22 January 2008

They're here: the Oscar nominations


"Who's nomination is that?"
"That's YOUR nomination, mama!"







Before we move on to how I did: let the ranting begin...

Of all the nominations it could have received (including Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay), how on Earth did Ruby Dee pick up the only major award for American Gangster? Considering the towering lead performance from Denzel Washington, and great supporting turns by Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and even a surprising cameo by Cuba Gooding, Jr., this makes for one of the biggest Oscar blunders ever, trailing behind Singin' in the Rain's similar amount of snubs.

There were plenty of fine songs found in the movies this year, but did Enchanted really deserve THREE? This led to the snubs of any number of great tracks from Walk Hard and Music and Lyrics. Just shameful. And, due to a technicality, Jonny Greenwood's epic, haunting score for There Will Be Blood was deemed ineligible. Are the Oscars headed for Grammy-like irrelevance soon?

And, as someone pointed out here, nominations for Norbit: 1. Nominations for Zodiac: 0. That being said, however, Norbit's nomination for Best Achievement in Make-up is well-deserved.

So, now that's out of my system, here are the nominees in the major categories. Correct predictions are bolded.

BEST PICTURE:
Atonement
Juno

Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

WHAT HAPPENED: The Academy decided they didn't have the stomach for the delightful, throat-slashing, cannibalistic musical Sweeney Todd.

BEST DIRECTOR:
P.T. Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Joel & Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Jason Reitman, Juno
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
WHAT HAPPENED: Gilroy and Reitman were able to ride their films' nominations in the Best Picture category to nods for themselves.

BEST ACTOR:
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
WHAT HAPPENED: For whatever reason (historical innaccuracy, too popular, a retread of Training Day) Denzel Washington's performance got the year's biggest snub. Elsewhere, the buzz that had died down about Jones's masterful performance miraculously resurrected itself, as did Mortensen's, receiving their respective films' only nominations.

BEST ACTRESS:
Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie, Away From Her
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose

Laura Linney, The Savages
Ellen Page, Juno
WHAT HAPPENED: The Academy believed, as most people do, that Blanchett can do no wrong. Thus, even though her royal sequal wasn't well-received, she was lauded again. And Linney, the Oscar equivalent of "always a bridesmaid, never a bride," scored another nomination.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

WHAT HAPPENED: No surprises here. The most buzzed-about perfs all picked up nominations.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Ruby Dee, American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

WHAT HAPPENED: The kiddo got the only acting nomination for Atonement. And, like last year's Best Picture winner The Departed, the least buzzed-about performer got the nomination for American Gangster.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
Diablo Cody, Juno
Nancy Oliver, Lars and the Real Girl
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava, and Jim Capobianco, Ratatouille
Tamara Jenkins, The Savages
WHAT HAPPENED: Guess there's no love for "Savior of Comedy" Judd Apatow. But there's much more love for Ratatouille than previously believed.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
P.T. Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Ethan & Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men

Christopher Hampton, Atonement
Ronald Harwood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Sarah Polley, Away from Her
WHAT HAPPENED: The Academy isn't just actors, so the heaping of praise bestowed on Into the Wild by the Screen Actors Guild translated to diddly. Thankfully, they did honor Polley's powerful adaptation of Alice Munro's short story.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:
Persepolis
Ratatouille

Surf's Up

WHAT HAPPENED: The idiots figured The Simpsons Movie for a 90-minute episode and nothing more. But Surf's Up? REALLY?!

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
No End in Sight
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
Sicko
Taxi to the Dark Side
War/Dance

WHAT HAPPENED: It seems if it's not about war efforts in the Middle East, healthcare and Darfur are the only topics worth being discussed, leaving out hot-button issues like abortion (Lake of Fire) and homosexuality and the church (For the Bible Tells Me So). Then again, this category (like Best Foreign Language Film) may just be too hard to ever predict.

Here's the full list of nominees:
oscars.com/nominees

1 comment:

Runnerish said...

I couldn't believe the level of 'Gangster' snub, either. I'm probably the biggest hater of organized-crime/mafia movies, but so many elements moved this movie into my top 5: the African-American storyline in an otherwise *horribly* overused genre (hardly an Italian or Russian in sight, what do you know), amazing performances, music (was ok but still remarkable) and more. Sure, Ruby was good, but she made up a teaspoon of the movie. I simply don't get it.