When I said in my end of year round-up that 2007 had not been a good year for “great” films I had an inkling that there were a few goodies waiting to come down the pipe. Of the Best Picture contenders, only Atonement had been released in New Zealand at time of writing. All the others are due out during the next four weeks. Juno (a surprise Best Picture nom) sneaks this weekend; Michael Clayton and No Country for Old Men open with it next week and There Will Be Blood is down for 14 Feb.
There are plenty of others coming in the next few weeks: In The Valley of Elah (Tommy Lee Jones, Best Actor); Gone Baby Gone (Amy Ryan, Best Supporting Actress); The Diving Bell and The Butterfly (Julian Schnabel, Best Director) are all likely to be worth the wait.
Interestingly, there are a few films nominated that don’t have NZ release dates at present: The Savages (Laura Linney, Best Actress); Persepolis (Animated Feature); none of the documentaries (apart from Sicko) and none of the Foreign Language features.
At GreenCine Ronald Bergen summarises all the films that were in the frame for Foreign Language Feature and picks out those that were overlooked.
At Time, Richard Corliss notes that all of the Best Picture nominees were made for less than US$30m and four of the five were from the “Indie” subsidiaries of the majors (i.e. made independently and picked up at market or developed independently and funded by a major).
The full list of noms can be found at Oscar.com.