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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Oscar Morning Coming Down

We’re 7 minutes from nominations…
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Oscar.com is streaming the nominations… and they seem to be committed to having an announcing team even younger, less knowledgeable, and more vacuous than the E! team. Impressive…
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So… Jason Reitman for directing Juno, Tommy Lee Jones for In The Valley of Elah, the horrible choice of a great actress in Cate for Elizabeth 2: The Mess, and Sarah Polley for writing Away From Here seem to be the surprises.
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Just wrote a quick 20 Weeks that will land on MCN’s front page in a while. Running to a morning screening. Please fight amongst yourselves… nicely.

139 Responses to “Oscar Morning Coming Down”

  1. anghus says:

    i can’t remember a year where the nominees felt more earned, yet more predictable.
    the best picture nominees seemed locked up for awhile now.

  2. ASD says:

    Reitman’s nod is a stunner but in a great way (imho). Juno is officially a threat to spoil.

  3. anghus says:

    i agree the cate blanchett for elizabeth 2 might be the biggest ‘what the fuck’ moment of the oscars this decade.

  4. Noah says:

    Blanchett’s Elizabeth nomination is especially frustrating because it takes away a nod for Jolie’s terrific performance in A Mighty Heart. Such a waste.

  5. Joseph says:

    Wow. So only Hal for “Into the Wild” in the prime categories. That sucks.

  6. anghus says:

    i actually didn’t think Jolie was that good. I don’t think she’s a bad actor, but i didn’t think that role was as amazing as the critics said.

  7. Geoff says:

    I think it’s good field and stragely, the most commercial in years – commercial films like Juno, Michael Clayton, and No Country Like Old Men that you can feel guilt-free about.
    Good for Juno – sorry, you backlashers, but it’s a fun, smart, and sweet-natured movie. STILL have not seen There Will Be Blood, but I am happy to see PT Anderson finally close the deal on some real nods.
    It’s really not her fault, but I am truly getting sick of Keira Knightly and can dig seeing her not get one. Any one notice how far American Gangster has fallen? It was supposed to be this year’s The Departed, though the box office has been just as good. Nice to see Ruby Dee get recognition – has she really not been nominated before?
    Could not see the nods, but did Once get anything? At least Original Song, maybe?

  8. Geoff says:

    Also, looks like Apatow got shut out – he was probably competing against himself and maybe even Juno stole the thunder?

  9. anghus says:

    best song had three from Enchanted, and one from Once.
    the other one was from August Rush.
    So yes, well get to see Hansard and the girl whose name i can never spell right perform
    HOORAY

  10. djiggs says:

    I am wondering if Jolie not getting a nod has something to do with any of the following…
    Perceived to be a star rather than an actress
    Too many action movies to be taken seriously
    “Home-wrecker”
    Publicity hound or junkie
    Too high profile?

  11. waterbucket says:

    Anything to keep Saint Angelina’s holier-than-thou face from the stage is good with me.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    Re: Jolie, probably all of those plus a movie not widely seen/people scared off fearing it would be too intense.

  13. Noah says:

    But Anghus, would you at least concede that Jolie’s performance was markedly better than Blanchett’s in Elizabeth 2? The degree of difficult for Jolie’s character (recent events, French/afro-Cuban accent, more emotionally vulnerable and subtle) is a lot more difficult than a character that Blanchett had already played before, that can hide behind elaborate costumes and can be played by just over-emoting in every scene.

  14. Joseph says:

    I probably miscounted this early morning but it looks like “Country” and “Blood” both lead with eight nominations each. AND they’re the only two Best Picture nominees that also got noms for Best Film Editing (which usually a BP nominee needs to win).
    I’m surprised “Michael Clayton” didn’t get an editing nomination.

  15. anghus says:

    Noah, i can think of half a dozen performances that were better than Elizabeth 2. But i still don’t think Jolie was as good. When they were throwing wreaths on her this summer, i kept thinking ‘good performance, but not a great performance’.
    Her accent wasn’t that good.

  16. jeffmcm says:

    How about we agree that Best Actress was a fairly weak category this year?

  17. jackfly11 says:

    No Best Score nom for Jonny Greenwood = BOO!! (Though oddly, Marco Beltrami’s 3:10 to Yuma score got in?)
    NCFOM and TWBB are the only 2 best picture noms with best editing noms also. Hmmmmm.

  18. Noah says:

    Her accent didn’t accurately reflect the accents of all the French/afro-Cuban people you know?
    If you didn’t like it, fine, but at least we’re in agreement that it’s a more impressive performance than Blanchett in Elizabeth.

  19. anghus says:

    so did Morgan Spurlock find Osama Bin Laden or what?

  20. lazarus says:

    Reitman’s nod is a joke. The film could have been directed by a host of other people. Maybe give him credit for getting great work out of Garner, but Page was born to play that role and would have been perfect regardless.
    Can Juno really win Picture with only 4 noms? Its final tally would likely be 2 wins, Screenplay and Pic. Is that even possible?

  21. Filipe says:

    And Norbit got a nom.

  22. anghus says:

    her accent didn’t reflect the woman she was playing in countless interviews and docs i’ve seen.
    and it was a typo: yes, Jolie was better than Blanchett in E2.

  23. lazarus says:

    Not even (deserved) tech noms for Lust, Caution. How quickly they forget Ang Lee…

  24. Joseph says:

    Greenwood’s score was disqualified because it referenced other music at times. COMPLETE BULLSHIT!!!! It’s the same shit they pulled with Howard Shore’s awesome score to “The Aviator.”

  25. GayAsXmas says:

    Why do we have agree that the Best Actress race is weak? I would stack the work of Cotillard, Christie, Page and Linney up against Clooney, Depp, Jones and Mortenson without hesitation. I haven’t seen Lewis’ performance, but it seems the work of actresses is always devalued in some way.

  26. Joe Leydon says:

    I cannot begin to express how happy I am to know all the Juno haters must be mega-pissed right now.
    But for me, the biggest surprise — in a good way — is Viggo Mortensen for Eastern Promises. Shows you how Academy voters sometimes really do think outside of the box.

  27. Filipe says:

    Greenwood snub was the least shocking shock of the noms. The academy score bunch hates newcomers.

  28. Joseph says:

    Joe–I don’t hate “Juno” (I just don’t think it’s good) but I’m not worked up in the least. This is the first list of nominees that I’ve read.:-) I will say though that my girlfriend, who did enjoy the film but thinks it’s far from great and overrated, is pissed it got the nominations it got. Go figure.

  29. Joseph says:

    Sorry, I meant “This isn’t the first llist of nominees that I’ve read.” I need coffee.

  30. djiggs says:

    Does any one know why “Hotel Chevalier” did not make the Short Film list? Was it disqualified for something?

  31. jeffmcm says:

    Ah Joe, always looking for a way to annoy people.
    But the Viggo nomination is well-deserved.
    Xmas: Partly because Christie’s performance belongs in Supporting, not in Lead.

  32. Rob says:

    Laura Linney and Tommy Lee Jones are awesome surprises.
    Why did Into the Wild fare so well with the guilds and so poorly here? (Ruby Dee over Catherine Keener? Blech.)

  33. Aladdin Sane says:

    Go Viggo Go!
    It’s Daniel Day-Lewis’s award to lose methinks, but if there’s a spoiler, it shouldn’t be Depp, it should be Mortensen.

  34. djiggs says:

    Re: Juno.
    I do not think that the majority of Juno detractors are like Armond’s White description of the film “privileged, white feminist narcissism”. But, for me, the lauded 1st half of the film, the one which Roger Ebert describes as something along the lines of the actors performing a high wire act with the dialogue, is really a bunch of standup comedians riffing on one other. I admire the second half much more because it feels much more organic and less about putdowns and smart aleck remarks.
    I really wonder if in 5 to 10 years from now will the majority opinion on JUNO will be that it is dated, very arch, and pretentious. I wonder if the best thing for JUNO’s critical reputation in the long run would be not to win any Oscars and therefore its reputation can always burnished by being “screwed by Oscar”. I mean if JUNO just wins Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay, I can see its critical reputation becoming mush just as CRASH is now.

  35. Aladdin Sane says:

    Ebert is hugging himself with excitement right now.

  36. djiggs says:

    I should say that I do like JUNO, but I wonder if it would be getting this much pub if Quentin Tarantino or Kevin Smith or just a nobody had written it. Instead of stripper/phone sex worker/I am the hippest person in Hollywood now had written it. Because that is how I perceive this Diablo Cody fan parade is like. Is JUNO the Oscar version of Obamamania?

  37. anghus says:

    in 5 to 10 years, Juno will be remembered like Napolean Dynamite.

  38. MarkVH says:

    djiggs, I’m curious about Hotel Chevalier too – in fact, if there’s anything I’m even a little pissed about this year, it’s that.
    Otherwise, I think the noms list is solid through and through. Would I have liked to see Joe Wright get in instead of Reitman? Yes – but I think Juno is a better movie, so it’s kind of a wash. Didn’t see Elah, but TLJ had a phenomenal year overall, so good on him. And I might have a few other nitpicks, but nothing I’m even close to worked up about.
    And I’ve gotta think that BP is pretty wide open at this point. A couple of weeks ago I would’ve thought that No Country was a lock, but now I’m not so sure – even if I do think it’s the frontrunner. If I’m guessing right now, I’d say No Country for pic and PTA for director. But either Clayton or Juno could totally spoil for pic.
    F&%k it, I have no clue. Good list tho.

  39. djiggs says:

    Really, is JUNO something that you can see being played 10, 20, 30 years from now and not being dated like AWAY FROM HER, LA VIE EN ROSE, THE DIVING BELL & THE BUTTERFLY, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN?

  40. djiggs says:

    The one thing that is amazing is who would have thought that the son of Ivan Reitman would end being a better director than him and have a best director Oscar nod at age of 30, I believe?

  41. Dave Vernon says:

    I’m disappointed about Ryan Gosling, I thought he deserved a nod. Also surprised about Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth part deux. Would have preferred Helena Bonham Carter or even Jodie Foster here. The biggest head scratcher for me has been the lack of love for Into The Wild.

  42. jeffmcm says:

    ^^^Yes, but more along the lines of The Breakfast Club/Breakfast at Tiffany’s/Heathers.
    Anghus, I think Napoleon Dynamite holds up pretty well, thank you.

  43. Aladdin Sane says:

    diggs – you honestly think all those films are going to be dated in 20 to 30 years?!

  44. jeffmcm says:

    My last post was in response to djiggs at 6:43. Also, I think I’m hungry for breakfast.
    And I would say that neither of Jason Reitman’s 2 movies are as good as Ghostbusters.

  45. Rob says:

    I know the Juno and Atonement haters will disagree, I’m gonna be a pollyanna and say this is the coolest Best Picture list since, I dunno, 1993.
    There’s not a Green Mile or Seabiscuit or Chocolat in the bunch.

  46. anghus says:

    i noticed Beowulf did not get a best picture nomination.
    Or an animated film nomination.
    Ian, can you comment on that?

  47. Dave Vernon says:

    Hmm, have you seen Ghostbusters lately? Talk about dated! I think Jason Reitman’s movies are also much better than Twins, My Super Ex Girlfriend, Legal Eagles, Kindergarden Cop, Ghostbusters 2, Dave, Evolution, Father’s Day, Six Days and Seven Nights.

  48. movieman says:

    I totally agree with Rob.
    The acting nods for my beloved Laura Linney and TLJ were among the few happy surprises this morning. But the poor showing of “Into the Wild” pissed me off big time.
    Ruby Dee over Catherine Keener? Surely they jest!
    There was a lot of talk in recent weeks about whether or not Vanessa Redgrave could/would get nominated for seven minutes of screen time. By my unofficial count, Dee had an even smaller role with only one great “actressy” moment. What’s up with that?
    The song category was the weakest in years: where the hell were Eddie Vedder’s songs from “Into the Wild”? Three frigging nods for “Enchanted”? You’d swear it was 1967 all over again. At least “Once” managed to sneak in there. It’s gotta win, right???
    “Surf’s Up” was a bit of a surprise, I guess, but since this is “The Year of the Rat-“atiouille, it hardly matters.
    The documentary nominations were slightly less embarrassing than usual (except for the shutout of “Lake of Fire,” the year’s best doc), probably to compensate for the pitiful Best Foreign Film selections.
    Blanchett getting nominated over a slew of more deserving actresses (where do I begin?) was somewhat akin to Best Picture nominations for “Airport,” “Love Story” and “The Towering Inferno” back in the bad old days, wasn’t it?
    I was really hoping Gosling, Hirsch, Garner and Lumet might sneak in there (not even a screenplay nod for “Before the Devil”? For shame. Even frigging “Norbit” managed to get a nomination for make-up!), but at least Travolta didn’t get nominated.
    It’s great to see “TWBB” and PT Anderson recognized: too bad the “Blood” love didn’t extend to Jonny Greenwood’s amazing score (the year’s best).

  49. Jonj says:

    I generally like these nominations. I did want Into the Wild to fare better, at least get a Vedder song in there. The guild support just didn’t translate to Oscar, unless you count film editing. It’s good to see PTA and his film get recognized. I need to finally see Atonement. I’ve seen the others.

  50. jeffmcm says:

    I’d say Thank You for Smoking + Juno I’d say Thank You for Smoking + Juno < Stripes + Ghostbusters + Twins + Dave.

  51. jeffmcm says:

    That’s what I get for using math symbols that are also HTML. I was trying to say that those two Jason Reitman movies are still not as cumulatively good as Stripes + Ghostbusters + Twins + Dave, and that the younger Reitman’s greatest talent as a director so far seems to be to find good material.

  52. Dave Vernon says:

    Wow, you really think that? Stripes????
    The first fifteen minutes of Thank You For Smoking is better than all of Reitman Sr’s work combined.
    And isn’t a big part of directing about choosing good..no, great material?
    You probably loved My Super Ex Girlfriend too. That and Evolution are two of the most humorless comedies I can remember seeing.

  53. Aris P says:

    Juno for best pic? Is this a joke? Better than 310 to Yuma? Better than Jesse James or Zodiac or The Savages? Better than Into The Wild?
    As far as ITW, I think Sean Penn’s constant politicking may have played a part in this snub.

  54. “What’s up with that?”
    Ruby Dee is old and she’s black. Is it so hard to believe that in a year where Dee was the sole black contender in any of the acting categories, that a large amount of voters who love their newfound diversity threw their weight behind her? Hmm…
    Am loving the Into the Wild shutout – and the Atonement lovein it brought with it.
    Is The Bourne Ultimatum the first “third film” of a trilogy to get the first oscar nom of said trilogy? Unless I’m forgetting some franchise I would think it is.
    While I had films that I liked more (includings ones that got nominated) perhaps the nomination that made me the happiest was that of Sarah Polley. I cannnot say how happy I am for her.
    Also, in regards to the original song category, could it be that – SHOCK – they’ve finally once and for all decided to make this category about songs truly intigrated into the films? As good as some of Eddie Veddar’s songs were, they were just soundtrack stuff. And it serves New Line right for dumping “Ladies Choice” for “Come So Far”, a lousy end credits song. Their loss.

  55. jesse says:

    Camel, I agree with you in theory, but it’s not like all of Vedder’s Wild songs played over the end credits. They were really in the movie, during important scenes/moments, about as closely as you can get when the movie itself isn’t actually a musical or about musicians. There were also some excellent original songs used in the actual bodies of Walk Hard and Juno (I know some of the Dawson songs for Juno were from her old album(s), but at least one was new, right?), but they went for the ridiculous Enchanted triple-play — and I do think that “That’s How You Know” fully deserves one. But they had a really good shot at nominating five strong, integral songs this year. Instead they did “Know” and “Falling Slowly” plus three others.
    Still, if the worst nomination complaint I have is about the perpetually awful Best Song category (well, and general malise about lack of Zodiac love), it’s not such a bad year. I genuinely like all five nominees, which almost never happens, and two of them are flat-out great.

  56. movieman says:

    Thanks for the reminder Aris.
    I had completely overlooked the fact that “Zodiac” received absolutely nada. Truly appalling. Maybe Fincher will finally get some love for his Brad Pitt movie next Oscar season. (Hey, Cate Blanchett costars, so that’s gotta help!)
    But on a positive note, the cinematography nominations were probably the coolest selections in years. Not a bummer among them, and 2 nods for the nonpareil Roger Deakins. Bravo!

  57. movielocke says:

    it’s hilarious that Lazarus thinks it’s harder to direct drama than to direct comedy. The opposite is true. Jason Reitman completely deserves his nomination, and his direction is in my top three of the year (behind Shnabel and Wright), and I’m glad he surprised all the pundits who had written him off for the double ‘oscar rule’ DQ of being young and making a comedy.

  58. Over at Red Carpet District, Kris Tapley called the Into the Wild snub “absurd”. But, putting my misgivings towards the film aside, other than original song where else would you say that there is a nominee entirely undeserving in it’s place? Which is what makes these nominations so good. You can say it deserved a cinematography nom but those five nominations are all amazing. Reitman over Penn? Well, if they took Reitman out there’s still plenty of others besides Penn who have just as much a right to be pissed off. Again, nothing against Into the Wild, except the great year for cinema 2007 was.
    Also, does this make the Golden Globes “relevent” again, Dave? And how about BAFTA. Both almost entirely snubbed Into the Wild and lavished love on Atonement. Hmmm…

  59. TuckPendleton says:

    I’m sure this has been echoed above, but thrilled for Viggo.

  60. anghus says:

    Kamikaze, you hit the nail on the head. Into the Wild was a great film, but so were 4 of the 5 nominees. People can debate Juno all they want, but it’s obvious that some people love it.
    2007 was an exceptional year for film.
    Tapley: Was Into the Wild’s snub any more absurd than The Assasination of Jesse James to some? Or Zodiac? Or Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead?
    Hell, i thought Lust, Caution was one of the best films of the year, but i still see the merits of the nominees (except Juno).
    Into the Wild was not snubbed. It was a great movie in a year of many great movies. We should be this lucky every year.

  61. Nicol D says:

    The problem with the noms is that they do nt reflect the widely held view that 2007 was one of the best years for cinema in a decade.
    Juno is fine…but it is this year’s Little Miss Sunshine. Which is to say it is fine. And while Cody is basking the sunshine of her wonderfulness, that is what will undo the film as more people see it throughout the years. People will say…it’s all right but…an Oscar?
    Jones for In the Valley…why?
    Blanchett could fart three times in an air vacuum and the Academy would nominate her for performance. And both films she was nominated for were atrocious. One poorly crafted, the other pretentious beyond belief.
    Things I am glad about…Viggo Mortensen for Eastern Promises (should have gotten more)
    Hal Holbrook…because I love Hal Holbrook.
    And all of those No Country noms. Bardem is fantastic.
    I must say I am also surprised by the shut out of Into the Wild. I am glad, but surprised.
    No Country and Blood will be the two that age the best in this lot.

  62. Rob says:

    Whoa, just realized…20 acting nominations for 18 different films. Only Michael Clayton has multiple acting nominees.
    Has that ever happened before?

  63. Filipe says:

    I love that people keep saying that the academy will nominated Blanchett for anything she does despite that prior to the double noms this year she got only 3 despite being in an oscar bait film every year since Oscar & Lucinda in 1997.

  64. ASD says:

    Nicol D:
    In Country and Blood you have the LAFC, NYFCC and NSoFC (not to mention NBR) represented, as well as the top 2 critics choice of the year according to MCN’s big board. Can you say that about any other year in history? Are we really supposed to throw a pity party that the Academy failed to recognize the collective box office gross of apx. 5 million for Jesse James and I’m Not There? Or that they didn’t go for Zodiac, a huge commercial failure released almost a year ago?
    Seriously, when was the last year the Academy got this much “right?”
    16 nominations for films by the Coens and PT Anderson.
    A nomination for Sarah Polley’s screenplay adaptation.
    2 nominations for Roger Deakins.
    The first ever nomination for a performance from a Cronenberg film.
    An animation nomination for a hand draw, black and white French film about Iran.
    Micro-budgeted Once getting a nomination.
    Almost no nominations for obvious (but thoroughly average) Oscar bait like American Gangster and Sweeny Todd.
    Basically, you sound annoyed that Juno did well for itself and you’re letting that color your view of the entire field. Take a step back and I think you’ll find it’s pretty damn impressive.

  65. lazarus says:

    movielocke, don’t put words in my mouth. I never said it was easier to direct comedy. I just feel that Juno could have been done just as well by other directors.
    Also, I thought Thank You For Smoking was fantastic, and thought the direction in it was a lot more interesting, so I’m not a Reitman detractor.
    And I’m not a Joe Wright cheerleader, but the first 20-30 minutes of Atonement (all the stuff set at the manor)alone should have earned him a nomination.

  66. ASD says:

    Whoops short memory. Hurt was nominated for HoV.

  67. White Label says:

    I am so HAPPY that Tilda Swinton FINALLY has a nomination after years of excellent work. Swinton to Win-ton!
    Also glad for Viggo, Sarah Polley.
    I wish there was more love for Lars and the Real Girl and Into the Wild, but as has been stated above enough times – Cate for Elizabeth, and Ruby for American Gangster (movie and performance which I wasn’t fond of) are the only nominees I feel are not quite Oscar-worthy (though I wouldn’t know who would replace those).

  68. Nicol D says:

    ASD,
    No, you missed my point. I love Country, Blood and Promises. But too many of the other films nominated do not bear the standard of ‘greatest film year’ in a decade.
    Juno, Sweeney Todd, Michael Clayton, Atonement…none of these are bad films. But I’ll bet none of them will be rewatched in 10 years.
    Blood and Country will be studied. The others…I mean do you really think Juno and Clayton are great…over Zodiac.

  69. Sunday Silence says:

    I agree with David Thomson when he said that any functioning director could have directed Juno’s script to more or less the same results.
    I am most happy that Katyn was nominated for best foreign film.

  70. Krazy Eyes says:

    Does any one know why “Hotel Chevalier” did not make the Short Film list? Was it disqualified for something?
    It must have been disqualified because people actually saw it.

  71. jesse says:

    Nicol, I agree with you to an extent, but how well do the Oscars ever reflect the best-of-the-best of a particular year? In fact, I’d say out of the other recent standout years, the Oscars this year have done a better job of reflecting the depth and range of quality. Of course, opinions about that will vary based on opinions of what those standout years were (among other things). But for me, at least:
    Look at 1999. There were a good two-dozen very-good-to-excellent movies that came out that year, including but not limited to: Magnolia, American Beauty, Toy Story 2, Three Kings, Go, Election, The Iron Giant, Being John Malkovich, Fight Club, Bringing Out the Dead, Run Lola Run, The Blair Witch Project, The Sixth Sense, The Insider, and Eyes Wide Shut. The Academy nominated three of those (Beauty, Sense, Insider), only one of which I’d put in the top ten for that year. Other nominees were The Green Mile (not a bad movie, but come on) and The Cider House Rules (kind of a bad movie).
    Move ahead to 2002, the year of Minority Report, Punch-Drunk Love, Adaptation, About Schmidt, 25th Hour, Gangs of New York, Lilo & Stitch, Bowling for Columbine, Signs, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Catch Me If You Can, Spider-Man, and Insomnia. The BP nominees, again, included one top-ten quality film (Gangs — which I know you dislike, but is mostly great) plus two decent but overrated movies (Pianist, Two Towers). The other two nominees: Chicago and The Hours, movies I wouldn’t even give positive reviews, much less put even close to the top ten of the year.
    I realize my quick overviews include movies that were not universally acclaimed and some that never had a serious shot at awards… but I also think a lot of discerning film fans could find movies to dislike in those batches especially when compared to stuff that was overlooked.
    I’m sure the same is true for this year, but to my mind, none of the 2007 five are as bad as Chicago/The Hours/Cider House. First, you’ve got two flat-out great movies, No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood. Juno may or may not be one for the ages, but it’s a sweet and perfectly performed comedy with a lot more imagination than the cute but sitcommy Little Miss Sunshine. Michael Clayton is the drama flipside: well-made, well-acted, solid and intelligent all around (if lacking the sweep and originality of the year’s very best).
    Clayton and Juno would both make my top 15 for the year. The weak link is Atonement, and even that is a well-made and engaging film. Not an all-time classic, but I’ll take it over the lamest nominee from any recent year (Chocolat, for example).
    My personal Best Picture nominees would be Country, Blood, Zodiac, Jesse James, and Superbad. But it’s not often that I find the Academy nominating five movies I actually like, let alone two from my personal top five and four from my personal top 15-20.
    Put another way: Zodiac wasn’t gonna get in either way, and I’m a lot happier about Juno or Clayton beating it in than, say, The Bucket List or The Kite Runner (or Diving Bell, actually).

  72. pchu says:

    I was watching Zodiac this past weekend, and again I liked the movie, but didn’t think it’s great.
    Some nice surprises here: Sarah Polley, Tommy Lee Jones, Laura Linney.
    Just a prediction for now: The Best Picture will be No Country For Old Men, as it should be.

  73. ASD says:

    Nicol:
    Blood, Country and Zodiac all tap into the exact same brooding alpha male malaise. The fact that both Country and Blood are nominated tells me there’ll probably be a split in their support and something else will sneak in and win. I think it would have been impossible for all three films to be nominated because they’re all pulling from the same base.
    Some people were bound to–and the evidence is there to support that this is what happened–vote for films that didn’t make them feel like shit after 2.5 hours. These things are supposed to represent the spectrum of quality, not just the POV of angst-ridden men. Hell in 1976, the

  74. Joe Leydon says:

    Nicol: Yes, Juno and Michael Clayton are superior to Zodiac (even the director’s cut), and will continue to be watched on cable and DVD by millions long after Zodiac is nothing more than a late-night staple of the USA and Sleuth networks. IMHO, of course.

  75. movieman says:

    Hate to dampen anyone’s parade, but I’m not a big fan of either “Away from Her” or “Michael Clayton” (prefer the latter to the former although both were egregiously overrated). That said, no real complaints about the Christie, Clooney or Swinton acting nominations. Wilkinson’s American accent really bugged me, though, and Polley’s script–like her direction–was nothing special. The entire movie was just too echt Canadian for my taste.
    Viggo is a cool guy and all, but I can think of any number of performances that deserved his slot more (Emile Hirsch, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ryan Gosling, hell even James McAvoy). It’s nice that the Academy is finally getting hip to Cronenberg, but where the hell was Jeremy Irons’ nomination for “Dead Ringers” two decades ago? Or Maria Bello’s nod for “A History of Violence” in 2005?
    And Blanchett’s “Elizabeth” nomination is just wrong in so many ways.
    Was also sorry that the “Juno” love which gave Reitman a surprise nod didn’t extend to his terrific supporting cast (Garner, Simmons, Janney, Bateman, etc.).

  76. Stella's Boy says:

    I really like Juno. I think it’s an enjoyable little movie. I just don’t think it’s close to being as good as Zodiac or any of the other BP nominees (even Atonement). Zodiac, NCFOM, TWBB and even Michael Clayton have all stuck with me. I can barely remember most of Juno.

  77. lazarus says:

    ASD, if No Country and Blood split the vote, does Juno win? Michael Clayton?
    And how can Juno win Best Picture if its only likely additonal win is likely to be Screenplay? It would set a pretty bizarre precedent.

  78. samguy says:

    LAURA LINNEY!!!!! YEAH!!!!
    but ATONEMENT (ENGLISH PATIENT 4 this decade?) MICHAEL CLAYTON? OK film, but don’t get the hard on for it.
    I hope that INTO THE WILD wins the SAG ensemble,so that predcitor falls by the wayside.

  79. anghus says:

    movieman, no parade rain here. those of us who loved michael clayton are bloody elated it got recognized to the level it did.
    sam, to compare Atonement to English Patient tells me you didn’t watch either film very closely.

  80. Joe Leydon says:

    BTW: I may have missed someone else’s comment on this, but: Isn’t the Joel & Ethan Coen nod the first “paired” Best Director nomination in Oscar history? I mean, before this, wasn’t Joel a solo nom for Fargo?

  81. lazarus says:

    No Joe, actually there was a WINNING pair in Oscar’s history. Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise both won for West Side Story, if I’m not mistaken, even if Wise did the majority of the actual shot composition. I think the choreography was so integral to the whole film Robbins was given co-directing credit.

  82. lazarus says:

    But, you know, at least they beat the Hughes Bros. and the Wachowskis to be the first sibling noms, right?

  83. ASD says:

    Lazarus:
    Don’t underestimate Ellen Page’s chances. Best Actress category loves to go young. The surprise screenplay nomination for Away From Her and make-up and costume design for La Vie En Rose not withstanding, the Juno DVD stands to have a lot more eyeballs on it than either one of those films by virtue of being a Best Picture nominee. Page is everywhere promoting the film (something Christie hasn’t done) without the foreign language barrier to the film that Cotillard has. Page’s film is still in theaters and hot, while Christie’s and Cotillard came out 6 months ago. Etc…
    Screenplay + Page + 120 mil at the b.o.? I could see Juno sneaking in there, sure.

  84. jrains1 says:

    I get the Juno love more than the Juno hate. I think its the third best comedy this year. Reitman overcame an often corny script filled with cringe worthy dialog through casting and directing. I loved it the first time I saw it, but some lines just seem so awful the second time around. The performances are so strong that the movie over comes it. Definitely not the worse thing to be nominated for best picture in recent memory. Worse movies (Crash) won.
    Still, the Oscar has to come down to There Will Be Blood or No Country. They are just heads above other films to me, maybe with the exception of Zodiac. Considering the Oscars haven’t nominated whatever my favorite film of the year was in years, I guess I’m happy with how things went. No reason for people to be as angry as they are getting, as it doesn’t really matter.

  85. Hallick says:

    I think in Juno’s case, the heart that’s behind all of the casual cynicism is what’s going to keep the movie from withering away into the shadows of filmdom, unlike a movie like, say, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, which I haven’t heard a soul mention in any way whatsoever, negative or positive, since the TV series went tits up.
    It isn’t Diablo Cody’s “maverick” personality that’s garnering the love for the film (stories about her, along with her grating name, almost turned me off to seeing the movie). It’s the way J.K. Simmons caresses Juno’s hair in the hospital and the look on his face in that close up when Michael Cera enters the room; it’s the way Allison Janney cooly puts the ultrasound technician in her place and furiously puts Juno in hers for visiting a married man; it’s amazing little things like the look on Michael Cera’s face at the end of the chromatography lab scene when he just glances around aimlessly and smiles for no reason, and the expressions that flash across Jennifer Garner’s face when she’s asking about any extra compensation Juno might want for giving up the baby.
    Juno isn’t high cinematic art, and okay, yeah, it’s probably not the best picture of the year, but it is one of the most pleasing and I’m thrilled it’s a nominee.

  86. Rob says:

    Nicely said, Hallick.
    I’ll be a little disappointed if Juno beats out No Country or TWBB, but coming just two years after a movie as bad as Crash took it, it would still be progress.

  87. lazarus says:

    Hallick, you’ve written the best defense of the film I’ve seen so far, and even though I liked the film, I still object to its potential win for the precise reason you concluded with: it’s not high cinematic art, and that’s exactly what we should be rewarding here. Academy of Motion Picture ARTS AND SCIENCES. It ain’t too impressive in the science area, either.
    Is it refreshing to see over your standard Oscar bait? Sure. But a win will still be an embarrassment compared to what our auteurs, old and new, have given us this year.
    ASD: You’re right, Juno will be seen by more people. And I’m sure the amount of goodwill the film provides gives Page a lot of support. But do you really think voters are going to be able to check her name and rank what she did over Cotillard? Julia Roberts was the toast of the town the year she was nommed for Pretty Woman, but she still didn’t win. Fuck, if Roberto Benigni won, a foreign language win in a weak field this year doesn’t seem impossible.

  88. TuckPendleton says:

    Juno is a nice trifle of a film, but my concern with it is that the Academy will use the Original Screenplay award as a consolation/PR prize, as it has so often in the past (most egregiously, Lost in Translation and Good Will Hunting) instead of rewarding actual screenwriting chops. Quite frankly, any of the nominated original movies this year are better screenplays than Juno, (with Michael Clayton taking the nod for me, FWIW.) What charm this movie has is due to the wonders the actors do with the good, but certainly not great, script. Cody is a nice story and kudos to her for what she’s accomplished, but I hope the Academy rewards the art and not the hype.

  89. Sam says:

    Oscar Nominations Count: Norbit, 1. Zodiac, 0.

  90. ASD says:

    Laz:
    I’m obviously not an Oscar voter so I can only call upon my own personal experiences but I’ve had the La Vie En Rose dvd sitting on top of the tv since before Thanksgiving, unwatched to this day. Have made efforts but in the end there are just so many hours in the day.
    I firmly believe that voters are lazy and/or busy and will try and get away with watching as few dvds as possible. So without a human interest angle to attach to it, the film is to them as it (sadly) has remained for me: a homework assignment about a French opera singer. Tough, tough sell especially for the “steak eaters” (to use a Harvey term).
    You mentioned Julia losing for Pretty Woman, but I think the more prescient example of what I’m talking about is Julia’s win in 2000 when she beat critical darlings Ellen Burstyn for Requiem for a Dream and Laura Linney for You Can Count on Me. In the end they went for the larger than life, comedic performance from the best picture nominee over the two women who swept the critics awards.

  91. Kambei says:

    I don’t think it is such a tough sell. To anyone over 60, Edith Piaf is not just “a French opera singer” (and she wasn’t an opera singer, by the way), but a much-beloved star for quite a number of years. The film is not that fantastic, but it will definitely be stuck into the DVD player by most people in that age group, which i believe makes up a large chunk of the Academy.

  92. MarkVH says:

    WHAT THE FUCK!?!?
    Heath Ledger found dead in an NYC apartment. I’m speechless. CNN.com is reporting.
    I repeat: WHAT THE FUCK!?!?

  93. Wrecktum says:

    That’s going to make the new Batman movie a hard sell.
    (Sorry, that was my first reaction. Hope I don’t seem too callous. He was a great actor with so much promise. Sad.)

  94. lazarus says:

    If this is true about Ledger, this is on the level of (or worse than) River Phoenix’s early exit. The guy was destined for greatness, and may have already touched it a couple times.
    Terrible shame.
    And if The Joker survives The Dark Knight, I have no idea what they’re going to do. Because I think his perf is going to set the bar.

  95. bobbob911 says:

    That was my first thought too. Here’s my second – this is going to kill yet another Terry Gilliam film! (He was currently filming The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus with Ledger in a lead role)
    Doh!

  96. waterbucket says:

    OH MY GOD! MY ENNIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Fuck you all for not giving him an Oscar before his death. Instead you gave it to that fat tard.

  97. Aris P says:

    Hope it wasn’t drugs man. Thats all i’m gonna say.

  98. JPK says:

    Well, I guess Jack Twist can quit him now.

  99. Gee, my first thought was…a 2 year old daughter will never know her father. Glad we’ve all got perspective.

  100. waterbucket says:

    Dear Saint Petaluma of Human Perspective, fuck off. This is a film forum and we’re all in the film-related state of mind.

  101. It’s 9am here and I woke to the sounds of my phone beeping with messages and expected them to be “have you heard the Oscar nominations?” blah blah blah.
    Fuck the Oscars, I actually think I’m gonna cry after this.
    I think I’m speechless. Completely and utterly speechless.

  102. a1amoeba says:

    FYI Heath Ledger = RIP

  103. Cancel that. I am crying after this.
    The River Phoenix of my generation if it’s drugs. Hell, even if it’s not.

  104. Wrecktum says:

    I was just surfing my second favorite website(www.little-girls-whose-celebrity-fathers-pass-away.com/forum) and they’re all atwitter about The Dark Knight’s challenging marketing campaign and how Gilliam’s financing is affected.

  105. Nicol D says:

    God bless you Heath. You were genuinely talented and I hope you are in a much better place.

  106. jeffmcm says:

    That’s a shocker. He’ll be missed.

  107. bobbob911 says:

    Cant seem to access that site – must be overloaded by the news :-) :-)
    Seems like Imaginarium was about 50% finished filming – probably way to late to recast.
    I’ll get over never seeing another Heath Ledger performance. If Gilliam decides to simply stop making movies after this latest clusterf&^k to drop on his career, that will be the real crime….

  108. fuck you, waterbucket. I’m no saint and don’t tell me what I should or shouldn’t think you frigging douchebag. Just because I have real feelings and don’t live in a dream blog world wherein people only exsist on paper or onscreen doesn’t make me holier than thou. I’m sure you think people like Perez Hilton are hysterical when they make fun of people ODing or entering rehab too…hahahah! Failure and death RULES!

  109. Sunday Silence says:

    Another Hollywood nitwit throws it all away and emotions are running high here in blogland.

  110. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, he was a nitwit? Never mind, I don’t feel sad anymore.

  111. Aris P says:

    Waterbucket = douche to the highest degree.

  112. Wrecktum says:

    This is as good a time as any to mention this: can MCN stop it with the silly (and sometimes classless) “cute” headlines when people die? “Sam The Butcher Goes On To Finer Filet” is tacky and insulting to the actor’s memory. I notice that Heath Ledger didn’t get a “Ennis Del Mar quits us.” An editorial statement implying that one actor’s death deserves more solemnity than others?

  113. Sunday Silence says:

    >>.Oh, he was a nitwit? Never mind, I don’t feel sad anymore.
    Good, now go on with the rest of your day.

  114. jeffmcm says:

    I will right after one more thing: you’re acting like a jerk. “Hollywood nitwit” or not, I’m sure you knew typing that, that the only effect it could have would be to annoy people.
    Have any opinion you like, but show some respect please.

  115. waterbucket says:

    So I’m a douche for reacting angrily when one of my favorite actors have just passed away tragically. Some of the posters here might know how attached I am to Brokeback Mountain and how Heath basically ruled my world that year. People react to news differently and it was you who condescendingly pointed out that we didn’t care enough about his daughter. And somehow you also arrived at the conclusion that I must be worshiping Perez Hilton and laughs at tragic deaths like this. Wow, super insightful arguments! And Aris P, I don’t even know you so back off you stupid bitch.

  116. hendhogan says:

    actually, news like this will probably help “dark knight.” he said, heartlessly. his last film and all that.
    from the descriptions i’m getting. it looks like suicide.

  117. Noah says:

    I think it’s understandable that when an actor or a filmmaker you admire dies suddenly, you might be curious as to what else they had in the pipeline and how the death effects that.
    I feel terrible for Michelle Williams and Matilda Rose, but I don’t know them. I empathize greatly, but Heath Ledger’s death only effects me in terms of how much more I will get to see him on the big screen. Call me heartless, but I think it’s okay to think that this is a tragedy for the people involved and also a disappointment for us as film lovers.

  118. Sunday Silence says:

    >>Have any opinion you like, but show some respect please.
    But you see I don’t know Heath Ledger. He is just an actor in some movies that I have seen. Certainly the way he died doesn’t cause me to have any more respect for him.

  119. Sunday Silence, you go ahead with your day and let those who loved the man go about theirs.

  120. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah, and I didn’t know Pope John Paul II but I didn’t go into a Catholic Church after he died to mock him and call him names.

  121. Sunday Silence says:

    Oh you are upping the ante. Now you loved him.

  122. Aris P says:

    “Dear Saint Petaluma of Human Perspective, fuck off. This is a film forum and we’re all in the film-related state of mind.”
    Oh I see the sadness now. HAHA

  123. Sunday Silence says:

    You are equating Heath Ledger with John Paul II?

  124. Jesus, SS. What’s your problem? You’ve never heard anyone say “I love Meryl Streep!” or “I love Jake Gyllenhaal!” Shut up and go away.

  125. Sunday Silence says:

    Reading the predictible false outpouring of grief over a celebrities death is my problem.

  126. jeffmcm says:

    Perhaps you should look elsewhere for a site where the reactions are less ‘predictible’ or more to your liking. I don’t see what useful purpose you think you’re serving.

  127. And I am so not getting into this conversation right now. Let’s just leave it at this:
    Sunday Silence doesn’t care, Most of us do.

  128. Joe Leydon says:

    You know, I hate to pull the age card here — because, frankly, I hated it when it was pulled on me during my 20s, and continues to be pulled on me by very old people — but whenever a tragedy like this occurs, I am painfully reminded how many immature, would-be-hip children are attracted to blogs.

  129. Wrecktum says:

    “‘Dear Saint Petaluma of Human Perspective, fuck off. This is a film forum and we’re all in the film-related state of mind.’
    Oh I see the sadness now. HAHA”
    I see it. I see pain and anger, which others (the would-be-hip children that Leydon accurately identifies) don’t realize is there. Some may scoff when people are genuinely hurt when celebrities die, but that pain is real. Remember that Brokeback Mountain was a watershed moment for a lot of people, and their emotional attachment to the film is wrapped up in Ledger’s great performance and, consequently, in Ledger himself.

  130. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Heath Ledger’s death is Britney Spears and then some — lead story of the Big 4 English networks in New York, lead story of the biggest Spanish network too. WNBC-4 is saying he was “surrounded by sleeping pills at a SoHo apartment”.
    A pretty big story on a day of big stories . . .
    Omens of a crash on Wall Street . . .
    Fred Thompson drops out of the horserace for US president . . .
    Oscar nominations fixed as always . . .

  131. IOIOIOI says:

    “Reading the predictible false outpouring of grief over a celebrities death is my problem.” False outpouring of grief? You really need to go fuck yourself. Ledger remains one of my fave actours even if death. Your favourite actours and actresses create this tapestry of everything or everyone you are a fan. When someone such as a Heath Ledger, dies so young, and you never get to see him get old. You never get to see him give great performance after great performance for most of your adult life. It sucks. It sucks in a shallow and selfless way, but in a grand way as well. Since these flicks we discuss all the time have the ability to move people, change their lives, and all of this other trippy stuff that comes across from the images flickering on the screen.
    You can doubt the sincerity all you want. It does not change the fact that this is sad — not for right now — but for years to come.
    That sadness aside, nice nominations all around. There’s not one film on there that I have any vile towards. It’s pretty much a “close to everyone” being served nominations. If Tilda Swinton, Ellen Page, and Viggo win. Everything will be cool in the hood. Oh yeah… Kevin O’Connell has to get his this year. Throw the brother a bone ACADEMY! THROW HIM A BONE!

  132. Thanks IO. One of the sanest things I’ve heard all day. There have been a number of sites today (the story broke here at 8.30am our time) that I have had to stop reading because there were people saying things like “he wasn’t even a good actor. he won’t be missed”. I just don’t understand how people can be so devoid of emotion.

  133. IOIOIOI says:

    Camel, he remains a great actor. Shame that some folks cannot stop their lame internet personas long enough to state one honest sentiment about a great freakin actor. Who has passed away way too damn soon. I hope the Joker is a performance for the ages.

  134. Chucky, Australian news is currently on overdrive with the story. Even our Prime Minister has released a statement!

  135. THX5334 says:

    “You are equating Heath Ledger with John Paul II?”
    Um; considering that Pope knowingly let the priests under him commit spiritual and sexual abuse and molestations, yeah…I’d say Heath Ledger is the better and more honorable soul.
    Or maybe you’d prefer the term more divine soul?
    Either way Sunday Silence, you’re a dick who is no doubt very insecure with his entire being to propagate a need to show some kind of intellectual superiority on how we all should handle our feelings when dealing with grief.
    Congratulations, you’ve shown us all how NOT to be as human beings.

  136. L.B. says:

    I’m still reeling from the news. Incredibly sad.

  137. jeffmcm says:

    Chucky, any interest in elaborating on your grenade-lob “Oscar nominations fixed as always” post?
    I mean, it’s great that you can now add another couple of dozen names to your ‘never watch’ list of filmmakers now that they’re Oscar nominees, but what’s your point? Here or ever?

  138. That Hal Holbrook? BOX OFFICE POISON!
    Still, i don’t feel like joking yet.

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima