Every year around this time, I hold out the faint hope that the Oscar nominations will make sense and that the best in cinema will be duly recognized.
And ever year I shake my head at a nomination or ten.
Once again the Best Supporting category is in the middle of it all.
Mark Wahlberg as Best Supporting Male for The Departed?
Are you sh**ting me?! The guy's in the movie for about 15 minutes and the extent of his role involves putting on a tough mug and cursing at Leonardo DiCaprio. Honestly: wtf? Just think of the thousands of movies out there and the millions of roles that could have been considered for this category. Is anyone in their right mind actually going to argue that Wahlberg's performance was one of the top five? It wasn't even one of the top five in that movie!
Then there's the flipside: the Sam Jackson argument. That is, when someone gets nominated for Best Performance in a Leading Role, when clearly they had a supporting role. This year, Merryl Streep was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role for The Devil Wears Prada. Last time I checked, Anne Hathaway played the lead and Streep played the supporting character. I mean, there are tons of scenes involving Hathaway that have nothing to do with Streep, but the reverse is not true. Clearly the movie is about Hathaway's character. Just because an actor chews the scenery when they're on screen doesn't mean they are the lead. Streep might have been a lock to win in the Supporting category, but as lead? She wouldn't get my vote.
Fortunately, the rest of the nominations were spread around a little. Babel is probably in the driver's seat for Best Picture and to scoop up a bunch of awards, but they didn't get any noms in the Leading categories. I didn't see the flick, but when a picture gets a ton of nominations in every category except yours, it's a kick in the balls. This is known as the DiCaprio/Titanic rule, and I support it wholeheartedly. Just because a movie is great, doesn't mean it had a top five in every category.
Aside from that, no real shockers. I was pleasantly surprised to see Peter O'Toole get nominated for such a small flick (I don't think anyone in attendance at the announcement had heard of it - it was the only nomination I can recall that received no applause).
Pan's Labyrinth got a few noms; look for it to win the "artsy" categories.
And could someone please tell the Canadian Press that Water is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, not the non-existent "Best Foreign Film" category? There's a reason movies like The Queen aren't nominated in this category.
Stay tuned for my Oscar pics as well as my top films of the year (yes, those are two different posts entirely).
Now I have to go out and see Babel, Letters From Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, Blood Diamond, Dreamgirls...
Like I wasn't going to the movies enough recently...