Thursday, December 11, 2008


I'm not going to dissect the noms on a category by category basis. Rather, I am going to highlight the picks I am most pleased with. For those interested, here's a link to the full list of nominees:

IN BRUGES getting a Best Picture--Comedy or Musical nomination is fucking awesome. And it's made even better by the fact that both Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson were nominated for Best Actor, Comedy or Musical. While I felt that IN BRUGES was more of a drama with some moments of black, black comedy rather than an outright comedy, the fact that it got some awards attention is all that matters.

James Franco getting a Best Actor--Comedy or Muscial nomination for his brilliantly funny work in PINEAPPLE EXPRESS is perfect. I have been a Franco disser for years, but his work in this mad-cap stoner comedy is the stuff of instant legend.

Also in the comedy category, but this time in the supporting actor group, both Tom Cruise and Robert Downey Jr. got nominations for their terrific turns in TROPIC THUNDER. After re-watching the film this past week, I was reminded of how funny the film is overall, and how scene-stealing both of them were. Good stuff.

Also, my favorite "little" film of the year, HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, got awarded with a Best Picture--Comedy or Musical nomination, and the film's effervescent star, Sally Hawkins, racked up a Best Actress--Comedy or Musical nomination. After her wins with both the LA and NY critics groups and now this GG nomination, it's pretty safe to assume she'll get an Oscar nomination. This year has been one of the strongest years in recent memory for female performances, so nothing is set in stone. But from all that I have seen this year (and I have still yet to see either of Kate Winslet's performances, Kristin Scott Thomas in I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG, and Merryl Streep in DOUBT), Hawkins gave my favorite performance, followed by Anne Hathaway in RACHEL GETTING MARRIED and Angelina Joile in CHANGELING, both of whom got Best Actress--Drama nominations.

Overall, the nominations yielded few real surprises, with only THE READER getting a Best Picture--Drama nod registering as the true shock. Not that it's supposed to be bad, but rather that films like MILK, THE DARK KNIGHT, RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, CHANGELING, and DOUBT didn't make it into the top five. I have been watching THE DARK KNIGHT these past few nights and man-o-man what an excellent piece of filmmaking that is. I would not be surprised if the Academy gave it a Best Picture nod. It's the kind of smart, big-budget studio entertainment that deserves to be recognized. It was a massive undertaking, it grossed close to a billion dollars worldwide, and it was critically acclaimed. Some older members of the Academy may feel that all of those honors are good enough, but I am sensing that it has a shot at the big dance. We'll see...

The studios seemed to have waited until December to release most of their top-guns, which can create a pile-up for both moviegoers and critics when it comes time to sussing out the best of the year. BENJAMIN BUTTON, GRAN TORINO, DOUBT, THE WRESTLER, VALKEYRIE, THE READER, DEFIANCE, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, and FROST/NIXON are all set for wide release over these next two to three weeks (some of them are in limited release already). MILK and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE keep expanding and finding audiences. There's lots to choose from out there.


Joel said...

Yeah, I don't like that "The Dark Knight" was nominated for only one thing. HFPA, there are GOOD THINGS ABOUT IT OTHER THAN HEATH LEDGER!!!

And Tom Cruise's nomination is AWESOME. Downey's is great, too, but more expected than Cruise.

Loving the nominees this year.

marko said...

Golden Globe 2009, interviews with nominees:
watch here

Wayne said...

Especially excited for the "In Bruges" and "Tropic Thunder" nominations. And good move with the James Franco nom.