January 23, 2007
Oscars. Nominations.Hey, where's Colossal Youth? Kidding. The nominations. Here, and in a comment below. And all the usual bitching, PR, prognostication and so on worth noting (and if found) will be filed to this entry over the next seven days. Updated through 1/27. "In recent years, the general public's interest in watching the Academy Awards, as reflected in the ratings, has become much more dependent on how familiar they are with the films and actors being nominated. By contrast, the Super Bowl usually draws large audiences year after year, in the neighborhood of 90 million, regardless of which teams are playing." New York Times advertising columnist Stuart Elliott reports on how ABC and the Academy are working together to make "significant changes in the tune-in campaigns this year." "[N]ever in my wildest dreams could I have predicted such shockers as the Best Picture snub of Dreamgirls - somebody better put uber-fan David Poland on a suicide watch - and the Best Actor honor for Ryan Gosling of the widely praised but little seen Half Nelson," writes Joe Leydon. "This may turn out to be an interesting Oscar race after all." "If [Jennifer] Hudson goes on to win a best supporting actress Oscar, it will be another landmark moment in the breakdown between our pop culture's major and minor leagues," suggests Patrick Goldstein in the Los Angeles Times. Well, she did. "Whether it's Hudson, lonelygirl15 or Jade Goody, the foul-mouthed ex-nurse who, thanks to her antics on Celebrity Big Brother, is just as celebrated in England as Posh Spice, celebrity has been rudely down-marketed and democratized." Oh, but this is fun: "New York film critic David Edelstein and Hollywood producer Lynda Obst discuss the Oscar nominations by e-mail each year. This year, Daily Intel gets to host their thoughts. Check back throughout the day for updates." Nathaniel R weighs in with "Ten Talking Points." That Little Round-Headed Boy has "10 Thoughts," too. #5: "I guess this means I've got to break down and see Babel, huh?" Scott Lamb introduces a chart at Salon: "We were curious: How well did the nation's critics do in predicting who the nominees would be? There was nearly universal (and as it turns out, wrong) common wisdom when it came to the best-picture and best-director picks." Anne Thompson at the Risky Biz Blog: "The happy camper this morning - along with the folks behind Babel, The Departed, Little Miss Sunshine and Borat, which nabbed a surprise adapted screenplay nomination, is Clint Eastwood, whose Letters from Iwo Jima pushed Dreamgirls out of the best picture race." "I have no real answer to Dreamgirls missing Best Picture after being nominated by the PGA, DGA, SAG and others," writes David Poland. "But Clint happens. I have been saying for weeks that I expect the nominees to have 15 percent of support each and that the fight was in the other 25 percent... not unlike presidential politics. And obviously, Dreamgirls lost on that level." Time's Richard Corliss: "[W]ho knew that audiences would like a hit musical more than the Motion Picture Academy does?" "But if it's such a crowd-pleaser, where's the box office take to show for it?" counters David Cornelius at Hollywood Bitchslap. Nikki Finke: "Trust me, the folks at Dreamworks and Paramount who've been pimping this pic are having a nightmare today." "[T]he Academy, and this is just the Bagger typing in a hotel room, apparently decided that that there was not enough movie in the movie. The Bagger fell for all the stitching between songs, but others did not." Anthony Kaufman: "I can only suspect that Harvey Weinstein did some backroom dealing to get the mediocre Days of Glory into a spot that should have gone to Volver." "YAY! for Gosling," shouts Nick Davis before adding, "By my count, the five movies that did squeeze into the top race only racked up 26 nominations among them - an incredibly low number, even lower than last year's 29." Edward Copeland: "This may well be the first time where four out of the 5 nominees for best actor are the only nominations for their films and no nominee comes from a best picture nominee." "Ever since nomination voting for the Oscars closed before the Globe awards have been announced, they have often been less of a true bellweather," notes Aaron Dobbs. "The films that remain in the race generally impress with their mediocrity rather than their merit," write Jürgen Fauth and Marcy Dermansky. Jeffrey Wells is working on posting at least one entry for each category. Online viewing tips. At TickleBooth, Ajit Anthony Prem is gathering links to a few of the nominated shorts. Ryan Wu has a few observations on Paul Greengrass's nomination and more. "This sudden spike in Oscar fever draws attention to the lack of obvious [Best Picture] candidates showing this year [at Sundance]." Eric Kohn elaborates for the New York Press. Slate's Dana Stevens presents "an overview of some of the most egregious disses on the list." Gabriel Shanks: "By choosing one racial minority over another, of course, the Academy protects itself from charges of racism. But don't be fooled... this is about loving Clint Eastwood and hating anything remotely queer (including colorful musicals)." Updates, 1/24: James Wolcott: "Every year or so critics, audiences, and Academy voters decide to adopt a puppy, and this year the adorable scamp is Little Miss Sunshine, ludicrously nominated for Best Picture. It isn't a terrible fraud of a movie (unlike some previous nominees and winners), but its modest assets have been overblown and oversold, its rickety contrivances mistaken for the raw bones of life." "Some think that since only Babel and The Departed were nominated in the influential editing category, the race comes down to those two," writes Kim Masters. "Others point out that a contingent of academy voters hates Babel and dreads nothing more than seeing it become this year's Crash. Another group seems inclined to go only so far for Scorsese - and especially for this movie, which seems to have a number of endings." Also in Slate, Christopher Beam gathers a few bloggers' reactions and Timothy Noah suspects Richard Griffiths's performance in The History Boys was looked over because he's, well, "very fat." "[T]he Academy wants to be viewed as serious, thoughtful, not too frivolous - the equivalent of a knee-length hemline, a pair of Calvin Klein wire-rimmed spectacles, a fun date, but one who actually read a book once," suggests Stephanie Zacharek in Salon. "[I]n the final analysis, the movies the group doesn't recognize might say more about it than its actual choices do." So, Dreamgirls: "I'd like to think that members of the Academy recognized that the picture is really a headache-inducing mess, cluttered with lousy songs, but I know that's wishful thinking. I believe that Dreamgirls simply doesn't suit the Academy's solemn, beard-stroking mood this year: Can't have any crazy plaids clashing with those modest stripes." Dennis Cozzalio: "Oscar, a lot of the movies of 2006 are too smart for you. Hell, I'm too smart for you. But you had me in 1969 with 'And the winner is Midnight Cowboy' and you've got me 37 years later, for better and worse, with 'And the Oscar goes to...' You are, at this point, for better and worse, an inextricable, though increasingly unimportant, element of the movies themselves for me." "Oscar is growing more diverse and international by the year," writes Roger Ebert. "That's perhaps an indication that the Academy voters, who once went mostly for big names, are doing their homework and seeing the pictures." Jim Emerson tracks the various "front runners" from this summer right on up to the nominations and asks, "Don't you love it when the conventional wisdom is just wrong?" Michael Guillén is torn up over two categories: Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actor. "For once, the Oscars may really mean something." C Jerry Kutner explains at Bright Lights After Dark. Update, 1/25: For Deutsche Welle, Ina Rottscheidt asks Lives of Others director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, "What was it like, hearing that you had been nominated for an Oscar?" Updates, 1/26: Mark Lawson, writing in the Guardian, has a theory as to what the Academy is responding to in The Queen: "They see Elizabeth II as an example of that cherished plotline in American cinema: The Star Who Came Through." Also: Mark Brown profiles Paul Greengrass and an Oscar special edition of Film Weekly. In the Independent, Nick Hasted: "The fact that Bill Condon's [Dreamgirls] is a travesty, replacing some of the 20th century's finest music with unmemorable showtunes and hack melodrama, only confirms what a string of recent releases suggest: that current cinema cannot cope with the story of rock and soul music, and seems tame and timid by comparison."
Posted by dwhudson at January 23, 2007 5:59 AM