Thursday, January 22, 2009

M.I.A at the Oscars.

That title of course has a double meaning, since not only will the British dance artist M.I.A get a chance to perform at the show (two songs from "Slumdog Millionaire" made the cut for Best Original Song) but it's also meant to analyze what happened to those missing in action, because as usual there were some whopping snubs (like Bruce Springsteen not getting a nomination for "The Wrestler"!).
Yes this all means that Academy Award nominations are finally here! (Or here for a more efficient read)
And boy were there a shock or two. As usual it was a mixed bag, since there will always be detractors and supporters for the nominees.
Biggest whoa of the morning: Kate Winslet getting one nomination and not for the movie she was campaigning, apparently AMPAS doesn't love her enough to give her a double nod.
I sadly haven't seen "The Reader" but now am dying to, especially because of the sneak attack it gave to other films. It remained under the radar up until Kate's Golden Globe win, but when I saw that Stephen Daldry got nominated in Best Director my jaw dropped to the floor.
He's three for three now, getting a Best Director nomination for each of the movies he's made (can he win it this time? Nah. Maybe if Danny Boyle and David Fincher split votes...).
Boyle and "The Reader" got in Best Picture and Best Director over Christopher Nolan and "The Dark Knight" who everyone assumed were getting in the lineup.
I never got in the Batman bandwagon, yes, it's a very well done film and yes anything is better than "Frost/Nixon", but the arrogant way fanboys, "journalists" and some critics handled this movie made the backlash understandable for me, those threats and beliefs that the movie was the Holy Grail made me actually annoyed by it.
On the other side it pissed me off a little that the Academy still has that genre aversion and if only for that I would've liked having seen it nominated.
My little brother, who loved "The Dark Knight", wisely said yesterday that the Academy would never nominate it for Best Picture. I was rooting for "WALL-E" to get in.
Heath Ledger got in of course and unless G-d himself comes down from the skies, there is no way he will lose this.
I was amazed to see that even if "Revolutionary Road" was snubbed in a major way, Michael Shannon got in for Best Supporting Actor!
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" led the nominations with 13, the film is indeed impressive in the technical department, so much that its effects convinced the Academy that Brad Pitt had given a performance worthy of a nomination...
I was thrilled to see Anne Hathaway get in, but she was a lock, and even if I'm not a fan of Melissa Leo and Richard Jenkins' movies, it was nice to see low key actors get a chance in the spotlight.
Ugh and someone should shut Ben Lyons up; in less than 30 seconds he threw out two of his facile praise blurbs declaring that both Ledger and Benjamin Button have determined before and afters in the history of their respective categories.
The race is shaping up to be rather predictable so far (that seems to happen on those rare occasions whe Director and Picture are exact matches...only happened four times with this one), there is no movie that musters real passion from me this year and the only good thing for me about the Winslet snub is that now Penélope has a sorta clear path to nab Supporting Actress (even if Woody was snubbed in Screenplay).
I was mostly pissed at the fact that Sally Hawkins wasn't nominated for Best Actress, especially when Mike Leigh's screenplay for "Happy-Go-Lucky" did, which is kinda silly considering that Hawkins was the one who brought all the words to life!
But then when all looks bad you see that Werner Herzog is an Academy Award nominee and everything seems to be alright in the world.


Matt said...

i'm sad about wall-e, but am happy the reader was the surprise nomination. it's really good... and i'll be enjoying watching the ceremony with the wonderful m.i.a. making some appearances. it won't be boring that's for sure

Michael Parsons said...

I was on The Dark Knight bandwagon, but only because I think it is important that the academy embrace genre films as well.
SO GUTTED for Sally. Nothing will get me out of this funk. I now have to watch Changeling and I don't wanna!!!!
M.I.A. made me smile though. Great song