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Oscar 2009: The Academy Award Nominations Are Released

Posted 1/22/2009 1:23 pm by

academy_award_oscar.jpgThe Academy Awards nominations are out, and this is the time of year in which everyone who has ever seen a movie likes to weigh in with their opinions on the major categories.  Here’s the full list of Oscar nominations over at the IMDB.  I’m not sure what to think about some of these nominations, honestly.

Every year there’s a pretty big controversy surrounding who gets snubbed and who makes the cut.  Generally Oscar errs on the side of safety, rather than rewarding anything too risky.  Best Motion Picture is seldom given to the best motion picture of that particular year, as Den of Geek noted, and sometimes Oscars are given out simply to make up for years of Oscar snubs.  (The Departed was great, but it’s far from Martin Scorcese’s greatest work.)

Here are the major nominations, and in bold is my prediction for the winner.  I’ll probably get them all wrong, but it’s still fun to play the game.  Feel free to rub it in when I go 0-8.

Best Motion Picture of the Year
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Frost/Nixon (2008)
Milk (2008)
The Reader (2008)
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

This is basically an apology for not picking Brokeback Mountain last year.  I think it should be Slumdog Millionaire, but that’s just me.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Richard Jenkins for The Visitor (2007/I)
Frank Langella for Frost/Nixon (2008)
Sean Penn for Milk (2008)
Brad Pitt for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler (2008)

If there was any justice, Mickey Rourke would win this for the astounding quality of the work he’s done in this picture, and the great work in making his return to national notoriety in Sin City.  He’s a stellar actor, and vastly underappreciated.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married (2008)
Angelina Jolie for Changeling (2008)
Melissa Leo for Frozen River (2008)
Meryl Streep for Doubt (2008/I)
Kate Winslet for The Reader (2008)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Josh Brolin for Milk (2008)
Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder (2008)
Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt (2008/I)
Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight (2008)
Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road (2008)

Even if Heath Ledger were still alive, he’d be winning this.  Since he’s dead, it’s not even a competition.  Otherwise, I think he’d get pushed quite a bit by Robert Downey Jr. in this category.  RDJr. was spectacular in Tropic Thunder, but I think the movie stepped on too many toes in its assault on Hollywood convention and going Downey donning blackface is a bit too edgy.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams for Doubt (2008/I)
Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Viola Davis for Doubt (2008/I)
Taraji P. Henson for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler (2008)

I’m really surprised that Penélope Cruz even got nominated.  Adams and Davis will split the vote for Doubt.  Thus, Henson wins this one.

Best Achievement in Directing
Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Stephen Daldry for The Reader (2008)
David Fincher for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon (2008)
Gus Van Sant for Milk (2008)

I’m a huge fan of Danny Boyle.  I think I’ve liked every movie he’s ever done, and I can’t say that for anyone else on this list.  If Fincher wins, I won’t be disappointed.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
The Dark Knight (2008)
Iron Man (2008)

This one should really be Iron Man all the way.  That was one of the best movies, from a purely technical standpoint, made this year.  Everything was realistic, even when Robert Downey Jr. was flying about on jetboots.  It actually captured the thrill of flying on screen.  I think the more serious Button will get the nod simply because it’s not a summer action thriller.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Bolt (2008)
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
WALL•E (2008)

I might be the only person who didn’t drool all over WALL•E.  The first 45 minutes was amazing; the rest of it was average Disney fare at best.  There’s no way they’d ever give this to Kung Fu Panda.

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