The Oscar nominations came out a little while ago and for the most part they were the right choices with one exception. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” received 13 nominations when it deserved maybe four or five at the most. The film was sub- par at best, the story was not fully developed, and it felt too sentimental for its subject matter. It was well directed and the performances were quite good, but all in all it was a disappointment that should not have gotten as much recognition from the academy.
On the other hand, “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Milk” both received much deserved best picture nominations as well as nominations for their directors Danny Boyle and Gus Van Sant, respectively. I’m not quite sure about the other two nominees, “the Reader” and “Frost/Nixon,” for the simple fact that I have not seen them.
As far as the acting categories go, there have been some very strong performances recognized this year, not the least of which is Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker from “the Dark Knight” which was nominated in the best supporting actor category along with other big weights like Robert Downey Jr. for “Tropic Thunder” and Phillip Seymour Hoffman for “Doubt.” The best actress category is going to come down to the three big weights Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, and Kate Winslet for “Rachel Getting Married,” “Doubt,” and “the Reader,” respectively. The best actor category has two big performances in it that come from Sean Penn and Brad Pitt for “Milk” and “the Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” all the rest are just there for show.
All in all this was a good year for the academy awards, but it could have been better if some of the smaller movies that came out this past year got more recognition. Also I hope that this doesn’t signal a return to form for the academy since the two years prior to this they stepped out on a limb and nominated movies that were much darker in subject matter than previous Oscar winners, last year’s best picture winner “No Country for Old Men” for example.
None-the-less, this years nominations will not stop me from watching the award show with a certain amount of glee because it is one of the few things that I look forward to each year along with my birthday and my monthly visit to Krispy Kreme to collect the day old doughnuts. Cheers.