Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oscar Nominations!

At long last, this much anticipated week has arrived in which I get not one but two exciting experiences in one twelve-hour period, last night's season premiere of Lost and this morning's announcement of the Oscar nominations.

What I've seen:
  • Australia
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • The Dark Knight
  • Doubt
  • Frost/Nixon
  • In Bruges
  • Man on Wire
  • Milk
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona
  • The Visitor
  • Wall-E
  • The Wrestler
What I will see (these were already on my list):
  • Changeling
  • Defiance
  • Frozen River
  • Happy-Go-Lucky
  • Rachel Getting Married
  • The Reader
  • Revolutionary Road
  • Tropic Thunder
  • Trouble the Water
  • Waltz With Bashir
What I might see -- these were on my list for fun, and got "minor" nominations:
  • Bolt (Animated Film)
  • Wanted (Sound Editing and Sound Mixing)
Other documentaries and foreign language films that I will of course seek out soon because I love those categories (a few of which had recently been on my radar through their Independent Spirit Award or Golden Globe nominations):
  • The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
  • Encounters at the End of the World
  • The Garden
  • The Baader Meinhof Complex
  • Departures
  • Revanche
  • plus, all the shorts
The randoms, aka the films I will watch once I've seen the others but which did not initially appeal to me and which I had essentially no plans to see until their nominations today:
  • The Class (Best Foreign Language Film -- looks like a French Dangerous Minds, from the trailer)
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Achievement in Makeup. Dude, I love the random action or goofy -- or both -- movie every year that gets an Oscar nomination for makeup. The competition is actually interesting this year, too, with Hellboy competing against Benjamin Button and The Dark Knight.)
  • Iron Man (Sound Editing and Visual Effects)
  • Kung Fu Panda (Animated)
The absolute-last-on-my-list nominee, the one that causes me to roll my eyes and only gets seen if I run out of other options and find myself hideously bored with a few days to spare before the Oscars:
  • The Duchess (Art Direction, Costume Design)

There are many! First and foremost let me congratulate the voters of the Academy for seeing through the campaign-for-supporting-actress-thus-increasing-her-chances ruse and nominating Kate Winslet for Actress in a Leading Role instead for The Reader. That film is very high on our must-see list anyway (we even attempted it but were accidentally late waking up to get to AMC's AM Cinema and saw something else that day instead).

Next, hurrah for In Bruges! That film rules. It is an interesting competition in the Original Screenplay category, and Milk obviously has a great chance, especially because then people might feel better about themselves to award Milk that since they're going to vote for Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler instead of Sean Penn in the actor category. And I haven't yet seen Frozen River or Happy-Go-Lucky. But based on what I know so far, I will stand up and cheer if In Bruges wins.

Supporting nominations I dig: Penelope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Josh Brolin in Milk, although too bad for him because, seriously, Heath Ledger is going to win for his, ahem, "supporting" performance in The Dark Knight.

Surprisingly few, I guess. And come to think of it, few surprises. I think Frost/Nixon is the best of the lot (although don't forget I haven't yet seen The Reader etc.) And all the Doubt nominations are just kind of whatever, expected, but that wasn't really a great film. Neither was Button, which was kind of weird, although it had great things about it such as Cinematography. I really liked Slumdog Millionaire but I don't think it's the best. It is certainly a favorite right now, though. I guess it's a little sad that there was no love for Clint Eastwood and Gran Torino, which I thought was OK, very Clint. Oh well, he's Clint Eastwood, he doesn't need anything so silly as another Oscar... And, I've seen all the supporting actress flicks and am basically underwhelmed except by Penelope in Barcelona. Second choice Marisa, but seriously, go see Vicky Cristina Barcelona, just for her super crazy and fun Maria Elena! If either of the Doubt ladies wins, I will roll my eyes.

All right everyone. Go forth and watch.

Oh yeah, and one more thing: Man on Wire! Gooooo, Man on Wire!

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