2008 Oscar Noms – So What Do You Think?

Before we dive into today’s non-Oscar-related news, this is a forum to express your thoughts on the nominations for the 80th Academy Awards. I’m not sure why I expected to grimace when the bigger categories were announced. Good choices, all.

It’s hard to say, for me at least, that any notable pictures were snubbed, except for The King of Kong, one of the top three highest rated films of 2007, for Best Documentary Feature. But the early word predicted that, for whatever reason. I’m sure some will make the case for American Gangster, but not me. That was part of my anticipatory grimace, actually. I expected the sub-par Ridley Scott film to take at least one of the Best Actor, Best Director and/or Best Picture slots.

And what about Tim Burton? He’s still never scored a nomination for Best Director or Best Picture, and Sweeney Todd had the goods, no? In my opinion, Sweeney Todd should have replaced Michael Clayton for BP, leaving first-time director Tony Gilroy the Best Director catergory (again MC‘s direction was beyond solid, the overall film was enjoyable but not revelatory for its genre). While the real heavyweight match will be between Paul Thomas Anderson‘s There Will Be Blood and the Coen BrothersNo Country for Old Men (these films have 8 noms each, total death match), look at Jason Reitman sliding in with his sophomore effort, Juno, for Best Director and Best Picture. Of course, Diablo Cody is fretting over her punk ‘do in anticipation of a W. And might Ellen Page be an upsetter? I’m sure we’ll see the high school track team make at least one appearance on Sunday, February 24th.

Other “okay with me”s: Viggo Mortensen got a hat-tip for his brilliant Dracula-meets-The-Gipper depiction of a Russian mobster in Eastern Promises; the Academy making up for blocking Persepolis from Best Foreign Language Film by placing it next to Pixar’s epicurean rat; on the other hand, the incredibly scenic epic Mongol, one of my top 10 of 2007 gets a BFLF nod; Sicko and Taxi to the Dark Side for Best Doc; Roger Deakins running the Best Cinematography category for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and No Country for Old Men; and Casey Affleck for Best Supporting Actor for his classic performance in TAOJJBTCRF.

Update: As for David Fincher and Zodiac, yes they were snubbed. This was an oversight of the Academy’s oversight on my part. However, I never thought Zodiac would get a Best Pic nom simply because TWBB and NCFOM are such heavy films that similarly plow the mysterious, ancient evils and neurosis that pervades mankind. That said, it deserved to be there on sheer merit, especially more so than Michael Clayton and Atonement. Fincher not receiving a Best Director nod is more inexcusable, as Zodiac had a lot of blood and tears put into it, and will come to be seen as a new classic by the mainstream with time.

2007 was one of my favorite years for film ever and it’s great to see last year’s variety and stand-outs properly recognized. No whiffs of politics this year, in my opinion. What about yours?

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