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Monday, February 18, 2013

The Academy Awards and Shakespeare

If you are a film fan like I am, then you can't help but be excited for this year's Academy Awards.

Just don't get me started on why Judi Dench wasn't nominated for her role in James Bond Skyfall! I'm furious! I was thinking of boycotting the entire show due to this... but I know I'll still watch it.

Well, I guess Dame Judi can't win one every year

But what is a blog about Shakespeare doing writing about the Oscars?

Because I want to see many of these artists in films of my Shakespeare versions.

For the last several years, since I began writing my versions of Shakespeare's plays, whenever I watch films, I look for UK actors and actresses who would be suitable for the films based on my versions of HamletRichard III and The Merchant of Venice.

And I tend to root for them when it comes to the Baftas, Oscars, Golden Globes, etc.

Last year, there were so many good films, a few really great ones and countless good performances.

Daniel Day-Lewis and Hugh Jackman are nominated for Best Actor -- and they would be perfect for some Shakespeare films -- as I have written before.

They were both excellent in very different roles in very different films. I can't say that one actor was better than the other, so I will be rooting for both of them!

Naomi Watts is nominated for Best Actress -- and she would be great in some Shakespeare films. She is a brilliant actress, and she definitely has my vote this year!

As far as my pick for Best Picture, I am rooting for Les Miserables. Not only is it a UK production, it was also a great film.

I was sceptical that it could live up to all of the previous versions I have seen (I even liked the Liam Neeson one a few years ago) I was impressed by the strength and depth of the excellent cast, and the director Tom Hooper brought the story to life so well.

In fact, there were so many great performances in that single film, that it should have garnered even more nominations.

Samantha Barks and Russell Crowe should have been nominated. I was especially surprised at how good Russell could sing!

Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen were hilarious and so good together!

Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne were just fantastic.

I remember seeing Eddie Redmayne in a film called Elizabeth I -- where he played the character of the Earl of Southampton -- a character who figures very prominently in my versions of Shakespeare's plays. Southampton was Shakespeare's friend and closest patron.

I thought Eddie did a great job as Southampton, and I have always kept him in the back of my mind, but I was really surprised at how well he could sing in Les Miserables. Just terrific!

Elizabeth I was also directed by Tom Hooper, before became hugely famous for The King's Speech. I think he deserved a nomination this year. How a film can get so many nominations and yet still not get recognition for the director is a real mystery!

That's a long way of saying that I'm rooting for Les Miserables.

Beyond that I don't really have too many favorites.

I'm rooting for Mychael Danna for the music to Life of Pi -- he is one of the greatest composers, and I still listen to his music from Sweet Hereafter.

I wish that Anna Karenina and Skyfall had been nominated more. I think that The Hobbit deserved a nomination for writing. It's not easy to take something so well known and loved and transfer it to the screen.

Every year I am disappointed by those people whose work was not nominated, and each year I am excited to see those whose work I loved get the attention they deserve.

I hope you join me in watching the Academy Awards this year.

Cheers,

David B. Schajer

Related Articles:

Judi Dench

Daniel Day-Lewis and Shakespeare

Hugh Jackman and Shakespeare

Russell Crowe and Shakespeare


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