The Oscar noms are in, and my pal at Notes from Stonesthrow was remarkably on point. Congratulations! While I, on the other hand, did not make predictions, as you may have noticed. Why? Because I am horrible at them, that's why. I can't seem to separate my notions of who should get nominated from my notions of who will get nominated, which forever ruins my odds. Instead, I prefer, obviously, to dissect the nominations and the Oscars themselves after the fact, which is at once more satisfying and, well, essentially risk-free.
As for the best picture nominations, I am pleased that Letters from Iwo Jima is being recognized, if for no other reason than I think that separating foreign language films produced by US backers into a separate category makes little sense. Sadly, as I have explained before, I don't see many movies in the theaters any more, so I have not seen a one of the nominees, though I am most likely to see Little Miss Sunshine before the big day because I believe that comedies, even ironic, sardonic, drama-esque films need to be nominated in this category more often.
Speaking of superfluous, I present Peter O'Toole's nomination for Best Actor. What is the fixation with randy old men? Could it have something to do with the relative age of the Academy members? hmmm.... (again, saw none of these movies. la la la)
Among the Best Actress nominees, Penelope Cruz looks like the odd woman out, but she has my support for much the same reason Iwo Jima does. However, chances are it will be a brit (and an older, esteemed Brit at that) once again. And hurrah, I actually saw The Devil Wears Prada but it won't and most likely shouldn't win, unless the Academy pulls a Helen Hunt (though, OF COURSE, Miz Meryl is a much much much MUCH better actress any day of the week).
In the Supporting Actor category, wouldn't it be great if Mark Wahlberg won? "Academy Award winner Marky Mark" has a certain ring to it, no? (and again, saw not a one of these movies)
Two Supporting Actress nominees from Babel? International tension! And whaddya know, Cate Blanchett again! She's becoming this generation's Judi Dench! (no movies seen by me here, either)
I think it's telling that United 93 gets honors in the Directing category but nowhere else, not even for original screenplay. We really haven't moved on as much as we sometimes like to believe, I think.
Oh ho, a category in which I can speak from personal experience rather than hearsay: Original Song. And I am going to have to go with Melissa Etheridge because much like An Inconvenient Truth made Al Gore sexy (and yes, I did see it), she gave personal activism against global warming a catchy beat. Truly difficult feats, both.
And finally, here's hoping Pan's Labryinth wins in many technical categories because it takes some serious skill to be that creepy and still legitimately call yourself a fairy tale.