Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oscar Blah-minations (Get It?)

Once again, the Oscar nominations do not fail to disappoint. Without seeing every movie nominated my opinion may lack perspective. But here it is:

Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn - Milk
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler

I'm thrilled to see Richard Jenkins nominated, if only because I love him so much in Six Feet Under (he was also terrific in Burn After Reading). Ben Kingsley would have been nice for his work in Elegy.

Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Melissa Leo - Frozen River
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Kate Winslet - The Reader

Of all the movies nominated this year, Rachel Getting Married is the one I'm most disappointed I haven't seen yet. Again, I think Elegy and Penelope Cruz is sadly overlooked.

Josh Brolin - Milk
Robert Downey Jr. - Tropic Thunder
Phillip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road

I actually think Downey Jr.'s nomination is kinda inspired. It certainly isn't the kind of performance you see very often. Hoffman was excellent in Doubt. I'm pretty certain at this point Ledger will win. The amount of praise heaped on him at this point is almost at ridiculous levels. I certainly won't be upset by his win, though.

Amy Adams - Doubt
Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis - Doubt
Taraji P Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler

I haven't seen Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and I haven't really heard anything about it that would make me want to see it. But if Cruz got her nomination for this and not Elegy, maybe there's something there worth checking out. If I remember correctly, Viola Davis is only in one scene in Doubt. But it is the most emotionally charged scene in the whole film.
Did I say Rachel Getting Married is the film I wanted to see the most? Make that The Wrestler.

Kung Fu Panda

There should be no doubt about who is taking home the Oscar here. Kung Fu Panda was very entertaining, but you can't touch Pixar.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - David Fincher
Frost/Nixon - Ron Howard
Milk - Gus Van Sant
The Reader - Stephen Daldry
Slumdog Millionaire - Danny Boyle

Great. I haven't seen a single one of these movies.

The Betrayal (Nerakhoon) - Ellen Kuras, Thavisouk Phrasavath
Encounters at the End of the World - Werner Herzog, Henry Kaiser
The Garden - Scott Hamilton Kennedy
Man on Wire - James Marsh, Simon Chinn
Trouble the Water - Tia Lessin, Carl Deal

I've seen Encounters and Man on Wire. Both good movies, I hope Man on Wire takes it.

WALL-E - "Down to Earth"
Slumdog Millionaire - "Jai Ho"
Slumdog Millionaire - "O Saya"

Clearly I think "Down to Earth" should win (Peter Gabriel, baby!). But one of those Slumdog songs will probably win. People are shitting themselves over that movie, and with two songs nominated it has the edge.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

This may be the first year ever I haven't seen any of the Best Picture nominees. Nothing I have heard or seen about Benjamin Button would have led me to believe it would garner so many nods. I'm going with Milk at this point, because it's the only one I've heard nothing but good about. Maybe I'll re-post after I've caught up.

I continue to grow more apathetic about the Oscars every year. The trend continues. None of the movies I really cared about this year were really represented. In Bruges rightfully picked up a Best Original Screenplay nomination, but I'm almost certain it won't win. I'm happy to see Doubt pick up as many as it did, but Elegy was completely ignored. I have severe doubts about Slumdog, Benjamin Button, and Frost/Nixon all being that great. But I guess I can't talk until I've actually seen them.


Doug J said...

I loved Slumdog Millionaire. It has great energy, a great cast (some of the best child performances I've ever seen), and great creativity.

I guess if I put my critic hat on I could probably find faults with the film, but it was just such an exciting and fresh movie, I just got sucked in.

I haven't seen Doubt, but a lot of people have told me it really fails to live up to the play version, which was one of the best plays I've seen. Frost/Nixon, on the other hand, is a great adaptation of a great play. The performances by Langella and Sheen carry the movie: I don't see why Howard gets nominated, but it's a great film, probably not Best Picture though.

Slumdog's worth the money! Remove doubts!

Sarah said...

I saw Milk with the fam over New years and really liked it. My Dad wouldn't go see it though, saying he lived through it (grew up in CA) and didn't need to see the movie. HE felt that Harvey Milk was an activist, and that the movie was going to narrow him to being a GAY activist.

I reallly want to see Slumdog Millionaire, but I doubt it will come to a theatre anywhere near me, so I'll probablly have to await until DVD.