Thursday, January 22, 2009

81st Annual Oscar Nominations

On the one year anniversary of Heath Ledger's death, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscar) Nominations were announced and Ledger is indeed up for Best Supporting Actor for his outstanding portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight. The list doesn't stray too far from what we saw at the Golden Globes but there are a few surprises including giving a Best Actor nod to Richard Jenkins in The Visitor. I saw this movie on a recommendation from my dad and was very impressed with Jenkins' performance. I know he won't win, but I'm glad the Academy decided to acknowledge him. I do think that The Dark Knight and/or Wall-E should have been up for Best Picture.

Since the Best Picture noms are now out, I will try to cram in some viewings of Milk, Frost/Nixon and The Reader over the next month before the show commences on February 22nd. I have already seen Slumdog Millionaire and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (my pick for Best Picture of 2008). Each year I try to see all five Best Picture nominees and am usually successful in doing so.

The list of the major six awards is posted below for those who want to get some early wagering ideas (the full list can be found here). I have put my early picks as to who will win in RED and who I WANT to win in BLUE.

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Richard Jenkins in “The Visitor” (Overture Films)
  • Frank Langella in “Frost/Nixon” (Universal)
  • Sean Penn in “Milk” (Focus Features)
  • Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
  • Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight) (I haven't seen his performance yet)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Josh Brolin in “Milk” (Focus Features)
  • Robert Downey Jr. in “Tropic Thunder” (DreamWorks, Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Doubt” (Miramax)
  • Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.)
  • Michael Shannon in “Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage)

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Angelina Jolie in “Changeling” (Universal)
  • Melissa Leo in “Frozen River” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Meryl Streep in “Doubt” (Miramax)
  • Kate Winslet in “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Amy Adams in “Doubt” (Miramax)
  • Penélope Cruz in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (The Weinstein Company)
  • Viola Davis in “Doubt” (Miramax)
  • Taraji P. Henson in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
  • Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)

Achievement in directing

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), David Fincher
  • Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Ron Howard
  • Milk” (Focus Features), Gus Van Sant
  • The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Stephen Daldry
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Danny Boyle

Best motion picture of the year

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), A Kennedy/Marshall Production, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
  • Frost/Nixon” (Universal), A Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment and Working Title Production, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Eric Fellner, Producers
  • Milk” (Focus Features), A Groundswell and Jinks/Cohen Company Production, Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, Producers
  • The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), A Mirage Enterprises and Neunte Babelsberg Film GmbH Production, Nominees to be determined
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), A Celador Films Production, Christian Colson, Producer


Omar said...

In other words, in the major categories, your favorites to win don't match at all to which nominees *will* win? Wow, you're really pessimistic!

But that The Dark Knight and WALL-E didn't get any nominations for Best Picture goes to show you that Return of the King's Best Picture Oscar was a fluke; the Academy will really never take action or animation as serious contenders for Best Picture.

Jordan said...

Actually, with respect to Return of the King (ROTK), the reason that film won all those awards (besides the fact that it is the best movie ever made) is that it was a culmination of all three Lord of the Rings films. The Academy giving ROTK Best Picture was rewarding P. Jackson and Co. as a whole for a job well done on the three film arc. Who knows, if Nolan cranks out a third Batman that is as good or better than Dark Knight, the Academy may repeat themselves in rewarding a "fantasy" film.