I know this will come as a shock to most of you, but when the 2008 Oscar nominations were announced the other day, a lot of people were upset that The Dark Knight got snubbed for Best Picture (and that Nolan got passed over for Best Director). Imagine that: Internet people getting upset that The Dark Knight is somehow not getting enough recognition. It’s wild, right?

All of the uproar led one Academy Award voter to state, “I plan on casting a write-in vote for [The Dark Knight] on the final ballot.” This raises the question: Could The Dark Knight win best picture as a write-in candidate? Hit the jump for the answer.
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Tracking the Piracy of 2008 Oscar-Nominated Films

Ever since the advent of DVD and bittorrent technology, it’s been inevitable: Studios that send out screeners to Academy members inevitably see those films end up pirated and downloaded on torrent sites. But just how extensive is the problem, and how has its pervasiveness changed over time?

In his post, “Pirating the 2009 Oscars,” Andy Baio from Waxy.org has put together a stunning and comprehensive analysis. Baio has been monitoring Oscar films and their rates of piracy for the past 6 years, most recently adding the 26 nominees for this year’s upcoming Oscar ceremony, which makes his list encompass a solid 211 films in total. Hit the jump for some of this year’s statistics.
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2008 Oscar Nominations Announced – What Do You Think?

Note: This post will be sticky’d to the top of /Film for the remainder of the day.

The Academy Motion Picture of Arts and Sciences announced the 81st Annual Oscar Nominations this morning. Some VERY quick observations:

  • While Heath Ledger received a Best Supporting Actor nomination, The Dark Knight did not secure a Best Picture nomination, nor a Best Director nomination for Christopher Nolan. However, it did receive a boatload of other technical nominations, including Best Makeup, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, etc.
  • The list of Best Picture noms is virtually the same from the Golden Globes, save Revolutionary Road has been replaced by Milk. In any case, I find both Best Picture nomination lists somewhat unsatisfying.
  • Kate Winslet did NOT get two acting nominations, as some had predicted (instead, only Best Actress, and for her performance in The Reader, not Revolutionary Road like at the Golden Globes). Taraji P. Henson, however, did get a nomination for Best Supporting actress, and I’m 100% rooting for her in this one.
  • Pleasant surprises: Richard Jenkins got a Best Actor nomination for The Visitor, Melissa Leo got a Best Actress nomination for Frozen River.
  • Biggest WTF: Bruce Springsteen’s “The Wrestler” did not receive a Best Original Song nomination, while Slumdog Millionaire received TWO nominations (out of three). I liked the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack, but that strikes me as a bit ridiculous.
  • This list puts The Curious Case of Benjamin Button at a whopping 13 Oscar nominations. However, Slumdog Millionaire is close behind, with 10 noms (if you count the two songs separately). Milk and Dark Knight both have 8, while Wall-E has 6, and The Reader, Doubt and Frost/Nixon each secured 5.
  • /Film commenter Joelnstuff points out (accurately) that Wanted received the same number of Oscar nominations as The Wrestler. Please excuse me while I weep.
  • What kind of twisted world do we live in where Pitt scores a Best Actor nomination for Benjamin Button but Cate Blanchett doesn’t get nominated for anything (including her far better performance in that same film)?

Hit the jump for the full list.
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Yesterday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released their shortlist of nine foreign-language films, which will be whittled down to five Oscar nominees on January 22:

Revanche – Gotz Spielmann, Austria
The Necessities of Life – Benoit Pilon, Canada
The Class – Laurent Cantet, France
The Baader Meinhof Complex – Uli Edel, Germany
Waltz with Bashir – Ari Folman, Israel
Departures – Yojiro Takita, Japan
Tear This Heart Out – Roberto Sneider, Mexico
Everlasting Moments – Jan Troell, Sweden
3 Monkeys – Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey

If you think there are a few notable omissions from this list, you’re not alone. Over at AICN, Harry Knowles decries the omission of Tomas Alfredson’s Let The Right One In, insisting that the system is broken:
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