81st Oscar Nominations are Here! My Predictions and Reactions
I can’t believe I woke up at 5:30 a.m. to hear them announced live. I haven’t seen this side of morning since…never. Here are nominees in some of the major categories (winners will be announced Feb. 22):
- Richard Jenkins—The Visitor
- Frank Langella—Frost/Nixon
- Sean Penn—Milk
- Brad Pitt—The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Mickey Rourke—The Wrestler
- Anne Hathaway—Rachel Getting Married
- Angelina Jolie—Changeling
- Melissa Leo—Frozen River
- Meryl Streep—Doubt
- Kate Winslet—The Reader
Best Supporting Actor
- Josh Brolin—Milk
- Robert Downey Jr.—Tropic Thunder
- Philip Seymour Hoffman—Doubt
- Heath Ledger—The Dark Knight
- Michael Shannon—Revolutionary Road
Best Supporting Actress
- Amy Adams—Doubt
- Penelope Cruz—Vicky Christina Barcelona
- Viola Davis—Doubt
- Taraji P. Henson—The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Marisa Tomei—The Wrestler
- David Fincher—The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Ron Howard—Frost/Nixon
- Gus Van Sant—Milk
- Stephen Daldry—The Reader
- Danny Boyle—Slumdog Millionaire
You can see the complete list of nominees here.
Didn’t expect Kate Winslet to be nominated for Best Actress for The Reader, though it only reinforces my belief she’ll win this category.
Overall, I agreed with most of the nominations. LOVED that Michael Shannon got a nod for Revolutionary Road. He was exceptional. The Supporting Actor category is ridiculously jampacked with really strong contenders. Last December, I picked Josh Brolin and I’m holding on to that for now, but Shannon just made this category impossible to handicap, Heath Ledger aside.
I also loved Robert Downey Jr.’s performance so I refuse to consider it a “surprise” nomination (the live audience at the announcements ceremony gasped loudly then chuckled). There’s precedence for a great comedic performance to be nominated in this category: Kevin Kline for A Fish Called Wanda and he won. RDJ’s feat as “the dude who played the dude who played a black man” in Tropic Thunder was astounding. He completely transformed himself into two different characters—even in the brief moments when he wasn’t “black” in the movie, he was a platinum blond, blue-eyed Australian guy and there wasn’t a hint of RDJ in either guise.
Loved that In Bruges got a Best Original Screenplay nomination for Martin McDonagh. I’ll stop shoving that movie down your throats now.
Loved that WALL•E was nominated for Best Animated Picture though it could well contend for Best Picture, period. Then again, it’s sure to win in the animated category. It also received a Best Original Screenplay nod for Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter and I wouldn’t count them out but I think Dustin Lance Black will take it for Milk.
Other categories I’m calling (I already predicted acting winners last month): Best Director—Danny Boyle, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture—Slumdog Millionaire. I also think the film’s A.R. Rahman will take Best Score and one of the Best Songs, and Anthony Dod Mantle will win for Slumdog‘s cinematography. When Mantle talked about shooting in Mumbai among the crush of people, running after children, trying to keep everyone from looking at the cameras, I’m amazed he managed to pull it off.
E!’s movie critic Ben Lyons, who annoys me because he can’t even get titles right (at the Globes, he said “Welcome to the Golden Globe” at one point and then called Meryl Streep’s next movie Julia & Julie when it’s actually Julie & Julia), said right before the announcements that he thought Clint Eastwood would get a Best Actor nom for Gran Torino. I was vigorously shaking my head because I couldn’t disagree more. Eastwood squinted and growled like a junkyard dog throughout the movie and I thought it was ridiculous. I kept thinking, “I get it, you’re a tough guy, stop with the overly indicating.” I’m glad Richard Jenkins got nominated instead for his funny, sweet performance but was disappointed to see Michael Sheen omitted from this category for Frost/Nixon. He was just as good as Langella.
What did you think of the noms? Any mentions really excited you? Any egregious omissions? Leave me a comment. I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts but right now, it’s roughly 6:30 and I’m amazed my brain is even functioning at all.