this is the official kick-off to our oscar season coverage. our predictions blog was kind of a “pre-game” now we’re kicking it into high gear. here’s our thoughts and reactions about the oscar nominations.
The Blind Side…Seriously?: Brent Johnson’s Reactions to the Oscar Nominations
For the last few weeks, I’ve been making a joke: I can’t believe I’m
going to live in a world where the phrase “Academy Award Winner Sandra Bullock” might become a reality.
Well, here’s another to add to the list: “Best Picture nominee The Blind Side.”
Sadly, that phrase came true yesterday when the Oscar nods were
announced. But in a perfect world, it might help spell the end of this
silly 10-Best-Picture-nominees experiment.
In the end, nominating 10 films allowed some unique, semi-deserving
pictures like District 9 and Up — the first cartoon up for Best Picture since 1993’s Beauty And The Beast — into the race.
But the whole idea was to draw some deserving commercial films into
the category. And the two films that would have really stuck to that
— The Hangover and Star Trek — were left out. Instead? A piece of commercial glop like The Blind Side was let in — probably to bump up ratings by courting Oprah fans who hate art house films.
My guess? Critics will cry foul. And next year, we will be back to
Otherwise, yesterday’s list of noms wasn’t all that surprising —
aside from Maggie Gyllenhaal getting the only truly unexpected nod of the day: Best Supporting Actress for Crazy Heart.
There were a few snubs:
–Penelope Cruz was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her lackluster role in the lackluster Nine, while Julianne Moore was left out for A Single Man — meaning she won’t get a chance to compete for her first-ever Oscar.
-Best Supporting Actor, the race with the largest amount of
contenders, was missing a few names that could have easily made the
cut — most notably Alec Baldwin for It’s Complicated (the most underrated performance of the year) and Alfred Molina in An Education.
At this point, the four major acting awards look like locks: Jeff
Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Christoph Waltz (who gave what is quickly becoming one of my favorite acting performances of all-time) and Mo’Nique are likely to go home with gold. As for Best Picture and Best Director? It should be a fight between The Hurt Locker and Avatar — with Hurt having the slight edge right now.
-Does the Academy suddenly have something against rock stars? Last
year, they famously — and inexplicably — snubbed Bruce Springsteen’s
touching title song to The Wrestler in the Best Song category. This year, neither Paul McCartney’s “(I Want To) Come Home” from Everybody’s Fine nor U2‘s “Winter” from Brothers made the Best Song cut. Instead? TWO songs written by Oscar favorite Randy Newman from Disney’s The Princess And The Frog, an unmemorable song from Nine? What? At least T-Bone Burnett’s lovely “The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart is a contender.
[Editorial Note: If you think Brent Johnson is annoyed by the Oscar noms check out Rolling Stones Peter Travers have a meltdown: http://www.rollingstone.com/videos/player/31961973]
The Blind Side…Seriously.: Bill Bodkin’s Reactions to the Oscar Nominations
On the Tuesday morning, the Oscars nominations were announced, and I awoke from bed full of anticipation and excitement as opposed to my usual drool covered anger and befuddlement.
And to my surprise, I was actual very satisfied with all the nominations. Of course there were a few snubs, a few “well that was interestings” and at least one “I did not see that coming.”
When it comes to the Best Picture category, I felt the committee actually did a good job spreading the nominations amongst
films of different walks of life. It was able to strike a balance
between art house and mainstream, sci-fi and drama, the taste of the
film snob and the taste of the casual movie-goer.
Do I have a problem with this? Sorta. The reason this was done (and
the reason the noms were bumped to 10) were all business related.
Nominating mega-hits like The Blind Side will draw in casual
movie-goers and Oprah worshippers. Nominating Up, Inglorious Basterds
and District 9 will bring in those film buffs who are a bit jaded at the awards show — because “their” films don’t get a nod. I think the 10 films nominated are ones people can get behind and root for during the awards. People can invest themselves and pick a certain film and say “that’s my pick, I really hope they win,” and in turn, they tune into the show and the ratings go up. And while this 10 film nominating process was purely business driven I feel it gives movies that deserve noms the credit they deserve. Well, all except The Blind Side (I see why it was nominated…but I mean c’mon) …but that’s for another blog.
Snubs, Surprises and Thoughts
-So for the second year in a row, the front runner for Best Picture has ZERO nominations for acting. (2009- Slumdog Millionaire, 2010- Avatar)
–A Serious Man’s nom for best picture was a bit surprising. I heard little buzz about this film. District 9 was a big shock. Absolutely love the movie, but I thought it might be too “out there.”
–Star Trek and The Hangover, didn’t get nominated and it didn’t break my heart. First off, it’s STAR TREK. Yes it was fun and exciting, but seriously best picture? The Hangover…I loved it, hilarious, but again, the BEST? I don’t know. Then again, there is The Blind Side.
-No love for Invictus or (500) Days of Summer. Very strange. I guess you can only nominate one inspirational sports movie, but two sci-fi epics? And 500 Days deserved something..screenplay, anything? Also, no Tobey Maguire?
-Everyone’s prediction of Hillary Swank getting nominated for Amelia (myself included) back in the fall…way wrong.
-I concur with Brent. Randy Newman for two songs? He’s terrible. And imagine if you could get Sir Paul or U2 to perform on the show? If you’re looking for ratings, here’s a quick solution!
-Conspiracy theorists unite! Alec Baldwin gets no nomination for It’s Complicated because…he’s hosting the show. They probably saw this as a massive conflict of interest.
-I think the bloom is off the rose for Up in the Air. It had such great momentum in December, but somehow it’s just died. Which actually helps The Hurt Locker, which if it doesn’t win, I believe my dad (who did the Hurt Locker guest blog) will personally beat down James Cameron or whomever takes home the gold.
-Bottom Line: Super excited for the Oscars.