Tuesday, December 9, 2008

WALL-E campaign is alive!

It seems only yesterday I was cheekily predicting WALL-E for a best picture nomination in my super-early Oscar picks back in March. I never imagined it would actually have the potential to attain such a lofty goal, and despite turning up on nearly every top ten list so far including the NBR and a nomination from BFCA, I still believed its chances with the Academy were slim-to-nill.

But with a shocking win from one the country's top critical voting bodies, the LAFCA, its Oscar hopes are suddenly a lot more real than we anticipated. The LAFCA winner has earned a best picture nod from AMPAS for all but three years since 1989, the three outliers being Leaving Las Vegas, About Schmidt, and American Splendor in 1995, 2002, and 2003 respectively.

Does this mean WALL-E has a nomination locked up? Hell no! In fact, this may trigger backlash against the most loveable film of the year by those few who do not share LA critics' sentiment (actually, it already has). Nonetheless, the LAFCA has an impressive track record, and their endorsement gives WALL-E a boost that no amount top ten lists and best animation citations ever could. The odds are still against it, but the dream is more concrete now than it ever was.

Other good decisions by the LA critics include crucial wins for Sally Hawkins, Mike Leigh (screenplay), and a runner-up spot for Eddie Marsan to keep the balloon inflated for Happy-Go-Lucky, another one of my favourite films of the year. Three runner-up spots for The Dark Knight (including picture and director) plus an expected win for Heath Ledger help solidify the movie's Oscar prospects.

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