Last update before the Oscars

Last update before the Oscars

Walked down to see Mystic River this afternoon. Fucking good movie. For one thing, unlike a lot of thrillers, this one actually is a murder mystery. Most movies and not a few novels are more like, let’s just spend some time with this guy or gal (the detective character) and then as you get towards the last reel or last chapter it’s oh, look! We stumbled upon the killer. Mystic River actually keeps you working to put the pieces together before the people in the movie do…or before the wrong people put the wrong pieces together. Very emotionally harrowing, too, and the kind of movie you think about on the way home and see how the pieces fit into place.

I liked it better than Master & Commander; it doesn’t change my predictions much, though, I still think this will be The Return of the King’s year, like everybody else. But should a surprise be in the works, I don’t think anybody who has seen both pictures could say that a great injustice had been committed.

Eastwood’s been well-honored as a filmmaker, so even if this is his best film as many have said, the Oscar is still probably Jackson’s. But the acting awards, ah, here’s where it gets interesting. Again, Murray is still my first choice in his category, but Sean Penn is fucking phenomenal in Mystic River. Johnny Depp just won the SAG award, which means it’s anybody’s ballgame, but really, this one is Murray or Penn’s to lose.

I’m staying with Holly Hunter for best actress, supporting–Marcia Gay Harden was very good in MR, but in a weakly written part. No argument that she made more than the most of what was given her, though.

Would still be best pleased by an American Splendor-Lord of the Rings tie for best adapted screenplay–MR’s script was good, theirs was better. And there is simply no other choice than Tim Robbins for best actor, supporting. He is both haunted and haunting.

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