Thursday, January 22, 2009
The 2009 Oscar nominations are in the house!
Afraid that my usual TV Thursday roundup will have to take place tomorrow,since bright and early this morning,the official nominations for the 2009 Academy Awards were announced a little over an hour ago.
I watched it live(hey,some folks like to camp out to hit bargain sales or wait to buy concert tickets. This is my Super Bowl,okay?)and while you can get a look at the complete list of cinematic contenders,I do have a few amusing thoughts about who is and isn't up for the gold this season,plus some interesting surprises took place as well. Let's go over the big categories and make what we can out of it:
TO BE EXPECTED
Yes,folks,Heath Ledge received his posthumous nomination for Best Supporting Actor in The Dark Knight. It was the only non technical award that the movie was put up for,what a shocker...NOT! Wall-E got the Best Animated Film nod and since it's big competition in that category is Bolt and Kung Fu Panda,the Pixar people should have more than enough time to write up that acceptance speech.
NOT COOL,HOLLYWOOD-NOT COOL AT ALL!
While it's great that Slumdog Millionaire got 10 nominations(including Best Director for Danny Boyle,Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture,plus two Best Song spots!),none of the actors from the film were nominated.
*Sigh* Why is that,guys? Don't give me any nonsense about "Well,they're not in SAG"-foreign actors and actresses have been nominated before! Maybe it's just me but if a movie is good enough to be given ten nominations,which includes Best Picture,don't you think the actors had a little something to do with that,huh?
If small time performers like Richard Jenkins(The Visitor)and Melissa Leo(Frozen River) can get top spots in the Best Actor/Actress sections,why not Dev Patel and Frieda Pinto? Did we really need to have Penelope Cruz take a Best Supporting Actress slot for Vicky Christina Barcelona(my apologies to those who like that movie,but I really feel that Frieda Pinto deserved to be named here)or did some of you fellas simply vote for the hot chick?
Out of all the politically themed films released in '08,Frost/Nixon seems to be the Oscar favor of the month. It has several major noms,such as Best Actor for Frank Langella,Best Director for Ron Howard and Best Picture.
I'm sure it is a very well made film,but I personally have no interest in it. For one thing,I already know the outcome so there's no suspense for me there and if I did really want to know more about those interviews,they are available for viewing. Oh,well,guess it's like having a vegetable on your dinner plate-you may not want it,but it's good for your health.
I was thrilled to see Mickey Rourke up for Best Actor in The Wrestler,with Marisa Tomei along side him in the Best Supporting Actress category. While it would have been extra great to have a Best Director and Best Picture noms(and Evan Rachel Wood sharing a Supporting Actress place with Tomei)as well, glad to have Mickey get a shot at giving us one hell of a memorable Oscar night speech.
Milk racked up a lot of key nominations,with Sean Penn for Best Actor,Josh Brolin for Best Supporting Actor,Gus Van Sant for Director and a Best Picture slot to boot.
My fingers will be crossed for Dustin Lance Black,who is up for Best Original Screenplay;this young man went out of his way to do some major research on Harvey Milk by talking to the people who were closest to him in life and spending time in the Castro Street area.
This biopic had been in limbo for many years due to script troubles,but Dustin Lance Black was creatively clever enough to take a more emotional investmenting viewpoint with the story and is one of the main reasons that the movie is as good as it is. Good luck,Dustin!
MORE SURPRISES IN THE CRACKER JACK BOX
Along with Richard Jenkins(best known to many as the ghost dad from Six Feet Under) and Melissa Leo(one of the original stars of Homicide:Life On The Street),there were some other unexpected actor noms,the biggest being Robert Downey Jr. for Best Supporting Actor in Tropic Thunder. Quite a stir in the audience when his name was announced today!
Bruce Springsteen seemed like a shoo-in in the Best Song section for his theme for The Wrestler,but nope,the Boss was shut out. Only three songs are up for that spot and two of them are from Slumdog Millionaire(the other one is Peter Gabriel's song for Wall-E).
Now I know that Disney movies are regularly big winners in this category but the tunes from SDM are amazing and should be considered seriously here. I can hardly wait to see these songs performed at the Kodak Theater(big production numbers,please!):
THE CURIOUS CASE OF MAJOR OSCAR LOVE
The strongest dog in this hunt is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,which picked up a whomping thirteen nominations here. Brad Pitt has a Best Actor slot,Tarji P. Henson is in the Best Supporting Actress section(no nom for Cate Blanchett in the leading lady area,hmm,wonder what's up with that),David Fincher has a Best Director spot and other places,with Best Picture as the cherry on the Academy sundae.
While CCOBB was expected to get some notice here,I don't think this much love was anticipated by film followers. I haven't seen the movie but had checked out several reviews and heard feedback from those who have,with the general verdict being that it's an okay movie,just not a great one. Of course,you could make the observation that a story about a man growing younger as he gets older is the ultimate Hollywood superstar's dream come true,but perhaps I'm being way too cynical about that.
This does like a truly intriguing Oscar race this year and I look forward to it with pleasure and popcorn by my side. Not sure who will be doing the hosting duties but hopefully,we will get a good MC to rock the house,just like Billy Crystal used to,back in the day:
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