The Academy Award nominations came out today, so that's probably worth talking about. Here are my thoughts so far.
Michael Shannon's nomination for his performance in Revolutionary Road is a nice surprise and totally warranted, even though the category will most certainly be deservedly won by Heath Ledger in a month when the awards are announced. I find it a little strange that Kate Winslet wasn't nominated for Best Lead Actress in Revolutionary Road (she was incredible), but she did lock down a nomination for The Reader (which I didn't see), so at least she's getting some DAP. DiCaprio, on the other hand, was left out for his performance in that same film (also incredible).
Fanboys are fReAkInG oUt about The Dark Knight not getting nominated for Best Picture - but honestly, think about what you're asking. The Academy, primarily made up of a bunch of old people, voting for a comic book movie for the highest film honor in the world? I don't think so. I do believe that Nolan deserved a Best Director nomination, though, and he's probably pretty pissed about not being included in that list.
Speaking of pissed, how about Darren Aronofsky? The guy goes against type and directs a small, extremely personal film about a down-and-out wrestler (with no camera tricks or CG like his previous films have relied heavily on) and he's not nominated? I haven't had a chance to see The Wrestler yet, but from what I understand it's universally appreciated - probably not Best Picture material, but worthy of a nomination for Director. And by all accounts, Bruce Springsteen's song that plays during the credits is nearly as great as the film itself - but it wasn't nominated for Best Song. Double shafted.
I'm kind of put off by all the nominations for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Frost/Nixon. While I didn't see Ben Button, I did get a chance to check out Frost/Nixon and I'm telling you right now - there's no way it should have been nominated for Best Picture OR Best Director. Sorry Ronnie - you've made better, and the only thing that should have been recognized about this film was Frank Langella as Richard Nixon (he got a Best Actor nomination).
Good to see my girl Anne Hathaway up for Best Actress for Rachel Getting Married (I wanted to see it, but just didn't make it before it left theaters). She'll probably lose to someone stupid like Meryl Streep, but at least now in all those trailers they'll be able to say "Academy Award Nominee Anne Hathaway."
Eastwood got overlooked for Best Actor in Gran Torino. Shame - that movie was excellent, and his performance was funny and heartfelt throughout the whole thing.
I'm also really glad to see In Bruges up for Best Original Screenplay - it was one of my favorite films of the year and I hope it takes down the only award it's nominated for.
Of the three nominees for Best Visual Effects (Ben Button, Dark Knight, Iron Man), I truly believe that Iron Man should win. I haven't even seen TCCOBB, but the effects in Iron Man were just THAT good. Let's hope we don't have a repeat of last year, where Transformers was beaten out by The Golden Compass (what a freaking joke).
The only other thing I'm upset about is Cloverfield not being nominated for Best Sound Mixing or Best Sound Editing. I understand that it's not the type of movie to be nominated for any of the bigger awards, but I thought the sound was so well done in that film. Wanted gets nominated for sound, but not Cloverfield? Give me a break.
Here's the part where I go Jay Drylie on you and give you my early predictions.
Picture - Slumdog Millionaire
Director - David Fincher
Actor - Sean Penn
Actress - Meryl Streep
Supporting Actor - Heath Ledger
Supporting Actress - Penelope Cruz
Original Screenplay - Martin McGonagh for In Bruges
Adapted Screenplay - Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire
Animated Feature - WALL*E
Foreign Language Film - Departures
Art Direction - The Dark Knight
Documentary - Man on Wire
Documentary Short - The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306
Animated Short - Presto
Live-Action Short - New Boy
Visual Effects - Iron Man
Costume Design - Australia
Makeup - Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Film Editing - Slumdog Millionaire
Sound Mixing - The Dark Knight
Sound Editing - The Dark Knight
Original Score - A.R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire
Original Song - "Down to Earth" from WALL*E
So that's it. Exhausting, I know. Feel free to post your own comments, thoughts, and predictions below. The complete list of nominees can be found here. Until next time...