If there was an oscars category for most disappointing movie of the year, I would not have a hard time figuring out my nominations: Borat (which was so funny on TV, but SUCH a bad idea for a plot-driven film), Talledega Nights (which I didn't have that high expectations for anyway, but which really sucked--the big joke seemed to be that it made fun of product placement while doing a nauseating amount of it), For Your Consideration (when did Christopher Guest movies start to feel so predictable?), Marie Antoinette (what happened, Sofia?) and, last and certainly least, Little Children. I don't mean to say that Little Children was the worst of all these films--actually, it was arguably the best. But it was certainly the most disappointing; my God, I had such hopes for this film! I love Todd Field--at least, I loved In the Bedroom. But Little Children was predictable, formulaic, and ultimately not very thoughtful; in other words, it was everything people who didn't understand In the Bedroom accused In the Bedroom of being. Which means that either Todd made a serious misstep, or I am the one who misread In the Bedroom.
In any event, now that Oscars season has rolled around, I've returned to Little Children with a cooler mind, and decided that, to be fair, Jackie Earle Haley was wonderful. He is rightfully nominated for best supporting actor, and, since I don't want to pick both Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy in my pool (both will probably win, but a man has to maintain some dignity), I've decided to go with Haley. Now, Haley is a real dark horse, but I can't help but think he's got a shot. People really respect pervert performances--just like, in the words of Kate Winslet in her appearance on Extras, they love to award the "mental." In all seriousness, I expect an upset here, since, as this article points out, people might be hesitant about giving Norbit an academy award.