Monday, March 23, 2009

2008 Diva Cup Awards: The "Oscar Categories"

Well, here we go again! The 2008 Diva Cup Awards are off and running and, for the first time, I decided to post my nominees for the "Oscar categories." Plus, instead of breaking them down into individual posts, I decided to group them together so I could move on faster. Here's how I plan on dividing them:

-The Oscar categories
-The Extra categories
-Original and Adapted Screenplay
-Picture and Director
-Supporting Actor
-Supporting Actress

I hope you enjoy all these and please do not be afraid to let me know what you think in the comments!

Best Cinematography

Mandy Walker
Every shot in Australia is so breathtakingly gorgeous that the film risks collapsing under all its beauty. Thankfully, Walker never lets this happen and makes sure the blazing colors are there for more than eye candy.


César Charlone
In the film, the characters are inflicted with a blindness that turns everything white. Charlone has a bright white light illuminating every shot, echoing the character's problems, and it never once feels gimmicky.

Boy A
Rob Hardy
It may not immediately jump out at you, but Hardy gets some amazing shots on what is sure to be a limited budget.

A Christmas Tale
Eric Gautier
Beautiful camerawork that doesn't get in the way of what's going on onscreen. It's truly the perfect compliment to the ugliness of what's going on in the family.

Jakob Ihre
Makes the risky choice to shoot a lot of the film in a blinding white light to contrast with the dark complexities of the relationships and circumstances in the film. The risk pays off.

If Only There Were Six: The Wrestler (Maryse Alberti)

And the Diva Cup Goes to: Reprise

Best Editing

A Christmas Tale
Laurence Briaud
Connects all the shreds of this emotionally disconnected family in interesting ways.

Kevin Stitt
The work is definitely from the Bourne school of hyper-editing, but I think it serves the film well. Things are flying at the screen and popping out of mid air at such an alarming rate that you have no idea whether this real life or merely fiction at certain points. Truly terrifying.

The Edge of Heaven
Andrew Bird
It would have been easy to play up the "fate" and "coincidence" aspects of the film when it comes to the film, but the editing wisely ignores such stupid tricks and only uses them at the appropriate time.

Rachel Getting Married
Tim Squyers
More likely than not, Squyers had a ton of footage to work with and some really awkward and unwieldy scenes to work around (the rehearsal dinner and reception immediately spring to mind) but he makes everything flow smoothly and knows just how to hold certain moments just to brink of exhaustion.

Olivier Bugge Coutté
Cuts back forth between the hopeful future and dark present like an unseen dagger in the back. Brutally beautiful.

If Only There Were Six: Milk (Elliot Graham)

And the Diva Cup Goes to: The Edge of Heaven

Best Art Direction

Catherine Martin, Ian Gracie, Karen Murphy and Beverley Dunn

A Christmas Tale

Dan Bevan
Overstuffed, like the film. But all in a good way.

The Dark Knight
Nathan Crowley and Peter Lando
Appropriately gothic.

Synecdoche, New York

Mark Friedberg
Intricate beyond belief.

Ralph Eggleston
Creates a world unlike I've ever seen before.

If Only There Were Six: Milk (Dan Bevan)

And the Diva Cup Goes to: Synecdoche, New York

Best Costume Design

27 Dresses
Catherine Martin Thomas
Hilariously over the top. The film's sight gags hinge on the hideousness of these dresses and Thomas delivers.

Catherine Martin
Nicole Kidman is the world's greatest Barbie doll and Catherine Martin has a ball dressing her up.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year
Caroline Marx
Any movie that put it's obviously gay character in pink pants and knee high boots deserves a spot in any Best Costume Design list. Plus, Marx gets mad bonus points for Sharpay's "fabulous" clothes, which only get more divalicious as the series goes on.

The Other Boleyn Girl
Sandy Powell
With sets so (appropriately) cold, Powell had the unenviable task of making the stifling period clothes sexy. By the end of the film I was wishing the 1600's would make a comeback. Mission accomplished.

Sex and the City: The Movie
Patricia Field
On the rack, these clothes probably looked like a hot mess that no one can pull off. Patricia Field knows these women so well, however, that she can make toilet paper and duck tape work for these ladies. Simply the most divine thing about this movie.

If Only There Were Six: Leatherheads (Louise Frogley)

And the Diva Cup Goes to: Sex and the City: The Movie

Best Original Score


David Hirschfelder
Now this is how you score an epic romance! Hirschfelder's work definitely puts you in the mood for love.

A Christmas Tale

Grégoire Hetzel
May strain too hard to be elegant and "classy," but I found it to be simply divine to listen to.


Randy Newman
There's nothing I love more than the 1920's, so I have to give it up to Randy for evoking the era so potently.

Slumdog Millionaire

A.R. Rahman
Precious little works in this film, but I have to give mad props to Rahman for this brilliantly bombastic music score which overshadows the visuals surrounding it a good part of the time.


Thomas Newman
When the first half of your film is silent apart from a couple of Wall-Eeeee's and Evaaaa's, you had better make sure you have a score that compliments, but doesn't overpower, the visuals at all times. On this and all counts, Thomas Newman's score is a major success.

If Only There Were Six: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Alexandre Desplat)

And the Diva Cup Goes to: WALL-E

Best Original Song

Les Chansons d'Amour [Love Songs]

"As-tu dèjá aimé"
Written by Alex Beaupain
Performed by Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet and Louis Garrel
I'm not fluent in French and, therefore, have no idea what they're saying, but it just feel right, doesn't it?

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

"Dracula's Lament"
Written and Performed by Jason Segel
It's supposed to be a joke, but the snippet Segel offers up in the bar makes you really want to see what the rest of the musical this number comes from is all about.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

"I Want It All"
Written by Matthew Gerrard and Robbie Nevil
Performed by Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel
Glorious. Words can not even begin to describe the elation I feel everytime I hear this song. Without a doubt, it's the greatest number in the HSM trilogy and a true milestone in the Disney musical legacy.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Written by Jamie Houston
Performed by Zac Efron
Who doesn't want to get angsty with Zac Efron after this emotional number? Finally, after a couple of incredibly bad solo numbers in the first film, the right song comes along for Zac to really prove what he's made of. Melodramatic with a capital "M."

Sex and the City: The Movie

"All Dressed in Love"
Written by Cee-Lo, Matt Kahane and Salaam Remi
Performed by Jennifer Hudson
A cute metaphoric ditty for the movie, but J. Hud rips into this song like no other. Some of the notes she reaches are breathtaking.

If Only There Were Six: Slumdog Millionaire ("Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)") [I was all set to include this even if it wasn't technically a part of the movie, but I decided against it at the last minute. This song is genius. PCD 4Ever!]

And the Diva Cup Goes to: High School Musical 3: Senior Year ("I Want It All")

Best Sound

The sound is as bombastic and over-the-top as the movie itself.

This is the sound of the world ending. I think I just peed my pants.

Funny Games U.S.
The horrificness of the situation is amplified tenfold by the film's manipulation of the sound design.

The Strangers
Twists the usual cheap "startles" into something genuinely frightening.

Immaculate work. The voices are at once robotic and human-like and the effects are painstakingly real.

If Only There Were Six: The Dark Knight

And the Diva Cup Goes to: The Strangers

Best Makeup

The Dark Knight
Some naysayers may hate this nomination, but that Joker makeup was truly inspired. Sometimes it's the easiest looking work that's truly the hardest to pull off.

Synecdoche, New York

A good number of the characters age quite drastically and it is all extremely subtly done.

The Wrestler

That "extreme" wrestling match is so realistic I was cringing with every staple being inserted into Randy's flesh. Gah, talk about uncomfortable.

If Only There Were Four: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

And the Diva Cup Goes to: The Wrestler

Best Visual Effects

Oh my God, what the fuck is that?!

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

That was Brad Pitt?!


Cartoons can look like this?!

If Only There Were Four: The Dark Knight

And the Diva Cup Goes to: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

1 comment:

Glenn said...

All very excellent, James. Thank god you didn't put that stupid PCD version of "Jai Ho" in there. Career desperation has never been more obviously... well, desperate. Yikes.