Ep. 119 – Recapping the somewhat disastrous 91st Oscars

February 26, 2019 by  
Filed under Podcast

This week on The CineSnob Podcast, Cody and Jerrod talk the mess that was the 91st Oscars, from highs like “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” winning best animated feature, to awful lows like any wins for “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Green Book.”

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Ep. 40 – Chappie, The King of Kong, the Oscars may go back to 5 best picture nominees, Cary Fukunaga’s latest film goes straight to Netflix and what this means for the future of distribution, and Cody talks about seeing Once on stage

March 8, 2015 by  
Filed under Podcast

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In this week’s episode of The CineSnob Podcast, the guys from CineSnob.net review “Chappie.” They also discuss the Oscars potentially going back to only 5 Best Picture nominees, discuss the upcoming Cary Fukunaga Netflix movie and the future of distribution, a review of “Once: The Musical,” and their thoughts upon re-watching “The King of Kong” at their Alamo Drafthouse event.

[0:00-6:39] Intro/Avengers trailer talk
[6:39-23:44] Oscars back to 5 best picture nominees
[23:44-53:42] Cary Fukunaga’s latest film will go straight to Netflix, and what this means for the future of distribution, complete with long argument
[53:42-1:06:52] Cody reviews Once: The Musical
[1:06:52-1:29:57] Chappie
[1:29:57-1:43:07] Deja View – The King of Kong event wrap up
[1:43:07-2:10:00] Q&A with Steve Wiebe

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Ep. 38 – Fifty Shades of Grey, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Still Alice, Sony lets Spider-Man play with Marvel, and our thoughts on next Sunday’s Oscars

February 15, 2015 by  
Filed under Podcast

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In this week’s episode of The CineSnob Podcast, the guys from CineSnob.net review “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” and “Still Alice.” They also discuss Spider-Man entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe, their predictions for next week’s Academy Awards and make a special announcement regarding an upcoming CineSnob event.

[0:00-7:33] Intro/Oscar food talk
[7:33-19:53] Sony lets Spider-Man play with the Marvel Cinematic Universe
[19:53-38:31] Fifty Shades of Grey
[38:31-50:58] Kingsman: The Secret Service
[50:58-1:03:36] Still Alice
[1:03:36-1:25:40] Oscar predictions
[1:25:40-1:37:20] Teases for next week, special event announcement and close

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To give your feedback, e-mail us at podcast [at] cinesnob [dot] net, or leave a voicemail at 920-FILM-210.

They Nominated What?! – 2015 Edition

January 15, 2015 by  
Filed under CineBlog

In what is becoming a yearly tradition, CineSnob.net woke up at the crack of dawn this morning to watch the Oscar nominations unfold live. In the first year where all nominations were announced live on TV, there were some surprises, both good and bad. Here are our thoughts on the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards, which will air on February 22 on ABC.

BEST PICTURE

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Selma
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

KIKO: The fact that the Academy only nominated eight films this year is telling that there weren’t enough top tier films to choose from. Every film is deserving of a nomination on this list, with the exception of AMERICAN SNIPER, which got love in way too many categories for an average film. It really doesn’t matter, anyway. This is BOYHOOD’s Oscar to lose and I don’t see that happening no matter how much campaigning the other studios do. 7 out of 8

CODY: For the first time the Academy only nominates eight films. This is pretty more or less what I expected, though I will say…it is odd that FOXCATCHER gets nominations for lead actor, screenplay AND director and yet doesn’t pop up on Best Picture. We’ll call that “reverse Ben Affleck syndrome.” The nomination for SELMA here feels, unfortunately, arbitrary as you well soon see.
7 out of 8.

JERROD: So close on this one, with only NIGHTCRAWLER throwing off my Top 8. I thought there was more love for NIGHTCRAWLER as a whole to push it and Gyllenhaal into the top spots, but alas. The presence of AMERICAN SNIPER, itself just an okay movie, scares me a little bit, but I still think it’s BOYHOOD’s award to lose at this point. 7 out of 8

BEST DIRECTOR

  • RICHARD LINKLATER, Boyhood
  • ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU, Birdman
  • BENNETT MILLER, Foxcatcher
  • MORTEN TYLDUM, The Imitation Game
  • WES ANDERSON, The Grand Budapest Hotel

KIKO: No real love for SELMA this morning, especially with the omission of Ava Duvernay in this category. I don’t have a problem with Bennett Miller’s nomination, but it should’ve come at the expense of Morten Tyldum, who I’m sure split votes with director James Marsh. 4 out of 5

CODY: So it turns out all of the guild omissions were telling and Ava DuVernay is hit with one of the biggest snubs of the day. To be totally honest, I’m a little surprised that it was Bennett Miller that was the beneficiary and not someone like Clint Eastwood, (considering the amount of other nominations for AMERICAN SNIPER), James Marsh or even Damien Chazelle. If Richard Linklater doesn’t win this, I’m going have a fit on Oscar night. 4 out of 5

JERROD: Bennett Miller over Ava Duvernay is bullshit. Was she burned by the mild LBJ controversy brewing over SELMA? She was the public face and voice for SELMA, and I don’t know that she handled it well. And why does anyone like FOXCATCHER this much? 4 out of 5

BEST LEAD ACTOR

  • MICHAEL KEATON, Birdman
  • BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, The Imitation Game
  • EDDIE REDMAYNE, The Theory of Everything
  • STEVE CARELL, Foxcatcher
  • BRADLEY COOPER, American Sniper

KIKO: Has Bradley Cooper really become the critical darling with the Academy? This category is all jacked up. David Oyelowo for SELMA should be on this list over Cooper and especially over Steve Carell’s nose. Keaton for the win. FYI: This is the first time in 20 years that all the nominees in this category are white. 3 out of 5

CODY: Every year there is a category that goes completely wonky, and this year it is lead actor. David Oyelowo is an unfortunate victim of a lack of interest in SELMA and is easily one of the biggest snubs of the day. There was some momentum gaining for Steve Carell to pop up in supporting, but he gets a seat at the big boy table for, frankly, an underwhelming performance. The most surprising is that Bradley Cooper comes from out of nowhere to wind up on this list. Also interesting to note, 3rd year in a row for a nomination for Cooper. A very interesting late in the game surge for AMERICAN SNIPER. This was a category that I thought Keaton had locked up, but with how weird these nominations are, I have no idea. 3 out of 5

JERROD: For any other movie, Carell getting this nom would make me smile, but not for the dull FOXCATCHER. Besides, Kiko and I bought into a theory the field would be too crowded for Carell and he would get bumped to supporting, but instead he took the spot that belonged to David Oyelowo. Also, Bradley Cooper over Jake Gyllenhaal is a mild surprise, but if anyone other than Michael Keaton wins, I’m setting the building on fire. 3 out of 5

BEST LEAD ACTRESS

  • JULIANNE MOORE, Still Alice
  • REESE WITHERSPOON, Wild
  • FELICITY JONES, The Theory of Everything
  • ROSAMUND PIKE, Gone Girl
  • MARION COTILLARD, Two Days One Night

KIKO: My favorite female performance of the year gets in (Cotillard for TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT) and all is right with the world. Too bad they’re going to give this to Julianne Moore for a performance that isn’t close to one of the best of her career. I’m so perfect it sickens me. 5 out of 5

CODY: So I’ll be perfectly honest here. When TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT was omitted from the shortlist for Best Foreign Film, I thought that there was no way that Cotillard would be nominated in this category. I was wrong. Jennifer Aniston gets the boot, and while I thought that Amy Adams would be first in line to knock her out, I am pleasantly surprised to see Cotillard take her place. Moore seems to be the only one out of this group with any sort of momentum. 4 out of 5

JERROD: I went 5 for 5 on this one. In a just world, Witherspoon would win for the unappreciated WILD, but this will be Julianne Moore’s lifetime achievement award. 5 out of 5

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • J.K. SIMMONS, Whiplash
  • EDWARD NORTON, Birdman
  • ETHAN HAWKE. Boyhood
  • MARK RUFFALO, Foxcatcher
  • ROBERT DUVALL, The Judge

KIKO: I definitely thought the bad reviews of The Judge would sink Robert Duvall, but I was wrong. I threw a Carrell nom in there for kicks, but I should’ve stuck to my gut. 4 out of 5

CODY: FINALLY! I get an entire category right. Duvall gets this years “Max von Sydow Award” for being nominated for an acting award for a film with a Rotten Tomatoes score under 50 percent. Congrats! This award is not going to anyone not named J.K. Simmons. 5 out of 5

JERROD: Again, I though Carell might get pushed here, but they went with Robert Duvall instead, causing me to go 4 for 5 because they all like the old guy. This appears to be J.K. Simmons’ Oscar to lose, and he’s great, but I can’t love Ethan Hawke in BOYHOOD any more than I do. 4 out of 5

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • PATRICIA ARQUETTE, Boyhood
  • EMMA STONE, Birdman
  • KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, The Imitation Game
  • MERYL STREEP, Into the Woods
  • LAURA DERN, Wild

KIKO: Wow, no love for A MOST VIOLENT YEAR (Jessica Chastain) anywhere. It saddens me, but I’m happy to see Laura Dern get this nomination. I don’t understand the love for Streep here, but she’s an acting god, so I guess she gets nominated automatically. 4 out of 5

CODY: Never. Bet. Against. Meryl. Streep. I learned my lesson last year, and did not fall into the same trap again. Laura Dern here is, quite honestly, the most pleasant surprise of the day. She completely makes WILD what it is, and I thought that she was way on the outside looking in. This will be an interesting category come Oscar night. Arquette is still the front runner but I feel like this race is a bit open. 4 out of 5

JERROD: 4 for 5 on this one again, but I’m happy because I love, love, love Laura Dern in WILD (I had Jessica Chastain in that 5th spot). Dern is fantastic, but so is Patricia Arquette in BOYHOOD. I’m so torn here. Seriously, go watch Wild. 4 out of 5

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • BIRDMAN
  • BOYHOOD
  • THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
  • NIGHTCRAWLER
  • FOXCATCHER

KIKO: Poor Selma. Seriously, what happened? Was the campaign that off the mark? The Academy voters didn’t warm up to this movie as much as they should’ve. 4 out of 5

CODY: Another big SELMA snub here. Other than that, not much to say. BIRDMAN has the best screenplay of the year and I still think it will win, but there’s a lot of love for THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL. Maybe Anderson gets his first Oscar here? 4 out of 5

JERROD: Burned again by the love I expected SELMA to get. Instead we get more FOXCATCHER. Whatever, it’s between BIRDMAN and BOYHOOD anyway. 4 out of 5

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • THE IMITATION GAME
  • THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
  • INHERENT VICE
  • AMERICAN SNIPER
  • WHIPLASH

KIKO: If I hear another person say that the INHERENT VICE script is amazing because “it’s captures the essence of the book,” I’m going to scalp myself. I love you with all my heart Paul Thomas Anderson, but that thing was a big fat mess. Anyway, disappointed in all of AMERICAN SNIPER nominations and the fact that WILD is not in this category either. 3 out of 5

CODY: Another category that was sort of hard to predict. The switch from original to adapted screenplay proved to be no problem for Team WHIPLASH. If there was any category I thought that GONE GIRL would be nominated for, it was screenplay. I am secretly happy about its absence, though I wish the AMERICAN SNIPER spot (or WHIPLASH for that matter) was filled with WILD.
3 out of 5

JERROD: Oh, hi there P.T. Anderson for INHERENT VICE. You took the spot that belonged to GONE GIRL. Also, your movie is just THE BIG LEBOWSKI without the fun. Also, fuck you AMERICAN SNIPER for taking WILD’s spot. Ugh, I have such a bad feeling about AMERICAN SNIPER taking every award it’s nominated for. 3 out of 5

FINAL THOUGHTS:

KIKO: Miscellaneous things going on in my head right now: 1) Biggest snub is, of course, THE LEGO MOVIE not even being nominated for Best Animated Film when all season it looked to be the frontrunner. Personally, I thought it was the third best animated film of the year (go BIG HERO 6!), but for it to be passed over completely is insane; 2) So very happy to see IDA get a nomination for not only Best Foreign Language Film, but also for Best Cinematography. It was easily the best looking movie I saw all year; 3) Maybe I have a soft spot for it because it’s my profession, but where is LIFE ITSELF for Best Documentary? 3) I really hope Glenn Campbell wins the Oscar; 4) Very disappointed A MOST VIOLENT YEAR didn’t get a single nomination.

CODY: UMM, WHERE THE HELL IS THE LEGO MOVIE FOR BEST ANIMATED FEATURE? That, for me, is one of the biggest snubs of the day. Among other snubs: No DuVernay or Oyelowo for SELMA and LIFE ITSELF is very curiously absent from the documentary feature category. Otherwise, expected big days for THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, BIRDMAN, BOYHOOD and surprising showings for FOXCATCHER and AMERICAN SNIPER. Along with the snubs, there were some pleasant surprises. Laura Dern is a great addition, and IDA for best cinematography might be one of my favorite nominations of the day. So what can we expect come Oscar night? You got me. I still say that BOYHOOD will come down with the big trophies for picture and director and BIRDMAN should clean up everything else…but consider THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL your dark horse.

JERROD: Best Animated Feature belongs to THE LEGO MOVIE, hands down. Wait, THE LEGO MOVIE wasn’t even nominated?! Oh, fuuuuuuuuuuck you, Academy. Burn this motherfucker down.

FINAL COUNT:

KIKO: 75/106

CODY: 75/106

JERROD: 73/106

 

 

 

They Nominated What?! – 2014 Edition

January 16, 2014 by  
Filed under CineBlog

We were up bright and early to hear the 2014 Academy Award nominations. Here’s a quick look at how CineSnob.net did in predicting this year’s categories. The Oscars air Sunday, March 2.

BEST PICTURE

  • American Hustle
  • Captain Philips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years A Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

CODY: Well, I got 7 of these 9. I correctly predicted that PHILOMENA would slide itself in (a decision I’m very happy about), but I thought it would be if there were 10 nominees. Those Weinstein’s know how to campaign. I’m pleased that DALLAS BUYERS CLUB made its way in. SAVING MR. BANKS lost a ton of steam towards the end of its run, which I’m more than okay with. I’m just surprised that it wasn’t a hit with Oscar voters. And finally, in an unfortunate trend for the day, the Academy was not in the least bit impressed with INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS.

KIKO: The Coen Brothers got no love Thursday morning. I went 7 for 9 here. Missed DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, but I’m happy it got in. Of course, I hate any of the 10 nominations AMERICAN HUSTLE got, this category especially. Glad to see PHILOMENA make the cut. HER deserves to win this in my opinion, but right now the real three-way race is between GRAVITY, 12 YEARS A SLAVE and the mediocrity that is AMERICAN HUSTLE.

BEST DIRECTOR

  • STEVEN MCQUEEN, 12 Years a Slave
  • ALFONSO CUARON, Gravity
  • DAVID O. RUSSELL, American Hustle
  • MARTIN SCORSESE, The Wolf of Wall Street
  • ALEXANDER PAYNE, Nebraska

CODY: GAH! Should have known they’d go Scorsese, though to be perfectly honest, I thought it would be at the expense of Payne. Turns out that the lack of nominations for INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS was pretty telling. Even previous Coen love couldn’t get them in. This is one of those years where I could see a split with Cuaron getting the award and 12 YEARS A SLAVE or hell, at this point, AMERICAN HUSTLE taking home Best Picture. I was 4 for 5 here.

KIKO: Scratch Russell and give anyone else some love, please. No big surprises here. I though Paul Greengrass would make the cut for CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, but looks like Scorsese doing his best impersonation of Scorsese wins out this time.

BEST ACTOR IN A LEAD ROLE

  • MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, Dallas Buyers Club
  • CHIWETEL EJIOFOR, 12 Years a Slave
  • LEONARDO DI CAPRIO, The Wolf of Wall Street
  • CHRISTIAN BALE, American Hustle
  • BRUCE DERN, Nebraska

CODY: So DiCaprio in fact, does get in and Tom Hanks gets shoved out. Hanks is quite good in CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, but I feel that his only “Oscar” scene is the one near the end of the film. To be perfectly honest, I’m a little surprised that it was Bale that was the beneficiary of Hanks missing out, as I thought it would be Robert Redford, but today the Academy proved that they really like AMERICAN HUSTLE. If anyone is nominated from that movie, it should be Bale who gives the best performance, but I’d rather see Oscar Isaac here. This award is a 2-man race between McConaughey and Ejiofor. I’m really curious to see how the next couple of months pan out. 4 out of 5 here.

KIKO: The fact that Oscar Isaac for INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS is not here is a travesty. The fact that Christian Bale’s comb-over won over the Academy more than Tom Hanks’ best performance since Cast Away is a double travesty. How great would it be if AMERICAN HUSTLE went 0 for 10 Oscar night? I’d dance under a disco ball for that. 4 out of 5 here.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEAD ROLE

  • CATE BLANCHETT, Blue Jasmine
  • SANDRA BULLOCK, Gravity
  • MERYL STREEP, August: Osage County
  • JUDI DENCH, Philomena
  • AMY ADAMS, American Hustle

CODY: Lesson learned. Never, ever bet against Meryl Streep. All week there was a discussion of who would get in, Amy Adams or Meryl Streep. Turns out they both get in and Emma Thompson was the latest, and biggest casualty of a lack interest in SAVING MR. BANKS.  Think people start running with that Streep on Thompson smear campaign? Regardless, I don’t think there’s any way that Blanchett doesn’t win this. 4 out of 5 here.

KIKO: AMERICAN HUSTLE continues to knock other nominees out. Amy Adams doing an on-again-off-again British accent is award worthy? Really? Surprised Emma Thompson didn’t get nominated for SAVING MR. BANKS. I should’ve known Meryl Streep gets nominated for everything. She’d be nominated for an Oscar if she starred in a 3 a.m. infomercial for the ShamWow. 3 out of 5 here.

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • JARED LETO, Dallas Buyers Club
  • MICHAEL FASSBENDER, 12 Years a Slave
  • BARKHAD ABDI, Captain Phillips
  • BRADLEY COOPER, American Hustle
  • JONAH HILL, The Wolf of Wall Street

CODY: Hmm…I really thought Bruhl was going to make it in here. I’m not surprised that Cooper found a way in, especially since the industry loves AMERICAN HUSTLE. What I am surprised to see is that Jonah Hill is now a multiple Academy Award nominated actor. Jonah was fine in THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, but I don’t think his performance is worth a nomination. I would have rather seen someone like Jake Gyllenhaal from PRISONERS here. 3 out of 5 here.

KIKO: So, an Oscar nomination for Jonah Hill in Moneyball was not a fluke after all! I thought Hill was going to be our next John Candy, but he could be a lot more than that when all is said and done. Screw you, Bradley Cooper. I nominate your hair curlers, not you. 4 out of 5 here.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • LUPITA NYONG’O, 12 Years a Slave
  • SALLY HAWKINS, Blue Jasmine
  • JUNE SQUIBB, Nebraska
  • JULIA ROBERTS, August: Osage County
  • JENNIFER LAWRENCE, American Hustle

CODY: OPRAH MISSES! This is a good call. Good for Sally Hawkins for defeating the almighty Oprah. This is between Lawrence and Nyong’o. Given peoples obsession over AMERICAN HUSTLE, I think Lawrence has the inside track, even though she won last year. 4 out of 5 here.

KIKO: Looks like the most powerful woman in the entertainment and media industry, Oprah Winfrey, didn’t have enough pull after all. I am very glad Sally Hawkins made the cut. Very deserving. She’s an under-appreciated actress in my opinion. If Jennifer Lawrence, who I thought deserved her Oscar win last year for Silver Linings Playbook, wins back-to-back for playing dress-up, I’m going to blow up like a science oven. 4 out of 5 here.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • ERIC SINGER & DAVID O. RUSSELL, American Hustle
  • SPIKE JONZE, Her
  • WOODY ALLEN, Blue Jasmine
  • BOB NELSON, Nebraska
  • DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack

CODY: I’m extremely happy that GRAVITY was not nominated for best original screenplay here. I’m also very happy that my favorite film of the year DALLAS BUYERS CLUB was recognized. But how can you not give INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS a nomination here?

KIKO: Where. Is. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS? Scoff.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • JOHN RIDLEY, 12 Years a Slave
  • TERRENCE WINTER, The Wolf of Wall Street
  • RICHARD LINKLATER, JULIE DELPY & ETHAN HAWKE, Before Midnight
  • BILLY RAY, Captain Phillips
  • STEVE COOGAN & JEFF POPE, Philomena

CODY: The only major category we both went 5/5 in. No surprises here at all.

KIKO: Ladies and gentlemen, two-time Oscar-nominee Steve Coogan (he’s a producer for PHILOMENA, too). Has a nice ring to it.

FINAL THOUGHTS

CODY: Well, we learned a couple of things today. The Academy loves them some AMERICAN HUSTLE, and quite surprisingly to me, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. They also really didn’t like INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS and SAVING MR. BANKS took a nosedive in popularity towards the end. The biggest snub of the day, in my eyes, is no inclusion of Oscar Isaac in the lead actor category, which was unlikely to begin with. Also I would put the 0 major nominations for INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS in the snub category as well. The fact that they have the same number of nominations as THE LONE RANGER is a disgrace. Other than that I think everything is pretty fair and expected, though I don’t agree with the love for THE WOLF OF WALL STREET or AMERICAN HUSTLE. I anticipate a big day for AMERICAN HUSTLE when the Oscars roll around. AMERICAN HUSTLE also has nominations in all 4 acting categories, which is the 2nd year in a row David O. Russell has accomplished this. He’s going to be able to work with whoever he wants in the near future. Also, as a quick note, what the hell happened in documentary feature? I thought that STORIES WE TELL was a lock for a win, and it wasn’t even nominated.

KIKO: Nothing really shocked me this morning aside from the fact that Tom Hanks and the Coen Brothers were shafted. For whatever the hell reason, AMERICAN HUSTLE is this year’s Academy darling and though it pains me to accept it, I must. Again, an 0 for 10 night for HUSTLE would make everything better, but that’s not likely to happen. Other thoughts: 1) Crazy documentary features line up! I interviewed two Oscar nominated doc. directors last year, which is cool 2) So glad THE WOLF OF WALL STREET wasn’t nominated for Best Editing, especially since, well, the editing was terrible 3) Go Denmark (THE HUNT) for Best Foreign Language Film! 4) Oscar nominated film JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA sounds hilarious to me 5) Double Oscar nominated film THE LONE RANGER sounds depressing to me 6) What the hell is ALONE YET NOT ALONE?

FINAL COUNT

CODY: 73-107
KIKO: 76-107

For a complete list of all Oscar nominations, visit www.oscars.com. The 86th Annual Academy Awards airs Mar. 2 on ABC.

Oscar Nomination Reactions

February 2, 2010 by  
Filed under CineBlog

Like I do every February, I was up early this morning to hear the announcement of the nominees for this year’s Academy Awards. I’m a big dork when it comes to these things and love keeping track of all the best movies of the year and try to predict who will be nominated. The more important predictions will come later this month when I make my picks on who will actual win the coveted Oscar, but until then check out below to see how I fared this year and what I thought about the nominations.

BEST PICTURE
THE HURT LOCKER
AVATAR
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
UP IN THE AIR
PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE
AN EDUCATION
INVICTUS THE BLIND SIDE
A SERIOUS MAN
UP
DISTRICT 9

RESULTS: 9 for 10
PERSONAL TAKE: Let’s ignore the fact (not really since I’m bringing it up) that my favorite film of 2009 (WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE) was shut out of every single category making its Oscar nomination total equal to zero (TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN has one). Anyway, back to my predictions. I think I did pretty well picking 9 of the 10. I guess the Academy thought they had enough apartheid representation with DISTRICT 9 and left INVICTUS out. I’m unpleasantly surprised to see THE BLIND SIDE get the nomination since I still think it’s one of the most overrated movies of the year. This isn’t the People Choice Awards, you know! That pick is exactly why I didn’t like the idea of a 10-nominee Best Picture race this year. The public was able to dictate this nomination. I could name at least 60 better movies that came out this year that should be in THE BLIND SIDE’s spot. As of right now, this is still a three-picture race between THE HURT LOCKER, AVATAR, and INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS.

BEST DIRECTOR
KATHRYN BIGELOW, The Hurt Locker
JAMES CAMERON, Avatar
JASON REITMAN, Up in the Air
QUENTIN TARANTINO, Inglourious Basterds
LEE DANIELS, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

RESULTS: 5 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: No surprises here. I was a little worried for LEE DANIELS but he managed to get in although I don’t necessarily think his direction is what made PRECIOUS so powerful. As of right now, this is still a two-director race between KATHRYN BIGELOW and JAMES CAMERON.

BEST ACTOR
JEFF BRIDGES, Crazy Heart
GEORGE CLOONEY, Up in the Air
COLIN FIRTH, A Single Man
MORGAN FREEMAN, Invictus
JEREMY RENNER, The Hurt Locker

RESULTS: 5 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: No real surprises here although JEREMY RENNER was on the cusp and could have (should have?) been replaced by VIGGO MORTENSEN for The Road. Either way, this is a strong group of contenders. They are all very deserving of the nomination.

BEST ACTRESS
MERYL STREEP, Julie & Juila
SANDRA BULLOCK, The Blind Side
CAREY MULLIGAN, An Education
GABBY SIDIBE, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
EMILY BLUNT, The Young Victoria HELEN MIRREN, The Last Station

RESULTS: 4 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: No real surprises here although HELEN MIRREN was on the cusp and could have been replaced by EMILY BLUNT in The Young Victoria. I am still dumbfounded to see SANDRA BULLOCK on the list. It’s a two-actress race right now between her and MERYL STREEP although I think CAREY MULLIGAN gives the best performance of everyone.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
CHRISTOPH WALTZ, Inglourious Basterds
CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER, The Last Station
STANLEY TUCCI, The Lovely Bones
WOODY HARRELSON, The Messenger
ALFRED MOLINA, An Education MATT DAMON, Invictus

RESULTS: 4 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: Really? MATT DAMON over ALFRED MOLINA or PETER SARSGAARD in AN EDUCATION? Sigh. No real surprises here other than it could have either gone DAMON or MOLINA. I still liked STANLEY TUCCI better in Julie & Julia than I did in The Lovely Bones. WOODY HARRELSON is very deserving of this nomination.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
MO’NIQUE, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
ANNA KENDRICK, Up in the Air
VERA FARMIGA, Up in the Air
PENELOPE CRUZ, Nine
MARION COTILLARD, Nine MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL, Crazy Heart

RESULTS: 4 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: The MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL pick was probably the biggest surprise when they announced the nominees on Feb. 2 probably because everyone was only focused on Jeff Bridges’ performance in the movie. I like GYLLENHAAL in Crazy Heart although I actually would have liked to see SAMANTHA MORTON get the nod for The Messenger. Most people thought JULIANNE MOORE would get the fifth spot for A Single Man. A lot of people were counting out PENELOPE CRUZ, but I’m glad I stuck by her.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
THE HURT LOCKER
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
A SERIOUS MAN
UP
(500) DAYS OF SUMMER THE MESSENGER

RESULTS: 4 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: It’s hard to be angry that (500) DAYS OF SUMMER was overlooked only because THE MESSENGER was such a well-written piece of work, too. All these nominees are deserving.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
UP IN THE AIR
AN EDUCATION
PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE
INVICTUS IN THE LOOP
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE DISTRICT 9

RESULTS: 3 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: IN THE LOOP was very sharp, witty and well-written although many people didn’t see it. DISTRICT 9 was also a very unique movie especially in the sci-fi genre. Other than WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, I would have liked to have seen FANTASTIC MR. FOX grab a nomination here instead of IN THE LOOP or DISTRICT 9. Still, they’re all solid picks.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
UP
FANTASTIC MR. FOX
THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG
CORALINE
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS THE SECRET OF KELLS

RESULTS: 4 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: THE SECRET OF KELLS was a surprise pick only because not too many people have heard of this movie. It’s the only one of the five nominees that didn’t have a wide release in theaters. I haven’t seen it either, so I can’t say too much about it until I do. Other than that, all the other nominees were basically locks. I would have liked to see MARY & MAX miraculously find a spot in that group especially since not too many people saw that either and it looks like the Academy was open to considering smaller animated films.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE
THE WHITE RIBBON
A PROPHET
AJAMI
WINTER IN WARTIME EL SECRETO DE SUS OJOS
SAMSON AND DELILAH THE MILK OF SORROW

RESULTS: 3 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: From the short list, I’ve only seen THE WHITE RIBBON, A PROPHET, and SAMSON AND DELILAH. The rest were basically just guesses since most of these films have not hit the market yet. Either way, this award is going to THE WHITE RIBBON (one of my Top 10 films of 2009). A PROPHET is also very deserving. I can see why the Academy overlooked SAMSON AND DELILAH.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
THE COVE
FOOD, INC.
THE BEACHES OFAGNES BURMA VJ
UNDER OUR SKIN THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA
MUGABE AND THE WHITE AFRICAN WHICH WAY HOME

RESULTS: 2 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: From the short list, I’ve only seen THE COVE and FOOD, INC. Everything else was just a guess based on buzz so I can’t comment on the quality. I would have actually liked to have seen Chris Rock get a nod for GOOD HAIR. I thought that was a really hilarious and educational documentary. Michael Moore haters should be glad to see he didn’t get a nomination for CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY.

ART DIRECTION
NINE
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE AVATAR
A SINGLE MAN IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS
BRIGHT STAR THE YOUNG VICTORIA
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS SHERLOCK HOLMES

RESULTS: 1 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: Eww. I really stunk it up in this category. Someone really needs to go back and study the finer points of Art Direction.

CINEMATOGRAPHY
NINE HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE THE WHITE RIBBON
THE HURT LOCKER
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
AVATAR

RESULTS: 3 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: Why I didn’t pick THE WHITE RIBBON as a nominee is beyond me. I guess I’m still experiencing WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE denial. HARRY POTTER is quite a surprise since none of the other HARRY POTTER movies got Cinematography nods before.

COSTUME DESIGN
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS
PUBLIC ENEMIES COCO BEFORE CHANEL
BRIGHT STAR
NINE
THE YOUNG VICTORIA

RESULTS: 3 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: COCO BEFORE CHANEL is very deserving. DOCTOR PARNASSUS? Not quite sure where that nomination came from. I would have rather seen PUBLIC ENEMIES, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, or SHERLOCK HOLMES get that nomination.

EDITING
THE HURT LOCKER
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
AVATAR
DISTRICT 9
UP IN THE AIR PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE

RESULTS: 4 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: Hmm. Can’t say I agree with the UP IN THE AIR blow off.

MAKE UP
STAR TREK
DISTRICT 9 THE YOUNG VICTORIA
THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS IL DIVO

RESULTS: 1 for 3
PERSONAL TAKE: Where did IL DIVO come from? The two guys that did the make up for IL DIVO (an Italian movie I have never seen) were nominated last for doing a great job with make up on APOCALYPTO. But, still, that was a random nomination. I guess I have to seek out the movie to see if it was worthy or not.

VISUAL EFFECTS
AVATAR
STAR TREK
DISTRICT 9

RESULTS: 3 for 3
PERSONAL TAKE: No surprises. AVATAR’s basically a sure thing anway.

ORIGINAL SCORE
AVATAR
UP
SHERLOCK HOLMES
A SINGLE MAN THE HURT LOCKER
THE INFORMANT! FANTASTIC MR. FOX

RESULTS: 3 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: You’re not going to hear any complaining from me about the FANTASTIC MR. FOX nomination. Totally deserving! THE HURT LOCKER pick is kind of odd.

ORIGINAL SONG
“WEARY KIND,” Crazy Heart
“Down in New Orleans,” The Princess and the Frog
“CINEMA ITALIANO,” Nine “TAKE IT ALL,” Nine
“I Will See You,” Avatar “ALMOST THERE,” The Princess and the Frog
“(I Want to) Come Home,” Everybody’s Fine “LOIN DE PANAME,” Paris 36

RESULTS: 2 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: Ooo, la la. PARIS 36 is a big surprise. No one saw that one coming. I picked the wrong song for the right movie with NINE. Two songs for THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, really? Doesn’t matter much since this is CRAZY HEART’s to win by a landslide. I hope if the producers of the Oscars decide to have all the nominated songs performed on stage we will see Jeff Bridges sing it himself although watching T-Bone Burnett do it might be cool as well.

SOUND EDITING
AVATAR
UP
STAR TREK
DISTRICT 9 INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
THE HURT LOCKER

RESULTS: 4 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: Nice picks. No complaints.

SOUND MIXING
AVATAR
THE HURT LOCKER
STAR TREK
DISTRICT 9 TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN
NINE INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

RESULTS: 3 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: Giving TRANSFORMERS an Oscar nomination in stupidity would have been better, but I guess clanking metal does sound good when mixed well.

ANIMATED SHORT
PARTLY CLOUDY LOGORAMA
THE CAT PIANO GRANNY O’GRIMM’S SLEEPING BEAUTY
THE KINEMATOGRAPHY FRENCH ROAST
WALLACE AND GROMIT: A MATTER OF LOAF AND DEATH
THE LADY AND THE REAPER

RESULTS: 2 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: Wow, Pixar’s PARTLY CLOUDY was left off the list?? What happened there? That’s a big surprise. From the short list, I’ve only seen PARTLY CLOUDY, THE CAT PIANO (which I loved), and FRENCH ROAST (which was just okay in my opinion). The rest were just guesses. Still can’t get over that PARTLY CLOUDY snub.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT
THE LAST TRUCK: CLOSING OF A GM PLANT
MUSIC BY PRUDENCE
CHINA’S UNNATURAL DISASTER: THE TEARS OF SICHUAN PROVINCE
WOMEN REBELS THE LAST CAMPAIGN OF GOVENOR BOOTH GARDNER
TELL THEM ANYTHING YOU WANT: A PORTRAIT OF MAURICE SENDAK RABBIT A LA BERLIN

RESULTS: 3 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: Wow, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE can’t even get any love in the Documentary Short category. I haven’t seen any of these movies, so all these predictions were basically far-fetched guesses based on buzz.

LIVE-ACTION SHORT
MIRACLE FISH
THE DOOR
KAVI
INSTEAD OF ABRACADABRA
HOTEL THE NEW TENANTS

RESULTS: 4 for 5
PERSONAL TAKE: Pretty good judging from the fact that I guessed on all of these based on buzz and which short films I thought had the most interesting synopsis.

OVERALL RESULTS: 83 for 121 (69%)