Wednesday, February 18, 2009

16 Oscar Snubs Of 2009

You've heard the nominations. Here are some "non-minations." No soup for you!

From Yahoo! Movies and HollywoodChicago.com.

BEST PICTURE SNUBS


The Dark Knight

The Academy upset both critics and fans when it decided to overlook the Caped Crusader’s latest adventure. Perhaps voters felt it was too violent. Maybe they’ve agreed to forever shun superhero flicks. Maybe they just miss Michael Keaton. Who knows? In any case, the $1 billion-grossing blockbuster deserved to be decorated for many reasons, including Christopher Nolan’s precise directing, the groundbreaking cinematography, and Heath Ledger’s trumping of Jack Nicholson as The Joker.


Doubt

With the magnificent Meryl Streep (Best Actress), the passionate Philip Seymour Hoffman (Best Supporting Actor), the astounding Amy Adams (Best Supporting Actress), and the unbelievable Viola Davis (Best Supporting Actress) all nominated for their intense roles in John Patrick Shanley’s film adaptation of his Tony-winning play, it was beyond shocking to hear that The Reader had stolen the fifth Best Picture slot. There’s no doubt about it; Doubt was snubbed.

BEST ACTRESS SNUBS


Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road

Winslet’s tremendous turn as desperate housewife April Wheeler earned nothing but raves when Revolutionary Road opened, but the film's dark subject matter didn't do the actress any favors … nor did Melissa Leo’s breakout in Frozen River, which nabbed a surprising nod at the last minute. Luckily, the perennial nominee was recognized for her other poignant performance of ’08 in The Reader, which should finally earn Kate her first gold statuette come February 22.


Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky

In what was supposed to be Sally’s A-list arrival, the relatively-unknown Mike Leigh muse, improv genius, and recent Golden Globe winner was robbed of a Best Actress nomination in spite of her brilliant portrayal of Poppy, an overly-optimistic Londoner who has a fondness for frisky remarks and outrageous fashions. Come February 22, the Kodak Theater will undoubtedly be a little less “happy” without Hawkins in attendance.

BEST ACTOR SNUBS


Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road

This year, Leo’s competition was simply too tough. Between Mickey Rourke’s dramatic comeback in The Wrestler, Sean Penn’s perfect portrayal of Harvey Milk, and Brad Pitt’s accent-laden journey as man-boy Benjamin Button, the thrice-nominated 34 year old found himself without a nod for the first time in a long time, despite his impressive performance as depressed suburbanite Frank Wheeler in the Sam Mendes-directed masterpiece.


Benicio del Toro, Che

The buzz coming out of Cannes last May hinted that Benicio would earn yet another acting nom (and his third overall), for his role as Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, come this year’s awards ceremony. The rumors were validated when he snagged the Best Actor award in the south of France. Right? Wrong. When the Steven Soderbergh-directed film debuted in the States, it was met with mixed reviews, thanks in part to a 4.5 hour running time, leaving del Toro sidelined as his peers picked up the pace in the race for the gold. Good thing he already has a trophy on his mantle for his terrific turn in Traffic.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS SNUBS


Debra Winger, Rachel Getting Married

When 3-time runner-up Debra Winger delivered her superbly subtle performance as Anne Hathaway’s estranged mother in Rachel Getting Married, she not only solidified her status as one of Hollywood’s hidden treasures, she also proved that women of any age can convey painfully-realistic performances without reverting to tears (Amy Adams in Doubt), pole dancing (Marisa Tomei in The Wrestler), or hysterics (Penelope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona).


Rosemarie DeWitt - Rachel Getting Married

Many people are predicting Anne Hathaway to win for Rachel Getting Married and you’ll get no argument there (especially with Sally Hawkins out of the running…more on that later), but her counterpart in the film, the performance that supported the lead and made it great, was snubbed. Hathaway does incredible work but it is largely because of how she is balanced by DeWitt’s complex portrayal of the bride-to-be. It’s hard to say who shouldn’t have been nominated in this category -- it’s one of the top fives that feels the most correct -- but I would probably axe Amy Adams for either DeWitt or Hiam Abbass’ great work in The Visitor.

SUPPORTING ACTOR SNUBS


James Franco, Milk

Josh Brolin bagged a Best Supporting Actor nod for his haunting portrayal of San Fran’s homicidal city supervisor Dan White, but no such luck for his fellow
Milk castmate. Despite a glowing yet understated performance as Harvey Milk’s much younger lover, Scott Smith, in the colorful Castro neighborhood, James Franco’s incandescence was ignored by the Academy … or, perhaps it was overshadowed by his sexy (or scary, depending on your mood) ‘stache? Best performance by facial hair in a feature film, fo’ sho.


Ben Kingsley, The Wackness

Despite the fact that
The Wackness earned a measly $3 million at the U.S. box office, the retro coming-of-age comedy was the most buzzed about indie film of the summer -- and Sir Ben Kingsley, Best Actor Oscar winner for 1982’s Gandhi, garnered kudos for his role as Dr. Jeffrey Squires, a drug-addicted shrink who befriends his teenage patient (played by Josh Peck). As the immature therapist’s life begins to fall apart, fans, and critics alike, began to fall for Kingsley’s performance. Regrettably, the Academy failed to.

DIRECTOR SNUBS


Christopher Nolan - The Dark Knight

I’m angry that Darren Aronofsky was excluded for his excellent work on The Wrestler in favor of dull, boring choices like Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon or Stephen Daldry for The Reader, but the exclusion of Nolan hurts the most. How can a film be worthy of eight nominations, most of them technical, but not Best Director? Do you think editors, cinematographers, etc. act of their own volition? That they’re not guided by the director? Or were you merely prejudiced against what you saw as a superhero movie? Nixon and the Holocaust are more important subjects, so they have to be better directed films, right?


M. Night Shyamalan - The Happening

Ha, just kidding.

OTHER SNUBS


DOCUMENTARY
Dear Zachary

Kurt Kuenne’s amazing dissection of pure evil and immeasurable good didn’t even make the short list for a category that’s almost as messed up as Best Foreign Language Film. Man on Wire will probably and predictably win but there were so many other choices they could have made to join it then the ones they did. Trouble the Water was powerful, so that’s a great nod, but it is mind-boggling to me that Werner Herzog gets snubbed for one of the best nature documentaries of the last few years, Grizzly Man, but nominated for a film that even he would admit wasn’t nearly as good, Encounters at the End of the World. But all of it pales in comparison to the most powerfully emotional experience that I had in 2008 - Dear Zachary. Like Foreign Language Film, this will be a category that I use for a bathroom break.


SONG
“The Wrestler” - Bruce Springsteen


This is perhaps the most head-scratching snub of the day. It’s clearly not an anti-Boss thing, as they gave him the award for “Streets of Philadelphia”. No, I think there’s a deeper problem here. I think this category is broken. Maybe after giving the trophy to Three Six Mafia (deservedly, I might add), something snapped. How else do you explain the THREE nominations for Enchanted in this category last year (snubbing Eddie Vedder’s great work on Into the Wild and tunes by John Mayer, Rufus Wainwright, and Bob Dylan) and now this disaster?


ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Let the Right One In - John Ajvide Lindqvist

I know it will be a cold day in movie hell when a foreign horror movie gets a nomination this prestigious, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t snubbed. The script for Tomas Alfredson’s stunning study of vampirism and adolescence is easily better than three of the chosen nominees and arguably second only to Simon Beaufoy’s stunning work on Slumdog Millionaire. No offense to the talented people chosen for this category, but could it have been any more predictable? Take the award-winning plays, the F. Scott Fitzgerald adaptation, and something called The Reader has to be a great adapted screenplay, right?


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Vicky Cristina Barcelona - Woody Allen

VCB is Allen’s best script in years, a breezy, easy-going examination of love, sex, and cultural clashes during a summer in Spain. Like the Springsteen snub, this one just doesn’t make sense. The Academy clearly loves Woody Allen. They’ve nominated him fourteen times before. And this work was better than half of those choices. The WGA nominated him, which almost always means an equivalent one here. Did someone mis-count the votes?


Guest List: 50 Things To Be Miserable About This Year

"The feel-good post of the year!" - Pat Collins, WWOR-TV

A list from Lia and Nick Romeo, authors of 11,002 Things to Be Miserable About
.
  1. The economy
  2. Global warming
  3. The possibility of nuclear war
  4. Hugh Hefner’s twin blonde nineteen year old girlfriends
  5. Vacuuming
  6. Failing to keep your New Year’s resolutions
  7. Mercury poisoning
  8. All of the Christmas gifts you need to return
  9. The current popularity of movies about Nazis
  10. The lack of universal health insurance
  11. February
  12. Maggots
  13. The price of rice
  14. AIDS needles
  15. Urban ghettoes
  16. The fact that there are now more rats than people in Great Britain
  17. Chemtrails
  18. D-list celebrities
  19. Stagflation
  20. E. coli
  21. Metallic leggings
  22. Recent studies suggesting a link between cell phone use and brain cancer
  23. Grocery prices at Whole Foods
  24. Condors with lead poisoning
  25. The probable extinction of reindeer by the end of the century
  26. Bag check fees on airlines
  27. Getting older
  28. The quality of prose in TV Guide
  29. Cobalt 60
  30. The voracity of oblivion
  31. All the people who have more Facebook friends than you
  32. Reality television
  33. Un-fair trade coffee
  34. Serial killers
  35. Job interviews
  36. Pundits
  37. Bad sex
  38. Republicans
  39. Democrats
  40. The Puke Ray, which fires a burst of energy at a nausea-inducing frequency
  41. Self-help books
  42. The New Jersey Turnpike
  43. Foreclosures
  44. New gadgets that you don’t know how to use
  45. People who grunt during spinning class
  46. Holiday weight
  47. “Staycations”
  48. Fertilizer runoff
  49. Credit card companies
  50. All the people who will die this year


PSA Of The Day: Don't Put It In Your Mouth

"Before you eat anything, you should always ask someone you love if it's ok."

And if that someone is a man, it's ok. You don't even have to ask. If that someone is a woman, it's probably ok, too, but you might wanna ask them first.

From Josh. Don't put it in your mouth, Josh.



Classic 80s Music Video Of The Day

From David B. I have never heard this song before. Either is was bigger outside the U.S. than in, or I've just blocked it from my memory, which would be understandable.


Vid Of The Day: Yacht Rock #9 (NSFW)

Never heard of Yacht Rock? It's a series of original comedy vids from Channel101.com. They're all great, but this might be my favorite.

Skiddley-biddley-bop!



13 Movies I'll Never Watch Unless You Kill Me And Prop My Lifeless Corpse In Front Of A TV

And even then I wouldn't really be watching.


Is this a movie or the cover of the NAMBLA recruitment guide?
I suspect a lot of weepy father-son bonding. Pass.


I don't like movies about "special" people.


Suspense is one thing, but gore is just lame.


M. Night Shyamalamadingdong hasn't made a good movie since
The Sixth Sense, and here he presents a story of an apartment super who finds a fairy living in the pool... an everyday occurrence in L.A.


I don't like movies about "special" people. Even ones with Ashley Judd. "Two thumbs up, way up"... your cornhole.


I don't like movies with crazy people.


Meet my scrotum.


Robin Williams. Clown nose. That's all I need to know.


Notting on your life.


I have a notebook, too. Mine says this movie blows.


Isn't this the movie that gave us "Wind Beneath My Wings"? Did you ever know that I hate Midler? She's someone that I would like to beat.


After Femme Fatale, I vowed that Brian DePalma would never get another dollar from me as long as I live. I intend to honor that vow.


The only thing more boring than watching golf? Watching movies about golf. Hey, maybe someone will make a movie about watching golf. That would be great.

How about you? What's a movie(s) you'll never watch?


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