Friday, January 23, 2009

And The Link Goes To...

Oscar Stuff
Movie City News collects some nominee reaction quotes
Carpetbagger looks at the green (box office) of the gold (nominees)
Nashville Film Festival "I was Slumdog when Slumdog wasn't cool"
AWFJ thinks the two best female performances weren't nominated at all
In Contention Tapley thinks that The Reader's nomination is a tragedy and that the movie is pornographic. Who knew that he'd never seen a porno before? ;)

In Contention also shares a typical egotist quote from Harvey Weinstein. He's aiming for a win for The Reader. We all know it won't but the clever strategy thing about this sort of 'we can beat Slumdog!' cock waving is that it really does damage Slumdog Millionaire which Fox Searchlight has always been positioning as the "little film that could" In order to maintain its scrappy underdog charms they need the illusion that it's not the 300 pound gorilla of Oscar season. Which it is. Anyone think its vulnerable at all?
Time on the Best Actor race. Preference: Penn
Welcome to LA on those 2 nominations for Wanted
The Playlist on the web reactions to The Dark Knight snub including some homophobic ones of course (figures since Milk made it. How would the world spin without scapegoats?). Sigh. Would that moviegoers understand the history of Oscar better. Eight nominations is A LOT. I realize it's not in best picture but that is a huge haul as movies go. I keep hearing words like "shut out" which is a laughable description of what happened. 8 nominations is a ringing endorsement. Only Best Pictures and just-miss Best Picture hopefuls ever reach nominations numbers that high.

Off Oscar (in case you need the break. you need the break)
Low Resolution makes a funny with Pfeiff
Fabulon "art appreciation with Julianne Moore"
Lazy Eye Theater come back Billy Bob!
Club Silencio picks its five favorite films of 2008. There's only 3 Oscar noms among them
i09 on the Watchmen's rape scene. I really loved the remake of Dawn of the Dead but after 300 I do not trust the base panderings of this Zach Snyder fellow
Coosa Creek Cinema a review of Gran Torino that actually helped me understand why people love the movie

Off Cinema altogether. (Whaaaa?)
<-- two badass blonde chicks 2 love: P¡nk & Katee Sackhoff

The Post Game Show 80s pop music vs. 00s pop music. Funny
Braniac shares conservative anger (and sour grapes) over Starbuck and Battlestar Galactica. Apparently women should only be birthin' babies! Ugh. Serious question: How do such rabidly anti-woman right-wingers end up finding women to marry and impregnate, anyway?


Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, so happy for your Pink love.

Here's her new video for Please Don't Leave Me:

Like, really, as if I didn't love her enough, she just had to make a video paying homage to movies. And her acting is quite good too. LOL.

Misery meets The Shining meets The Joker. U go gurl!

Catherine said...

Aw, I loved reading those quotes from the nominees. Especially Javier Bardem ringing up Josh Brolin and "flipping out and screaming". That's just so endearing to me.

As far all this TDK/Reader feuding, it's really grinding on me. Personally, I was surprised that the Academy didn't go for the Bat, but I wasn't upset in the least. I honestly couldn't care less (I was rooting harder for Wall-E) but I can see why people would be angry or sad that TDK didn't get in. But to take it out on The Reader is just irritating. I didn't looooove the film, but I liked it a lot and in no way is it pornographic or overly sympathetic to Nazis (did the people who are spreading that particular critique actually watch Lena Olin's scene or were they out getting more popcorn at that point?)

Anonymous said...

Nate, you must be the most prolific blogger ever! Alright, almost. Do you sleep 2 hours or something?

I have one small request. At the film bitch awards, I liked the fact that at one time you chose one performance as the best of the year (it was Julianne Moore). Could you do that this year as well?


Anonymous said...

Scrap Oscar talk.


Sally Belle said...

Tapley and all the other Dark Knight crazies need to get over themselves.

Their are obviously just as many people who would have been pissed if TDK got a nom over The Reader.

I agree with Catherine...except that I did love The Reader. Are we so damn repressed in this country that we might think it was pornographic? I am also sick of the humanizing Nazis arguement. The Nazis were human...that's what is so scary...and we damn sure had better remember that before we go thinking it couldn't happen again!

Geez, let's not take this out on Daldry's film please.
I seriously thought Frost/Nixon and The Reader were better films then Slumdog Millionaire, so why aren't people groaning that Slumdog took TDK's spot?

Anonymous said...

And may I add, the Academy does not have to obey the critics and the fans. There would be no point in its existence.

We have the right to disagree but they have the right to follow their tastes. Anyone who has a big problem should just ignore the academy.


Anonymous said...

It's true - I absolutely can't keep up with you Nathaniel but it's fun trying!

John T said...

Tapley's article is utterly ridiculous. Yes, I too thought TDK was one of the year's five best, but The Reader was too, and if you're going to complain, do it over the paint-by-numbers work in Frost/Nixon or the sloppy character development in Slumdog, not over the sturdy worsmanship in The Reader.

Was I the only one who was pretty darn pleased with this year's lineups? I mean, subtract Frost/Nixon and Angelina's one-note perf, and you've got a darn solid group of nominees. Streep, Leo, Winslet, Hathaway-great list. Penn and Rourke are the frontrunners for Best Actor, you've got two perfs in Supporting that are going to go to two great performances, and Winslet's finally taking one home. All-in-all, a solid list, particularly considering that the year wasn't nearly up to snuff with 2007.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I won't be placated by the "impressive haul" of 8 nominations for "The Dark Knight" when I know good and well that it should have made best picture over shit like "The Reader."

Steven said... why aren't people groaning that Slumdog took TDK's spot?

I am, Sally Belle!

And yes, Nate, I think Slumdog's vulnerable at this point. It's certainly not the underdog anymore. If it didn't win, I'd be happy.


Robert said...

I guess the thing with the Dark Knight fans is...

how many fans of other movies were let down by the noms? WALL-E fans, Wrestler fans, Rachel Getting Married fans. But none of us are freaking out.

probably because we don't feel entitled... and also know that the Oscars aren't worth that much stress.

Moasey said...

wow...this is the only site I can come back to where not EVERYONE is screaming and complaining about the Dark Knight SNUB (I thought the word snub meant ZERO???).

love your site Nathaniel and great choices with the Film Bitch Awards this year...and definitely waiting to find out about your Gold, Silver & Bronze medallists!

Anonymous said...

Sally Belle,

I guess the reason there's such an outcry about the Dark Knight is cause..well..alot of people actually saw it...
unlike the Reader, where I can't think of five people that have other than randon folks on the internet.
It's just a numbers game really, heck I haven't even seen The Reader but thats because it's just a subject matter that holds no interest for me.
You won't see me slagging on it though.

BUT, I will take the opportunity to bash Frost/Nixon and Benjamin Button, the two biggest smoking turds I watched this year. They are the REAL reasons The Dark Knight didn't make the cut as far as I'm concerned. Seriously...Frost/Nixon had the quality of a made for tv movie. And I won't even get into Eric Roth being nominated again for making practically the same movie as he did in 94.

Anonymous said...

Nat, did you hear about the new Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley's new project? Brilliant casting i have to say. About time Knightley did a modern piece.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Nathaniel, thanks so much for this site, which I've used the past 2-3 years to help me pick the nominees, an activity that my friend & fellow cinephile Bob have been doing for almost 30 years now. It's gotten to the point now where our total nominee tallies are almost always within one nominee of each other, which happened again this year. We, too, have the Academy pretty well figured out, but not so much that we don't get a few surprises, pleasant and unpleasant, every year.

I ended up with 72 to his 71, & only because we rank our choices 1-5 in each category, which gave me the edge in the Best Song tally. We each picked two of the three, but he only got credit for 1 because "Jai Ho" was in his Top 5 but not in his Top 3. (We also were shocked at the exclusion of Springsteen's "The Wrestler", though I'm one of the few who's generally not a Springsteen fan).

Which leads me to ask you, who apeears to have 73 nominees right, whether the last Best Song list I saw for you ranked the nominees in any particular order. Which three were your Top 3 out of the five you listed? I'm just curious if I might have tied you and have even more bragging rights than I already do for beating Bob, albeit on a technicality of sorts.

As to TDK vs The Reader, I agree that there's really no one-on-one battle there. How do we know that TDK was 6th in the balloting? I'm quite disappointed that my pick as the year's best movie didn't get a BP nod, but I'm just as disappointed that Gran Torino got shut out. I don't think either omission was a "snub" or grand theft, as the nominees chosen instead are at least understandable and at best worthy. I'm more disappointed that I didn't go with my second thoughts about The Reader getting a few more noms when I made my picks. How dare the Academy mess up my predictions!

I do feel bad for Christopher Nolan, because his vision and his screenplay contributions should have been recognized for their part in what many(and by "many" I mean me and several others whom I've read from or talked to) consider to be a breakthrough modern masterpiece.

Keep it going, Nate! It's comforting to know that there is somebody else out there Oscar-obsessed enough to try to pick the nominees in EVERY category, though I keep trying to get Bob to drop the Short Subject categories from the contest, as the reasons for our sheer guesses get weirder every year.

Adios from Denver!

Anonymous said...

How do such rabidly anti-woman right-wingers end up finding women to marry and impregnate, anyway?

Ugh. The quick answer is that these women are self-hating and/or have never been able to think for themselves - it's easier for some people to have rigid gender roles and just stick to them, and our society is pretty much built around the modern nuclear family that survives on gender roles. The long answer, I'll skip, since this isn't the 'gender politics experience.'

Also, thank you thank you thank you for being realistic about 'The Dark Knight.' Awards Daily is nutso right now; when someone says something like 'TDK was good, but had x, y, and z flaws' they are called a hater, or told they are too old and/or stupid to get the movie. It's ridiculous.

Bernardo said...

I just realized something amazing!!!
Only 4 of the nominated performances are for playing real people!!! This is glorious!

And if Sean Penn doesn't win... then all 4 winners will be for playing fictional characters!

Sean Penn (Milk)
Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon)

Angelina Jolie (Changeling)

Josh Brolin (Milk)

Anonymous said...

As to TDK vs The Reader, I agree that there's really no one-on-one battle there. How do we know that TDK was 6th in the balloting?

Or that 'The Reader' was 5th, for that matter.

Anonymous said...

Here's my problem...I HATE IT when very well crafted but uninvolving movies get best picture!

SLUMDOG added up to be an exciting, moving, and really surprising experience for me - and not only because the story is such a huge melodrama (I mean, come on!) - but because it was shot, directed, filmed, scored, etc. to great effect! (And say what you like, that Dev Patel is a sweetheart and those puppy dog eyes of his really helped you care. And those kids! And what's her name? - the female lead - what a beauty!!) (You know, there is a certain shameless, audacity in parts of SLUMDOG that harken back to some of the BRAVEHEART discussions we were having the other day).

BENJAMIN BUTTON added up to an interesting (especially in the Tilda Swinton parts), lovely, frustrating and a little silly (who the f*** thought up that framing device - Hurricane Katrina??? I'm sorry, but that seems like a Screenplay 101 idea to me!) experience despite having top notch talent and technical support all over the place. I place this failing at the feet of Fincher and Roth. And, for me, when I see that much talent and get so little emotional payoff, I get mad.

(This is actually the problem I had with REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, too. I saw it in an early preview and was so disappointed. I should have been on the floor, whipped and exhausted, and I wasn't. Big fail, in my opinion, but again not due to the cast and tech support (which was all gorgeous - I really thought DICAPRIO moved to a whole new level of vulnerability in this part) but to the writer and director. Opening a movie with such a huge fight (by the car) leaves the audience with no where to go! See WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF to see how it should be done - how to build sympathy for unsympathetic people!)

I did find MILK more moving and exciting than BENJAMIN BUTTON but not as unique and thrilling as SLUMDOG. I think Gus Van Sant may have tried too hard to make it a "safe" bio pic for Hollywood and middle America to embrace. (Boy wasn't Penn different, though? And Brolin - he really suprised me at how creepy he was. [He and Bardem should get back together and make a creep movie together!])

I have not yet seen THE READER or FROST/NIXON. I don't anticipate being transported very far by the "interview" movie but I'm really beginning to wonder if the other one might move me more than I first expected.

I guess, for me, the movie that moves me the most, that transports me the most, that stimulates me the most in human ways, not just thrill and chills, is always going to get my vote over something extremely well crafted but dry.

And, the truth is, although DARK KNIGHT certainly falls in my top 5 for the year (for delivering thrills and chills plus much MORE), I actually think SLUMDOG transported me the most. So, so far it would be my choice.

I actually didn't think this was such a great year for movies. I remember being totally blown away by the 2 front runners last year - for different reasons. And despite Meryl deserving another Oscar NOW, I sure wasn't very transported by DOUBT (although Viola Davis and the script did make me cry).

For that matter, I haven't seen THE WRESTLER yet so maybe that will blow me away more than SLUMDOG. What do you think?


billybil... i can't predict how other people will react but The Wrestler really floored me emotionally (but then, so did Rachel Getting Married and some people just h-a-t-e that one)

Liz -- i have not heard about this (must look up) I've totally been drowning in oscar stuff

rebecca --good points. Maybe the reader was in 4th and frost/nixon almost missed (it also has a low nom tally)

Glendon said...

"I HATE IT when very well crafted but uninvolving movies get best picture! "


Brian Darr said...

On the failure of the Dark Knight to get its rightful nominations for best picture/director/screenplay/costumes/documentary.

It must be because of its mere 94% rotten tomatoes rating- if only that number had been 100% there's no way the Academy could have ignored it. Blame David Denby, David Edelstein, Keith Uhlich, Armond White, and the few other tomatometer dissenters for this travesty!

The Pretentious Know it All said...

I liked "The Reader" better than "The Dark Knight" but I almost wish I could strip it of its best picture nomination because of all this hate that's being generated towards it. Plus, it's in my top ten but not my top five, so mathematically, I shouldn't want it to be there anyway.

The anger being directed at "Milk," kind of freaks me out/confuses me, honestly. Firstly, even with the Globe snub, "Milk" was always going to be here. So it's certainly not taking "The Dark Knight's" place. A conservative former classmate of mine who is angry about TDK snub said that they nominated "Milk" simply because the Academy can't have people think they're homophobic...
Have you ever heard such a middle America assessment of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences? Besides "Milk," they have fully embraced only one other gay-themed film before, which was the awards leader going into AMPAS, and lost ONLY at the AMPAS. The only reason gay-themed movies get so much press when they're recognized by Awards bodies is because it so rarely ever happens, even with the good ones. So it sounds to me like the Academy can't let people think they're too homo-accepting.


Brian -ha!

The Know Nothing --amen, sister! I mean, brother. I mean...just AMEN. This is a ridiculous notion that the homophobes are floating. The Academy is not friendly to the gays. They denied Brokeback the win. They gave Braveheart best picture. generally gay characters have to die to get attention --note dennis quaid missing the oscar nom despite plenty of attention elsewhere for Far From Heaven. They've never given the Oscar to an out actor (unless you count Sir John Gielgud in '81) and they've only nominated a couple (sir ian mckellen and sir nigel hawthorne) since I've been watching the show. They generally prefer straight actors doing stereotypical gay performance to real gays doing more natural performance (see 1997's stupid Rupert Everett snub in favor of Gregg Kinnear's sissy)


people pay no attention and then they just say whatever occurs to them and think that it's sound reasoning.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I've lost track.

Nathaniel - did you like Sean Penn's performance in MILK? How did he do, being a strongly identified straight actor? I couldn't believe all the press he got for his supposed call to Madonna telling her he'd "finally" kissed a man on the lips!

Anonymous said...

Keira has a modern piece coming out this year, with Eva Mendes. Both of her projects for next year sound great, the Director of the Painted Veil is directing her in The Beautiful and The Damned and The Colin Farrell Film "London Boulevard."

Isn't Kris Tapley the same guy who said Kate W wouldn't get a nomination for Eternal Sunshine? If it is, he hated the Reader bu ha ha ha. Personally, I don't care about the Oscars and I love it when there's an uproar. Why? Because it's not that damn serious.

Let's all blame it on Oprah though, she loved the Reader moreso than Rev Road ( she had Kate on the show). So it's all her fault. lmao


The Pretentious Know it All said...

It's brother, for the record Nathaniel. My father makes the same mistake all the time ;) I didn't even think of Ian McKellan. He's an odd case in that I don't know what he would have to do to win an Oscar at this point. Maybe play an aging Irish patriarch where he gets to use an accent (Jim Sheridan, can you get on that?)

And anonymous, Oprah doesn't love anything. She's like a mushroom. She tastes like whatever you cook her in. I'm serious. This is the woman that called Jennifer Hudson's performance in "Dreamgirls," a religious experience. She has no opinions other than what's popular or seems like it could be popular.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to add a little bit of dissent to the discussion of Milk and the Academy and sexual politics. I'm having a hard time knowing exactly where I stand here, simply because I WASN'T impressed with Milk, and I didn't find the film particularly innovative or involving, but rather a pretty standard biopic. And I'm not trying to pick fights, because I know that a lot of people DID find the film deeply moving, and that's fine.

But as a gay person, it's hard for me to accept this idea of Milk as being some sort of make-up award for Brokeback, which I personally consider to be an exponentially better film. I hate the idea of the Academy (or the public) dismissing Milk because of its homo themes. But in some ways it seems to me that gay communities have embraced this film because of its gay-affirming themes, DESPITE its conventions and shortcomings, which in my view are strong enough to disqualify it from the many accolades its received.

And that's not such a horrible thing. I've just been sensing what borders on an argument that the refusal to embrace Milk as a quality film is an inherent act of homophobia, and I can't get on board there.

That said, I still think it's a better movie than TDK.

Anonymous said...

So what's wrong with that? I happened to like Jennifer Hudson's performance. I was being sarcastic, cuz everyone loves to blame things on Oprah.



Grant -- i agree with you that not liking a film with gay subject matter does not qualify as homophobic. Lord knows I've hated some gay movies pitched right at me.

That's not what i was arguing but some of those sites are saying ridiculous things and smearing Milk because 'the Academy fanatically embraces homosexuality'. What-ev-er.


I think MILK is better than a standard biopic but even if it is has some of the same generic problems that they all do, if the Academy were to shun it (not the public you understand) wouldn't that qualify as homophobic? seeing as how they love just about any biopic even if it's kinda, well, lame (i.e. Finding Neverland, Ray, etcetera)

billybil i love Penn's performance. He's in my Best Actor List

Anonymous said...

You forgot Walking the Line and the Aviator in that Lame list.

Anonymous said...

1. Sigh.

2. I don't think the academy is homophobic. I think they have homophobic members, but I think that's true of a majority of broad organizations. I think what it comes down to is that they don't like anything remotely subversive or uncomfortable.

3. That stated, there's a number of reasons I'm getting annoyed at people misreading the mood (or my take on the response).

THE READER was not as acclaimed as FROST/NIXON

It didn't get better reviews. Nor did it get more critics prizes. In fact, using Rotten Tomatoes (so take it with a grain of salt), THE READER is the lowest graded best picture contender in thirty years. Lower then SEABISCUIT. Lower then THE GREEN MILE. Lower then CHOCOLAT. Seriously.

4. I wanna see the damn Reader now, just to see what's got people so riled up, because the book is fairly noteworthy and important in the annals of modern German literature.

Anonymous said...

Also, "Far From Heaven" is a "tragi-farce?" What the hell is that?

Anonymous said...

Ooops! I better get my ass over there and look at your Best lists! I'm just so afraid because I don't think I'll see Meryl's name there this year!

rosengje said...

To me, The Reader did not completely work but it was a much more fascinating and complex effort. I cannot stand people calling it pornography. Post Oscar announcements yesterday I left my TV on NBC and Kathie Lee Gifford was going on about how she didn't think she would be able to see the film because she had done work for victims of abuse and just knew it would make her upset. It is just extremely frustrating to me to see people make no effort with the movie. I think The Reader is more in line with last year's edgier best picture nominations than people are giving it credit for.

It makes sense to me that Frost/Nixon would have a better RT score, because there is nothing offensive about it. That said, there is also nothing there to distinguish it. Even more than the film's nomination, I am mystified by Ron Howard's smooth sailing to a Best Director nod. I am not a huge fan of The Dark Knight but I would have much preferred Christopher Nolan to Howard: film's ode to mediocrity.

Anonymous said...

Nate, I ask you again (too many posts to notice everything) can you also name the performance you liked the most in any category like you did in 2002 when the time is right?

And is it possible to compete in the next actress psychic being anonymous and not giving you my mailing adress (since I live in Greece)? If I win (!!), the person after me (I mean in the ranking list) can get the present, fine by me. I just want to do it for the fun of it.

And about Milk. I guess Ebert and almost every other serious critic didn't want to be considered homophobic and that's why they said they loved the film.


Anonymous said...

We are obviously not going to like all the same films. I personally loved Slumdog Millionaire and I hate the backlash it is getting for being the frontrunner. I thought Benjamin Button was utterly boring. Revolutionary Road, not as depressing as I thought it would be, actually quite funny. The Dark Knight, good movie, but a bit too fast, needed to slow down. Milk, great performances, better than the typical biopic. The rest are still unseen. Some people have said that the Reader is the best film of the year, (before nominations) so it obviously has a strong following. As for the Academy, why do we care so much? I’m not a member of the Academy and I’m sure no one on this blog is. I’m positive that there are homophobic, racist and sexist members that belong to the Academy and unfortunately that will never change, but do we really think that Milk got in simply because the Academy doesn’t want to be considered homophobic? This was almost the same argument that some people gave for Crash’s win over BBM the Academy didn’t want to be considered racist (or whenever a Black person wins for that matter). Um maybe they liked the movie more or identified with it more. I really didn’t like Crash or BBM so it didn’t matter to me. Using RT or any critical reviews to validate a film being better (In terms of AMPAS) is kind of pointless, since we know that the critics are not Academy members. All of the bickering and bashing ( from EVERYONE) is annoying and useless because the nominations are in and there is NOTHING you can do about it. If the AMPA nominations bothers some so much, then don’t watch the ceremony or stop following the Oscar race.

From the lovely lady of the invisible cinema blogspot (a site that showcases African-American films)

Her review of Cadillac Records

“One thing I honestly believe about watching movies, and I've said this before, is that how one feels about a film greatly comes from their experiences and perspectives in life. In other words, I may love a film, and you may hate it, or think it's boring because we come from different perspectives and are probably not paying attention to the same themes or images as each other. This movie is not perfect, it could have gone much deeper into the characters and their lives, but it is completely attention grabbing all the same.”

This applies to critics too.

Her favorite film of this year was the Wrestler.


Chuck W said...

First of all, let me preface this comment with this: there is no excuse for the reactionary homophobia and retaliatory name-calling taken up by a select section of The Dark Knight contingent. Their behavior really discredits those of us who, yes, recognize its flaws and limitations but wish to purport the notion that it is an exemplary cinematic effort and one of the year’s best. On behalf of all the insane and stupid (and insanely stupid) TDK fanboys, I give my apologies.

With that said, I am going to have to respectfully disagree with you, Nate, that those who admired TDK should be satisfied with its eight nominations. Think of it this way: WALL*E, a film that I personally did not care for, also emerged as an artistic breakthrough that could, potentially, legitimize the animation medium by stepping outside the category ghetto set up by AMPAS. But it failed—and there was disappointment by many of the film’s fans. Now we could argue that the film’s best screenplay and song nominations should discredit any argument that the film was unjustly ghettoized, but that, unfortunately, is not the case. It was placed within its specific category and shut out from the major awards—and the ultimate message to its fans was that this was good, but not a legitimate “film” like Benjamin Button or The Reader.

The same thing could be said of The Dark Knight. Aside from the Ledger nomination, its nominations are in the technical categories—which, yes, can be viewed as the genre film ghetto, the place where AMPAS can recognize the lesser, more prole-oriented films. Many of us wanted to see TDK nominated because it could break through that sort of myopic classism, that it could set a standard for genre films and narrow the wide gap between art and industry, that it could be recognized for its cinematic achievement without the qualifiers of “good for a superhero flick.” But it didn’t. It’s in the genre ghetto, while the middlebrow collection of period dramas and biopics slide into their favored slots.

So it didn’t come to pass. Oh well. Personally, I could care less about the lack of nominations, as it does not diminish my appreciation of the film—and really, the film’s reputation in history will probably benefit from its lack of Academy recognition. But I will say this: I would have been happy if either WALL*E (again, which I didn’t particularly like) or The Dark Knight, since either would have made this year’s race more interesting and dismantling the Academy’s ghetto.

At the same time, I really wish some of these TDK fans would grow the fuck up. They’re making the rest of us look bad. Honest engine, Nathaniel, not all of us so friggin’ irrational.

Chuck W said...

And for the record: Milk is the only film nominated for Best Picture this year that I actually like. I am officially rooting for it by default.

The rest, I feel, were fairly mediocre or muddled. And yes, that includes Slumdog.

The Pretentious Know it All said...

Let's veer for a second. Because all these comments are frightening me.

Consider these years: 1995, 1969, 1932 and 1931. Those are the only four years EVER when none of the four acting winners came from best picture nominees, and considering they only had two acting categories towards the beginning, that's a pretty meaningful statistic. In supporting actress this year, the only one from a BP Nominee is Taraji P. Henson and she's not winning. Then there's supporting actor, where Josh Brolin is the only one repping a BP nominee. And Ledger's winning there, so it's all moot. In best actor, Sean Penn could feasibly win (but I don't think he will). That leaves Winslet in lead. Overdue, one nomination this year for them to focus on, and no one's excited about anything else. Is it time?


the know nothing oh, it's obviously time for Winslet. That's a done deal (i think)

chuck we actually totally agree on this. I've been saying it here for months. Even though the Dark Knight was not one of my favorites of the year (I liked it but thought it significantly flawed and felt that the fervor for it is largely due to the sadness surrounding losing Heath Ledger... which believe me, I'm also really sad about) I really did want it to get the nomination because I kind of feel like Oscars are given for so many reasons OTHER than quality that there's no reason why that one shouldn't be honored considering its very rare achievements: uniting critics and audiences, being considered the pinnacle of its genre (even though I disagree with that assessment ...I still think Spider-Man 2 is the best superhero film and the best representation of the joy of comic books... to me) --these things don't happen often.

Did I think TDK was one of the five best of the year? No. Do i wish it had been nominated yes --Though WALL*E would have been a better choice for the very same reasons. i.e. it would REALLY help the Oscars, the industry, and audiences alike if EVERYONE started thinking long and hard about subject matter and genre not equalling quality. There's great films in every genre. Fanboys don't really realize this to their discredit. But then neither does the Academy to their own discredit.

Sally Belle said... Tomatoes and The Dark Knight...The Wrestler was at 98% last time I looked...I don't see a nom for that fine film either.

and anyone who said Penn isn't winning Best Actor...I respectfully think you are wrong.

I'm going with Hathaway, Penn, Ledger and Cruz all the way.

I think Streep and Winslet will kill each other.

Anonymous said...

A bit more on Cruz's reaction after the nomination here:

Just two bits as it's not in English:

On having Kate Winslet as a rival:

"Lo único que puedo decir es que Kate y yo nos mandamos mensajes cada vez que conseguimos un premio o una candidatura. Nos conocemos, hemos compartido el mismo publicista durante muchos años, tenemos una muy buena relación."

"Desde luego, es una de las mejores actrices del momento."

I wonder if they txt each other or it's more an email relationship thing. Either way, I love knowing about these unexpected relationships/acquaintances between actresses.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I got over TDK snub before it even happened (I don't really see what the big deal is, the last time my personal best film got nominated was six bloody years ago. And yeah, I was hoping the AMPAS would think outside of the box with preferrably both TDK and WALL-E -- but if that always happened as we would've wished, it wouldn't be much outside-the-box anymore, would it?)

THAT SAID, is it really that different than the outcry when Crash won? Sure, I acknowledge the reasons for cheering on BBM ran deeper than in the case of TDK, but the blame game after the fact was entirely comparable, with taking it out on an innocent movie that "took its place" and whatnot. Also, compare and contrast:

"The Academy is not friendly to the gays. They denied Brokeback the win. "

"8 nominations is a ringing endorsement."

So which is it? Cause BBM had eight, too, and much more prestigious ones.

Anonymous said...

And, I forgot to add, there is a certain bitterness in that out of TDK's impressing eight nods, two are what I believe StinkyLulu once called coaster nominations. I love the film dearly, but I honestly can't imagine anyone objectively consider its art direction and visual effects this year's best if the film hadn't been already set up as a big Oscar player.


notluke... perhaps what i should have said is "8 nominations is a ringing endorsement for a genre film"

Anonymous said...

Once again, I'm terribly sad that it's "The Reader"'s nomination that's being attacked by those who desperately wanted "The Dark Knight" to be nominated (and I was among them, but I'd rahter see it instead of Slumdog, Benjamin Button or Frost/Nixon). Is it just because it was such a surprise or do they really think that it's this one that should have been denied the nomination in favour of their favourite?
It is so much more ambitious and undeniably more challenging than at least three of best picture nominees. I'm rooting either for this one or "Milk" to win (although I think this lineup is very weak).

Anonymous said...

But it's not really, because all those nods were in technical categories, where genre films are not overlooked.

Anyway, Chuck Williamson said it best. The Oscar nominations don't diminish one's love for any movie.

The Reader: is not acclaimed, not popular, hasn't been released, is the one that can be marked down as a surprise nominee, is a Weinstein film (so it feels "bought") and is bait (Holocaust). I don't know why people are having such a hard time figuring out why it is being attacked as opposed to anyone else.


arkaan -- i guess you're right that's it not hard to understand. I guess i just don't like the vitriol attached. And WELL BEFORE it was being attacked for this I thought the cries of "pornographic" were grossly reductive and puritanical.

i see what you're saying about genre films not being overlooked in tech nods but i'ma have to do another post about this because people really need to understand how many nominations 8 is.

it's A LOT. No matter what kind of film you are.

Anonymous said...

And I understand that eight nods is a lot, especially this decade where nominations hard harder to come by (That's more than most best picture nominees this decade). But I still say that it can translate as a snub because of where it wasn't nominated.