Being a lady of leisure, I thought I would make a serious attempt this year to do what I have tried a few times before, namely see all the major Oscar-nominated films before the Oscars ceremony. Usually, being in the UK poses a major obstacle, as several of the films aren’t released there in time. However, being in the U.S., the qualifying criterion is that it has been on release here sometime in 2004.
So I have compiled the list based on those films that have an acting, directing or screenplay nomination, and it runs as follows:
The Aviator – Howard Hughes biopic
Before Sunset – Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy sequel
Being Julia – profile of actress starring Annette Bening
Closer – adaptation of Patrick Marber’s play
Collateral – Assassin plus taxi driver in L.A.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – weird Charlie Kauffman screenplay
Finding Neverland – JM Barrie biopic and story of Peter Pan
Hotel Rwanda – based-on-a-true-story look at Rwandan genocide
The Incredibles – the latest Pixar animation
Kinsey – Alfred Kinsey biopic
Maria Full of Grace – drug mules from Colombia
Million Dollar Baby – boxing story
The Motorcycle Diaries – Che Guevara on a motorbike around Cuba
Ray – Ray Charles biopic
Sideways – vineyard comedy
Vera Drake – abortionist Mike Leigh drama
I have crossed off the list those I have seen thus far. Million Dollar Baby was this afternoon – a really nice little film, with two great turns by Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman as a pair of grumpy old men. It was a bit disjointed in a couple of places though – I suspect that there is a longer, and possible more complete film in the director’s cut.
The only ones that I think will be tricky are those that have been and gone at the cinema but are not yet on DVD – Kinsey and Closer, as well as Vera Drake, which I haven’t seen anywhere yet.
As an aside, they showed the teaser trailer for the new Hitchiker’s Guide movie before it started – due to be released on May 26th. Very exciting! For more information, have a look at Empire magazine’s profile.