Belated Response to Oscar Nominations

Posted by on January 25, 2009 in Film | 0 comments

Let’s face it, I am a film failure this year. I have only seen 3 in the Best Picture (B Button, Milk & Slumdog) category, and I do not feel prepared for the Academy Awards. And shame on me; I have not seen any of the foreign film or documentary nominees either. But given my travel schedule in the next month, it is unlikely that I will see many more movies before the ceremony.

Overall, I am pleasantly surprised by most of the nominations; here are my initial thoughts about some of the major categories…


  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Frost/Nixon
  • Milk
  • The Reader
  • Slumdog Millionaire

They share little to nothing in common, but I love Milk and Slumdog equally. I predict that Milk takes the golden statue in an upset over Millionaire. To be quite frank, I found Benjamin Button to be overrated. There was a lack of emotional resonance; to me, that is the most important characteristic for best film of the year, and one which both Milk and Slumdog achieved with great ease.


  • David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
  • Gus Van Sant, Milk
  • Stephen Daldry, The Reader
  • Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire

I really want to give this to Fincher, but more for an amazing career and body of work. My vote this year is for Boyle, however.


  • Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
  • Angelina Jolie, Changeling
  • Melissa Leo, Frozen River
  • Meryl Streep, Doubt
  • Kate Winslet, The Reader

Sadly, I have only seen Changeling in this category. However, my love of and hope for Winslet is no secret.


  • Amy Adams, Doubt
  • Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
  • Viola Davis, Doubt
  • Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

Tomei is the sentimental choice, given the years between this performance and her last Oscar for Best Supporting Actress (1992). However, she also roamed nude through Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead in 2007, so I’m not sure what the fuss is about. I’m rooting for Davis, but have a feeling that Cruz will take it.


  • Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
  • Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
  • Sean Penn, Milk
  • Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Penn, without a doubt. Rourke was playing his life story; Penn transformed entirely into Harvey Milk (the man, politician, the hero to so many). If you really want to see Frank Langella at his very best, rent Starting Out in the Evening.


  • Josh Brolin, Milk
  • Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
  • Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
  • Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Although I seriously doubt that Michelle Williams would attend on behalf of their daughter, last year I wrote exactly how Heath’s victory should unfold next month. If it were any other year, I would root for Brolin.


  • Bolt
  • Kung Fu Panda
  • Wall E

Wall E, please. I’ve never been so touched by an animated film.


  • Changeling
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • The Dark Knight
  • The Duchess
  • Revolutionary Road

I will definitely give this one to Button.


  • Changeling
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • The Dark Knight
  • The Reader
  • Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog, hands down. It was uniquely and beautifully filmed.


  • Australia
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • The Duchess
  • Milk
  • Revolutionary Road

Given the popularity of Mad Men, I believe Revolutionary Road will win.


  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • The Dark Knight
  • Frost/Nixon
  • Milk
  • Slumdog Millionaire

Another vote for Slumdog, although Milk is just as deserving.


  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • The Dark Knight
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army

I realize that Button is the obvious favorite, but I was actually distracted by the makeup that was used for the aging process of both Pitt and Blanchett. So The Dark Knight it is.


  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Alexandre Desplat)
  • Defiance (James Newton Howard)
  • Milk (Danny Elfman)
  • Slumdog Millionaire (AR Rahman)
  • Wall E (Thomas Newman)

Yes, I am a broken record: Slumdog.


  • Down to Earth (Wall E), Peter Gabriel
  • Jai Ho (Slumdog Millionaire), AR Rahman
  • O Saya (Slumdog Millionaire), AR Rahman

See above. LOVE this soundtrack.


  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • The Dark Knight
  • Iron Man

I’m on board for Iron Man over Benjamin Button.

Okay, bring it on! Strongly disagree or agree with me if you like. And someone, anyone…please tell me why you enjoyed Button. If your argument in favor of the film is strong enough, I promise to go see it again and give it a second shot.

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