The Oscar Noms! With a Surprise Ending!
I didn't get up early to watch the Oscar nominations read live at 5:30 PST as I've done in the past. Instead I got up at six, as usual, showered, grabbed coffee, and read them online via IMDb.com. Much more civilized.
My first thought? No surprises. I thought: Nathaniel over at Film Experience had all of these 10 best picture nominees yesterday. Maybe we should just go through Nathaniel instead of AMPAS.
Actor? Great group. No weak spots:
Actress? Another strong group, but ...
... no Hailee? She must be in supporting.
Yep. Too bad. She deserved to be in the lead category. But hardly a surprise. Business as usual, in fact.
Supporting actors? Did they ...
Yes, they did! They included John Hawkes! Alright! No Pierce Brosnan but that would've been a stretch. In fact, is the “Ghost Writer” anywhere? Nope. Not in one category. More proof, as if we need it, that America is not Europe. America is more puritanical. Even Hollywood is puritanical.
Director? Consider it the Class of 1999/2000. The Coens are old hands here.
I'd replace Hooper or Russell with Nolan, but, again, this is hardly a surprise. (Read Nathaniel on the third-time snub of Nolan.)
In fact, where are the surprises?
Fourth from the end, in the “Best Documentary, Features” category.
Not only was “Waiting for Superman,” which won the PGA last week, not nominated, but neither was “The Tillman Story.” Both, I thought, would elbow out my favorite, “Restrepo,” which I think is one of the best movies of the year, documentary or feature, but “Restrepo” made the list.
I would've put “A Film Unfinished” on that list as well, if it were eligible (not sure if it is), but it's still a strong list. I haven't seen the two “Lands,” “Gas” or “Waste” (isn't that the same?), but the others are all worthy. “Exit” is unique, but parts of it are a bit of a larf, maybe the whole thing, so I wouldn't vote for it. “Inside Job” is a traditional, talking-head doc, and important, but, as I've written, hardly told me anything I didn't know.
But “Restrepo”? With apologies to Banksy: That's art.
See you February 27th. Maybe we'll even be pleasantly surprised that evening.
ADDENDA: A good post on Oscar snubs from The Film Experience.
Meanwhile, the smartest comment about “Waiting for Superman” being snubbed is in the comments field at Hollywood Elsewhere from a reader named Martin Blank. He writes: “Waiting for Superman got snubbed because it's anti-union. And Hollywood is a union town.” As soon as you read that, you go “Of course.”