Thursday, January 22, 2009


So close, and yet so stupid.

In my last minute, not-entirely-thought-out Oscar prognostication post, I forgot the Academy's most important rule: It's all about the Holocaust, baby!

Yes, any Holocaust-themed film, no matter how inane (Life is Beautiful) or dull (The Pianist) is honor-bound for nomination glory. So for me to forget the by-most-accounts-mediocre The Reader was just silly. Forgive me my oversight; you pay me to perform better than this.

A quick recap of my predictions (for a complete list of nominations, head here):

Best Picture
Four out of five. I included The Dark Knight - like most people - and whiffed on The Reader.

Best Actor
Four out of five. I believed the rumor that Eastwood's schticky performance in Gran Torino would get a nod, but instead Brad Pitt's schticky performance in Benjamin Button did.

Best Actress
Two out of five. Ouch. Ok, technically I got Kate Winslet correct, but I nominated her for the wrong film. And of a trio of lauded indie performances, I picked the two that didn't get nominated (Michelle Williams, Sally Hawkins) and overlooked the one that did (Melissa Leo). And Angelina Jolie? Really?

Best Supporting Actor
Four out of five. Maybe some wishful thinking - I wanted James Franco to get his due, but Revolutionary Road's creepy Michael Shannon was slotted here instead.

Best Supporting Actress
Four out of five. Winslet's Reader performance was deemed to be a lead, so Doubt's Amy Adams slid in.

Best Director
Three out of five. Another case of wishful thinking, that the Academy would notice The Wrestler's Darren Aronofsky. I also missed Christopher Nolan, while Oscar singled out Ron Howard and Stephen Daldry instead. Interesting tidbit about Daldry: he's directed three features (Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader), and he's been nominated for all of them.

What I want to happen
I don't care, to tell you the truth. 2008 was a fairly weak year for films, and the nominations are somehow even weaker. No Wrestler, no In Bruges, too much recognition of the safe and saccharine. My only rooting interest, I guess, is for Rourke to take Best Actor, and Tomei to win just so she can hold up the envelope and prove it's actually her name inside.

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