Friday, February 23, 2007


In the 78 previous Academy Award ceremonies, no foreign-language film has won the big prize, the best picture Oscar. Could that change on Sunday?

Although I still think Little Miss Sunshine is going to take the statuette, the best picture contest is one of the few categories where there isn't a lock, a presumptive shoo-in. For a time, Babel looked to be the frontrunner, then the buzz started buzzing for Scorsese's The Departed, then Little Miss Sunshine nabbed the Producers Guild best pic kudo. And there's The Queen and its clutch of supporters (there are A LOT of Brits, and Anglophiles, in Hollywood, and in the Academy.)

And then there's Letters from Iwo Jima. For one thing, it's a masterpiece. For another, it's from Clint Eastwood, the actor/icon-turned-director much revered by Academy members. Eastwood already has two best picture Oscars and two for directing (Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby) and was nominated in the same categories for Mystic River. If Letters wins, and it just might, Eastwood would be making history: the first foreign-language best picture. And if he wins best director along with it, that would be a shocker -- Scorsese is the odds on favorite.

But assuming that happens -- Letters best pic, Eastwood best director -- he'd still have to make another feature (First Man, maybe? -- Eastwood's developing the biopic of NASA moonwalker Neil Armstrong) , and win again, to tie the record for the director with the most golden statuettes. That would be John Ford, who won his four directing Oscars for The Informer (1935), The Grapes Of Wrath (1940), How Green Was My Valley (1941) and The Quiet Man (1952).


Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

Eastwood's movie is indeed stunning, but the best movie I saw from last year would have to Pan's Labyrinth, with Chilren of Men a close second .. As for Sunday night, I'll be cheering for Scorsese, but wouldn't mind seeing a Little Miss Sunshine upset either

3:50 AM  

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