2008 Oscar Nominations announced today + my reactions
Well, the inauguration is over, people are coming down off of that historic event. Now it’s time to gear up for the Oscars (at least for me it is). The Academy (of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, that is) today announced the nominees for this year’s Oscars. They also released the 80th anniversary Best Pictures poster.
If you click the poster you can go to the Oscar website to see all of the nominees for 2009. It’s perfect timing that they announced the nominees today because I just told you guys what I think the best and worst movies of 2008 were. You didn’t see that? Shame on you.
For the last two years or so, when the Academy announces the nominees, I take a look at the biggest categories (you know, the ones we actually care about) and see how I think the academy did with its choices. It’s only my opinion mind you, but I like to see how my own sensibilities compare to the Academy (FYI…we aren’t even close). Each year when I look at the nominees, I notice that either I didn’t see enough movies (4+ a month isn’t enough?) or I just don’t like the same movies as the Academy because they pick things I’ve never seen a trailer or ad for. I mean, a movie that opens in October for 2 weeks in 4 cities seems like an odd choice to go up for Best Picture of the Year because most of the nation will not see it. It seems these movies are mostly seen by critics. I guess that’s what the People’s Choice Awards are for, to give us a say. But then, the People’s Choice Awards are looked at with the same respect as the Nickelodeon awards shows. But, that’s neither here nor there. It’s time to check out this year’s Oscar nominees.
So let’s start with
Richard Jenkins – The Visitor – Here we go. A movie I’ve never even heard of. Yahoo! Movies says it’s about 62 year old Walter Vale. He’s sleepwalking through life. Having lost his passion for teaching and writing, he fills the void by unsuccessfully trying to learn to play classical pian—zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon – Ahhh, nice. This is a good choice. Langella was phenomenal in this.
Sean Penn – Milk – I know it’s the guy’s name, but Milk seems like such an odd name for the movie. Milk. M-m-m-m-i-i-i-l-l-k. See, weird. If you can’t tell, I haven’t seen it.
Brad Pitt – Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Looks weird. Heard it’s good from a few people, but I’m cautiously pessimistic about it.
Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler – I’m intrigued. It looks dirty, grungy and harsh. I’ll probably watch it at some point.
Best Supporting Actor:
Josh Brolin – Milk – There’s Milk again. M-m-m-m-i-i-i-l-k. No, it’s still weird.
Robert Downey Jr – Tropic Thunder – Nice! I personally would have put his performance in Iron Man above his performance in Tropic Thunder, but you can’t NOT recognize the dude playing the dude disguised as another dude. You just can’t.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt – PSH gets nominated for everything. Period. I haven’t seen this movie, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t think the Academy has seen it either. PSH is in a movie, he gets nominated. It’s in the by-laws.
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight – Totally deserved. Will he win? And if he wins, will it be because he died that he won? Interesting questions for which I have no answers.
Michael Shannon – Revolutionary Road – Hmmmm, this movie has the first on-screen coupling of Leo and Kate Winslet since Titanic and Michael Shannon is nominated for his performance. Really?
Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married – This actually looks pretty good and I like Anne Hathaway. I may have to rent it.
Angelina Jolie – Changeling – They really overplayed the crap out of this trailer last year. I swear a full 2/3 of the movies I saw carried it. I will forever hear Angelina scream, “I WANT MY SON!!”, until the day I die. I wanted to scream back at her, “I GET IT! YOU WANT AN OSCAR! STOP SHOUTING!”
Melissa Leo – Frozen River – I feel the world of illegal immigrant smuggling has finally got it’s Citizen Kane in Frozen River. Thank you Melissa Leo.
Meryl Streep – Doubt – I am shocked and dismayed that Meryl Streep was not nominated for her tour de force performance as Donna, the mother in Mama Mia*. (* This statement contains copious amounts of sarcasm.)
Kate Winslet – The Reader – If Kate is nominated for this, then I guess Revolutionary Road with Leo is not that good. Interesting, Academy. Interesting.
Amy Adams – Doubt – While this was in theaters I literally had zero interest in seeing it. And I’m being very generous when I say “zero interest”. All these noms may punch it up to a 1 interest. But I still have doubt that it’s any good (see what I did there? I used the name of the movie as a pun. LOL…I rock)
Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona – Ahh, the new Woody Allen movie. Yes, let’s keep encouraging him by giving his movies Oscars.
Viola Davis – Doubt – WTF?! Really? Doubt again? Maaaaaaan, now I gotta watch it.
Taraji P. Henson – Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Wait, someone was in this movie besides Brad Pitt and a bunch of special effects to make him look old? Who knew?
Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler – This further intrigues me.
Best Animated Picture:
Bolt – I really wanted to watch this. I’ll have to catch it on Blu-Ray. Looks awesome.
Wall-E – Didn’t see it. I want to because it’s Pixar, but I’m also put off by the obvious environmentally preachy message that goes on throughout the movie.
Kung-Fu Panda – OMFG!!! This better win or I will throw myself into oncoming traffic. This movie RAWKS!!!!!
Best Motion Picture:
Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Brad and a bunch of S/FX? Seriously?
Frost/Nixon – Fantastic. See it. It’s awesome.
Milk – M-m-m-m-m-m…well, you get the idea. it’s weird.
The Reader – Haven’t seen it. Sounds somewhat interesting. But part of the movie sounds like Notes on a Scandal several years ago and that was VERY uncomfortable for me.
Slumdog Millionaire – Lots of buzz for this. Surprisingly, Lots of non-interest from me. **shrugs**
Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Ok, I get it. Brad is good in Ben Button and the effects are awesome. I get it.
Doubt – **shuts eyes** Steph is going to make me watch this….
Frost/Nixon – So awesome. Can’t recommend this enough.
The Reader – I stick by what I said above.
Slumdog Millionaire – **continues doing something else to illustrate lack of interest**
Frozen River– Apparently it’s the Casablanca of illegal immigrant smuggling movies.
Happy-Go-Lucky – I’ve never heard of this. Reading Yahoo! Movies’ description it sounds like chick lit. Quirky girl meets neverending parade of quirky characters that teach her much about herself. Whatever.
In Bruges – Steph and I actually watched this the other night. The first 2/3 of this movie is awesome. The end totally shifts gears and everything ends in a hail of unexpected violence and gunfire. What started off as a fun dark comedy devolved into a dark, dramatic blood bath. It’s not for everyone.
Milk – Still weird.
Wall-E – I guess. Kung-Fu Panda deserved it more, but it might have been entirely too awesome for the Academy. I understand, being too awesome for things is a problem I deal with every day. You just gotta live your life, man. You hear me Panda? Just live your life.
You know what really surprises me. Valkyrie received no nominations AT ALL. None. I just went to Oscar.com and sorted the nominees by movie, not one award nomination for Valkyrie. That is shocking. No art direction, no costumes, no makeup. I’m completely appalled. Iron Man got two technical nominations as well as the awesome action-fest Wanted. No Valkyrie. It’s like it didn’t even exist. That’s crazy. I really wonder about the Academy sometimes.
So those are the main Oscar nominees for this year. There are a bunch more. If you want to see the complete list check out Oscar.com. The ceremony will be telecast on Feb 22, 2009 at 8pm EST on ABC.