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This is my old blog, which I no longer update. Feel free to browse around old posts and such, but the much more recent version of my ramblings are to be found at MarilynAnneCampbell.com

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Academy Makes Me Angry, Again

Back in April I wrote about my long-standing dissappointment that The Shawshank Redemption failed to win a thing in the 67th Academy Awards, despite being one of the best films ever made. I posted then because the WGA gave Shawshank a fifth-place spot on a '101 Greatest Screenplays' list they released, and I'm always pleased when Shawshank receives the recognition it deserves, even if it's over ten years after the fact.

But now there's a new round of Oscars that have my teeth a-grinding. Sure, the 79th Academy Awards won't be handed out for almost three weeks, but I already know I have a problem with them. This time, I'm afraid the movie that deserves Best Picture of the Year hasn't even been nominated. Even though the only nominee I have seen is Little Miss Sunshine, it seems impossible to me that the other nominees could all be better than Children of Men. In fact, for as much I loved Little Miss Sunshine, even if it came down to just those two Children of Men deserves the Oscar more.

If you break Children of Men down to its component parts to discuss it, there is no flaw - it has a finely crafted script; it has an exceptional cast; it has engaging and revealing cinematography; it has a fully-formed world of art direction and production design; it makes stirring use of sound and music; it has beautifully directed character moments and intensely believable action sequences. But far more important than the component parts is the whole. Children of Men is moving, it is enlightening, it is dangerous and it is important.

And I think ten years from now, it's the film from this past year that's still going to be talked about.

Related Posts:
The '101 Greatest Screenplays' Redemption
Go See "Little Miss Sunshine". Seriously.


  1. Anonymous12:08 pm

    I haven't seen Children of Men, but after reading your post, I'm chomping at the bit to see it. Enlightening, dangerous, and important: sounds like my kind of movie! :)

    And I'm right with ya on Shawshank Redemption. What an outstanding and moving film.

  2. Do. Go. And when you see it please let me know what you thought! I'd love to hear if other people are as enthused as I am (or not).

    With Shawshank, I've gotten the impression over the years that there are huge numbers of fans out there. It's just one of those things that had to grow, but once it started it hasn't stopped! I lost two VHS copies of that movie as I loaned it out to everyone who would hold still - but that's okay because now I have the two-disc special edition DVD. :)

  3. I am so with you on The Shawshank Redemption! I saw the movie for the first time while living in Japan and then proceeded to see it again another four or five times (no small sacrifice then, as movies in my little town were the bargain equivalent of about $12/ticket). I even went so far as to go out in the middle of the night and steal a promotional poster nailed to a tree near city hall shortly after I first saw the film.

    Have you read the story on which it was based? I've always admired Stephen King for his superb storytelling skills, and the Shawshank piece was brilliant, but this was definitely one of those rare moments when the movie was even better than the original source material.


    p.s. My vote is on either Letters from Iwo Jima or Babel. Loved Sunshine, though!

  4. Well Marjorie, I bought the Shawshank poster that moved around with me for many years, but your acquisition story is far more entertaining. :)

    I did read the story and I agree it's one of the few times the film was better. Adaptations of King's work are often so downright bad that Shawshank was that much more of a welcome surprise.

    i still haven't seen any more of the Oscar contenders, so I'll have to take your word that those two are deserving.

  5. RONatron6:26 pm

    Shawshank is one of the best movies I've ever seen.

    Children of Men I did not care for. mostly because of the close visual resemblance to a video game. It's hard for me to watch a movie while visual a(and audio) clues are screaming "duck and cover". :) Perhaps I will give it another watch.

    Little Miss Sunshine I watched out of boredom not knowing what to expect. Road trip with a beauty pagent kidling? no thanks. So glad I did watch it, the humour is brilliant.

  6. Hey Ron, thanks for coming by! (ahhh, Facebook links...)

    I'm glad to hear you're as big a Shawshank enthusiast as I am. :)

    As for Children of Men, I don't really play any first-person shooters, so maybe that does make a big difference. If you do give it another go, let me know what you think the second time around.