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Just a few days to the Oscars and I still haven’t written my take on the grand event of the year. Let me catch up.

I’ve been asked about my view on the nominees. Having seen all of the movies in the Best Picture category, I’ve to admit my opinion may very well differ from other critics’. Case in point is No Country For Old Men, one of the two favorites to grab the Best Picture Oscar. I may well be ostracized for saying this, but I feel that the movie is way overrated. In this already dysfunctional and desensitized world of ours, why would we still need a 2-hour movie showing the dark and evil side of human by graphically depicting the deepest hell evil can raise through a psychotic killer let loose, introducing new ways of killing and getting away with it, on and on with no end in sight? I admit I haven’t read Cormac McCarthy’s book, maybe he’s more well-meaning than the film adaptation, having chosen William Butler Yeat’s line for his title.

Call me ‘traditional’ or ‘moralistic’, when I go to see a movie, I still look for something ‘wholesome’. Yes, I’ve long passed that stage when, as a child watching a movie, I would constantly be asking whether a character is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. But now as a meaning-seeking adult, I still yearn for the ‘point’ of the film. Despite the chaotic world we’re so used to nowadays, I believe there still remains in us a vacuum that can be filled only by ideals transcendent and relationships meaningful. And film, being a visual form of communication, can be a powerful medium to express this kind of human quest. And that is one of my main criteria of a worthwhile piece of entertainment.

Ok, so here’s Arti’s take on the major categories.  Who will win and who I’d like to see winning can be very different.

Best Picture: Even though No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood are the critics’ favorites, I prefer Atonement.

Best Actor: While I haven’t seen Johnny Depp’s performance in Sweeney Todd, I think Daniel Day-Lewis has done an impressive job in There Will Be Blood and may well get to take home the golden statuette.

Best Actress: I’d love to see Julie Christie win another Oscars. The last time was more than 40 years ago, which I didn’t get to see. I think she well deserves another one with her performance in Away From Her.

Best Director: Although the favorite is the Coen Brothers for NCFOM, I’d like to see Julian Schnabel receiving it for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Best Adapted Screenplay: I have 3 favorites here, Atonement, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and Away From Her. If I must choose one, I’d just wish to see lovely Sarah Polley winning it for Away From Her.

As much as I’ve enjoyed the movie Atonement, I don’t think it’ll grab the hearts of the voting members of the Academy. I can see it winning a couple in the minor categories like Best Costume, Best Art Direction, Best Music (Score), and hopefully Best Cinematography.

And, with all the rave Canada is making about Juno, and I’m glad to see it receive 4 major nominations, Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay, I’ve a feeling that the ‘Little Miss Sunshine episode’ may not be repeated this year. And, if I’m right, let’s just say getting these 4 Oscar nods is already phenomenal for so young an ensemble.

Click on ‘Movies Reviewed’ above to read my reviews on some of this year’s Oscar Nominees.

And…let’s occupy ourselves with meaningful endeavors to pass these three long days of anticipation…

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