votw ii.6: I’m sure SOME of it has to do with a-ha

As much a-ha you’re gonna see for now.

And the Oscar goes to…

So the most important awards ceremony of the year, the Academy Awards (please, when have a-ha ever appeared at the Nobel Prize Awards?), is upon us. This Sunday, Hollywood’s glitziest, plastickest all-stars will show up to pat themselves on the back for not only making a lot of money for being famous, but for felling the beast that was the Writers’ Strike.

Personally, I have never been so hyped up for the show. Sure, I’ve watched it in past years (Return of the King FTW!), but I feel so invested this at-bat for some raisin. Could be that I watched a personal record of 33 movies at the theater in 2oo7. Could be because I’ve become a notorious home theater fiend. Could be because I’ve finally attended a couple of film festivals as of late. Could be because I was involved in shooting a film festival-contending short film this past year, and I’m graduating with a Major in Television this coming April. Could be because I’ve religiously watched all five Best Picture nominees, something I’ve never done before.

Couldn’t be, could it?

So a-hacolytes, allow me a smidgen of off-topicness to dwell on the unimportance of the 8oth Academy Awards. (After all, this blog is concerned with the visual aspect of entertainment. Just imagine one of the members of a-ha in a category. Can you see Morten as Chigurh in No Country For Old Men?)

Best Director. I’ve had my run-ins with one or five directors in my life this past year, and I know that they’re not only unimaginative, but also a major pain in the arse. Still, we must salute their fat paychecks, so I go with the Coen brothers with their WTF masterpiece, No Country For Old Men.

Best Supporting Actor. I watched 4 out of the 5 nominees, and even though Casey Affleck has made his unapologetic case as the vastly superior Affleck sibling (the coward assassinated Jesse effin’ James!), no one but Javier Bardem should get the statue. He’s cruel, calculating, unsettling, and monstrous in No Country For Old Men, and he’s on the cover of Entertainment Weekly.

Best Supporting Actress. I watched four of the five for this category, but I gotta go with thirteen-year-old Saoirse Ronan because, confound it, you just have to hate her so much in Atonement. (But on the assumption that they will never give it to a teenager, then the unsympathetic mother of a kidnapped child, Amy Ryan, from the criminally overlooked Gone Baby Gone, should represent.)

Best Original Screenplay. Either Ratatouille or Juno because I don’t know what’s harder to concoct, a cooking rat or a knocked-up teen with jovial parents.

Best Adapted Screenplay. I suppose I would have to read the source material first…Um, Atonement?

Best Animated Film. Ratatouille, Ratatouille, Ratatouille! God, that movie is greatness.

Best Cinematography: Atonement. Best Art Direction: Sweeney Todd. Best Costume Design: Sweeney Todd. Best Film Editing: Bourne Ultimatum. Best Original Score: Atonement. Best Original Song: “That’s How You Know,” Enchanted. Best Visual Effects: Transformers.


Best Actress. Whose dress will shine all the brighter? Well, I only saw Ellen Page’s Juno, and since I’m so smitten by her, well, her. :/

Best Actor. Johnny Depp sang torturous ditties about slitting throats. George Clooney acted like George Cloonier. Viggo Mortensen fought naked. Daniel Day-Lewis drank our milkshake. Before watching There Will Be Blood last weekend, I would’ve given it to Eastern Promises‘ Russian mafioso Aragorn since he fought two guys completely full-frontal (that takes, uh, guts), but Day-Lewis is incomparable as the oil man who can never truly be happy (and that voice!). Sorry, Viggo.

Best Picture. Finally, you Cold As Stoners can finally get to your video after this category. I saw all five in this order: No Country For Old Men, Juno, Atonement, There Will Be Blood, and Michael Clayton (which I watched tonight). Aside from pregger-happy Juno, the list of dramas wholly deals with disillusion, betrayal, paranoia, cynicism, and, ultimately, the unhappiest endings to ever brute-force their way into Oscar Babylon. This is the start of the breakdown: Juno is too Little Miss Sunshine-cutesy to win (and I wasn’t wowed by the Arrested Development non-reunion); Michael Clayton did not impress me much as a Best Picture powerhouse; Atonement is the readiest winner, but it’s too “Oscar classical” in this brooding, arthouse year; There Will Be Blood is deserving enough, but many folks hated it (my brother literally screamed his displeasure in the theater) — also, I didn’t “get” the twist until the very end, and I hate myself for it; No Country For Old Men is as difficult a Western as There Will Be Blood, with hateful characters and end credits that seem to appear only to make your blood boil.

I guess you already know how I’m ranking the films: 5) Juno, 4) Michael Clayton, 3) Atonement, 2) There Will Be Blood, 1) No Country For Old Men. No country for any other winner. Unless you have milkshake.

Is that Morten, the henchman?


Wow, that was grossly off-topic. Hopefully, you won’t resent me too much for it. And in a predictable move, Video of the Week shall now showcase “The Living Daylights!”



The first a-ha song I ever saw, yadda yadda yadda. I still contend that it’s the best OO7 theme a-ha have ever composed. Unfortunately, the masses will remember “Goldfinger” and “A View To A Kill” more fondly.

But does the music video hold up? We saw images cast on bodies last week with “Spanish Steps,” and we see it again now. Who wins, I wonder? (Did I ever tell you that I once performed “The Living Daylights” for my Directing class? Yeah, I brought in my leather jacket and belted it out, famously. No one has seen the footage since.)

So in the spirit of not assassinating Alfred, head on over to Cold As Stone to cast your ballot. (Yes, it’s been a lifelong dream of mine to belong to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, let alone win a statue…)


See, plenty of a-ha for everyone.



~ by Alfredeus on February 19, 2008.

One Response to “votw ii.6: I’m sure SOME of it has to do with a-ha”

  1. Well. I only saw Juno and Atonement. And the projecter bulb burned out ten minutes before Atonement was over. Feel free to tell me how it ends. It could be a while before I know.

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