Sunday, February 24, 2008
Blood Fued: An editorial on who deserves Best Picture of 2007
Since the time I reviewed No Country for Old Men, I had mentioned that sadly, I had not seen There Will Be Blood, but I had wanted to see it. Well, seeing as it was playing within a few minutes from where I lived, I decided that Friday night I would see There Will Be Blood. Well, I have now seen both that are the main attractions for Best Picture, and frankly, from what it looks, the two that have a chance. I'm sorry to Juno, Atonement, and Michael Clayton, but from what it looks, one of these two has a good chance of winning Best Picture. But then again, everyone thought the overrated and in my humble opinion insulting movie, Brokeback Mountain would win. (My displeasure comes from the theme of infidelity, nothing to do with the tragedy of their repressed emotions.) But since I have seen both of the popular choices, I will throw my dice and predict a winner. Drum roll please...
My Choice for the 2008 Oscars for Best Picture is: No Country For Old Men.
Why No Country, you ask? Well, first let me explain:
See, I liked There Will Be Blood, don't get me wrong. I felt it was a one of a kind movie, in some parts. However, when compared to No Country I feel that it has less going for it. Parts of Blood to me felt like they dragged, especially the middle part. It seemed like nothing really happened to the characters, the action took a while to come, but still it wasn't really building up anything. When the film was ready to get back on its feet and regain my interest, they cut to a flashback! Ten years later, Plainview is rich and a total wreck, but how he comes to be is not explained. What bothers me even more is the fact that the middle part of the movie was dull, but in places still pretty good. But if a movie is dull in places, I don't always mind, but in Blood's case, it needed to tell the story, and also wrap itself up and cover enough ground. With the middle of the movie, Plainview is looking for oil, and he gets so wrapped up in it, he spirals out of control. When the end nears(Which I won't spoil) he is a corrupt and unlikable tycoon, a monster. The power he has consumed has driven him mad and now he was just at the deep end. But as I said before, how? How did he get to be this way? How did he get rich?
The fact that Anderson dives deep down into the more boring bits of the movie and less in how time will go by bothered me. The transitions were sloppily done, time would change, but why we'll never know. I'm ashamed to heavily criticize a movie I initially liked. But, in my opinion, Blood was too long and showed the wrong parts of the story.
Compared to No Country, Blood is simply a morality tale about how greed consumes us and makes us crazy. This isn't enough to really carry a movie at times. What Country does is start with an intense first five minutes that lay the ground work for the movie. It doesn't drag on too long, it doesn't fail much to deliver action, and though out the movie, we watch as a pulse pounding cat and mouse game unfolds. Though I will say that towards the end it lost a bit of momentum and the style that it had in the beginning.
Though this may be, though I might have preferred one movie to another, that still doesn't mean that my favorite will necessarily win, but in this case, it has a better shot. No Country will win because it doesn't take too long to get the story going, it doesn't have moments that are too long or boring. What might throw voters off with picking Blood is that a half an hour could have been chopped off of the movie. A good portion that stayed that didn't necessarily add much to the story, at least from what I saw. The academy will be looking for which movie has more going for it, which tells its story the best, and which one is more well liked. Since it seems that No Country applies for the majority of those, I will take a guess that come tonight, Joel and Ethan Coen will be standing on the stage, accepting the much deserved award for their haunting and brilliant movie. And if not, then whatever. Predictions aren't 100% accurate, but still, they can foreshadow the winner to come.