As for this year's Oscars race, I've seen a fair number of the nominated films and performances, but the only one that absolutely grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go was Mo'nique's performance in Precious. She owned the screen whenever she was in a scene, and it was impossible to look away from her.
I finally managed to see The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band), which is Germany's entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category. I liked it very much, but then I've been partial to Michael Haneke's films for a long time (although, in the spirit of full disclosure, I'll admit that I haven't yet watched either version of Funny Games). I've also seen two earlier films directed by Jacques Audiard, whose Un Prophète (France's entry) opened in L.A. last Friday to great reviews; if I can manage to see it Saturday, I will. From the trailers I've seen, it's hard to imagine a more different film than The White Ribbon; my sense is that it's going to be a two-picture race between these two, and I'll be very interested to see which one is selected. I'll admit that at this point I'm biased in favour of Haneke's The White Ribbon, and I'd also love to see it win the award for Best Cinematography, although I suppose the Cinematography award is a long shot (in musical terms, it's a little like putting Satie's "Gymnopédies" or "Gnoissiennes" up against some towering symphonic work by Beethoven or Rachmaninoff; one's not necessarily better than the other, but they're worlds apart.) Now, if I come back next week eating humble pie because one of the other three nominated films won, all I can say is that they certainly didn't have the "buzz" or exposure that the French and German entries had. Which leads to another interesting question; did they get the exposure because they're by "name" directors? No time now to do more than pose the question; I suddenly looked at the clock and saw that it's almost 2:00 a.m., which is well past my bedtime when the alarm is set for 5:30.
Lights doused, Silvio Lappy put into standby mode, and so to bed.