Sunday, February 26, 2006

Countdown to the Oscars - 6

Best animated feature film of the year

Howl’s Moving Castle” (Buena Vista)Hayao Miyazaki
Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride” (Warner Bros.)Mike Johnson and Tim Burton
Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit” (DreamWorks Animation SKG) Nick Park and Steve Box

Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride was a great movie and I haven’t seen Howl’s Moving Castle, but I know those Japanese animated movies are usually well respected and quite imaginative, but hands down, Wallace & Gromit was the funniest, wholesome and cheeky movie of the year, animated or not. It was just damn gouda and deserves and will win Best Animated.

Achievement in art direction

Good Night, and Good Luck.” (Warner Independent Pictures)Art Direction: Jim BissellSet Decoration: Jan Pascale
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (Warner Bros.)Art Direction: Stuart CraigSet Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
King Kong” (Universal)Art Direction: Grant MajorSet Decoration: Dan Hennah and Simon Bright
Memoirs of a Geisha” (Sony Pictures Releasing)Art Direction: John MyhreSet Decoration: Gretchen Rau
Pride & Prejudice” (Focus Features)Art Direction: Sarah GreenwoodSet Decoration: Katie Spencer

Do you award historical accuracy or most imagination in this category? Pride & Prejudice should be out, since there’s nothing different, Memoirs was a recreation and had some visually brilliant moments, but either King Kong or Harry Potter should take this one. However, both blend visual effects with the Art Direction so I’m not sure where one ends and the other begins, which is probably a good thing, but do we award the Art Direction team for that? I remember more of the camera and lighting visuals than I do the sets in Good Night, and Good Luck., so I think I lean towards Harry Potter just for a brilliant imagining of J.K. Rowling’s world (though, mostly imagined from previous Harry Potter films, so is this more of a consolation for missing Stuart Craig in previous years?).

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