Written by: Jimmy Hitt, CC2K Staff Writer
SPOILER ALERT: Hellboy II: The Golden Army got snubbed for Best Picture and 11 other categories.
We put extraordinary emphasis on the Oscars because of its tradition and glamour, not because of its accuracy. The awards are not yet The Grammys, in that we still care who wins, but invariably, each year, we find something about which to bitch. 2008 is no exception, but it also has a few hilarious surprises that keep the list from being quite as irrelevant as certain years (see 2004).
Among the erection-inducing nominees include Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder, which ought to irk the American Federation of Special Needs Parenting; Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter for Best Original Screenplay for the awesome WALL-E; and…drum roll…Heath FUCKING Ledger, who is the odds-on-favorite for Best Supporting Actor. Yes, The Academy nominated a dead man, which is very rare, and in this case, very well deserved.
Then there’s the WTF nominees: Angelina Jolie for Changeling, a film must derided for its lack of focus, boring plot, and wooden acting; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which grabbed something like 13 nominations despite being relatively unwatchably boring; and Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt, which is not a supporting role (did The Academy have some trouble fitting nominees into the various categories?).
Lastly are those films, actors and writers, etc. who somehow got overlooked: Clint Eastwood for Best Actor in Gran Torino; Kate Winslet for Revolutionary Road (she was nominated twice at the Golden Globes, with The Reader being her supporting nod…WTF?); Colin Farrell for In Bruges (in a much-lauded performance…is he being punished for Daredevil/S.W.A.T.?); City of Embers for Art Direction at the least; and last, but not least, Bruce Springsteen for the title track/end credits song in The Wrestler, which should have been a slam diggity dunk. Maybe Obama will fix this last one?
All in all, however, this wasn’t that horrible a list.
Full and complete list of the 81st annual Academy Award nominations, announced Thursday morning in Beverly Hills, California:
1. Best Picture: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader, Slumdog Millionaire.
2. Actor: Richard Jenkins, The Visitor; Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon; Sean Penn, Milk; Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler.
3. Actress: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married; Angelina Jolie, Changeling; Melissa Leo, Frozen River; Meryl Streep, Doubt; Kate Winslet, The Reader.
4. Supporting Actor: Josh Brolin, Milk; Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt; Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight; Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Foreign Film: The Baader Meinhof Complex, Germany; The Class, France; Departures, Japan; Revanche, Austria; Waltz With Bashir, Israel.
8. Adapted Screenplay: Eric Roth and Robin Swicord, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; John Patrick Shanley, Doubt; Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon; David Hare, The Reader; Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire.
9. Original Screenplay: Courtney Hunt, Frozen River; Mike Leigh, Happy-Go-Lucky; Martin McDonagh, In Bruges; Dustin Lance Black, Milk; Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter, WALL-E.
10. Animated Feature Film: Bolt; Kung Fu Panda; WALL-E.
11. Art Direction: Changeling, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, The Duchess, Revolutionary Road.
12. Cinematography: Changeling, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, The Reader, Slumdog Millionaire.
13. Sound Mixing: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Slumdog Millionaire, WALL-E, Wanted.
14. Sound Editing: The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Slumdog Millionaire, WALL-E, Wanted.
15. Original Score: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Alexandre Desplat; Defiance, James Newton Howard; Milk, Danny Elfman; Slumdog Millionaire, A.R. Rahman; WALL-E, Thomas Newman.
16. 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 Maya Arulpragasam.
17. Costume: Australia, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Duchess, Milk, Revolutionary Road.
18. Documentary Feature: The Betrayal (Nerakhoon), Encounters at the End of the World, The Garden, Man on Wire, Trouble the Water.
19. Documentary (short subject): The Conscience of Nhem En, The Final Inch, Smile Pinki, The Witness — From the Balcony of Room 306.
20. Film Editing: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Frost/Nixon, Milk, Slumdog Millionaire.
21. Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
22. Animated Short Film: La Maison en Petits Cubes, Lavatory — Lovestory, Oktapodi, Presto, This Way Up.
23. Live Action Short Film: Auf der Strecke (On the Line), Manon on the Asphalt, New Boy, The Pig, Spielzeugland (Toyland).
24. Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Iron Man.
Academy Award winners previously announced this year:
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (Oscar statuette): Jerry Lewis
Gordon E. Sawyer Award (Oscar statuette): Pixar Animation co-founder Ed Catmull