Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tuesday Top Ten: Oscar Talking Points

Tuesday Top Ten! ~a new weekly feature. For the listmaker in me and the list lover in you

Ten Talking Points Re: Oscar Nominations
10. Click can now call itself an "Oscar Nominee" (curse the makeup branch!) That sound you hear is figure eights and triple lutzes from Hell's new ice rink.

09. Oscar continues to strengthen its ever growing love affair with placing lead performers into supporting slots. Thelma Ritter, Jason Robards, Fay Bainter, Walter Brennan and all sorts of acclaimed character actors (RIP) may feel free to turn over in their graves. At the rate this trend continues to grow with almost no one batting an eyelash at category fraud but merely accepting it or even defending it, their modern counterparts will soon never have a shot at even one Oscar nomination, let alone frequent honors.

08. The Cinematographers and the Art Directors are thinking for themselves. What's up with that? They've freed themselves from the shackles of the Best Picture field. It's rather shocking when you stop to consider how long it's been since they ignored the big dogs. That hasn't happened in either category in the past 40 years (anyone know how far back you have to go to find another instance?

07. The Oscars will have performances from at least two beloved lesbians: Ellen DeGeneres is hosting and Melissa Etheridge will presumably show up to sing the Best Original Song "I Need to Wake Up" nominee. No word on whether or not Jodie Foster will be a presenter.

06. The costumer designers finally woke up and smelled the value of contemporary films in their midst. It's not like The Queen has 'period' costumes and The Devil Wears Prada --can I explode with glee? Patricia Field (previously of Sex & The City fame) is a genius. And let's hear it for Marie Antoinette's Milena Canonero who joins the top ten costume designers of all time (in terms of nominations) with her eighth nod from the Academy. She's now tied with Jenny Beavan (a snubee this year for her work on The Black Dahlia)

05. Kate Winslet is now a five-time Oscar nominee. At only 31 years of age she has now entered the top twenty-six most nominated female actors of all time. Only three others in that list (Thelma Ritter and Deborah Kerr with six nominations & Glenn Close with five) are Oscarless.

04. No Casino Royale anywhere. Not even in the unhyped tech categories. And that complete snub came after an astounding showing @ BAFTA and gigantic box office and pop cultural success. The Academy liked it less than a few other Bond films ... imagine that.

03. A great year for Hispanic filmmakers. Unless your names start with Pedro and ends with Almodóvar (He was shut out of Best Director -damn, Best Screenplay -shame, and Best Foreign Film for Volver -heresy!) But the Three Amigos (Gonzalez Innaritu, Del Toro, and Cuaron) were all nominated in one way or another. Good on them and a nice semi rare rather widespread acknowledgement from the Academy that you don't have to be American to be a mover and shaker in the cinema.

02. Is Letters From Iwo Jima the lowest grossing Best Picture nominee ever (at the time of nominations)? It's certainly one of them. To date it's earned only $2.5 million. That's well under the totals for other late blooming BP finalists like Capote, Life is Beautiful, In the Bedroom, and Cider House Rules which were all nearing $20 million when they were boosted by AMPAS. In recent years only Million Dollar Baby, The Pianist, and Secrets and Lies were under $10 million and all were bigger moneymakers than Iwo Jima prior to their lucky day. Calling all box office gurus: Is Letters From Iwo Jima actually the lowest grosser ever (pre-nominations)? Help us out.

01. Dreamgirls gets the most nominations (8) but is shut out of Best Picturewhich has, according to preliminary research, never happened before. The picture that still holds the record for the most nominations ever without a corresponding Picture nod, is They Shoot Horses, Don't They?. It received 9 but no best picture but it was not the nomination leader in its year.


Previous Tuesday Top Tens (New Series):
Alexander(s) The Great
Best 2006 Movies from The Departed (sure) to Marie Antoinette (you heard me)
Movies by The Three Amigos Best of Cuarón, González Iñárritu and Del Toro

Tags: costume design, , Oscars, Academy Awards, cinema, Film, cinematography, costumes, Kate Winslet, Clint Eastwood, Casino Royale, Melissa Etheridge, hispanic, Volver,Dreamgirls, Pedro Almodovar


Anonymous said...

I researched the Dreamgirls question. It is the first film to ever lead the nominations without a corresponding BP nod.

As for Cinematography, you have to go back to 1956 (the black & white nominees).

Kris said...

Am I the only guy to predict a Casino shut out?

Tough break for Sony all around, really.

Unknown said...

no, Kris, I also was thinking Casino Royale has its best chances at Song, and that was too good to be true, Academy Award nominee Chris Cornell...

However, Nat, I totally agree with you, something really weird has happened when they only nominated - of all Volver's chances, the most AMPAS-friendly movie Pedro ever shot - Penelope. Not that I am not happy (Pedro really needed something like this) but I find it extremely weird... what could have happened?

And the noms I like the most, are United 93's, Borat's, Pan's, Little Miss Sunshine's, Kikuchi's, and the Javier Fesser nom for Short Film (the guy debuted on long feature with one of the weirdest and most personal comedies ever, El Milagro de P. Tinto, which is my 1998's #1 movie).

Anonymous said...

To quote you...

08. The Cinematographers and the Art Directors are thinking for themselves. What's up with that? They've freed themselves from the shackles of the Best Picture field. It's rather shocking when you stop to consider how long it's been since they ignored the big dogs. That hasn't happened in Cinematography in the past 40 years (anyone know if it's ever happened?) and it's only happened once in the past 40 years in Art Direction (for the films of 1999)

Not to seem like a nitpicker ('cause I love you, I really do), but didn't they nominate "The Cider House Rules" for Art Direction in '99?


right you are. thanks for catching that. I've fixed the post.

Anonymous said...

Someone help me out with this one - does this mean Kate Winslet now has the record for number of (acting or otherwise) Oscar nominations by age 31?

I know Marlon Brando and then Elizabeth Taylor both had 4 noms by age 31...

If so, that's AWESOME!!

But Kate will have to wait until her 6th nom to win, methinks.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who can't figure out how someone looks at DiCaprio's two performances this year and decides Blood Diamond is the better one? Even if you liked the movie. I'm honestly stumped.


you are most definitely not the only one.

I think the Diamond performance is competent movie star charismatic acting. but no more no less. The Departed performance you can feel in your gut. he was great in that. there's just no comparison whatever.

i blame the campaigns.

Anonymous said...

Blood Diamond over Departed for DiCaprio is inexcusable - but I was so worried he'd do a Scar Jo circa '03 and totally miss. So I'm not complaining!

Really happy about Patrick Marber and Todd Field (2-time nominee now!) in adapted screenplay. And for Philip Glass, Gustavo Santaolalla, Alexandre Desplat and Thomas Newman in score (even if the latter two were maybe for the wrong movie - maybe because I haven't seen Veil or Shepherd yet).

Wish Marie Antoinette had showed up more often - even one more nom somewhere would've been sweet.

Also, has anyone else noticed how the supporting categories are panning out. We have Dreamgirls frontrunners in both, but Sunshine spoilers chasing right behind them. It could be a 'two from either' scenario. If this HAS to be the case (cos I'd rather see Earle Haley and Blanchett take them), let it be at least Dreamgirls that prevails!...

Glenn Dunks said...

I can't believe the absense of Volver. WTF happened there? It seemed tailor made for that category! I'm utterly shocked.

BUT I am overjoyed at the Costume Design nominees (and I even predicted Patricia Field. Officially the coolest nomination of the morning) as well as Greengrass, Borat, Children of Men, The Prestige and The Black Dahlia all receiving love of some sort.

Still... what happened to Volver and Dreamgirls?

Anonymous said...

Any post-nomination analysis I've come across- online, tv, whatever, I've heard virtually nothing on Leo's performance for Blood Diamond. I am hearing them over and over say "Leonardo DiCaprio for Blood Diamond, what an important movie." I've even heard a few people predict he wins over Forest, since it is the most important film of the year. WTF? At least they didn't use that as justification for a Jennifer Connelly nomination.

John T said...

10. Click, ick. The Makeup categories I suppose do this often. They are who we have for calling Harry and the Hendersons, Bicentennial Man, and The Time Machine

9. We still have Adriana Barraza, Rinko Kikuchi, Djimon Honsou, and Jackie Earle Haley, though.

8. Bravo to both branches-I don't necessarily agree with all of the choices, but I applaude the independent thinking.

7. Ellen is going to be so funny, and Melissa was certainly one of my choices for Best Song.

6. The real question is whether Meryl will wear Prada.

5. Kate will unfortunately be able to get pointers from Peter O'Toole on making those losing faces come Oscar night.

4. At least Casino got a lot of a different kind of gold.

3. Well-deserved all around, except for the Volver snub. Absolutely atrocious.

2. I'll be seeing Letters tomorrow, so I won't pass judgment until then.

1. Not only did Dreamgirls not make it, but Pan's Labyrinth (6) and Blood Diamond (5) both received more nominations than either Little Miss Sunshine or Letters From Iwo Jima.

John T said...

As for the acting races, I think that Forest & Dame Helen are still cemented, but the supporting races are going to be tugs-of-war between the Sunshiners and the Dreamgirls, and I could see any combination there possible.

Cinesnatch said...

02. Hey, Nate, from 1986 and on, I can only come up with three Best Picture nominees that MIGHT HAVE BEEN lesser grossers then LIJ prior to their respective lucky days (and they all fall in the same time period):

1987 Hope & Glory (???)
1988 Dangerous Liasions (???)
1989 My Left Foot (???)

If anyone can verify the accuracy or inaccuracy of this, much would be appreciated.

"Dangerous" did great numbers (eventually(, but is a strong possibility because it was totally ignored by the Golden Globes (I think) and was really a late bloomer. "Hope" and "Foot" were modest arthouse hits.

Glenn Dunks said...

BTW Nat, Close Encounters of the Third Kind also received nine nominations in 1978 without a corresponding Best Picture nomination (although I suppose one of those nominations was actually a special award for the Sound Editing, but still).

But again, it wasn't the leader. That was Julia I believe.

adam k. said...

I still don't think it's quite possible for Jennifer Hudson to lose. To Abigail? Sorry, not happening (and believe me, I wish it would).

Far more likely, I think, is that Arkin upsets Murphy (especially since DiCaprio will probably win the supporting SAG, thus opening up the field).

The only thing I can think of for Volver is that academy members must've thought "well, this one isn't really as good as Talk to Her or All About My Mother (and it isn't, really), so why don't we spread the wealth?" It's still a dumb justification, but I guess I could understand how they'd feel that way.

And 5 noms for Blood Diamond!? Jesus. The editing thing especially is ridiculous. Though I did like the film more than I thought I would.

And yay for Dreamgirls getting exactly what it deserved: supporting nods, design nods, and lots of love for its music. And nothing more. It will be the true Cold Mountain of this year, supporting actress win and all.

adam k. said...

OK and what's up with best pic now???

Departed has, what, 5 noms? Letters has 4 noms? LMS has no director nom. Dreamgirls is GONE. Only The Queen and Babel have anything close to a win-friendly tally, and is either of them really gonna win?

What exactly is gonna win???

Something tells me it's Clint vs. Marty all over again.

adam k. said...

OK and what's up with best pic now???

Departed has, what, 5 noms? Letters has 4 noms? LMS has no director nom. Dreamgirls is GONE. Only The Queen and Babel have anything close to a win-friendly tally, and is either of them really gonna win?

What exactly is gonna win???

Something tells me it's Clint vs. Marty all over again.

Cinesnatch said...

Even though the Best Actress was a far gone conclusion (in hindsight), I still think the "perenial nominee" aspect to it is beautiful. It's how it should be. Nice to see that every nominee is 30 or older (for a change), including the sole newbie, Cruz. Speaking of which ...

I would also like to posit a theory: those who publicly tie themselves romantically to Tom Cruise and distance themselves from Scientology garner Oscar's attention. Those who partake in the cult don't.


it could be famous last words but i can't imagine Letters winning. It's depressing. It's long. It's in a foreign language. I liked it pretty well... a solid movie but it doesn't have win potential I don't think.

I'm thinking at least at this moment it's

PIC -The Queen or Little Miss Sunshine
DIR -Scorsese

Glenn Dunks said...

Yeah, and to add to the confusion, only The Departed and Babel have editing nominations. But The Departed only has one acting nomination to LMS and Babel's two. Best Picture will truly be a surprise this year.

I just rewatched the announcement on my HDR and it was so adorable watching Salma get so emotional, but after announcing Mexico's Pan Labyrinth she went stone cold as she said Water as the last nominee.

I'm super happy Water got nominated. But, Volver...? it's mindboggling.

Also, is Rinko Kikuchi only the second Asian female ever nominated for an Oscar? I am remembering another from a film in the '50s or '60s, but I'm not entirely sure.

Nevertheless, International news will be all eyes. You've got Kikuchi, the Mexican Men, Spanish woman, there's aussies, brits (three of the actress nominees are british) and there's a bunch of European nominees in the techs.

Glenn Dunks said...

I was responding to Adam, btw.

ATM I'm actually thinking LMS can win BP. It's got the actors on it's side, people who don't like heavier stuff (and who would normally have voted for Dreamgirls) will throw their vote that way. It's popular, it's a great backstage story. It's made a bunch of cash (second highest grossing nominee!!) It's only hurdle is the lack of a director nod, but it's happened before...

Cinesnatch said...

In what will be another predictable year in general, I think the only major categories (out of the Big Six) that are up in the air are Best Picture and Best Actor. I see “Babel” and Forrest Whitaker winning. But, I can also see “The Departed” and Peter O’ Toole winning. “Little Miss Sunshine” has a pretty good chance at an upset. Otherwise, Scorsese, Mirren, Murphy and Hudson are going home with the gold. Small, small chance that Scorsese won’t win, but that’s only if the rest of the country hops on the “Babel” train and the Academy decides to show it some extra lovin’. I only say that because if Scorsese was seriously in consideration the past two times he was nominated for films that weren’t as embraced by audiences as “The Departed” was, then he’ll probably win this year. Eastwood and Scorsese are again nominated for the third time, but there is no Clint Vs. Eastwood smackdown. This is sort of like (but not really) if Annette Bening had been nominated for “Scissors” and Hilary Swank was nominated for “Freedom Writers” (let’s pretend it got the 2006 release). The difference is that Eastwood didn’t win for “Mystic River,” and even if Bening got nominated for “Scissors,” she probably wouldn’t win, but I’m just saying … there is no Eastwood Vs. Scorsese this time. And thank goodness!

Glenn Dunks said...

I don't reckon Murphy has Supporting Actor sealed up at all. In fact, I'm predicting Alan Arkin right now. Of course, I could be wrong, but I've been predicting Arkan for months now, so why stop now that Dreamgirls obviously isn't as popular as we thought.

Javier Aldabalde said...

Salma did go stone cold when she read "Water" instead of "Volver". Then she began to tear up! Then again, it also might have been excitement about "Babel" getting in Best Picture or the numerous mentions for latinos this year.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see the musicians think for themselves with THE GOOD GERMAN and PAN'S LABYRINTH. Not hard to figure out why the others are, though THE QUEEN and NOTES are both scores with a strong presence in their respective films, and neither comes off as 'easy' choices on the part of their composers. BABEL mystifies me with its presence - if pre-existing material crowded out HAPPY FEET and DEPARTED, this should have been barred too.

My money on Desplat. Santaolalla would have to be the first composer since Franz Waxman to win Best Original Score two years back to back. And if people wanted another Franz Waxman, they could always vote for Thomas Newman (whose GERMAN sounds like classic Waxman at times). ;)

Anonymous said...

The Volver snub is VERY UPSETTING. Far more upsetting than the Dreamgirls snub to me--which quite frankly is not that surprising. The BP winner is really up in the air...I don't think it could be anything but Babel or The Departed with Babel currently leading right now---I cannot even imagine The Queen winning but stranger things have happened. After the horror of the Brokeback loss last year truly anything could happen.

mistyh92104 said...

Here's another query (assuming that no one else has already brought it up):

When is the last time that none of the Best Picture nominees had nominations in the Best Actor category? (I love it!).

And, for that matter, when was the last time that the Best Actress category had more nominees from BP noms than Best Actor did? (This year it's only one, for "The Queen", but still...).

I'll try to do a little research, though I'm short on time right now.


Anonymous said...

Misty, I think you have to go back to 1927/28 to find a year where a Best Pic nominee did not produce a Best Actor nominee.

Occasionally (2000, 1973, 1965) there will be only 1 Actor from a Best Pic nominee and in these years there were more Actresses in Best Pics than Actors.

And was there a complete Weinstein shutout? First time THAT's happened since 1991 or 1987 (need to double-check that).

Cinesnatch said...

Misty ~
I LOVE that you shared that. It's so AWESOME! Love, love, love it!

I don't know if this answers anything, but I always think fondly on ...

1996 gave us The English Patient, Fargo and Secrets & Lies. All produced Best Actress nominees. English Patient produced Best Actor as well as the other two remaining Best Picture nominees.

And, of course, 1977, when every single Best Actress nominee was in a Best Picture nominee. "Star Wars" was the sole Best Picture nominee sans lead actress nod. "Turning Point" shared two.

Oh, 1977, oh 1977, what a glorious year that was 1977. (and I think all of the nominees were or ended up being perenial nominees to boot) And 1996. 1996. Loved that 1996.

Since I'm on the subject of Oscar years I loved ... 1987, 1991.

Cinesnatch said...

Misty ~

Actresses outnumbering actors? 1977 would have been 5 vs. 2 (I think). I can't think of anything that comes close to that, but, obviously, it's possible. (But you're going to have to dig deeper) But, I can't remember (off the top of my head) any year that produced 5 or more Best Actress nominess from a pool of 5 Best Picture nominees.

Anonymous said...

I honestly think Volver is much better than Talk to Her, that's why I find this snub all the more puzzling.

mistyh92104 said...

Thank you Stephen and Vince!

Wow, Stephen, 1927/28? I'm not especially surprised, yet I am (if that makes sense). And good on the Weinstein shutout, if it is indeed true. Enough is enough already.

And, Vince, I also loved the years that you mentioned, plus a few others, like 1988 when there were so many lead actresses to choose from that there were unfortunate omissions (and where are those omissions in years like last year?). My biggest regret with 1988 is that, though I like Jodie Foster well enough, I'd have given the Oscar to any of the other noms but her (or even non-noms like La Rowlands in "Another Woman"...but that's a whole other issue).

Thanks again, boys!

Anonymous said...

As for the box office answer Vince mentioned,

1987 Hope & Glory - made $4.5m by 01/22/88

1988 Dangerous Liasions - made $5m by the end of Jan

1989 My Left Foot - had $4.4m by 02/23/90

(thanks the-numbers for the info)

Anonymous said...

Ok another observation...

How amazing has Judi Dench's run been? I mean 6 noms in 10 years in incredible, non?

It's a testament to her ease at scoring Oscar noms that she's hardly even been mentioned today.

I've got a strange feeling this will be her last though...

And, anyone, has there been another actor/actress as young as Kate Winslet to equal or better her 5 nom tally. I can't think of/see any on the net.

Anonymous said...

Also Volver is second only to Talk to Her in Almodóvar's stunning oeuvre. How anyone could not regard it as one of his best is beyond me. It basically got snubbed in 2 categories today - foreign language film and original screenplay. In the latter category, it got pushed out by the crappy Pan's Labyrinth. My god is that film awful - are people crazy to like it? 6 nominations for is a little depressing for an R-rated sub-Disney movie.

But then again I guess my love for Babel would perplex/infuriate some people as well.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the Academy makes me wonder. Today has puzzled me extremly. The Academy must really hate the Painted Veil or they were too lazy to see it. The movie didn't get one lousy nomination, which it at least deserved for Best Score. Click gets a nomination, Apocalypto 3, and Poseidon 1. Those three get more nominations than The Painted Veil, Hollywoodland, and The Fountain.

Cinesnatch said...

thank you, xiayun, for clearing that up. I wasn't sure, so I thought I'd just take a stab.

Misty ~ It's funny. I hesitated on 1988, but, yeah, it was a good year too. And, my feelings towards Foster mirror yours. Too bad "Fatal Attraction" wasn't postponed a year. On a generous day, when I'm feeling like I have to show some love post-1996, I'll admit to a slight fondness for 2001 and 2002. But it's REAL slight.

Adam Luis said...

Is there anyway people can get their dissapointment in the from of letters or queries to the foreign langauge committee, because, correct me if I'm wrong, wasn't the selection process changed in order to preven snubbings like Volver?

I can't fathom what they were thinking. I don't think Water was the spoiler here, it's been in the consciousness of the foreign language film community forever, but I don't understand the ommission. How exactly do the 20 members select the nominees? If it's by the preferential voting system, I find it hard to believe Almodovar was missing #1's. They must commune together and talk their way to the nominations and decided that a nomination for Volver was unnecessary due to the attention it would get in Best Actress. I don't know, but this is even more depressing than watching Letters From Iwo Jima.

Craig Hickman said...

I'm still in mourning.

Dreamgirls makes the wrong king of history.

I'd prepared myself for the Condon/writing snub. Didn't agree with it, but was prepared for it.

But no Best Picture?

I still can't wrap my Dreamgirls loving mind around that.

And now, anything is possible.

Will Dreamgirls be the second film to lead the field and go home empty-handed?

I may as well prepare for that now too.

And Adam K., wherever you are, you should just give up all other dreams and become a psychic for the Hollywood community, since you seem to know everything there is to know.
I'm man enough to admit you were right, and oh, how I wish you wrong.

I'm drinking again.

Anonymous said...

Jodie Fosters a lebesian?! Where the hell have I been? (Tee-hee...)


Anonymous said...

Water was pretty good, I felt. It wasn't as good as Volver, but aside from the globes, it has appeared in almost every other top foreign film lists (where Apocalypto and Letters from Iwo Jima aren't eligible). Frankly, Water isn't the spoiler, like someone above said, it was the other three films (not Pan's).

Please let Scorsese win this one. If he doesn't win this time, is it time to just give up on the Oscars ever getting it "right"? There'll always be some smug bastard who insists they made the right decision...it's like Crash versus Brokeback last year.

Yay for Best Actresses! Boo for DiCaprio even thinking of making a movie with that idiot Zwick, has he ever made a good film (Glory, I haven't seen)?

I wish they could have found room for Emily Blunt in Best Supporting Actress instead of one of the Babel women since the other three are pretty kick ass in my opinion.


I'm predicting Best Picture and Director for The Departed, Best Actor and Actress the same as everyone else, Hudson for Supporting Actress and Arkin (maybe Haley) for Supporting Actor.

I'm really hoping for Haley.

Anonymous said...

Water was pretty good, I felt. It wasn't as good as Volver, but aside from the globes, it has appeared in almost every other top foreign film lists (where Apocalypto and Letters from Iwo Jima aren't eligible). Frankly, Water isn't the spoiler, like someone above said, it was the other three films (not Pan's).

Please let Scorsese win this one. If he doesn't win this time, is it time to just give up on the Oscars ever getting it "right"? There'll always be some smug bastard who insists they made the right decision...it's like Crash versus Brokeback last year.

Yay for Best Actresses! Boo for DiCaprio even thinking of making a movie with that idiot Zwick, has he ever made a good film (Glory, I haven't seen)?

I wish they could have found room for Emily Blunt in Best Supporting Actress instead of one of the Babel women since the other three are pretty kick ass in my opinion.


I'm predicting Best Picture and Director for The Departed, Best Actor and Actress the same as everyone else, Hudson for Supporting Actress and Arkin (maybe Haley) for Supporting Actor.

I'm really hoping for Haley.

Paxton Hernandez said...

I wouldn't be too worried about Clint-ism. There are two scenarios:

1)Babel wins Best Picture, taking home Best Editing of course, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.

2)The Departed wins Best Picture taking home Best Director, Best Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, AND Best Supporting Actor. A clean sweep.

There's no way Letter is taking Best Picture WITHOUT even an Editing nomination.

So, Clint haters, you don't have to be so worried. Not right now.

And Nathe,
you need to get over this Volver snub. One of you favorite international female directors (hint: La Bier) made the final cut.

But yeah, Spanish folks should be mad as hell.

Paxton Hernandez said...

Errr, about the first scenario. If Babel does win Best Picture of the Year, the Best Director would still go to Marty.

Sorry about that! =-)

mdf1960 said...

"There's no way Letters is taking Best Picture WITHOUT even an Editing nomination."

There is NO WAY anyone should say there is no way...

Paxton Hernandez said...

Brokeback couldn't do it. Why should Letters take it?

adam k. said...

Yeah, I could totally see Letters winning best picture. Picture and sound editing. 2 awards. I'm serious. It would make a statement. And once people see it (and they WILL now), they'll be more inclined to actually vote for it.

I cannot, however, see Little Miss Sunshine winning... I mean, 4 nods and no director nod? That's just... I dunno... and you know it's not cause I don't want it to. But I just don't see it happening. And how sad would it be if Abigail was the only nominee from it not to win??? That would just not be right.

And Babel? It's done with its theatrical run and it's made less than $25 million. I rest my case.

I actually could see The Queen winning just cause it can still make money and it can also win a lot of categories. Pic/Screenplay/Actress/Score, perhaps? But how boring would that be??? The Queen is a boring film. In any case, Mirren's even more a lock for the win now.

Actually, maybe the most likely scenario (to me) is that Departed just takes best pic, director and screenplay. Simple. But something feels wrong about that, too.

And is it just me, or did United 93 just become the frontrunner for best editing? Mirrione and Schoonmaker have won already, and this would be the perfect category to honor it in... unless they gave it to Babel as a token win (or as, god forbid, a part of a sweep).

I dunno. I'm just SO confused. But it's good. I can't believe everything's suddenly so crazy.

adam k. said...

Oh and Craig... I never predicted a Dreamgirls snub in picture. Thank you, though.

I have, however, been predicting the director/screenplay shutout for a loooooooong time, so I'm not shocked by the big snub. Whoever brought up the Walk the Line comparison was dead on.

Sorry about Dreamgirls, though (this is to Craig again). If it makes you feel any better, I saw it again and liked it a bit more this time. Though I still think the snub was deserved.

Paxton Hernandez said...

I can't see Letters taking home the Best Picture oscar. No SO soon.

There were 12 years between Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby people! There are 2 years with MDB and Letters!

If AMPAS goes that way, there goes their credibility down the drain.

And yeah, the fun thing about the Academy is that they alwayws make room for excitement and big shocks in Nominations Day. I fcking love that!

adam k. said...

Actually, I had totally forgotten how recent M$B was and how that should be a factor in this race.

And that does not bode well for the memory of academy voters.

Paxton Hernandez said...

Well, the factors surrounding Letters aren't so easy to forget for the Academy.

I mean Eastwood + Spielberg + WW II + Do the right, pretty film and do not offend anyone = Best Picture nomination.

Javier Aldabalde said...

I thought "Dreamgirls" was pretty bad and fugly-looking, and "Letters" can't possibly be worse than that. It would seem that like last year (when they picked the 'relevant' "Munich" over "Walk the Line"), the producers are getting closer to the directors' way of thinking.

Does this mean shallow, glossy spectacle won't fair as well at the Oscars from now on? Perhaps... except now we're stuck with shallow, ridiculous films that think they're more important than they are (Babel, Munich).

Anonymous said...

I think Kate WInslet is the youngest actor to reach five nominations. Can anyone confirm if this is true? She is 31--I think Brando was 33 when he got five. Any other performers I am forgetting?

Anonymous said...

Bruno Packer

The Academy credibility went down the drain ages ago…

...when looking back on the most honored film of a specific year you have to add up the following


adam k. said...

Well, Kate was definitely the youngest to reach 2 noms, and 3 noms, and 4 noms (I remember hearing about it), so I think it's safe to say that, 2 years later, she is now the youngest to reach 5 noms.

And will probably continue to set new records continually every few years, up through #14, if she gets there before age 57.

Javier Aldabalde said...

Do people really think Kate Winslet will continue to get nods every 2 or 3 years for the rest of her life? I don't think so. I also have this strange feeling this is Judi's last nom for a while.

Cinesnatch said...

lol ... 14 before 57.

I would have much rather seen Walk the Line get nominated over Capote or Good Night, Good Luck (or, please, Crash). I thought that Munich and BM were the only pix that belonged in that category.

Craig Hickman said...

Thanks, Adam. It doesn't make me feel better that it got the BP snub, but it's good to see that you liked it better the second time around. Every time I see it, it gets better.

If this Hudson falls to the fate of that other Hudson, I just don't know what I'm going to do.

Glenn Dunks said...

Can people stop saying the Academy will lose all credibility if so and so doesn't win. People have been pulling that old chestnut out for decades, yet everyone still obsesses so it's pretty pointless.

Adam, Babel was rereleased last weekend and now with these Oscar noms it may be able actually get to over $30mil at least.

Oh, and also, why is everybody (including even Nat!) insinuating that Water was the one that stopped Volver from getting a Foreign Language nomination. People have been predicting that for months now so it was hardly the surprise that After the Wedding was - that's what knocked Volver out. Just cause Water was the last announced, doesn't make it that film's fault.

Fact: Two of the Best Foreign Language films are directed by women and one of the Best Picture nominees is co-directed by a woman.

adam k. said...

Haha, Glenn, I bet Salma Hayek disagrees with you. She was pretty pissed at Water.

But I'm pretty sure the reason Nat is pissed at Water is that he thinks it's kinda bad, not that it's last in alpha order. It's bad, and hence, it is the one that shouldn't be there. I myself haven't seen it, so I won't judge.

Also, I don't care if Babel makes another $5 million, it's still WAY too low for a winner. Crash won with double its money, and that was considered scandalous.

Anyway, the point is, nobody wants to see it cause it's long and depressing. I just can't see them giving it the win. Plus, it can't really win anything but editing.

I think it's still The Departed, really. And yet... I dunno.

Glenn Dunks said...

But why not complain about After the Wedding or Days of Glory, which have made about $2.50 combined and weren't considered locks for nominations anyway.

But, as I said, I'm a big fan of Water so it's sad to see people blaming it.


the only reason i singled Water out is that I've actually seen it (it's the same reason i singled out Avenue Montaigne as a travesty at making the top nine. It's seriously not good. Water looks like total genius filmmaking next to it.) And as much as I remain only a mild thumbs up on Pans I get why people really love it but I don't get the Water thing at all.

i'm giving the Bier film the benefit of the doubt since i love her. And everyone seems to think the German entry is special so you have to be OK with that one, too (supposing that everyone is correct) so that leaves you with Water to bitch about ;)

I'm willing to give this new foreign system another couple of years to see what it's doing in terms of what actually gets nominated but Volver's snub puts the new system into incredible doubt already

Glenn Dunks said...


Can I ask what you didn't like about Water? Just purely for interests sake. Seems most people I've heard from really like it. Haven't heard many negative opinions at all. And you never wrote anything about it.

Anonymous said...

1. To answer Kamikaze Camel's question, Rinko Kikuchi is the third Asian woman to be nominated. The first two were Miyoshi Umeki (also Japanese) who won Best Supporting Actress in 1958 against fellow Japanese Sessue Hayakawa. Four Asian men have been nominated: Ken Watanabe, Mako (both Japanese), Pat Morita (Japanese-American) & winner Haing Ngor (Cambodian).

2. I doubt many of the people complaining about "Volver"'s snub have seen the other five Foreign films nominated, so they should stop complaining. I'm not happy with the nominees either (ignoring, as always, a slew of excellent East Asian films) but Volver did make the Top Nine, and probably came in sixth. That's not bad out of 61 contenders. Water and Days of Glory, while not the most memorable movies, are both VERY baity.

3. Best Picture is wide open- a real five-way race. I think I was one of the only people to see "Iwo Jima" as a nomination LOCK...It surely got a lot of 1st place votes....My problem was I couldn't decide which film would be unable to manage enough first-place votes. I stupidly chose The Queen over Dreamgirls.

4. I see Winslet and Dench getting nominated for decades and years to come, respectively...As Dench ages gracefully, she will probably be seen more in the Supporting Actress category.

What an exciting year!

Anonymous said...

I saw Water, Volver, and Pan's Labyrinth and liked Volver the most out of the three. All three were excellent, however. Hard to imagine the other two films I didn't see being better than Volver. A definite snub!

Anonymous said...

Amen. This Volver lovefest's making me nauseous. I saw it in a half-filled theater and barely anybody cracked a giggle the whole time. I still don't know what the whole restaurant subplot was all about. I kept waiting for Cruz to feed the film crew her hubby's corpse in a chili or something. THAT would have been interesting. As is, the whole cover-up plot was an afterthought. Oh and the third Act plot revelations bordered on soap opera. So in conclusion the movie: 1) wasn't funny, 2) wasn't suspenseful, 3) hijacked its "dramatic" potential with a ludicrously melodramatic story. Maybe this provide some of you a clue as to why some people threw their votes elsewhere. My own question: what do you all like about it so much?

Anonymous said...

The best picture race will become a lot clearer after the guild awards are announced. If Frears or Gonzalez-Inarritu win the DGA, they're the winning ticket for director-picture-screenplay. If Marty wins, he's got director. And maybe picture. Only way he loses picture is if either Babel or LMS takes the WGA award AND Best Cast at the SAGs.


but that's not necessarily true Scorsese has won the DGA hasn't he? they might want to spread the wealth. but Scorsese has never won the Oscar

if he loses again this year (possible obviously) we'll know for certain that they just flat out don't like him as a general principle... that he was never really in the race those other times. They just don't like him.

Because no film has become a universal favorite this year (you can argue that MDB was becoming so with that late surge and its emotionalism) and to deny him when they're love is half hearted and scattered everywhere else would prove once and for all how they feel about him.

we'll see. I hope their decision isn't sick-making but you never know


i meant to say "their" obviously. damn my speedy fingers causing grammatical booboos

Anonymous said...

Scorsese hasn't won a competitive DGA. He won a lifetime achievement award once. Also, I wouldn't say that a Scorsese loss this year would indicate anything about how the Academy feels about him "in general." You have to look at the whole picture. He has some ardent supporters in the Academy (particularly among directors) and that's how he's managed to be in the running 6 times, no easy task, especially with a pulp cops & robbers yarn like The Departed. But there's always gonna be ardent supporters for the other nominees too.

The best news Marty got on Tuesday was the Dreamgirls boat sinking. The worst news he got was seeing Paul Greengrass show up for United 93. Now Greengrass isn't a threat to win, of course, but he will be a vote siphoner. And whose votes will he court? Film buffs. The same people that would otherwise definitely vote Scorsese. People like us basically. I have to admit: if I was filling out a ballot, I would have to think long and hard between picking the director whose movie I considered flawless (Greengrass) and the director whose track record is impeccable (Scorsese).

You're right there's no "universal favorite" this year, but that double-edged sword works against The Departed also. This is a boys' movie, start to finish. Which is fine. That's what I like about it, and those movies do sometimes win Best Picture (LOTR, Gladiator) but what most of those movies have that The Departed doesn't is fancy costumes. And lots of British people. Really, the only historical precedent for a Departed win would be The French Connection. And that took itself way more seriously than Departed takes itself.

Now take the Queen: you got Oscar-nominated costumes, a TON of British people, and a movie the girls like and the boys seem to tolerate a la the English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, et al. And the Queen-lovers won't split the ticket. They'll vote it straight down the line. Ditto for Babelheads.

What Marty's gotta hope for is that enough of the Little Miss Sunshine voters throw him a sentimental director vote. But the ladies'll be thinkin Frears and the guys'll be torn bw Marty, Clint, G-I, and Greengrass. So it'll be a fight to the finish, not because anybody hates Marty, but because best pic is anything but a sure thing and that makes director equally up for grabs.

Anonymous said...

I believe that with inflation figured in, only 'The Deer Hunter' made less in the box office prior to nominations. In 1978, it was released in Los Angeles for one week to screen for critics and voters just so it could be eligible for the Oscars, and then held back until nominations came in. But, in modern box-office times- yes, 'Letters From Iwo Jima' is the lowest grossing film pre-nominations to receive one.