Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Oscars 2008 - Who Should Have Been Nominated?

It's time to put all those categories to rest in the Academy Awards, categories like Best Foreign Film and Best Animated Film. Let's just have Best Picture. They won't because Hollywood is afraid some picture made in Italy will steal the big financial prize.

Best Picture nominations this year include Atonement, Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, and There Will Be Blood. I would instantly take out Juno, a very pleasant picture but certainly not the year's best. And There Will Be Blood, which, although it had an epic sense about it, is not the savior of 19th century America. I would rather include movies like Ratatouille. Yes, a movie about a rat. What really distinguishes this film above other animated films, and indeed other films, is that it appeals to all us, shows us we can learn something about human nature, especially with the very satisfying ending it presents. And for the 5th nomination, I would plug in Zodiac, a movie that deserved all the attention it got a year ago (an unfortunate marketing plan), mostly because it had no ending.

And for Best Director, take out There Will Be Blood and Juno, and substitute Joe Wright for Atonement and David Cronenberg for Eastern Promises. And maybe even Brad Bird for Ratatouille.

The Best Actor category this year was a plethora of riches. I can't argue with the choices made, but I wish it were possible to include Ryan Gosling (Lars and the Real Girl), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Lookout), Tom Hanks (Charlie Wilson's War), James McAvoy (Atonement), Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), and, yes, Javier Bardem, who was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category.

For Best Supporting Actor, I'd add in Vincent Cassel, who played the explosive Kirill in Eastern Promises.

There seemed to be a dearth of good roles for women -- gosh, what a surprise! -- this year. One can only imagine that Cate Blanchett was included because, another gosh, she's a fine actress, but in a dud of a film. Ditto for Best Supporting Actress -- and there may be a few I'd toss out, like Tilda Swinton, whose acting was fine but not spectacular (having read what was apparently in the script very well, but nothing inventive). But who would replace her?

Still, it was a good year for movies, if a violent one. If you counted up all the people killed in the Best Picture nominations alone....well, you'd better not, mostly because World War II, the one seen in Atonement, counted for too many. Almost as many killed in No Country for Old Men.

It was a violent year. It will be a good Oscars.


Post a Comment

<< Home