Thursday, January 22, 2009

Further Thoughts on the Academy Award Nominations

"We interrupt our morning news to present the Oscar nominations"..."oh I haven't seen any of those movies, except for Tropic Thunder. Hooray for Robert Downey Jr."

Sandwiched between the Oscar nominations I had to listen to the morning news casters on a local station talked about how the only movies they watched was Tropic Thunder, and how the weather man wished he had the chance to see Quantum of Solace, but hadn't yet. Lovely.

As promised and surely expected...some further thoughts on the Oscar nominations.

Dark Knight
8 Noms for The Dark Knight and no Best Picture nod...that seems almost unheard of! A Similar thing happened to They Shoot Horses which received 9 nods. No film wants to be that type of statistic. (At least The Dark Knight can also point to Wall-E this year as well which also received 6 nods, with no best pic nod as well)

No Catagory Fraud
I complained previously about category fraud with Kate Winslet in The Reader and Dev Patel in Slumdog Millionaire being campaigned as supporting nods...perhaps today's nominations could bring an end to it. No immediate observations of category fraud in today's nominations.

Meryl's 15th
I decided Amy Adams and Meryl Steep deserved their pictures up at the top of this post. Congrats Amy Adams! And even Meryl Streep now has been awarded her 15th Acting nod. I thought she might get it last year, but this year is certainly the year for nomination 15.

Winslet vs. Streep?
It'll be a tough lead actress race. Streep and Winslet seem like they're going head to head. Will Winslet win an Oscar? Sure, no double nomination as expected, but it can't hurt to have all your eggs in one basket, and that one basket to be a Holocaust period piece.

Clint Eastwood
The love affair with Clint Eastwood appears to be diminishing. Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Letters from Iwo Jima all have had love this decade...but Gran Torino did not receive a single nomination, while surprisingly Changeling received 3 nomination (Cinematography, Art Direction and Lead Actor for Angelina Jolie).

Sally Hawkins
More interesting in the snub category is Sally Hawkins. I bet she's a little sad today. Hawkins has one all the big prizes award season including best actress with Los Angeles Film Critics, New York Film Critics, and other critic awards, and even the Golden Globe in the comedy/musical catagory. But Hawkin's failed to make the cut for this award ceremony. In fact, Mike Leigh's loan nomination for best original screenplay pits his film up against Wall-E, Milk, Frozen River, and In Burges. Other than that Happy-Go-Lucky's stars were probably not so happy today.

Song Category
A less than discussed category is the Song category...I'm still a little sad that only 3 got in and that they didn't give the category much intrigue. The Golden Globe's 5 picks were interesting with Springstein, Jamie Cullum, Clint Eastwood, Miley Cyrus all in the running. The song race just became much less interesting. I am very surprised that "The Wrestler," by Bruce Springstein (the Golden Globe winner) failed to make the cut. Instead it's two songs from Slumdog Millionaire and Down To Earth from Wall-E.

Best Picture Winner
I still hold to my original prediction that Benjamin Button will win Best Picture...but it's hard to tell, the Slumdog love is high, but the strong showing for Benjamin Button surely shows that the Academy is impressed.

Stephen Daldry
I mentioned it this morning, but it's still amazing...Stephen Daldry certainly seems like the new favorite Academy child...3 films, 3 best director nominations...that's crazy...Billy Elliot, the Hours, and The Reader. How can you not keep an eye of Daldry.

Directors Club
This fall I did a director post on whether certain director's would get invited to the club...perhaps it's time to say...welcome David Fincher. (Sorry Darren Aronofsky. Sorry Christopher Nolan. Sorry Edward Zwick.) (Note: this is Danny Boyle's first director a welcome to Danny Boyle as well)

Analysis of My Predictions
As for my Oscar predictions...I feel I did alright...72% correct. A lot of 4 out of 5 right, with only 1 perfect category--adapted screenplay. I had a few more perfect categories last year...but some uncertainty into prediction day, really makes it more exciting.

Best Picture (4/5), Best Director (4/5), Best Actor (4/5), Best Actress (3/5, although Winslet down for wrong movie), Supporting Actor (4/5), Supporting Actress (4/5), Animated film (2/3), Original Screenplay (3/5), Adapted Screenplay (5/5), Cinematography (4/5), Art Direction (3/5), Editing (4/5), Visual Effects (2/3), Costume Design (3/5), Make-up (2/3), Original Score (4/5), Original Song (2/3..although I picked 5), Sound Mixing (3/5), Sound Editing (3/5), Documentary (3/5), Foreign Film (2/5).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm not particularly surprised that THE DARK KNIGHT did not get a nomination for Best Picture. And WALL-E simply wasn't going to contend there ever, thanks to the Best Animated Feature category.

BUTTON had better not win that damned BP Oscar. It would be the worst BP selection since CRASH, or maybe since FORREST GUMP in '94. Truly overrated.

I hate Oscar years like this, when the truly best films (like THE WRESTLER) are overlooked entirely in favor of populist pablum. Ugh ...