Diana’s Look At This Week’s Oscar Nominated DVD Releases

Frozen RiverBy Diana Srougi

MONTREAL (RushPRNews) 02/12/09- The 81st Annual Academy Awards are only ten days away, and the nominated films are starting to be released on DVD, although most are still in theaters. Among this week’s releases, only one has made its way to the Oscars, but these two others are well-worth discovering.

Frozen River: Across the Border

“Frozen River”, directed by Courtney Hunt, is this week’s crime drama starring Melissa Leo, who we’ve recently seen in “Righteous Kill”. She plays alongside Misty Upham (not as known but worth the attention) and Michael O’Keefe (“An American Crime”, “Michael Clayton”). This film is about two women who, due to their desperate circumstances, get involved in border smuggling across the St-Lawrence River between Quebec and the state of New York, and are eventually brought to justice. This is Hunt’s first time writing and directing a film, which is very impressive considering its nomination for two Oscars, one for Best Writing, and the other for Best Performance for Melissa Leo. We’ll know how it turns out on February 22nd. “Frozen River” won many awards in film festivals all over the world, from Sundance, to Stockholm, Geneva, Hamburg, among others.

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DVD release date: February 10th 2009
Distributor: Sony Picture Classics
Rating: 7.4/10

W.: Up Close and Personal

Oliver Stone seems to have a passion for making films about great influential personalities and significant events in American history. After “JFK” (1991) and “Nixon”(1995) comes “W.”, Stone’s third movie regarding a controversial American president of the 20th Century. So soon after the end of George W. Bush’s eight-year presidency, a biographical movie about his trials and accomplishments is already out. Josh Brolin, nominated for his role in Gus Van Sant’s “Milk” at the 2009 Academy Awards, plays President Bush in this chronicle beginning with his college days and concluding with his invasion of Iraq and his 2004 re-election. “W.” has earned only three nominations (a Satellite Award and two London Critics Circle Awards), but it did open the 15th Austin Film Festival as well as the 5th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival, and screened at many other film events.

DVD release date: February 10th 2009
Distributor: Lionsgate
Rating: 6.8/10

Blindness: For A Sightless Society
Lavalife: Where Singles Click!

“Blindness”, starring Mark Rufflo and four-time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore, was filmed in Canada by Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles (“City of God”, “The Constant Gardener”), and the script was written by Canadian actor/writer/director Don McKellar (“Last Night”). This film is an adaptation of Portugese writer and Nobel prize winner Jose Saramago’s excellent novel. There’s an epidemic of “white blindness” going around town, and the first ones to be affected are quarantined, creating a miniature society that must learn to work together to survive. However, one woman is not affected by the blindness, and keeps it a secret. Meirelles’ film was not nominated for an Oscar, but it did however open the 2008 Cannes Film Festival while running for the Golden Palm. It also won two awards at the Catalonia International Film Festival.

DVD release date: February 10th 2009
Distributor: Miramax Films
Rating: 7.0/10