Saturday, January 13, 2007

Award season

I had always been faintly impressed with the X-Men movies for featuring three Oscar-winners: Ian McKellan, Halle Berry, and Anna Paquin.

But I just channel-surfed past Mars Attacks! with:

Jack Nicholson (12 nominations, three Oscars)
Glenn Close (five Oscar nominations)
Natalie Portman (one nomination)
Annete Bening (two nominations)

What movies that themselves couldn't possibly have been Oscar contenders have had the biggest concentration of heavy-hitting actors, either by Oscar nominations or Oscar wins? I hope that the answer is some lesser Altman pic with a sprawling cast, or some high-ambition catastrophe like Ishtar or Cleopatra, or else some legendary monstrosity like Caligula, or at best something quirky like Murder By Death. But I fear that it'll be some goofy cameo-heavy thing akin to Mars Attacks!-- maybe a Cannonball Run. Wouldn't that be awful?

Godfather III of course doesn't count-- it was, after all, nominated for Best Director and Best Picture. And I'll resist the temptation to count Titanic, since everyone else in the world seemed to think it was a great movie, even though I think it was a high-ambition catastrophe that happened to draw a couple of brilliant young actors in the making (it took me a couple of years to be able to see DiCaprio and Winslett as actors again, notwithstanding Gilbert Grape and Heavenly Creatures-- really for DiCaprio it took me until this year, when The Departed and Blood Diamond successfully applied a sledge hammer to my head and forced me to see past "I'm king of the world!") as well as Kathy Bates.

And no, that judgment is not just because I now live in a city whose most famous resident is Celine Dion.

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