Oscars 2009 Wrap Up

February 26, 2009

First off, I went 14 of 24 in my Oscar pool, which is decent. I mostly missed the random categories like Best Animated Short and Best Short Live Action. I did make one big blunder, however, picking Benjamin Button over The Duchess in the Best Costumes category. I’ve seen enough footage from The Duchess to realize that was a shoo-in.

Secondly, let’s address snubs: no film got snubbed worse than The Wrestler. As it stands now, The Wrestler is one of the three best films I saw all of last year. With that said, I’d clearly put it in the running for Best Picture. I certainly liked it more than Benjamin Button and while I’m yet to see The Reader or Milk those typically aren’t the kind of films I see usurping The Wrestler from my top 3. Darren Aronofsky probably deserved a Best Director nod and the documentary-like cinematography should have gotten a nom in that category; along with The Dark Knight and Slumdog Millionaire the camera work in this film stood out to me more than any others. Also, it’s weird that Bruce Springsteen’s “The Wrestler” not only got nominated for Best Song in all of the other award shows, but he also won, yet he was completely absent from the Oscar ballot. Go figure. Finally, the Best Original Screenplay category was one I wasn’t very familiar with (I haven’t seen three of the films), but the script for The Wrestler was better than In Bruges; that much I can say for sure.

As it happened, however, The Wrestler earned a total of two nominations (and it’s quite arguable that Marissa Tomei’s Best Supporting Actress nom was undeserved), but I think you can make a solid argument for seven nominations.

Other snubs:

The Dark KnightBest Picture
Chris Nolan – Best Director

Most Deserved Oscar – Heath Ledger as The Joker. I predicted a nomination for Heath after just hearing him talk over the teaser trailer. I could just sense that he was bringing something special to the table… plus my unwavering faith in Chris Nolan made me think that he picked the right guy for the job. I think ten years from now when people talk about the best performances of this decade, Heath Ledger’s Joker is going to be at the top of a lot of lists.

Most Underserved OscarBenjamin Button winning Best Visual Effects. Okay, we get it… the character ages backwards by computer effects and lots of good makeup. Yippee… How cool. Neat. Not quite the “wow factor” of seeing Tony Stark put on his Iron Man suit or seeing the BatPod in action, flipping an 18-wheeler on it’s back and then doing a 180 off a wall. This was the most bizarre win of the night IMO.

Biggest Shocker – Sean Penn taking down Best Actor. Again, I haven’t seen Milk, so I might be out of line… but all the hype was for Mickey Rourke and Frank Langella, and I have seen both of those performances and the hype is deserved. No one was really talking about Penn winning, so I’m sure I’m with the rest of the world in being surprised by this award.

Okay, that is all!

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