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2009 Academy Awards


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And the nominees for the 2009 Academy Awards are:

 

BEST PICTURE - Unfortunately, they didn't have the balls to nominate the critically and commercially acclaimed Dark Knight for the big prize. Instead, the Academy offered for the safe Oscar-baiting film The Reader (a fine film, I've heard, but c'mon). Slumdog Millionaire took the Golden Globe, and I think it has a fair shot to win this one as well. I'd also say that Frost/Nixon has a fair shot. Reviews were mixed for Benjamin Button, I don't think enough people have seen Milk, and The Reader really feels like it was added so they wouldn't have to take a risk on something unconventional like The Dark Knight, Wall-E or The Wrestler.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Frost/Nixon

Milk

The Reader

Slumdog Millionaire

 

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE - Frank Langella's turn as Richard Nixon is getting the biggest buzz. Sean Penn is getting raves as well, but Penn is so often nominated that he may be passed over to give someone else a chance. Jenkins and Rourke are both dark horses that may be able to come from behind and get the statue for a pleasant surprise. I'd say Pitt is a little out of his league here.

Richard Jenkins ("The Visitor")

Frank Langella ("Frost/Nixon")

Sean Penn ("Milk")

Brad Pitt ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button")

Mickey Rourke ("The Wrestler")

 

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE - This one is anybody's ballgame, I think, with Streep and Hathaway being solid contenders. This year, however, I'd put money on Winslet finally getting her statue (this is her sixth nomination). Not only has she been nominated without winning so many times in the past, but this year she has great performances in The Reader and Revolutionary Road to prop her up.

Anne Hathaway ("Rachel Getting Married")

Angelina Jolie ("Changeling")

Melissa Leo ("Frozen River")

Meryl Streep ("Doubt")

Kate Winslet ("The Reader")

 

DIRECTING - Many thought that Nolan might get a nod for Dark Knight here, if not for Best Pic. Sadly, that isn't true either and the Academy has once again played it safe by nominating the directors of all the Best Picture nominees. I'd lean towards either Ron Howard or Danny Boyle to win this one.

David Fincher ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button")

Ron Howard ("Frost/Nixon")

Gus Van Sant ("Milk")

Stephen Daldry ("The Reader")

Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire)

 

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - In the supporting categories is where the Academy is will to show a little balls, and we get noms not only for Ledger's turn in The Dark Knight, but also Downey's hilarious role in Tropic Thunder. Everyone on the list is deserving, but I'd wager the Oscar will go to Ledger simply because he's not around to ever get another nomination.

Josh Brolin ("Milk")

Robert Downey Jr. ("Tropic Thunder")

Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Doubt")

Heath Ledger ("The Dark Knight")

Michael Shannon ("Revolutionary Road")

 

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - Another one that can go anyway. I'd lean towards Penelope Cruz or Taraji P Henson.

Amy Adams ("Doubt")

Penelope Cruz ("Vicky Cristina Barcelona")

Viola Davis ("Doubt")

Taraji P. Henson ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button")

Marisa Tomei ("The Wrestler")

 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM - Honestly, I haven't seen any of these yet this year, so I can't speak to them.

The Baader Meinhoff Complex

Class

Departures

Revanche

Waltz With Bashir

 

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM - Wall-E should get this award by unanimous vote against such lackluster competition.

"Bolt"

"Kung Fu Panda"

"Wall-E"

 

SCREENPLAY (Adapted) - I couldn't begin to predict a winner for this one...

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

"Doubt"

"Frost/Nixon"

"The Reader"

"Slumdog Millionaire"

 

SCREENPLAY (Original) - Another tough one. It's nice to see that In Bruges is still remembered, thanks to making a decent sized splash at the Globes. I'd love to see that or Wall-E win, but this one could go to any of 'em.

"Frozen River"

"Happy-Go-Lucky"

"In Bruges"

"Milk"

"Wall-E"

 

ART DIRECTION

"Changeling"

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

"The Dark Knight"

"The Duchess"

"Revolutionary Road"

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

"Changeling"

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

"The Dark Knight"

"The Reader"

"Slumdog Millionaire"

 

COSTUME DESIGN

"Australia"

''The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

''The Duchess"

''Milk"

''Revolutionary Road"

 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

"The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)"

''Encounters at the End of the World"

''The Garden"

''Man on Wire"

''Trouble the Water"

 

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

"The Conscience of Nhem En"

''The Final Inch"

''Smile Pinki

''The Witness — From the Balcony of Room 306"

 

FILM EDITING

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

"The Dark Knight"

"Frost/Nixon"

"Milk"

"Slumdog Millionaire"

 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

"Beaufort"

"The Counterfeiters"

"Katyn"

"Mongol"

"12"

 

MAKEUP

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

''The Dark Knight"

''Hellboy II: The Golden Army"

 

MUSIC (SCORE)

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" Alexandre Desplat

"Defiance" James Newton Howard

"Milk" Danny Elfman

"Slumdog Millionaire" A.R. Rahman

"WALL-E" Thomas Newman"

 

MUSIC (SONG)

"Down to Earth" from "WALL-E"

"Jai Ho" from "Slumdog Millionaire"

"O Saya" from "Slumdog Millionaire"

 

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

"La Maison en Petits Cubes"

''Lavatory — Lovestory"

''Oktapodi"

''Presto"

''This Way Up"

 

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

"Auf der Strecke (On the Line)"

''Manon on the Asphalt"

''New Boy"

''The Pig"

''Spielzeugland (Toyland)"

 

SOUND EDITING

"The Dark Knight"

"Iron Man"

"Slumdog Millionaire"

"WALL-E"

"Wanted"

 

SOUND MIXING

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

"The Dark Knight"

"Slumdog Millionaire"

"'WALL-E"

"Wanted"

 

VISUAL EFFECTS

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

"The Dark Knight"

"Iron Man"

 

When all's said, I think it's a fairly unexciting list this year. And without any big-name films in the top spot (The Dark Knight or Wall-E might have at least gotten people to tune in and watch on TV), not to mention with this year's ceremony supposedly moving away from the comedy format (instead of a comedian, this year's host will be Hugh Jackman) I can see this being a pretty unwatched Oscar night.

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Leonardo DiCaprio hasn't won an Oscar since What's Eating Gilbert Grape, and I have been really impressed with his career choices, and made the transition from teen idol to respectable artist in a way I didn't think was possible 10 years ago.

 

Dark Knight did get robbed here, as did many other movies.

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I think Frank Langella is over acting in frost/nixon... sorry. 1, he looks nothing like him, 2, not even close on the sound, and 3... whens the president doesh it it ish not illegal!!!!!! :wacko::mad::wink::wacko::wacko::wacko: Something just seemed way country mile off with him in that role.

 

and Changeling was a slow drama, but pretty good overall. I'd give it a B. Milk, is about a gay man running for office. Like, gay milk n cookies.

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I remember Changeling getting ho-hum reviews when it came out earlier this year. I think Clint Eastwood directed it, but I've no desire to see it. I haven't seen an Angelina Jolie film since Tomb Raider 2, and she's pretty much been worthless to me on film since showing the goods in Pushing Tin & Gia.

 

And I just looked over the list again and realized The Dark Knight was also ROBBED of a best costume design nod. Try telling me anything in fucking Australia looked half as cool as what Ledger wore as The Joker. Pshh. :)

 

Has anyone seen MILK? I'm all for gay rights and equality, but I've no real desire to see straight actors make out w/ each other in bad 70s suits & hair. Plus it's based on a true story and I already know

Josh Brolin kills Sean Penn in broad daylight then basically gets away w/ murder (he did only like 3 years in prison) by blaming his crazy actions on a bad Twinkie. Seriously. This shit really went down. The California legal system is seriously f'd up.

 

 

I do want to see Frost/Nixon though...despite Langella's obvious overacting. Hey, it worked for Nicholson in Batman & Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York. ;)

Edited by Mr. Hakujin
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Obvious overacting? Do you guys remember what Richard Nixon acted like? I heard that when George Clooney screened Good Night and Good Luck for test audiences, he kept getting notes back saying that the actor who played Joe McCarthy overacted (for those who didn't see the film, McCarthy was only shown in archive footage). This reminds me of that.

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While I'm not so sure about Milk or The Reader since I haven't seen them I think all the other movies for best picture still deserve the nomination more than The Dark Knight. One phenominal performance and some well-written action and suspense sequences doesn't negate the fact that it was 30 minutes too long and every other performance was no better than anything else the actors have done in the past. So while it was phenominal it was still nothing more than a really good comic book movie with delusions of grandeur.

 

Heath Ledger does however definitely deserve the nomination and I'm glad they tossed Downey Jr. on there as well. Though lets be honest, Heath might maybe get it due to him being dead and all, but otherwise it's going to Phillip Seymour Hoffman or Josh Brolin.

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While I'm not so sure about Milk or The Reader since I haven't seen them I think all the other movies for best picture still deserve the nomination more than The Dark Knight. One phenominal performance and some well-written action and suspense sequences doesn't negate the fact that it was 30 minutes too long and every other performance was no better than anything else the actors have done in the past. So while it was phenominal it was still nothing more than a really good comic book movie with delusions of grandeur.

Gary Busey hates you for writing that. Hates you.

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Baytor, just because the movie was long doesn't mean best supporting actor was the only nomination the movie deserved. Running time has nothing to do with costumes/make up, or scoring, or art direction. The Dark Knight was flawed, but not it many of the categories these awards are given for.

 

I have seen Milk, my review is here. I thought the movie was great. Like I said in my review, Gus Van Sant is very talented, but he has a tendency to make movies that are artful without being enjoyable, but this one, like Good Will Hunting, is both artful and enjoyable.

 

I've also seen Frost/Nixon, and this movie is really fun. I dragged my sister to she it, and she was not interested in seeing a anything about history or politics and she dug the movie. The characters are great, and Nixon comes off as a tragic/sympathetic character, not a villain. This movie succeeded where W often failed in trying to make a sympathetic character movie about a political figure.

 

Both Milk and Frost/Nixon are alot more enjoyable that the marketing would have you believe (actually, the Milk commercials with Bowie's Queen Bitch playing does make it come off as fun). Anyone avoiding them because they think it'll be dull should give them a chance.

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Baytor, just because the movie was long doesn't mean best supporting actor was the only nomination the movie deserved. Running time has nothing to do with costumes/make up, or scoring, or art direction. The Dark Knight was flawed, but not it many of the categories these awards are given for.

 

No it doesn't have anything to do with any of those factors, but it is part of the big picture and a good portion of its greatness is because it's so good for a comic book movie but from a strictly objective perspective it's really good but not a masterpiece and if we had weaker nominations then maybe it would deserve a spot but in comparison with those nominated I don't feel it does. And I didn't say it didn't deserve any other nominations, just not best picture.

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I agree it doesn't deserve best picture. I don't think it would a deserve best picture nom even if there were 10 nominees in that category, but I was just clarifying that I thought the movie was robbed, because it deserved alot of noms it didn't get.

 

Wait a second, somebody told me that The Dark Knight only got one nomination (Ledger for Supporting Actor), so I thought that was bullshit, but I'm looking through the list SB posted and clearly it only got one "major nomination." It's listed for Art Direction, Cinematography, Film Editing, Make Up, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects. I now revise my comment. I would say it should have gotten a nom for Costume Design (it deserves it more than at least three of the other nominees), but it probably didn't deserve it for Film Editing. For me, that just leaves Adapted Screenplay, and my opinion here lies with what the award should be. Should it be the best screenplay that happens to be an adaptation? Or should it be the best adaption of another medium. Because if it's the former, I think the others a probably better screenplays in their own right.

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Definitely check out Frost/Nixon first. It's the better of the two movies.

 

Meanwhile, I have heard mixed things about Benjamin Button. My instincts tell me it's a schmaltz-fest. Is that about right? I mean, Fincher has directed some awesome movies in the past, so I wanna give him the benefit of the doubt, but I don't know....

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One of the '09 Oscars' only sure bets was dealt a serious blow of doubt on Friday. Though many critics and audience members believed that Wall-E should have been the first animated film since Beauty and the Beast to nab a Best Picture nomination, the film got trounced at the Annie Awards, losing every category it was nominated for - including Best Animated Picture - to Kung Fu Panda. The Annie Awards are present by the International Animated Film Society and it has predicted the Best Animated Oscar winners every year but one since 2001 (in 2006 Cars won the Annie, but Happy Feet got the Oscar).

 

Now don't get me wrong, I loved Kung Fu Panda. I think it was Dreamworks' best animated film since the first Shrek, featured the best animation the studio has ever done, and had a lot of heart underneath all those celebrity casting gimmicks and Jack Black jokes. But Wall-E is far and away the superior film.

 

For the complete list of Annie award winners and noms (where you'll see that Kung Fu Panda won every award it was nominated for and actually received more than twice the nominations that Wall-E did) go here.

 

So what do you think? Does this mean trouble for Wall-E at the Oscars? Is Kung Fu Panda really deserving? Are the Annie Awards just completely out of touch? Or is there (sniff sniff) CONSPIRACY HERE!?

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I see your point, Wall-E was certainly the more high brow of the two films while Kung Fu Panda skirted high brow humor for a lot of fat jokes. But both were visually stunning with good storylines, great voice acting (Except for you Angelina Jolie!), and like-able characters. Plus Ian McShane trumps Generic HAL any day.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire

 

Best Actor: Sean Penn

 

Best Actress: Kate Winslet

 

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger

 

Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz

 

Best Director: Danny Boyle

 

Best Original Screenplay: Milk

 

Best Adapted Screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire

 

Best Cinematography: Slumdob Millionaire

 

Best Editing: Slumdog Millionaire

 

Best Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

 

Best Costume Design: The Duchess

 

Best Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

 

Best Original Score: Slumdog Millionaire

 

Best Song: Jai Ho, Slumdog Millionaire

 

Best Sound Design: Slumdog Millionaire

 

Best Sound Editing: The Dark Knight

 

Best Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

 

Best Animated Feature: Wall-E

 

Best Foreign Language Film: Okuribito

 

Best Documentary: Man on Wire

 

Best Short Documentary: Smile Pinki

 

Best Animated Short Film: La Maison en petits cubes

 

Best Live Action Short Film: Spielzeugland

 

So there you have it. Admittedly, there probably wasn't a single surprise win this year. The only surprising thing about the Oscars this year was that the show itself was actually good. They made a number of small changes to the format, and while still not perfect (it still went to midnight), it was all an improvement. Some of the best things about the Oscars this year:

 

The acting categories: In years past, a presenter would come out and - as impartially as possible - read out the nominees, and then we'd be treated a short clip of them, probably, crying in the film that they're nominated for. It was all very tedious, predictable and ceremonial. This year they made a fantastic change. Each acting category was presented by five previous winners. Each of the presenters would single out one of the nominees and, instead of playing a clip, would give a short and often very moving speech about the nominee. Engaging the audience like this would be a major theme of the show, and it finally felt like what the Oscars are supposed to be - filmmakers showing appreciation for their peers - and not like a show played for television to showcase commercials. Not only did it seem a lot more intimate and heartfelt, but it allowed each nominee a few moments to get the recognition they really deserve, whether they ended up winning or not. A great change.

 

The stage: It used to feel like the bulk of the Oscars took place at the back of the enormous stage. Not so this year. The audience and the stage were no longer separated by the orchestra pit (the band was placed in the back). This time the stage and the action are all right up front. This allowed most of the major nominees to be sitting just a few feet away from the stage, allowing the host to directly engage the audience in ways that he couldn't before. It also cut back on that loooooong walk up to get your award

 

Multiple presentations: I don't know why they didn't do this as often before. Someone finally realized that most of the wasted time in the Oscars was spent watching people from to and from center stage. This year not only was the stage smaller and closer but - bright idea - they let one presenter do more than one category! Why wait around for an announcer, commercials and three different sets of presenters when you can have Will Smith do all three technical categories in a row.

 

The writing: Ok, there were still a few cheesy jokes here and there but for the most part the writing was head and shoulders above past years. For one, engaging a closer audience allowed most of the presenters to be more comfortable and relaxed (except poor Danny Craig). And for another, the show finally got some writers that knew how to play to the strengths of their presenters. This allowed for some genuinely funny moments like Ben Stiller channeling Joaquin Phoenix and Jack Black getting a dig at Dreamworks. And pairing Steve Martin and Tina Fey? Genius.

 

Hugh Fuckin' Jackman: The Oscars used to be three hours of watching an otherwise good comedian tell bad jokes to an uncomfortably unengaged crowd. No more! Not being a comedian allowed Hugh Jackman to be what the Oscars have been needing all along - a host! Charming, engaging, funny - Jackman wasn't there to tell corny jokes, he was there to put on a show and he was willing to do whatever it took to be entertaining. And he was great at it. Proof?

 

 

Get this man back for years and years to come.

Edited by Silent Bob
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