Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oscar Nom's Snub & Surprise

The Oscar nominations are out and I can't help but say what the fuck!?! This year while all of the films nominated were good, great even, some just feel like the Academy only had their minds set on going a different route than the Golden Globes. I will include a link to the full list, if you somehow have yet to see them, but this post is far more a rant on the films, actors, directors and songs that feel absolutely snubbed!

Let's start at the top with Best Picture. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire were both stunning films and most definately deserve their spots for top honor, but Frost/Nixon or The Reader? How could the Academy not include The Dark Knight in this list? I know, this could definately sound like a fanboy gone rabid, but The Dark Knight is the pinnacle of comic book films and deserves at minimum the nomination. Sure Frost/Nixon was good, but it wasn't groundbreaking at it most certainly was not something we haven't seen already. Another film that feels snubbed here is The Wrestler. Darren Aronofsky and Mickey Rourke together created an epic film that takes a somber look at the after life and effects of pro wrestling. The result is both visually and emotionally gripping.

My next biggest disappointment comes at the hands of the Best Original Song category. How on earth does Bruce Springsteen's song "The Wrestler" for Aronofsky's somber film not make it on this list? This screams as a blatant example of the Academy trying to distance itself from the Golden Globes. "The Wrestler" is hands down the best placed and best song of the year in any movie. Clint Eastwood also feels robbed, his original song "Gran Torino" is a flawless piece of music and really closes the film out in a more than memorable way. What makes these snubs so puzzling is last year, the Academy had 5 songs nominated! 3 from the so-so Enchanted and 1 for both August Rush and Once. So what gives? Why exclude these two amazing pieces of music? The only clear reason is that the Academy does not want the stigma that the Golden Globes is nothing but a pre-cursor to the Oscar's or rather the Oscar's always follow suit with the Globes nominations and wins.

Continuing along to my next gripe, Best Actress in a Leading Role. Why is Kate Winslet nominated for a supporting role in a leading role category? Winslet's performance in The Reader is mesmorizing, but it is a supporting role. The Globes agree, Winslet took home the Best Supporting Actress Award for The Reader in the beginning of the month. So why exclude her superior lead performance in Revolutionary Road and replace it with a supporting? This move is extremely mind boggling and irks me to no end. I truely hope Winslet takes home the Oscar for The Reader regardless, but truely we all know, Hathaway takes it home for Rachel Getting Married.

Achievement in Directing mirrors Best Picture! Both The Reader and Frost/Nixon should not have been nominated. The Wrestler, Gran Torino or The Dark Knight and their directors all deserves spot ahead of the two previously mentioned films. This argument does not warrant a comparison of the Globes, because both Frost/Nixon and The Reader were nominated at the Golden Globes for Best Drama and Best Director. This gripe really more boils down to my personal tastes over what has been nominated. Frost/Nixon and The Reader were great films with precision direction, but The Dark Knight was a masterpiece and Nolan deserves some of the credit. It was a trend setter, it was a record breaker, it was a film that made studios stop and re-evaluate how they develop their current projects. Neither Frost/Nixon or The Reader are any of that. Okay, honestly I don't want to take anything else away from any of the nominated films or their perspective directors, they are all outstanding and deserve notarity, but Christopher Nolan and The Dark Knight deserved something more from the Academy than just techinical Awards.

What say you? Are you happy with the nominations? Any films or categories you disagree with? Strikeback...