Here are a few noteworthy films/artists who got left out of the Oscar nominations as well as a couple of notably unworthy nominees:
Best Picture: Iíll bet most of the Academyís voters never saw the Digital 3-D version of Beowulf by Robert Zemeckis Ė itíll probably stand (I havenít seen them all yet) as my Best Picture of 2007. I also was disappointed that Stardust wasnít nominated. All five nominees are very fine films. Of the nominees, my favorite Ė but not by a wide margin Ė is No Country for Old Men.
Best Actor in a Leading Role: I would have nominated Josh Brolin for No Country in Old Men. But the best performance of the year, hands down, was Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood Ė and it actually got nominated. Itís so clearly the best performance that Iíll do what I usually donít and predict a win for Mr. Day-Lewis.
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Two great lead performances were overlooked by the Academy. Belťn Rueda was mesmerizing in The Orphanage, a Spanish-language suspense/thriller. Claire Danes played a star, fallen from the sky and transformed into human form in Stardust Ė a heart-tugging romantic performance. Of the five nominees, my favorite is Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: First of all, Casey Affleck (nominated for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) played the main character in the film so it was hardly a supporting roleÖ and I donít think his performance in the league with the other four nominees Ė all very strong. Of the nominees, my favorite is Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men).
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: The academy overlooked two deliciously sexy and evil villains. Michelle Pheiffer played a delightfully cruel witch in Stardust who wanted to cut Claire Danesís heart out and eat it so she could live for another 400 years. And then thereís Angelina Jolie as Grendelís Mother in Beoulf Ė it isnít a big part but she created the most memorable big-screen villains in years.
Best Director: Here we have three great achievements, all worthy of an Ocsar: Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood), the Coen Brothers (No Country for Old Men) and Jason Reitman (Juno). And then thereís a good but not Oscar-worthy film by Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton itís just not in the same league with the top three. Finally, thereís my pick for the most puzzling film to get multiple Oscar nominations in many years: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Julian Schnabel. Itís simply a compelling human interest story that never should have been made into a movie. Hereís what youíll see for about 70% of the runtime: a man paralyzed except for his left eye communicating through a nurse who dutifully recites the alphabet, letter by letter until she gets to the letter he wants, at which time he blinks Ė then you repeat the process with the next letter. Painfully slow and tedious, itís one of the worst movies of 2007. And I think they blew it by passing over Robert Zemeckis, director of Beowulf.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Iím disappointed that Roger Avery (notable for having collaborated with Quentin Tarrintino on Reservoir Dogs, True Romance and Pulp Fiction) and Neil Gaiman did a brilliant job of adapting the ancient Beowulf tale for the big screen. They made a few radical changes but it worked beautifully as a fantasy film that retained the DNA of the classic Anglo-Saxon poem. But how on earth did Ronald Harwoodís script for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly possibly get nominated? Itís the worst adapted script in years.
Best Original Song: They missed the best: ďA Hero Comes HomeĒ from Beowulf, written by Alan Silverstein and sung by Robin Wright-Penn. And why are there three nominees from Enchanted? "That's How You Know" (Enchanted) is a fine song Ė the best of the nominees.
Best Achievement if Visual Effects: Here again, I donít believe that very many Academy voters saw the Digital 3-D version of Beowulf or they would have been compelled to honor it in this category.
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year: The Academy did manage to recognize the merit of Ratatouille Ė but itís more than the best animated film of the year Ė itís among the top five overall. I havenít seen Persepolis (also nominated) Ė but Iím looking forward to it.
Best Foreign Language Film of the Year: Whereís The Orphanage ? But I must say, I havenít seen any of the nominees.
Hereís a link for IMDbís list of nominees 80th Annual Awards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. with links to all of the people and movies involved.
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Links to all the reviews on the site:Alexander :: The Aviator :: Apocalypto :: Babel :: Bang Rajan :: Batman Begins :: Be Cool :: Bewitched :: Before Sunset :: Beyond the Sea :: Birth :: Little Black Book :: Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius :: Bon Voyage :: The Bourne Supremacy :: Bride & Prejudice :: Brokeback Mountain :: Broken Wings :: Born Into Brothels :: Cars :: Catwoman :: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory :: Collateral :: Connie and Carla :: Constantine :: Crimson Gold :: Crůnicas :: Curse of the Golden Flower :: The Day After Tomorrow :: The Departed :: The Door in the Floor :: Dreamgirls :: Elektra :: Envy :: Fantastic Four :: Garfield: The Movie :: The Girl Next Door :: Head in the Clouds :: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire :: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban :: Hellboy :: Hero :: Hitch :: Howl's Moving Castle :: House of Flying Daggers :: I'm Not Scared :: The Incredibles :: I, Robot :: Jarhead :: Kill Bill Volume 2 :: King Arthur :: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang :: King Kong :: The Last Shot :: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events :: The Manchurian Candidate :: Man on Fire :: March of the Penguins :: Maria Full of Grace :: Mean Girls :: Meet the Fockers :: The Memory of a Killer :: Million Dollar Baby :: Munich :: Ocean's Twelve :: Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior :: Pan's Labyrinth :: The Phantom of the Opera :: Pride & Prejudice :: The Punisher :: The Return :: Riding Giants :: Shaolin Soccer :: Shark Tale :: Shrek 2 :: Sideways :: Sin City :: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow :: Mr. & Mrs. Smith :: Son of the Mask :: Spanglish :: Spider-Man 2 :: Star Wars: Episode III :: The Stepford Wives :: Supersize Me :: Syriana :: Taxi :: Team America: World Police :: Troy :: Twentynine Palms :: Up and Down :: Van Helsing :: The Village :: Volver :: War of the Worlds :: The Weather Man :: Wedding Crashers :: Wimbledon :: The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi :: éelary :: 13 Going on 30