D-day for 'Milk' and 'Australia'

We’re only two days away from opening day for Milk and Australia, two highly-hyped films with big Oscar dreams, and I’m very curious to see how they both perform with the nation’s top critics. As is the case with most Baz Luhrmann productions, Australia should split reviewers down the middle, with some falling for its lavish direction, romance, and production, and others dismissing it as two hours and 45 minutes of schmaltz. I currently have it at No. 8 on my roughly ranked list of Best Picture contenders, which is probably a bit higher than other OscarWatchers would put it. But with its scope alone it should attract that segment of the Academy that looks for “big” movies.

addCredit(“Penn: Phil Bray; Kidman: James Fisher”)

Many of my Oscar-blogger colleagues, meanwhile, have Milk solidly in their top five as of now, while it’s my No. 6, still fighting for inclusion among the eventual nominees. I’ve seen the film twice and it’s wonderful, with certain nominations for Sean Penn and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. The reviews should also be almost uniformly positive, with praise for director Gus Van Sant for making an accessible screen biography of Harvey Milk without sacrificing any edge or grit. With some high profile critics awards, and strong flyover-state box office, it could certainly displace an early favorite like Revolutionary Road or Doubt and become a Best Picture nominee.

Comments (11 total) Add your comment
  • Mikey M

    Looking forward to seeing Milk Wednesday in San Francisco.

  • Leonid

    Hooray for Sean Penn’s horrible overacting!

  • Tom Strong

    yeah, Sean Penn always stinks up the screen with his hammy performances.

  • david lomar

    Nicole should be among this year’s Best Actress Nominees

  • Anna

    I’m sensing that not only will “Milk” possibly get nominated for Best Picture, but I’m sensing Best Actor for Penn and Best Original Screenplay(or Adapted, I don’t know which).

  • Vera

    Australia has gotten mixed reviews. I think it’s biggest nominatio will be best director. I think Milk will be nominated for best picture.

  • perceptions

    I can see “Milk” displacing “Frost/Nixon” and joining Revolutionary Road as one of the 5 “BP” nominees, but displacing “RR”=no way
    I think the final five will be
    Revolutionary Road
    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Slumdog Millionaire
    The Dark Knight

  • Twist

    Australia is going to bomb!

  • peaches

    Nobody does splashy award grabbing pics like Baz Lurhmann so I think Australia could snag more nominations than we think. Art direction, cinematography, costumes, etc seem like natural nominations for the film. Plus, audiences may go ga-ga over the cheesy romance so I haven’t counted it out for a best picture nomination just yet

  • eric

    my husband and i are watching milk this wednesday. it better be good.

  • Glenn

    Peaches, “Moulin Rouge!” was hardly awards bait outside of the technical and “Romeo + Juliet”/”Strictly Ballroom” weren’t getting anywhere near Oscar.

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