The 2008 Oscars Nominations
Please consider this a place-holder post for Oscars nominations talk. Having welched on my promise to write that Christmas Movie Guide for you, I will be taking this post more seriously.
Meanwhile, please consider my own predictions for the nominations to follow. Remember, this is not my choice for each category, given a personal preference. Just what I think the Academy will honour today.
EDIT NOON EST: Yikes, after staying up until the wee hours, I fell asleep shortly before the announcements! I have updated the post below, with the actual nominees, with my earlier picks being striked out.
But let me say that CANNOT BELIEVE The Dark Knight and Gran Torino didn't get nods. The Dark Knight was the best American fim of 2008, for chrissakes! Just further proof that Hollywood is extraordinarily out of touch with the rest of America and even critical acclaim. Apparently, a story about a paedolphile female Nazi was judged to have been worthier than a film which turned a whole genre on its head. Ugh. And no Sally Hawkins!?
I am so upset, I can barely write.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)
Sean Penn (Milk)
Richard Jenkins (The Visitor)
Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon)
Brad Pitt (Benjamin Button)
Meryl Streep (Doubt)
Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married)
Melissa Leo (Frozen River)
Kate Winslet (The Reader)
Angelina Jolie (Changeling)
1/2 correct: Kate Winslet
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
Josh Brolin (Milk)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt)
Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road)
Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)
Viola Davis (Doubt)
Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler)
Taraji P. Henson (Benjamin Button)
Amy Adams (Doubt)
Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)
David Fincher (Benjamin Button)
Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon)
Gus Van Sant (Milk)
Stephen Daldry (The Reader)
Waltz With Bashir (Israel, Folman)
Revanche (Austria, Spielmann)
The Class (France, Cantet)
Departures (Japan, Takita)
The Baader Meinhof Komplex (Germany, Edel)
COMPLETE LIST OF NOMINEES
Incidentally, it's a travesty that Gomorra, from Italy, didn't make the shortlist of 9 foreign films. That is one of the best movies of the past year, full stop.
Having said that, maybe this is a good moment to give you one of those Americanised Top 10 Movies lists.
THE BEST MOVIES OF 2008
1. The Dark Knight
4. Wall-E (esp. the first-half)
5. Waltz with Bashir
6. Wendy And Lucy
7. Silent Light
8. Man On Wire
9. The Edge of Heaven
10. Revolutionary Road
REVISED: You know what? I took out Slumdog Millionaire: ultimately, I think it is worthy obviously, but it leaves me utterly cold. I also took out Boy In the Striped Pyjamas, because it was more manipulative than perhaps I am willing to admit.
I didn't include marvels like the Romanian 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 Days or Russia's Aleksandra, not because I didn't rate them, but because I feel they belong in last year's crop. In fact, I loved both these films very much. I also didn't include films such as "Rachel Getting Married" or France's "Flight Of The Red Balloon", despite them being high on many lists. I didn't care for either film. Ditto for "Taxi to the Darkside" or the Che series, yuck.
Alas, I haven't been able to watch a film Peggy Gero DaValt recommended, "Synecdoche, New York". The same is true with Cantet's "The Class".
Here are professional critics' Top 10 lists (in Roger Ebert's case, Top 20). I would say I have seen a good 60% of those listed.
But I will skin anyone alive if they put The Visitor as one of the best films of 2008, however good were the performances by Richard Jenkins and his Palestinian actress counterpart, Hiam Abbass.