As for my selection, I debated between King Kong, Crash and Good Night, and Good Luck. The first is an overblown extravaganza that has a mind-bogglingly awful first hour, a chaotic second hour and an absolutely splendid final hour--but, by that time, I was so exhausted I was glad the movie was finally ending (plus, aside from the luminous Naomi Watts and the amusing Kyle Chandler, the cast was pretty much hopeless).
But Kong seems to be out of the running for Academy recognition, while Crash and Good Night seem headed for major recognition at the Oscars. While both films are noble efforts, the results are less than impressive. Though Crash is burdened with an overwrought script filled with eye-rolling situations and shallow characters, the editing is tight and brisk and certain members of the cast (Matt Dillon, Terrence Howard, Thandie Newton) raise the film's level considerably.
On the other hand, despite the best efforts of a fine cast including David Strathairn and Frank Langella, and themes to which I am thoroughly sympathetic, I found Good Night, and Good Luck to be a total bore of a film. Sure, I learned a lot about how newscasts were produced in the 1950s, but that doesn't make for a dramatically interesting film--sorry, but this film has zero tension, a "villain" who is essentially off-screen, and is so narrowly focused it's almost claustrophobic (that may have been the point, but it pushed me away from the film rather than invite me in). So, Good Night, and Good Luck earns my vote for most overrated movie of the year.
"...it is the weak who are cruel, and...gentleness is only to be expected from the strong." - Leo Reston
"Cruelty might be very human, and it might be cultural, but it's not acceptable." - Jodie Foster