Tag: Ken Watanabe

Oscar 2004

Posted by on 29 Feb 2004 at 23:32 in Movies

the march of the king

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

Tonight is Oscar night and I’ll be watching. I know it’s bullshit, that there’s a lot of politics… but I like it. I’m rooting for Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Not only did I love the movie, it is a way to honor the entire trilogy. The category editing is the only one where I have another favorite: City of God.

Keisha Castle-Hughes in The Whale Rider Charlize Theron in Monster

best actress

Is hard to talk about many categories, most of the nominated films have not been released yet here in Brazil such as Monster, for which Charlize Theron is nominated as best actress (and according to many will take home the prize). She has won several awards for this role, including the Golden Globe and a Silver Berlin Bear. Keisha Castle-Hughes is the youngest actress to be nominated in the history of the Academy Awards. She ‘s cute and her performance moved me but I don’t know if she has chances of winning. Samantha Morton is good actress but did not impress me much in In America. Naomi Watts is always very good and has strong chances of winning.

Sean Penn in Mystic River Bill Murray in Lost in Translation

best actor

For best actor my bet is Sean Penn, who was nominated for his role in Mystic River, but also shined in 21 grams. Bill Murray is also in the running for his performance in Lost In Translation. Jude Law is just a pretty face in Cold Mountain. Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance of seeing Johnny Depp and Ben Kingsley’s performances.

Renee Zellweger in Cold Mountain Ken Watanabe in The Last Samurai

supporting actor & actress

Cold Mountain is a boring movie. It’s not but to square, very pretty… Nicole Kidman’s face as defenseless maiden was a bit too much. The best of the movie is, undoubtedly, Renée Zellweger (who’s favorite to win best supporting actress). My favorite is Patricia Clarkson in Pieces of April. Marcia Gay Harden for Mystic River: blergh! Actually, favorite in the race for best supporting actor, Tim Robbins, for the same movie: also also blergh! I’m rooting for Ken Watanabe for The Last Samurai; he is the soul of the movie. Benicio Del Toro was also amazing in 21 grams. Djimon Hounsou is good actor, but I prefer his role in Amistad than in the movie for which he is nominated, In America.

City of God

Well… may the best man/woman win. Although we all know this sentence can not be applied to the Oscars, who often prefer the cute (Gwyneth Paltrow), media darlings (Julia Roberts) and the politically correct (Denzel Washington & Halle Berry).

Review: The Last Samurai

Posted by on 13 Feb 2004 at 23:53 in Movies

The Last Samurai

Forget Tom Cruise, the star of the movie is Japanese actor Ken Watanabe. Cruise is the worst part of the film. Any other actor would have been better, but since Tom Cruise is also the producer of the film the choice was obvious. The cinematography and art direction are excellent. The  soundtrack by Hans Zimmer is also good. In a samurai film it would be natural for the battle scenes to be spectacular… they are not . After Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King everything seems like a kid’s play but the movie is just about the battles. Sad and slow paced, with exception of the final minutes and an unnecessary romance, The Last Samurai is a very good movie.

story & Oscar

The Last Samurai Katsumoto

Cruise is Nathan Algren, an American captain hired by the Japanese to coach the emperor’s army against a rebellion the samurai. On the first battle the samurai are victorious and take Algren prisoner. He ends up learning and admiring the way of life of the samurai and becomes a student and friend of Katsumoto (portrayed by Watanabe). It is strange to see the Japan pictured here and then see the modern Japan portrayed by Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. Edward Zwick’s film is nominated for the Academy Awards in 4 categories: supporting actor (Ken Watanabe), art direction, sound mixing and wardrobe.

photo credit: 2003 Warner Bros. Ent.