Overall, I think the list is excellent. Much better than what I expected and my sentiments can be explained by two words: No Dreamgirls. I thought I was biased because I hate musicals, but apparently all the important people found it as dull as I did. Category by category:
The Dreamgirls snub shows that the Academy can at least pretend to think for itself and make things interesting. Also, never underestimate the power of Clint Eastwood directing and Steven Spielberg producing. If an Eastwood film is critically acclaimed, it will get nominated. And this leads us straight into:
There is now that horrible possibility that Scorcese will lose the Oscar for the seventh time and the second time to Clint Eastwood. That is depressing.
Leo gets a nomination for Blood Diamond but not for The Departed? The only explanation is that his marketing went haywire when the SAGs nominated him in the supporting category. Academy voters probably split his Departed vote between the two categories. Also, actors cannot be nominated against themselves, so if Leo had more lead actor votes for Blood Diamond than The Departed, The Departed nomination is tossed out even if there were enough votes to make the nomination list. At least this was good news for Ryan Gosling…not so good news for Sacha Baron Cohen.
No surprise here. Moving right along.
Best Supporting Actor:
Marky Mark gets a nomination over Jack Nicholson? Apparently, former underwear models are the beacon of light for the acting in The Departed. They love Blood Diamond.
Best Supporting Actress:
No surprise here. However, the lack of Dreamgirls support could mean Jennifer Hudson finally loses, but probably not because her only competitor is Abigail Breslin. Cate Blanchett won too recently and the Babel girls are going to cancel themselves out. Also, does this mean Jennifer Hudson is now a member of the Academy and thus has voting privileges for the rest of Oscar history?
Ah, so this is how they are getting Borat to the ceremonies. Will they put him up on the podium? Also, Pan’s Labyrinth gets its first of six nominations. If it was released earlier, say in October, where it could have used a platform release schedule to build word of mouth, I dare say Pan’s would have been nominated for Picture and Director.
No Volver?! That’s pretty shocking considering they loved Almodovar four years ago. I heard Water was boring, but Pan’s has got this one locked up pretty tight.
I do not have the expertise to know if these were good nominations or not. But I do know that nominating Click for makeup was a mistake. Just because you have an age progression in a film does not mean that it is good makeup (I’m talking to you, A Beautiful Mind). Dreamgirls gets nominated three times for Best Song. It is incomprehensible why that song from Curious George didn’t get nominated. It is the only song eligible that the popular audience actually knows (“Upside Down” by Jack Johnson).