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drinking in the dark

awards season

Oscar nominations [nytimes]: even more boring than you possibly could've imagined!

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There were a few things that surprised/pleased me

Don Cheadle for Best Actor... he's got star power, but this is his first leading-man role. Great to see he got the nom for it.

Catalina Sandino Moreno for Best Actress... "Maria Full of Grace" was a small first film from a director... I'm surprised it was recognized at all. Really great, though.

I'm realy digging every nominee in the Best Supporting Actress category. I doubt they could've picked those ones better than they did.

Hawk, Delpy, and Linklater for "Before Sunset"... awesome! Such a small, cute film, but it totally deserved to get recognized. Just how the hell does this qualify as an "adapted screenplay", though? It's not based on a book.

I'm annoyed that "Moolaade" wasn't nominated for best foreign film, but it may not have been released theatrically this year (I know it's been making the rounds at the festivals). I haven't seen the film, but I've heard enough about it to know that it deserves a nom. The only foreign film on that list I've heard of is "The Sea Inside". Also, where is "A Very Long Engagement"? Bastards.

I think "Million Dollar Baby" should win every category in which it has been nominated, except perhaps Film Editing. Editing should go to Aviator, hands-down.

In the categories "MDB" wasn't nominated, my picks are Cate Blanchett for Best Supporting Actress, Mike Leigh for Original Screenplay, The Sea Inside for Foreign Film, The Incredibles for Animated Feature, The Passion of the Christ for Original Score, (I have no pick for Original Song - I haven't seen four out of the five movies), The Aviator for Art Direction, The Aviator for Cinematography, (I'm torn on Costume Design... TBA), The Passion of the Christ for Makeup, Super Size Me for Documentary (yay!), The Aviator for Sound Mixing (or Spider-Man 2), Spider-Man 2 for Sound Editing, Spider-Man 2 for Visual Effects, and The Aviator for Film Editing.

So, pretty clear that The Aviator and Million Dollar Baby were two of my favorite films of the year, but hey, they deserve the awards.

Re: There were a few things that surprised/pleased me

I guess I'm just bitter about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which I thought was the best film of the year. It was definitely better than Finding Neverland and Sideways (I haven't seen Ray). I concede that the other two might be "better" but I didn't like them as much. But the Academy Awards really aren't about recognizing anything especially groundbreaking anyway. I'll try to get over this and think more about the nominations and your comments later this afternoon.

For now, though a couple of comments:

I was similarly confused about the placement of Before Sunset as an adapted screenplay. There must be some strange rules about that category for it not to qualify as original.

The absence of some of the more popular foreign language films is sort of interesting. I guess that it's not up to the Academy to select each country's entry, but I expected to see A Very Long Engagement and House of Flying Daggers. As it stands, it looks like the category's a lock for The Sea Inside.

Re: There were a few things that surprised/pleased me

of course the dude who played the blind guy is going to win.
i'm disappointed that eternal sunshine didn't get nominated for best picture either, and even though i hate jim carrey usually, he should've gotten a best actor nod.
for paul giamatti to get snubbed too... ugh. especially when no one else in that film save virginia madsen deserved a nomination.

the academy awards aren't as shitty as the grammy's,
but rarely do they really get things right.

Re: There were a few things that surprised/pleased me

The main reason that it's so disappointing is that I can't remember another movie from 2004 that took such great advantage of the fact that it was a film (and not some other medium). I just think that a piece of art like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that successfully create stories that need to be told on film should be celebrated by the Academy. I mean, they nominated Moulin Rouge, for which I a similar argument could be made.



Re: There were a few things that surprised/pleased me

I agree that the whole thing seems to be a race between The Aviator and Million Dollar Baby, and it probaby depends more on the production houses and their ability to sway voters than the quality of the films. Both have old, beloved, directors; so it's harder for me to guess how the entitlement/career achievement vote will play out. Haven't both Eastwood and Scorsese already won Oscars?

My preference would be for the awards to be more widely distributed among the various films since I don't think that either of those two were especially dominant (I didn't really mind the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King sweep last year, because the trilogy seemed like such a major achievement in a way that was completely different from any film this year).

I'm trying to decide whether I should make my picks based on "who I'd like to win" or "who I think will win."