Location: Los Angeles, California

Saturday, October 06, 2007

"American Gangster" and Oscar Talk

Okay, I'll make this quick, for I'm in desperate need of sleep.

Ridley Scott's "American Gangster" is quite the entertaining picture. It's not profound, and it doesn't reach for the stars, but its 160-minute runtime flies by thanks to crackling performances from Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, and because of Scott's dead-on direction. This is the movie "The Departed" should have been - sleek and effortlessly enjoyable.

Also, I haven't mentioned "Juno" yet. It's a real charmer - a witty, funny, and oddly touching movie with a superb lead performance by Ellen Page. It's going to be a hit in the same way "Little Miss Sunshine" was, although "Juno" deserves it even more.

Which brings me to the Oscars. I think it's time to get those Best Picture predictions out there. Judging from what I've seen and heard, these are the five I'm putting my money on, in order of probability:

1. Atonement
2. Charlie Wilson's War
3. American Gangster
4. Juno
5. No Country for Old Men

The runner-ups:

6. The Kite Runner
7. Sweeney Todd
8. There Will Be Blood
9. Michael Clayton
10. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead


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