Friday, January 23, 2009

Yay/Boo on the Oscar Nominations

Sooo the Oscars nominations are out.

In case you missed me yammering on CBC Newsworld or Radio I thought I'd run down the list with some short reactions.

  • Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Amy Adams in "Doubt" (Miramax)
Penélope Cruz in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" (The Weinstein Company)Viola Davis in "Doubt" (Miramax)

Taraji P. Henson in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
Marisa Tomei in "The Wrestler" (Fox Searchlight)

REACTION: Yay! Penelope was great in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Viola Davis has a shattering performance in Doubt. Same for Marisa. My only complaint is it would have been nice to see Rosemarie DeWitt from Rachel Getting Married.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Josh Brolin in "Milk" (Focus Features)
Robert Downey Jr. in "Tropic Thunder" (DreamWorks, Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Doubt" (Miramax)
Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight" (Warner Bros.)
Michael Shannon in "Revolutionary Road" (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage)

Reaction: Yay and what? Robert Downey getting nominated for Kirk Lazarus, the Aussie who  assumes an African American identity is quite the surprise. True he owned the role.
I don't know how Philip Seymour Hoffman merits a supporting nomination...seems like a lead role to me....

Heath Ledger yes great...but think, if Heath was alive, do you think he'd be a lock for this award? I wouldn't bet on it.

Also big YAY for Michael Shannon who I've written about before.

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Anne Hathaway in "Rachel Getting Married" (Sony Pictures Classics)
Angelina Jolie in "Changeling" (Universal)
Melissa Leo in "Frozen River" (Sony Pictures Classics)
Meryl Streep in "Doubt" (Miramax)
Kate Winslet in "The Reader" (The Weinstein Company)

REACTION: BOOOO! Angelina Jolie? Really? Really? No Sally Hawkins for Happy-Go-Lucky? are you insane? How Happy-Go-Lucky is nominated for a screenplay award but passed over for beyond me. Mike Leigh is a great director, but I don't think he follows a script too closely. Sigh.

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Richard Jenkins in "The Visitor" (Overture Films)
Frank Langella in "Frost/Nixon" (Universal)
Sean Penn in "Milk" (Focus Features)
Brad Pitt in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
Mickey Rourke in "The Wrestler" (Fox Searchlight)

REACTION: Yay. Hard to complain. Of course Richard Jenkins is the shocker for The Visitor. Amazing flick. Small, smart and tough. The best in this category? Mickey. Can he unseat Sean Penn? I think so, but it's a tough one to call. Penn may be prickly but a lot of people feel quite strongly about this film.

Achievement in directing

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (Paramount and Warner Bros.) David Fincher
"Frost/Nixon" (Universal) Ron Howard
"Milk" (Focus Features) Gus Van Sant
"The Reader" (The Weinstein Company) Stephen Daldry
"Slumdog Millionaire" (Fox Searchlight) Danny Boyle

REACTION: BOO BOOO BOOOO! No Chris Nolan? No Dark Knight? Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon?. Yes there was some great acting but the directing was flat, it was like watching a TV special. Bleech.

Best motion picture of the year

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"



"The Reader"

"Slumdog Millionaire"

REACTION: Again, Booooooooo! Dark Knight easily beats Frost/Nixon or The Reader in my book. Best combination of popular support and artistry in a long time. Just think of what the Academy Awards would have been like with a showdown between Slumdog and Batman...

Good luck with that show Hugh Jackman.

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