' Cinema Romantico: Oscar Nomination Reaction

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oscar Nomination Reaction

Today is the biggest day thus far of the year! Well, not really. It's the second biggest day of the year, after this, of course. Actually, on second thought, it's the third biggest day of the year, after that and after this. Oops. Hold it. In fact, it's the fourth biggest day of the year if we're counting what album is dropping this coming Tuesday. I guess this young 2009 is chugging along pretty good, eh?

But enough babbling, the Oscar nominations have been announced! The Oscar nominations have been announced! Now, for the breakdown:

Best Picture: Uh oh! Fanboys everywhere are ready to light their torches and take to the streets. That's right, "The Dark Knight" was snubbed for "Slumdog Millionaire", "Milk", "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", "The Reader", and "Frost/Nixon". No, "The Dark Knight" didn't really deserve a Best Picture nod, though I will say with authority that it's better than "Frost/Nixon". But you know what they say about Ron Howard - payback with him is a bitch. Anyway, "Slumdog Millionaire" will win. It's the best story - offscreen, not onscreen. I don't think it deserves to win, per se, but if this movie's success means other under-financed, little movies have a better shot at getting made and being seen, well, more power to it.

Best Actress: Kate Winslet gets a nod for "The Reader" only - not for "Revolutionary Road" - and that is the correct way to go meaning, obviously, no chance of splitting the vote which also means it will finally be the year for Kate. This is it. She's going to win. But, at the same time, this means my personal favorite performance of the year, Anne Hathaway for "Rachel Getting Married", which also got a nod, is probably out of luck. Oh, God, this day of terrible reckoning I always expected has come to pass. I'll discuss it in more depth at a later date but, suffice to say, my soul is conflicted. Other nominees: Angelina Jolie for "Changeling", Meryl Streep for "Doubt" and - yes, Rory, there is a Santa Claus - Melissa Leo for "Frozen River".

Best Actor: A duel between the more Academy-friendly turn of Sean Penn for "Milk" and reformed (kinda') bad boy Mickey Rourke for "The Wrestler". My heart is with Richard Jenkins for "The Visitor" but a mere nomination for him is a win all by itself. My gut says Rourke. So does my heart. Isn't that the acceptance speech people want to see? Other nominees: Frank Langella for "Frost/Nixon" and Brad Pitt for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button".

Best Supporting Actress: I'm fairly certain Viola Davis of "Doubt" is the front-runner here, though personally I'd like to see Marisa Tomei sneak in for "The Wrestler" or, maybe, Penelope Cruz for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona". Personally I was disappointed Rosemarie DeWitt did not get a nod for "Rachel Getting Married" but I wasn't certain she would. Other nominees: Amy Adams for "Doubt" and Taraji P. Henson for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button".

Best Supporting Actor: This is Heath Ledger's award for "The Dark Knight, of course, but, seriously, people, while I don't want to demean the dead, if we're going by acting and acting alone, Josh Brolin for "Milk" should win in a landslide. It's just the truth. Other nominees: Michael Shannon for "Revolutionary Road" (a bit of a surprise, I think), Philip Seymour Hoffman for "Doubt" and, how about this, Robert Downey Jr. for "Tropic Thunder". Damn, if those Academy members don't have a sense of humor, after all.

Best Director: Danny Boyle is all over this one for "Slumdog Millionaire" (I'm making it sound like there will be no suspense on Oscar night and, you know what, there might not be) and I think it's deserved. Like I said in my review, Boyle is the guy that makes you believe because without him the movie is just a bunch of coincidental mishmash you don't buy. Other nominees: David Fincher for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", Gus Van Sant for "Milk", Ron Howard for "Frost/Nixon", and Stephen Daldry for "The Reader".

Best Original Screenplay: I just watched Martin McDonagh's (writer and director) "In Bruges" last night and, man, I absolutely loved it (review forthcoming) so for it I will root. Other nominees: Andrew Stanton and Jim Reardon for "WALL-E," Courtney Hunt for "Frozen River," Dustin Lance Black for "Milk" and Mike Leigh for "Happy-Go-Lucky."

Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy's got this beauty all wrapped for "Slumdog Millionaire" and, as a wannabe' screenwriter, to that I say heaven help us. Maybe if I write a screenplay based on coincidence rather than character development I too can win an Oscar! Yay!!! Other nominees: Eric Roth for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Peter Morgan for "Frost/Nixon," David Hare for "The Reader" and John Patrick Shanley for "Doubt."

4 comments:

Wretched Genius said...

1. I wanted The Dark Knight to get the nomination. Not as a fanboy, but as someone who wants to see certain genres taken more seriously. It didn't have to win, but the nomination would have added more credibility to my cause.

2. Curious. The the same role lands Winslet in the supporting category at the Globes but the main catagory at the Oscars.

3. As long as Langella, Jenkins or Rourke wins, I'll be satisfied. They all deserve it.

4. I know Ledger will win, but I'm thrilled to see Shannon get the nod. He's been doing solid, unappreciated work for years.\

5. I've loved Fincher and Boyle for years, so I'm torn.

6. Since when have there only been 3 Original Song nominees?

Nicholas Prigge said...

That's a good way of addressing "The Dark Knight" issue. I agree there are certain genres that always get overlooked, which is unfair. And you're right, maybe a "Dark Knight" nod would have helped future films that were more deserving. Good point.

And in relation to Best Song, I didn't even address it because I felt I didn't have to but then after my post I see Springsteen didn't even get NOMINATED. But "Slumdog Millionaire" gets TWO nominations. This "Slumdog" lovefest is now officially out of control.

Nicholas Prigge said...

Follow Up to what I'm terming the Springsteen Non-Nomination Fiasco: the all-Bruce web site backstreets.com received a message from a purported member of "Academy" who said this - "...the only songs that are eligible for consideration are songs that appear in the body of the film, and not over the end credits. So 'The Wrestler' (and Clint's (Eastwood) song) weren't eligible this year."

But as backstreets.com goes on to point out the official Academy rules as listed on their web site state, "An original song consists of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the motion picture. There must be a clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition (not necessarily visually presented) of both lyric and melody, used in the body of the motion picture or as the first music cue in the end credits."

Was it not the first music cue of the end credits? I saw it but I sure don't remember. Even so, is that being really anal?

Ah well, at least Bruce can take solace in the fact he's the coolest human being on the planet.

Wretched Genius said...

"My Heart Will Go On" won the Oscar, and it was a credits-only song. When did this rule go into effect?