Monday, January 19, 2009

And The Oscar Nomination SHOULD Go To...

In three days, the Oscar nominations will be announced.

It's looking pretty darn certain that Heath Ledger will be nominated for Best Supporting Actor, and almost certainly win the Oscar.

And I'm delighted. First, because his performance was truly astounding. And second, because a movie that didn't have "Oscar" written all over it from its inception may take a major prize.

I wish that happened more often. I love all kinds of movies, but I think that nowadays, for some sad reason, "entertainment" is the kiss of death with the Oscars.

It wasn't always so. Once upon a time, movies like The Wizard of Oz, Music Man, Jaws, and even Airport regularly drew major nominations.

Okay, then, let's pretend you're a member of the Academy, and can right this wrong. So what "non-Oscar-typical" movies or performances would you be nominating for Oscars this week?

If I were voting, I'd start with Wall-E for Best Picture. (I've seen most of the major award-winners this year, and I thought Wall-E was better than any of them...and by that, I don't mean that Milk or Frost/Nixon weren't worthy, but that Wall-E was just that good.)

Then I'd throw in Robert Downey Jr. as Best Supporting Actor in Tropic Thunder. (Admit it: that was an amazing performance! And the fact that it was hysterically funny shouldn't count against it.)

And if they gave an Oscar for best hair, I'd give it to Twilight. I love the way Jasper's hair reveals his nineteenth-century origins, how Edward's hair looks right for the 1980s (a decade whose music he loves)...

I might even throw in a Best Picture nomination for Iron Man, for its razor-sharp dialogue, for another great performance from the versatile (and suddenly buff) Robert Downey Jr., and for its sheer entertainment value. (I had more fun at Iron Man than at any other flick this year...though Twilight and Wall-E both came close...)

So, how about you? What picture or performance do you think the Academy will overlook, but really shouldn't?

Cara King, who celebrated her geek credentials by seeing Iron Man and Twilight three times each in theaters, and Wall-E twice


  1. HAH--great topic. I agree with you re: The Dark Knight. I thought Heath Ledger was fantastic in that film.

    I haven't seen a lot of this year's movies, so I can't comment on that, but I wish they had categories like "best kiss" and "best chemistry between two romantic characters"...wouldn't that be awesome??

  2. I was a film critic in my past life. :)

    I love it when small, unexpected, or unusual movies get credit and attention. And you know, unless you hang out in little independent places there are a lot of great films most people never see.

    Slumdog Millionaire, anyone?

  3. I almost never have seen the nominated movies. My movie going habits are...iffy. I generally only go for the Will Ferrell/Ben Stiller kinds of funny and for some reason the Academy almost never agrees with my sense what makes a flick watchable. It's mind bottling. What is not funny about "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball"?

    And I don't know that I saw a single movie in the theater in 2008. I need to get out more maybe.

  4. ps Thanks for visiting us again Cara!

  5. Glad to be here, Gwen!

    Okay, then, for those of you who have seen little in the theaters in 2008, what flicks from years past do you think should have gotten more respect? Airplane? Pirates of the Caribbean? Office Space? Clueless?

    Chrissy, I think the thing with Slumdog Millionaire (which I saw last night, actually!) is that, at this point, it's no underdog. IIRC it's the odds-on favorite to win the Oscar for Best Picture, and has an excellent shot at director and screenplay.

    I agree, I love it when the Oscars clue people into a movie they'd love if they only knew about it...

    But sometimes, when I look back, I think voters were crazy to think that Chariots of Fire was a better movie than Raiders of the Lost Ark! Nor do I think The Last Emperor was better than Moonstruck, or Braveheart better than Sense & Sensibility , Babe, or Apollo 13. (Why does grim, sad, or cynical = good?)

  6. Cara asked: (Why does grim, sad, or cynical = good?)

    I think for the same reason as Romance and Commercial Fiction are looked down upon when compared to "Literary Fiction".

    ~shrugs~ Shakespeare wrote for common folk and would be considered commercial fiction in his day.

    I just hate depressing movies.

  7. I totally agree with you about WALL-E, and I think it continues Pixar's amazing streak of never making a bad movie, and often making truly outstanding ones. The original Toy Story, The Incredibles, and WALL-E (to pick three off the top of my head) were not just amazing animated films--they were amazing films. And WALL-E, with the first half hour almost completely without dialogue, is the kind of daring filmmaking that ought to be rewarded.

    Many years ago Beauty and the Beast got a Best Picture nomination, and I think deservedly so. But with the Best Animated category, I think the Oscar voters feel like they don't have to compare animated films to the general run of live action films; and it would probably make them uncomfortable to admit how much better some of those animated films are.


  8. Amanda Brice2:02 PM

    Good point, Gwen. Not only Shakespeare, but Jane Austen and Dickens as well.

    Personally, I don't care whether it's funny, sad, poignant, romantic, whatever. I just want it to be entertaining.

  9. BTW, I just want to say HURRAY that Robert Downey Jr did actually get AN OSCAR NOMINATION for Tropic Thunder!!! YAY!!!