IMDb]
Mihai Malaimare, Jr. - Youth Without Youth [IMDb]
Rodrigo Prieto - Lust, Caution [IMDb]

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Crazy Love [IMDb]
Lake of Fire [IMDb]
Manufactured Landscapes [IMDb]
The Monastery [IMDb]
The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair [IMDb]

BEST FOREIGN FILM
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Romania) [IMDb]
The Band’s Visit (Israel) [IMDb]
Lady Chatterley (France) [IMDb]
Once (Ireland) [IMDb]
Persepolis (France) [IMDb]

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3 Comments:

Anonymous will g said...

For the life of me I'll never understand these awards. If it is true that NO COUNTRY is ineligible, is it just because it's made under one banner and not another? It all seems so arbitrary. I think a fairer system would be to simply use budget as the qualifier, but where are you going to get an honest accounting of that?

11/28/07, 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked crazy love in that it was disturbingly tragic, but it didn't really have a satisfying conclusion. i am looking forward to juno. that's all. :) xox, sh

11/28/07, 9:10 AM  
Blogger T$ said...

have to say, I was way more impressed with "I'm Not There" than I expected to be...and the New Yorker praised "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" so highly I thought I was hallucinating.

11/29/07, 9:47 AM  

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