Friday, January 23, 2009

The Blot Reviews The 81st Annual Academy Awards Nominations

Yesterday, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences unveiled the nominees for their 81st Annual Academy Awards show and The Blot is more than a little disappointed in who was left off the ballot. Neither The Dark Knight nor its director Christopher Nolan were shown any love from Oscar! This is just another example of why the Academy Awards have take such a huge ratings hit over the past few years. It’s like they are trying to push viewers away from their telecast.

The Oscars hosted by Hugh Jackman - Official 81st Annual Academy Awards Poster
Too often the Academy gets wrapped up in art films no one sees and refuses to acknowledge the artistic majesty of films embraced by the masses. Yes, The Dark Knight was a superhero movie, but once you look past its comic book origins the film truly is an artistic masterpiece. The truth is, very few films in recent memory have resonated with the American people like The Dark Knight did this past summer, and I really believe that grossing as much money as The Dark Knight did says something about the quality of the film.

Thankfully the real star of that movie, the amazing Heath Ledger who was taken from his friends and family too soon, received the Best Supporting Actor nomination he so richly deserved. I will be tuning in to the Oscar telecast next month if for no other reason than to see Mr. Ledger win this award. I have no idea who will be accepting the award on his behalf, but I expect a rousing tribute to an amazing talent.

I was also unbelievably shocked to find out that Bruce Springsteen was not nominated for his song “The Wrestler” from the movie of the same name considering he just won a Golden Globe for the very same song a few weeks ago. Not only that, but the Academy only nominated three songs this year for its Best Song category. Something about that just doesn’t sit well with The Blot!

81st Annual Academy Awards Best Movie Nominees - Slumdog Millionaire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Reader, Frost/Nixon, Milk
Regardless, I was really happy to see a Best Actor nomination go to Mickey Rourke for his performance in The Wrestler and a surprising nomination in that very same category go to Richard Jenkins for his role in The Visitor. I also thought Robert Downey Jr.’s Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in Tropic Thunder was the perfect way to cap off his 2008 comeback. The other interesting storyline brewing is if Kate Winslet will finally win an Oscar this year after having lost 5 times before. All in all, it should be a very interested awards ceremony to say the least!

The 81st Annual Academy Awards will be hosted by Hugh Jackman and air on February 22nd at 8/7c on ABC.

The 2009 Oscar Nominations
Best Picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Actor
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Actress
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

Director
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant, Milk
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire

Original Song
“Down to Earth” from WALL-E (Peter Gabriel and
Thomas Newman)
“Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire (A.R. Rahman and Gulzar)
“O Saya” from Slumdog Millionaire (A.R. Rahman and M.I.A.)
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