Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Academy Award nominees!

I've updated the sidebar. Check out Oscar's official website for a full list.

First of all, my thoughts on the nominees, the surprises, and the snubs:

Much better than last year's embarrassing display, but of course with ten slots for Best Picture, it's harder to give popular entertainment the shaft. The list is an eclectic mosaic of American film-making that represents the year in cinema quite nicely, even if I'm less than enthused about a couple of inclusions (coughTheBlindSidecoughInglouriousBasterdscough!). Oh well, I'd rather have either of those two than Invictus, which was thankfully left out of Best Picture and Director, although there was nothing that could stop the auto-nominations of Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. Tisk, tisk.

Speaking of the acting categories, that is where I enjoyed my greatest triumph of the morning, correctly guessing 19 of the 20 nominees, only missing Maggie Gyllenhaal, and that isn't even a shocker. No surprises from the actors.

Just a couple of reasonable "surprises" from the writers, who elected to include In the Loop in Adapted and The Messenger in Original. A classy choice, but sadly at the expense of (500) Days of Summer, which is nothing less than the best screenplay of the year.

My most extreme reactions of the morning (both good and bad) came courtesy of the craft categories. I could have kissed someone when I saw that Bruno Delbonnel's richly textured work on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince got nominated for Cinematography, despite absolutely NO precursor attention. Conversely, I could have shot someone when I saw that District 9 was left out of not only both Sound categories (to the benefit of the inferior Inglourious Basterds), but was also rudely rejected for Best Makeup, which should have been it's one easy win on Oscar night. What. The. Fuck? Another perplexing nod appeared in Original Score, where Marco Beltrami's very subtle tonal compositions for The Hurt Locker made it in over veteran Marvin Hamlisch's jaunty tunes for The Informant!. I suppose we can call this the "Michael Clayton nomination" of the year, but it does show and encouraging sign of support for the movie across the board.

Finally, the Foreign Language Film committee managed to avoid any huge embarrassment by making room for critical favourites A Prophet and The White Ribbon, while the animators tossed us a bit of a curveball by nominating the artistic Irish flick The Secret of Kells (which I saw last week and will have a review up for shortly) over Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. I stubbornly refused to heed the advice of a reader who insisted that Cloudy would not make it, and that Up would be a Best Picture nominee. I'm happy to be wrong on both counts, Tom.

As for what I got right... not as good as last year. I correctly predicted 83/121 nominees (68.6%), down from last year's 73/97 (75.3%). It was my decision to take a crack at all those Short categories that did me in. I managed only 5/15 nominees. On to phase 2.


Amir said...

i agree with you 100 percent on the snub for district 9 in make up.
it's such a shame.
but as for the blind side, you really would rather have it over invictus?
i mean i din't like invictus either, but really? you think the blind side is better?
i just found it to be a really cheesy white people help black people survive kinda thing.

The Oscar Nazi said...

I dislike both movies pretty much equally, but a nomination for Invictus would have indicated that the Academy still can't get past its addiction to awards bait. At least The Blind Side is not a film designed specifically to win awards. I'm usually pleased to see the Academy embrace these less Oscarish movies.