erik lundegaard

The Quiz...and How Nathaniel R. Nudged Me Off the Fence

As promised, the Oscar quiz is up on MSNBC.com. Here.

I was going to add what's below to yesterday's post but decided not to spoil it for those brave few:

  • Everyone’s trumpeting Meryl Streep’s 15th nomination. Most add that she’s got two wins without specifying those wins. Here’s a reminder: She’s got a supporting (“Kramer vs. Kramer”) and a lead (“Sophie’s Choice”). Which means Hilary Swank, among others, has won more best actress Oscars than Meryl Streep. Hell, the last time Streep won, fellow nominee Anne Hathaway was six months old.
  • Not only has Stephen Daldry, director of “The Reader,” been nominated more times (3) than any of the other directing nominees, including Ron Howard and Gus Van Sant, but, astonishingly, he’s only made three feature-length films. Which means he’s been nominated for every film he’s ever made.  For the record, his three films are: “Billy Elliott,” “The Hours” and “The Reader.” I know, me neither.

Interestingly, I was on IMDb.com this morning, and one of the links on their daily “Hit List” was entitled: “Notes on the Oscar Nominations” from filmexperience.blogspot.com. I clicked, not exactly holding my breath. Most mainstream stuff is dull reportage that ignores fascinating but easy-to-find details (like Daltry, above), and most blogs are noisy little affairs that make me want to run away, take a shower, and not have an opinion for the rest of my life. This was neither. It was fun, charming, smart. As soon as I saw this graphic I knew I was in the right place:

Some of the stuff I knew nothing about (costume design?), some I knew all too well (“Harvey Weinstein is Back. God Help Us All.”), but all of it was fun to read.

Even better was host Nathaniel R's live-blogging of the SAG noms, and his disappointment that “Milk” didn't win the cast award. I wrote about the SAGs this morning, but dispassionately, as Oscar indicators. Nathaniel helped push me off my fence. Because he's right. Both “Milk” and “Slumdog” are very good movies, and I'll be fine if “Slumdog” wins best picture, but if we're talking about ensemble cast acting, “Milk,” with Penn, Franco, Hirsch, et al., has it all over “Slumdog,” which is a director's movie. Freida Pinto is stunning, lovely to look at, and her part works, but... It ain't the same league.

Anyway, if you haven't, take the quiz already. And remember the thing about Daltry.

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Posted at 07:13 PM on Mon. Jan 26, 2009 in category Movies - The Oscars  

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