I'm pretty sure The Constant Gardener will grab some Oscar noms or I wouldn't include it in the Oscar Run, although it seems like one of those movies that gets six nominations and no wins ... Ralph Fiennes is fine (you knew I had to say that), but Best Actor will be Heath Ledger, screenplay, direction, Rachel Weisz, all nomination-worthy, maybe even Oscar-worthy, but I betcha it loses in every case.
Meanwhile, how did I like it? Robin likes to tease me because I always lose track of the plot in spy thriller type movies. She, of course, prefers the complicated plots, the more the merrier far as she is concerned (and she reads a lot of books in the genre as well). So there's always a point in the middle of one of these movies where I put it on pause and ask her "do you understand what the hell is going on?" and she looks at me like I'm a moron and says "duh." She didn't watch The Constant Gardener with me, though, so when I got to the part where I finally had to admit to myself that I didn't know what was going on, I had no one to talk about it with.
But, looking back, I think I did understand what was going on ... I just kept expecting some cheesy Hollywood crap and when it didn't come, I was confused. All of the characters are shaded in gray ... some are closer to "good" than others, but their motivations and actions are not always obvious the way they would be in a crappier movie. Same thing with the plot ... while much of the mystery, such as it is, is easy to understand and pretty clear from the beginning (at least the international intrigue parts), I kept waiting for silly plot twists, even when they never came.
What I'm trying to say is that The Constant Gardener is a very good movie that works in subtle ways, that I think I picked up on those subtleties, but I lack confidence in my ability to "read" thrillers so I convinced myself I wasn't getting it when I was.
Meanwhile, Bill Nighy is in it, so all is well. Nighy is someone I'd never even heard of a couple of years ago, even though he's been acting for like 30 years. Now it seems like he's in everything, and I've loved him each time I've seen him. And he loves Performance ... I want to meet this man.