Saturday, February 23, 2008

Who got passed over for Oscar nominations


Okay, so the Oscars are tomorrow night and I can't figure out why I feel slightly bored about the whole thing. They are all really great films this year. Really great. Maybe that's it? Maybe there aren't any nominations that make me angry, that I'd leap off my chair to yell at the TV if that actor or film won?

There are a few underdogs that could make me leap up if they won, I guess, but they are such incredible long shots, I don't hold out any hope... Like Sarah Polley for directing Away from Her. That would be so cool. But she won't win. I guess I'd like the Coens to win that, because I think their acceptance speech might be fun. I'd also like to see Ellen Page win. She's amazingly talented. (Okay, I may be biased. I've just listed two Canadian nominees.)

So, who isn't on the list that I think should be?

The glaring omission in the Best Picture, Best Director (Sean Penn), Best Actor (Emile Hirsch), Best Score (Eddie Vedder) and Best Song (Eddie Vedder) categories are all Into the Wild. Maybe Best Supporting Actress (Catherine Keener), too. I really don't understand why this movie got so ignored. I felt sure it was going to make Emile Hirsch into a huge star.

David Cronenberg for directing Eastern Promises. I don't know if this was my favourite Cronenberg film ever... but it was his most accessible while still being daring (people will be taking about that Turkish bath scene forever) and I'd love to have seen him nominated.

Gorden Pinsent for best actor in Away from Her. Yes, Julie Christie was great, but he was the heart and the core of that lovely film and his performance was fabulous. But he's not well known outside of Canada (maybe not even well known inside Canada since the 1970's) so not surprising he didn't get a nomination. But that would have been exciting.

Finally, I'd have liked to have seen Josh Brolin get a nomination for No Country for Old Men. Javier Bardem is getting all the attention for that film for playing a psychopath. Yes, he made a great psychopath, but Brolin's was the more interesting, more subtle, more real character. The one we could identify with, who takes a chance and lets greed take over his common sense. And then kindness, too. He might not have been caught if he hadn't gone back with that water...
The night that film premiered in Toronto at the TIFF, the paparazzi outside were all, "Diane, over her. Diane," when Brolin arrived on the red carpet (with his wife, Diane Lane). I kind of thought it was funny that night. To me, Josh Brolin was the son of a guy famous for being attractive and married to a much more famous and powerful woman (Barbra Streisand), who also married an attractive and famous woman (Diane Lane). To me, the Brolin men were boy toys to Barbra and Diane. But this year Brolin-the-younger proved he's not just a trophy husband in both this film and in American Gangster. I'm very interested to see what he'll do as George dubya in the upcoming Bush.

Who do you think got passed over?

9 comments:

Kwana said...

Hi Maureen,

I think Denzel got passed over for American Gangster. Russell Crowe too. They were both great. It was a very real very disturbing film.

Annette said...

I wasn't a Russell Crowe fan, but after seeing him in 3:10 to Yuma, I became a convert and think he was robbed.

And being a transplanted Haligonian, I'm pulling for our hometown girl Ellen Page to win. Saw Juno twice and I think all the hype surrounding her performance is well-deserved.

Maureen McGowan said...

Russel Crowe is an acting god. But I have to say I liked 3:10 to Yuma better than American Gangster. Not that I didn't like both. I just have problems accepting Denzel as a bad guy (always seems like a good guy pretending to be a bad guy to me) and I thought the movie could've done with some editing...

Westerns aren't normally my thing, but I did love 3:10 to Yuma.

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Congratulations Maureen on making the top 100 Amazon Breakthrough Semi-Finalists!

Kristen Painter said...

I don't watch enough movies to make a call on this. Well, okay, I don't watch enough Oscar contender movies to comment.

Sandra Ferguson said...

That always seems to be my problem . . . not watching enough Oscar-contender movies. I'm not in the right loop it seems. What I want to watch is not what the critics seem to deem worthy. Maybe I'm just too simple a movie-goer.

Maureen, I'm so impressed that you know the directors well enough to make your choices for that category.

3:10 to Yuma is on my I-really-need-to-see-that-movie list. I loved the original version.

L.A. Mitchell said...

I'm so grounded to home that by the time I see the ones everyone's buzzing about, I've forgotten what everyone was talking about.

Maureen, you really missed your calling as a movie critic. Any chance you could start a syndicated column on the side?

Sara Hantz said...

I really wanted Ellen Page to win, too. I LOVED it.

Eileen said...

I missed THE WHOLE THING. First time in forever- but I didn't see a wink. Curses.

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