Thursday, January 22, 2009

81st Annual Academy Awards Nominations

Today was a fairly positive day. I mean, how can anything go wrong on Oscar nomination day? Well, things can go wrong, but the anticipation is always pretty exhilarating.

I haven't seen many of the nominated films, but that won't stop me from sharing my two cents.

Like most people, The Dark Knight snub came as a surprise to me. And of course, all that love for The Reader was also quite unexpected. I've seen both and liked both, but honestly, The Dark Knight deserved the Best Picture and Best Director nominations a little more in comparison. The Reader may be a haunting piece of dramatic cinema, but The Dark Knight possesses a grand, epic vision that is usually void from the stereotypically vacuous superhero genre.

But I'm sure several people are glad to see The Dark Knight snub. The Reader is a pleasing enough alternative, I suppose.

And why does Kate Winslet have to be nominated for Best Leading Actress for The Reader? I guess she is technically the leading actress in the film but I'd rather see her with two nominations--one for Best Supporting Actress for The Reader (in which she would've gone head-to-head with Penelope Cruz, who is currently a bit of a lock as for her performance in Vicky Cristina Barcelona) and another for Best Leading Actress nomination for Revolutionary Road (I kinda-sorta want to see this). I mean, wouldn't that have been amazing? Now Winslet also has less of a chance to win in the Best Leading Actress category, especially with Meryl Streep in the running. And Anne Hathaway, with all that buzz for Rachel Getting Married, is tough competition too.

I'm torn by Amy Adams's Best Supporting Actress nomination for Doubt. She is undoubtedly (ha ha get it? okay, never mind) one of the greatest young talents working in film right now but her performance in Doubt isn't quite Oscar-worthy--in this year, or any year. And this is coming from someone who adores her sweet, charming, and all-around contagious naivete glee in Enchanted and Junebug. Adams does indeed deliver a strong performance in Doubt, but when compared to the likes of Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Viola Davis, she is overshadowed and left clinging to the last resort of fourth place. I guess I'll just consider this as the Academy's apology to Adams for not nominating her for Enchanted.

In a perfect world, David Kross (The Reader) and Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight) would both be nominated for Best Supporting Actor. (I know the Heath Ledger win is nearly inevitable--and will be completely, totally deserved--but these two supporting actors provided the beating heart to their films.) Yeah, I know I haven't seen enough movies to judge, but I'm just throwing it out there in case someone more knowledgeable and wiser actually agrees with me.

And as if the world doesn't know, Brangelina (both parts) are nominated for their work in film, not for the number of times their faces has appeared on a tabloid.

For the complete list of Oscar nominees, please head on over to IMDb's Oscar nominations page.


  1. I'm gonna see doubt today...but somehow I don't think Meryl Streep will get it, somehing tells me the academy is gonna reward the young blood or the sixth-time's-a-charm blood. I dunno though. And I personally am joyful about slumdog millionaire, and very very pissed about ccobb being nominated for EVERYTHING. have you seen either of them yet? xx

  2. Im actually glad The Dark Knight wasnt nominated for Best Picture. I mean the film was fantastic no doubt and I personally gave it an A- in my review for the film, but I dont think it deserves the award compared to other films. I do agree that Nolan should have been at the least nominated for Best Director. I really hope Fincer wins it even though thats unlikely. That guy has made some awesome movies and he really deserves that award.

    p.s saw The Wrestler today and really really enjoyed it. Rourke is getting that academy award for sure

  3. Before David Kross and Gary Oldman comes Ralph Fiennes in The Duchess which was a career-defining performance. I am shocked that everyone except HFPA ignored his excellence.

    Actually, I think he should qualify for a leading actor nomination, since his presence was the backbone of the film. Current criteria, which, as far as I know only includes the necessity of long enough screen time, is superficial to say the least.

  4. if i may, what is HFPA - could it be 'the hollywood film producers association'. just a guess - i've never heard of it, or them.

  5. HFPA stands for Hollywood Foreign Press Association (close enough I guess :)) They are the bunch of guys who hand out the Golden Globes.

  6. thanks - i was stumped by the initials. btw, david kross in 'reader' reminded me a lot of patrick fugit in 'almost famous', which i just happened to see on cable the other evening. they were the same age, 17, playing 15, and have the same kind of sweet, innocent appeal right down to a similar smile. while fugit hasn't done much, i think kross has a big career ahead.

  7. Anahita - I haven't seen either Slumdog or Benjamin Button yet. Slumdog is definitely much more appealing, though. But...what did you think of Doubt? Winslet is excellent in The Reader but Streep certainly delivered a razor-sharp performance that gives her an edge in the category.

    Farzan - I haven't seen many of Fincher's films, but Zodiac was snubbed last year, mainly due to its March release date and the small amount of people who actually went out to see the film.

    I really want to see The Wrestler, though.

    Anil - I haven't seen The Duchess but Fiennes is very good in The Reader, though not Oscar-worthy. I wouldn't be surprised by a great performance from him because I have yet to witness him delivering a bad performance.

    Richard - I like your Kross/Fugit comparison. You know, I actually think Fugit is quite underrated for his work in Almost Famous as well. He manages to deliver some of Crowe's idiosyncratic lines by drowning into complete youthful self-consciousness. I think Fugit isn't as big of a star as he could be because he prefers to do smaller films that are pretty hard to find.

  8. and fugit is also into music - maybe more so than acting.
    i'm making a big effort to see 'doubt' tomorrow.