The General’s Oscar Nominations

oscarsAs we get set to learn the 2009 Oscar nominees tomorrow on the 1-year anniversary of Heath Ledger’s death, there are a number of great movies and performances that once again seek the ultimate acknowledgment of their work.

I have seen a great number of the films from the 2008 season and consider myself a well-informed individual and certainly capable of making a qualified nomination list myself. I want to make it clear that I do not intend for my list to be a prediction of what the Academy will announce tomorrow. This list is simply a list of who I would nominate if I had a ballot.

Well let’s get to it:

Best Picture

  • Revolutionary Road
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Defiance
  • Milk

Best Director

  • Sam Mendes, Revolutionary Road
  • Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
  • Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
  • Edward Zwick, Defiance
  • Gus Van Sant, Milk

Best Actor

  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road
  • Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino
  • Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
  • Sean Penn, Milk
  • Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon

Best Actress

  • Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road
  • Angelina Jolie, Changeling
  • Meryl Streep, Doubt
  • Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
  • Sally Hawkins, Happy-go-lucky

Best Supporting Actor

  • Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
  • Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
  • Josh Brolin, Milk
  • Liev Schreiber, Defiance

Best Supporting Actress

  • Kate Winslet, The Reader
  • Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
  • Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
  • Viola Davis, Doubt
  • Taraji P. Henson, Benjamin Button

Best Original Screenplay

  • Dustin Lance Black, Milk
  • Andrew Stanton and Jim Reardon, Wall-E
  • Mike Leigh, Happy-go-lucky
  • Woody Allen, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
  • Jenny Lumet, Rachel Getting Married

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Defiance
  • Simon Beaufrey, Slumdog Millionaire
  • Revolutionary Road
  • Eric Roth, Benjamin Button
  • Changeling

Analysis:

I’ve seen pretty much every movie in consideration except Frost/Nixon, Milk and The Wrestler. I think Frost/Nixon is extremely overrated and making people overlook brilliant movies like Revolutionary Road, Defiance and Changeling in particular. Eastwood’s Gran Torino is a solid three star movie but it isn’t as good of a picture as Eastwood’s performance is nor his other movie, Changeling. Angelina Jolie’s turn as a broken down mother who’s lost her son and won’t be listened to by the LAPD is heart-wrenching and certainly deserves to be nominated and not forgotten because it’s a few months old.

While The Dark Knight was an excellent action movie and featured one of the truly brilliant performances of all time (what the movie will certainly be remembered for) by Heath Ledger, as a film it isn’t as good as Defiance which showcases the courage of the human spirit so vividly. If you can sit through that film and not be moved then you are not human.

Lastly, Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance as a middle-aged husband feeling trapped in his suburban life in Revolutionary Road is perhaps his best work to date. I still love his underrated turns in The Departed and Gangs of New York but this one edges them out.

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2 responses to “The General’s Oscar Nominations

    • Well, like I said, my predictions were based more off of what I thought SHOULD happen not what the Academy will do. Defiance and Revolutionary Road got the shaft. Liev Schrieber and Leonardo DiCaprio both deserved noms for Supporting Actor and Best Actor respectively. I was shocked to see the Reader nominated for Best Picture over Revolutionary Road. That was a joke.

      Defiance on the other hand is being completely overlooked so it didn’t surprise me that it was left off. That is as moving a movie as you will ever see. Craig and Schrieber are excellent and once again Edward Zwick makes a helluva picture. Do yourself a favor and go and see that movie.

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