Thursday, January 22, 2009

The 2008 Oscar Nominations

Sid Gannis, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, along with Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker, named the nominees.

The big news of the day that like the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Academy shut-out The Dark Knight for Best Picture. Even fellow dark horse "Wall-e was dissed as well. Instead, the Academy decided to give a shot to a very boring cocktail of decent films as well as the usual suspects of this year's awards whores:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (GARBAGE!)
Frost/Nixon (decent, not great)
The Reader (Harvey Weinsein's pull in Hollywood isn't dead after all)
Milk (had better win)
-and, the most likely winner-
Slumdog Millionaire (enough of this already!)

Another major snub was Happy-Go-Lucky star Sally Hawkins, who despite the fact that she won Best Actress - Comedy or Musical at the Golden Globes, was passed up for the following Best Actress nominees:

Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married (my pick)
Angelina Jolie, Changeling (I will stab both of my eyes out if she wins for this screaming and crying vanity show)
Melissa Leo, Frozen River (maybe this film will get a wider release now)
Meryl Streep, Doubt (she was good in this, but enough already)
-and-
Kate Winslet, The Reader (thought she was better in Revolutionary Road)

With the exception of Brad Pitt's nomination, Best Actor went off without a hitch. See for yourself:

Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon (a potential Martin Landau 'geezer pick')
Sean Penn, "Milk"
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (okay, they're just trying to boost the show's ratings with Brangelina)
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler (could win if he doesn't implode again)
-and-
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor (great actor, boring movie)

Michael Shannon managed to snag a few cheers from the crowd for getting a Best Supporting Actor nom for his role as the severely tormented mathematician in Revolutionary Road. Note that this was the only major nod the Sam Mendes film managed to net at this year's awards.

Here's the nominees:

Josh Brolin, Milk (a low-key favorite of mine)
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder (good, but co-star Tom Cruise was better)
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt (solid nomination)
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight (a token nod for a movie they totally snubbed)
-and-
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road (glad he didn't get Golden Globed again)

Best Director:

Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire (the only good thing about this entire overrated affair)
Stephen Daldry, The Reader (I guess he made sure the lense cap was off the camera)
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon (ditto)
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (wow, a nomination for this, huh?)
-and-
Gus Van Sant, Milk (Paranoid Park was better, but I hope he wins)

3 Comments:

Blogger Origamikid said...

Why so much hate on Benjamin Button? I thought it was a solid movie and fairly captivating. I don't know if should in anything like best picture, but...

Oh, I saw Milk recently and liked it, but I might have loved it if the sound didn't cut out right before Brolin started explaining why he hated Penn. At the Grande (friendly) none the less...

~Mario

8:26 PM  
Blogger Joe Scott said...

There are two things in movies that inspire cattiness for me: Adaptations of literary works I love and more importantly, depictions of the American South.

As an adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald short story, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was an overwrought failure. The short story had a sense of wonder throughout, and was very, well, short. Eric Roth's screenplay wasn't even an adaptation, really. All he did was retrofit the themes, actions, and locales of Forest Gump onto the short story, basically giving us a three-hour remake under a different name.

Now that the story of Benjamin Button has been told wrong on the big screen in such a large and insanely-budgeted fashion, the chances of anyone ever telling the story the right way on the big screen are lost forever.

If it were up to me, the movie would have kept its cast, but would have been written by Charlie Kaufman under the direction of Spike Jonze. I know that's not a reason for disliking Button, but still.

The second thing that irked me was the fact Roth's decision to set the film in Louisiana and tie Hurricane Katrina to the story for NO REASON other than the fact that as a screenwriter, the dude was simply out of ideas, and started flinging random noodles at the screen hoping that some of them would stick. The only thing the movie really gets out of being set in the south is a terrible accent by Pitt, who oddly enough sounds like Tom Hanks in Forest Gump. The movie was a sentimental story told by a non-sentimental filmmaker, and while there were some amazing special effects, the wrinkly old baby notwithstanding, it was a serious waste of David Fincher's talents. That some movie ad men will try to sell his future films as being made by "The man who brought you The Curious Case of Benjamin Button...." is yet another shame of this failed, overcooked piece of filmmaking.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Chuck said...

Love the annotations here. Like you, I'd really like to see Anne Hathaway win for Rachel (and sort of wish the film had gotten a bet picture nomination).

It'll be interesting to see how best picture and director play out. I can imagine Slumdog winning picture (much to my chagrin) and Van Sant winning director.

Joe Scott pretty much confirmed for me that I was wise to stay away from CCoBB. Southern literary adaptations almost always make my skin crawl. Southern literary adaptations with at least one half of Brangelina are likely to make my head explode.

11:34 AM  

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