Tuesday, January 22, 2008

No Oscar for (Homeless) Young Men

A strange morning, to say the least. In the same format as last year, here are my thoughts...

THE "I AM FEELING NEUTRAL ABOUT THIS" STUFFs
- What on earth happened to Into the Wild this morning? Did whisperings and write-ups about Sean Penn's personal life of late hurt the campaign this badly? I thought everyone in Hollywood loved this movie (see SAG.) Although that nifty Editing nomination points toward a Best Picture nod in-the-making, it appears nowhere else except in the Supporting Actor race. What of Eddie Wedder & co.'s songs? The Wild camp must be hurting badly right now. But grouchy Mr. Penn must be relieved that he won't have to sit through yet another awards ceremony this year (that is, if it even happens what with WGA and all.)
- Atonement manages to pull off a Best Picture nomination after all, indicating that the film has more fans within the Academy than I had originally figured. I thought the Joe Wright picture would be this year's Dreamgirls like many other bloggers, but I suppose one should never underestimate the British period prestige contender. Good for Wright & co. I'm not ga-ga over all of the hit-and-miss Atonement, but I do lurve that first half with Ronan as Briony.
- With Jason Reitman's surprise appearance in the directing category, does the Best Picture race now come down to No Country for Old Men versus Juno?
- Philip Seymour Hoffman's appearance in the Supporting Actor race now means I'll have to watch Charlie Wilson's War.
- The Simpsons Movie booted out of Animated Feature for Surf's Up. While I heard surprisingly good word-of-mouth regarding the latter, I totally thought those Springfeldians were a lock here simply due to the popularity and lasting power of their film.
- I'm not a fan of The Bourne Identity trilogy, but it's nice to see that it's finally made an impact this year (I accurately predicted all three of its nominations.) Ultimatum is probably my least favourite of the three though.
- Sweeney Todd missing in Makeup and Cinematography? Weird.

THE GOOD STUFFs
- I was correct in intuiting that voters had not forgotten about Tommy Lee Jones in In the Valley of Elah, but dead wrong in figuring that a vote thrown his way for No Country for Old Men would suffice. This is probably my favourite nomination this morning - it's heartening to know that a seemingly forgotten performance like this one can still make it in the final five without any precursor love at all.
- (Expected) strong showings for No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood.
- Say hello to Academy-Award nominees Tilda Swinton and Viggo Mortensen. S'about time!
- Ronan! Atwood! Marianelli!
- I share Glenn's er... enthusiasm in celebrating Sarah Polley's Away From Her Adapted Screenplay mention. This is obviously a "we're sorry we couldn't nominate you in the directing category" nod, but Sarah and I will take it.
- No Country for Old Men is recognized in both the Sound Editing and Sound Mixing categories. KABLOOIE. In the same regard, I hope Transformers remains an Academy Award nominee, nothing more. (My ears!)
- Cheers for Casey Affleck, even if he is nominated in the wrong category.
- I should have known that Enchanted's most showy and memorable musical number ("Happy Working Song", in which Amy Adams frolics with a sizable number of New York City's pest population) would be remembered come voting time.
- While on the topic of Original Songs, congrats to the Once camp for "Falling Slowly" being recognized. I don't like the film very much, but I'm not so crusty as to obnoxiously poo-poo the stellar soundtrack as well. This means we'll actually get to see it performed if the ceremony goes on as planned!
- Michael Moore's flawed, funny Sicko gets a Documentary mention. Hopefully this will get more people to watch it.
- Roger Deakins thankfully gets in for both Jesse James and No Country for Old Men. But now will he lose to Janusz Kaminski's gimmicky Diving Bell aesthetics?
- James Newton Howard's Original Score nomination for Michael Clayton - that pulsing, jangling score was ├╝ber-intense. Great stuff.
- Ruby Dee! Not one of my personal picks, but I certainly preferred her to Catherine Keener or Vanessa Redgrave. Slap him again Ruby!
- Tony Gilroy gets two nominations for his feature film debut. Go Team Clayton.

THE BAD STUFFs
- Jason Reitman for Juno? One of the best-directed films of the year? Ok. Not a travesty by any means, but come on people.
- Angelina Jolie, where art thou? One of the hardest snubs to swallow this morning, even if Linney managed to make it in. Speaking of Linney, love it, but I'm going to pretend that nod is for Jindabyne instead.
- The wig-wearin', hairline-raisin' Cate Blanchett - just like last year - party crashes a category that could have accommodated more deserving nominees. But we knew this was coming, right? Good for her on that I'm Not There shout-out though.
- I haven't seen any of the Foreign-Language films nominated here. Are you listening, Canadian distributors!!?
- More Pirates repeating their same adventures in the Caribbean? Thankfully the future holds no more installments of that franchise (hopefully.) I tried watching this on video, but couldn't make it past the first ten minutes.

THE DOWNRIGHT PAINFUL STUFFs
- Here's an obvious moment to further abuse Norbit, but why bother? I'm more interested to see if it can achieve that rare distinction of being both an Oscar and Razzie winner.
- The Golden Compass for Visual Effects? Ew! I thought this was one of the film's weakest elements. Those polar bears looked so fake, and the daemons fared even worse.
- WHERE IS ALEXANDRE DESPLAT???! They have now snubbed three Oscar-worthy scores of his (Birth, The Painted Veil, and now Lust, Caution.) Bad form!

THIS NOW MEANS I HAVE TO WATCH
- Charlie Wilson's War
- The Kite Runner
- Lars and the Real Girl
- 3:10 to Yuma
- Persepolis
(obviously, I was going to watch this anyways.)

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