For a complete list of the nominations, visit IMDB.com.
Well the Academy has spoken… and they did not disappoint with a handful of surprises this morning. The most notable being The Reader and director Stephen Daldry bumping out The Dark Knight for Best Picture and Christopher Nolan for Best Director. I can’t say I’m completely surprised as my predictions did suggest The Reader playing the part as the upset potential, but Stephen Daldry over Christopher Nolan for Best Director… now that was a shocker!
Let’s see what else… Clint Eastwood got snubbed in the Best Lead Actor category. I was really glad that the Academy acknowledged Richard Jenkins for The Visitor, a film most people probably never even heard of. If there’s an area the Academy usually get right, it’s the acting categories. The race is going to be Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) and Sean Penn (Milk) in this category.
For Best Lead Actress, there was a few surprises. Everyone knew Kate Winslet was going to get a nomination here, but we all thought for Revolutionary Road. Instead, she got a lead nomination for The Reader, which she campaigned to get a nod in the Best Supporting Actress category. This reminds me of a few years ago when Leonardo DiCaprio had The Departed and Blood Diamond and everyone penned DiCaprio in for a Best Acting nod for The Departed… but the Academy acknowledged him for Blood Diamond. Quite a bizarre switcheroo. The other surprise was the nod to Melissa Leo (Frozen River). I didn’t think enough of the Academy saw or knew about the film to vote Leo in… unfortunately her inclusion results in the snub for Sally Hawkins, who was 100% deserving of a nomination.
In the Supporting Acting categories, Slumdog Millionaire struck out when many people, including myself, though the buzz of the film would bump their two young faces, Dev Patel and Freida Pintel, in. Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) was able to take the final spot while the rest were predicted. As for Supporting Actresses, the duo of Doubt (Viola Davis and Amy Adams) secured nominations, and since Kate Winslet got nominated in the Best Lead Actress category for The Reader, that left the door open for Taraji P. Henson (Benjamin Button) to swoop in. Also, congrats to Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler).
In the writing categories, I am surprised that Rachel Getting Married and Vicky Christina Barcelona didn’t get a nomination. Instead, In Bruges and Frozen River secured their spots along with WALL-E, Milk, and Happy-Go-Lucky. For the Adapted category, The Reader played spoiler again to The Dark Knight, stealing the nom from the superhero juggernaut. The rest of the nominations include Benjamin Button, Doubt, Frost/Nixon, and Slumdog Millionaire.
And for the rest… Man on Wire was nominated for Best Doc, and will probably win… The Class and Waltz with Bashir will be the contenders for Best Foreign Language Film… Bolt, Kung Fu Panda, and WALL-E for Best Animated Feature (we all know who’s going to with that)… Iron Man wound up with a few nominations in Sound Editing and Visual Effects.
Overall, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button led all films with 13 nominations followed by Slumdog Millionaire with 10 nominations. Some notable points from this morning are that Slumdog Millionaire received all the nominations and buzz but did not receive one acting nod, AND Doubt received four acting nods but not a Best Picture nomination. But the big story remains The Reader bumping out The Dark Knight for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. This just proves that the Academy is not ready to recognize a superhero or comic-book film yet… which doesn’t make sense to me. If the Academy is open to reward fantasy and sci-fi films like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars… why not a layered and excellent film like The Dark Knight? I’m disappointed.
So now the final ballots will be shipped out and in one month, The Academy Awards ceremony will be aired. My early guess… I still can’t see any film taking away Slumdog Millionaire’s buzz, but if there was a film that could do it, Benjamin Button with its 13 nominations can. It’s epic and grossed over $100 million… that usually results in Academy Award winners.