Thursday, December 04, 2008

Awards season, again

Let the end-of-year exercise in congratulation and flagellation begin. The National Board of Review has made its listand checked it twice, and voted Danny Boyle's Mumbai-set Slumdog Millionaire the best picture of the year. In two eyebrow-raisers, Clint Eastwood's said-to-be-swan song performance in his typically self-directed Gran Torino won for best actor, with its screenplay claiming top honor in that category; early reviews suggest that the first is a gold-watch sentimental choice, and the second simply daft. (The trailer, and Eastwood's rusty bucket vocals on the title track, co-written and it would seem co-performed by the far more capable Jamie Cullum, don't hold much promise--as a crooner, Eastwood hasn't improved much since Paint Your Wagon--but I dig the circa-1983 poster.) Josh Brolin's win for Milk is a little curdling (as if Dan White were somehow being honored; would I have felt the same cway if he had won for W.?) and the blood-and-thunder Mongol a left-field foreign film winner (though it was an Oscar nominee) but it's good to see the excellent Let the Right One In and the "breakthrough" Viola Davis (for Doubt) getting a little NBR love. I imagine she, Eastwood, the slumdogs, and supporting actress winner Penelope Cruz should start going in for fittings now.

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