From the controversy over “Brokeback Mountain” to the gritty realism of “Good Night, and Good Luck,” it was a strong year for drama. Of the five films nominated for Best Picture, four were made outside of the major Hollywood studios. The Skiff takes a look at four contenders for the Best picture category.Brokeback Mountain
What it’s up for: Best Picture, Best Lead Actor – Heath Ledger, Best Supporting Actor – Jake Gyllenhaal, Best Supporting Actress – Michelle Williams, Best Cinematography, Best Director – Ang Lee, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Original Score
Synopsis: Ang Lee’s gay cowboy movie grabbed both headlines and movie audiences over the past year. Leading the pack with eight nominations, “Brokeback” looks to be a solid contender for both Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor.
What it’s up for: Best Picture, Best Lead Actor – Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Best Supporting Actress – Catherine Keener, Best Director – Bennett Miller, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Synopsis: Bennett Miller’s film about the writing of Truman Capote’s famed true-crime novel “In Cold Blood” featured fine performances from both Hoffman and Keener, who portrayed “To Kill A Mockingbird” writer Harper Lee. Hoffman should be a lock-in for the Best Actor category.
Good Night, and Good Luck
What it’s up for: Best Picture, Best Lead Actor – David Strathairn, Best Director – George Clooney, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Original Screenplay
Synopsis: George Clooney’s tribute to journalist Edward R. Murrow is certainly the most stylish film up for Best Picture, making it a strong possibility to win Best Art Direction.
What it’s up for: Best Picture, Best Director – Steven Spielberg, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Synopsis: Spielberg’s look at revenge and Israeli conflict has garnered a great deal of controversy. After several flops and near-misses, Spielberg returned to top form with “Munich,” making him the Skiff favorite for Best Director.