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2009 Oscar Nominations

From USA Today:

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.

Clint Eastwood and Gran Torino got robbed.  They should have been nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director.

63 Responses

  1. I want Mickey Rourke to win for Best Actor, Altough I really liked Richard Jenkins in “The Vistor”

    and Kate Winslet for (The Reader)
    Heath Ledger-Dark Knight

  2. I agree on Heath Ledger – except it should be for Best Actor, not Best Supporting Actor.

    He stole the show.

  3. The Curious Case of Ben Button – inane. Being born old isn’t that hard to accept but shrinking back to baby size at the end?

    Slum Dog, Milk – both much better.

  4. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was gold. It deserves whatever it gets.

  5. I did see Milk and Sean Penn was riveting. As usual. This is Kate’s year. I saw The Changeling and Angelina gave a solid performance but Kate is something else. Doubt was very good but Heath is sure to win in this category.

    Most of the nominations this year are spot on. Some of those movies were well worth the expensive price of admission for once.

    It should be an interesting show this year. The nominees deserve mention.

  6. (Not sheri tag): Agree about Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino – excellent movie! I didn’t see Benjamin Button – mainly because I don’t think Pitt can act his way out of a paper bag.

    Yes, Milk was excellent – and Sean’s performance took you right back there (I happened to live in S.F. at the time). He acted just like Harvey taking you back. Excellent movie!

    Even though the Changeling (another Eastwood movie) was good, Kate Winslet is my vote for Best Actress. If you haven’t seen The Reader, don’t miss it. Excellent performance (by all actually) and excellent movie. An ending that will leave you talking about it for days.

    Last comment: Heath Ledger! A true actor. We lost a lot when we lost him. I hope he wins this award as it was well deserved. (I’ve seen the movie 3 times.)

  7. Heath was brilliant, and it didn’t hurt that he was a scary clown. The scariest.

    What a tragedy. (sniff)

  8. Sorry Regency about Benjamin Button. Didnt’ mean to offend. It’s probably just a case of generation gap! LOL

  9. I don’t care one way or another about Brad normally but he rocked this one. He was really channeling President Hot Stuff himself during some of the movie. Kate Blanchett was fantastic as well.

  10. Def. late now. Bye, guys.

  11. Myiq, the Academy is really vague on what makes a role leading or supporting. I felt this way about the Godfather II and other movies.

    The role of the Joker supports Batman -the lead.
    Sometimes, they get it right
    Sometimes the supporting actor steals the show. Thomas Hayden Church in “Sideways” made that movie and his character supported Paul Giamati’s character Miles. Sometimes they will nominate two actors/actresses from one movie and put them both in the lead. Another one of my favorites is Ruth Gorden in “Rosemary’s Baby”.

    Honestly I felt Jennifer Hudson should have been nominated for best actress. It was political and had it been Beyonce’s nomination to have she would have been best actress. I hate it when the Academy placates to the acting hierarchical totem pole.
    They did this to Renee in Cold Mountain. Can’t upstage Nicole Kidman.

    I also hate it when they overlook GOOD actors for decades and then give them a “mercy Oscar” for a mediocre or marginally good performance. Al Pacino for “Scent of a Woman” is a good example, as well as Alan Arkin for “Little Miss Sunshine”

  12. I think Brad Pitt is a good actor with limited range but I have heard he is great in this challenging role.

    But I have to admit a fondness for Sean Penn, crazy as he is. As for Heath, he was so wonderful in Brokeback Mountain that it is a shame his life was cut short. Another actor with unlimited possibilities.

    It appears that the Academy focused more on outstanding performances this year rather than just plain box office receipts. The actors singled out delivered the best of their talents and deserve the recognition regardless of who actually wins.

  13. A lot of political selections this year, which is great.
    People may finally be waking up to the fact that
    “politics” matters. I know a number of supposedly smart
    people who say “I’m not interested in politics” or “I hate
    politics”.
    How dumb. Politics, or policy, is only the force that
    determines what your life will be like. Even if it is so
    often corrupt and dishonest, that’s all part of the issue.
    Very very few people have any idea of what’s
    actually going on. Because they’re too lazy or “not
    interested”. Hence, election of Obama.
    Can’t have democracy without an informed electorate.
    Good that Hollywood can play a part in reminding
    people, however little.
    Too very bad they are all obots. Can’t understand that
    part at all.
    Wow. I planned only a short comment. Haven’t seen
    most of the movies yet. Usually end up renting them,
    watching them in bed, with breaks any time I want.

  14. Easiest Oscar’s to predict yet:
    Slumdog Millionaire best picture & best director;
    Kate Winslet best actress (not because the movie is that great, but because she hasn’t won before);
    Heath Ledger best supporting actor (because, not to be cruel, he died & deserved to win for Brokeback Mountain);
    Mickey Rourke best actor — Hollywood loves a comeback (if he doesn’t blow it by opening his mouth too much, then Frank Langella — he’s never won before & is deserving).
    Only best actress is a “horse race” — Amy Adams should win because she really was that good in the movie, but I think they will give it to Penelope Cruz because she should have won for Volver.

  15. Oooh, yeah. Brokeback Mountain – I felt Heath deserved the award at that time. I remember saying to my daughter that it’s OK; he’ll win his award – it’s inevitable. Sniff for sure. I cried when he died. What an actor!

  16. afrocity: I quite agree with you about Jennifer Hudson for leading actress rather than supporting. No one will ever reach that level of emotion when she sang “I’m Not Going”. Each time I watch that movie I still get goosebumps watching that performance.

    And she should also be credited with the fact that this was her first time at bat as an actress. She did herself proud in that role. Effie was certainly the center of the movie.

    Beyonce was lovely but she was outclassed in the acting dept. by Jennifer.

  17. BTW — none of my comments should be taken in any way to imply that anyone nominated in any category is or isn’t a good actor, etc. My predictions are based on what I believe is the POLITICS that are behind the picking of the winners — and in LaLa Land, like everywhere else, that is what really matters.

  18. angie: I think you broke it down nicely. Good points as usual.

  19. Pitt didn’t act in Ben B – he stood around and look gorgeous. That’s why they had to turn him back into a baby at the end – he could not have carried off acting like a baby in a grown body.

  20. After Doubt I have become an Amy Adams groupie, haven’t evolved to the stalking category, but it could go there. Would love to see something with her and Laura Linney in it.

  21. Laura Linney and Hope Davis are two of the best actresses around today. They just keep churning out terrific performances and largely go unnoticed for some reason.

  22. And I have come to believe that Josh Brolin, unlike his Dad, can do anything with a role. He is that good.

  23. I think the idea of choosing one best performance or even
    movie is bogus. How can this really be quantified.
    But it’s fun and brings attention to what is now our
    most important and accessible art form.
    So I don’t mind the “mercy” Oscar for this reason.
    And Al Pacino is always brilliant and sexy. I love NY
    street kid men. Tough and vulnerable. Also funny and
    ironic. Add smart and that’s my definition of sexy.
    Love Sean Penn, too. And always found Robert
    Downey very sexy, too, and wonderful actor. Maybe
    it’s the sensitive rebel I like.
    Heath Ledger is wonderful, and will probably win, but
    I hated Dark Knight. Never even watched the ending. Just
    found it boring. I hate action scenes and special effects.
    I like movies to be about character, plot, and ideas.
    But if well-developed characters, who I can relate to, are
    missing, I’m bored. Unless it’s a documentary about ideas.
    Also, I think Penelope Cruz is one of the most
    beautiful women around. Dark and mysterious and strong.
    Along with Selma Hayek.

  24. One of my favorite actresses is Toni Collette, another actor who can perform any role. Having watched her in a little seen movie called “The Japanese” sealed it for me. This lady is oozing with talent and largely goes unrecognized.

  25. I liked Doubt, too, Prolix, and yes, Amy Adams role was suberb. I also felt that not only was Kate Winslet’s performance in The Reader excellent – the movie was one of those “let’s talk about it” and why the people in the story did what they did. Once in awhile it’s nice to have one of those kind of movies. Kate also won two Golden Globes – one for Best Supporting Actress in The Reader; and one for Best Actress in Revolutionary Road, which I want to see really badly.

  26. This might sound a bit negative, but im sick of the all the stars at the moment…especially those who called Gov Sarah Palin names and said she was dumb and not ready…well take all your private jets and fly the hell away to your mansions that are no more green than the dirty money you make off of your acting..sorry girls and gents just aint in a celebratory mood for the rich at the moment.

  27. I agree with most of your choices, Angie, for the reasons
    you gave.
    However, I think each year they like to throw in a
    surprise to make some political statement.
    Will it be to support GLBT movement after Prop8 failure,
    by giving something to Milk, or stick it to Repubs again,
    with Frost-Nixon? Or support people of color, and
    our Indian allies, with Slumdog Millionaire?
    Maybe that sounds overly cynical, but I don’t think
    those gestures are a bad thing.

  28. Sheri, in watching Doubt I felt like all three of the performances were Oscar worthy.

  29. I do love Laura Linney, too, and not recognized enough.
    There’s a quality she has that I can’t describe –
    maybe it’s comforting, or reassuring, nurturing, smart.
    I can see her playing Hillary. Very complex and
    nuanced. And personifying true feminine.

  30. Pat J — the official Oscar’s website always does an “Oscar pool” game — it isn’t up & running yet for this year but as soon as it is I am going to set up one for all of us here — stay tuned!

  31. Laura Linney was on Actor’s Studio last week and she is completely engaging. As she talked, I had the exact same thought Speaktruth, she would do an excellent portrayal of Hillary.

  32. angie: I may have said it before, but you are the best!!!

  33. Laura is superb! An actor’s actor.

  34. I love Kate. I’ll watch her dry laundry. I didn’t see the Reader yet, but I want to. Heath stole Dark Knight. Amy Adams was amazing in Junebug. And Laura Linney in You Can Count on Me–!!!!

  35. Note to the Black Hollywood Elite.

    Now that we have an “African American” President , the Academy no longer will feel the need to pepper the nominations with your faces. Better think of some really GOOD Biopics to stick Denzel in.

  36. I loved Junebug. Amy Adams is a gem. So is Samantha Morton.

  37. I am off for the day but thanks for this particular post this morning. It helps to get away from the usual game of politics and peek into the tastes of others in referring to topics outside the norm.

    I would describe it as “eclectic” for want of a better word.

  38. Denzel. Be still my beating heart! Love him.

  39. Is this an open thread? Are they all? I’m never sure about that, but I pop in and and out, so I don’t know what’s going on.

    Anyway, after all the talk about Michelle Obama’s fashion sense, I had to post this. I have an old friend who is a Party loyalist. I tolerated her during the election, because we have history. She tried to convince me of BO’s purity, citing his books, and spouted NY Times/CNN talking points when I gave her facts about her background, so I didn’t discuss it after that. Anyway, she lives in L.A. and is in the entertainment industry, so she has that particular sanctimonious lefty Obot love, like Melissa Etheridge. Clearly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder–this is what she wrote about a friend selling his house this morning:

    We’ll all have to sell of a little chunk of our souls before we get through this recession/depression/global melt-down thingie….but at least we have the plain truth that Michelle Obama has good taste in clothes!

    She’s serious…I thought you’d all appreciate the profundity of Obot Blindness. It’s like the ugly baby story someone posted the other day.

  40. Yes, afrocity. Samantha Morton was awesome in In America. I also liked her in Minority Report b/c she got to deliver the allegorical message: “you can choose.” I think about that ALL THE TIME. I hear her voice saying it in my head.

  41. Samantha was good in Sweet and Low Down, too.

  42. Popping in to drop off my ballot, what I like damn it, not what will win. Milk, Rourke, Winslet, Ledger, Adams.

  43. I have no real respect for the Oscars. The year the Academy decided “Crash” was a better movie than “Brokeback Mountain” – and we all know it was strictly political – I washed my hands of it altogether.

    Look at it this way: “Rocky” won an Oscar over “Taxi Driver.”

    Kevin Costner has 2 Oscars.

    Helen Hunt has an Oscar.

    Al Pacino won his Oscar for “Scent of a Woman.”

    Martin Scorsese won his Oscar for “The Departed.”

    Alfred Hitchcock never won an Oscar. He received an honorary one. And he might hold the record for the shortest acceptance speech in Oscar history. He said “Thank you” and walked off the stage.

  44. Dude! WTF! My long comment I just wrote simply disappeared when I clicked submit. Effing internet! Damn you Al Gore!

    Anyway, I lost all respect for the Oscars when – for purely political reasons – they decided “Crash” deserved the award over “Brokeback Mountain.” That’s the year I washed my hands of them altogether.

    Let us remember: “Rocky” won an Oscar over “Taxi Driver.”

    Kevin Costner has 2 Oscars.

    Helen Hunt has an Oscar.

    Al Pacino won his Oscar for “Scent of a Woman.”

    Martin Scorsese won his Oscar for “The Departed.”

    Alfred Hitchcock never won an Oscar. He received an honorary one instead. And he delivered what may still be the shortest speech in Academy’s history. He said “Thank you” and walked off the stage.

  45. I’ve submitted a comment twice – and it’s not showing up. Not even telling me it’s in spammy. What’s up with that?

  46. WTF! My long comment I just wrote simply disappeared when I clicked submit. Effing internet! Damn you Al Gore!

    Anyway, I lost all respect for the Oscars when – for purely political reasons – they decided “Crash” deserved the award over “Brokeback Mountain.” That’s the year I washed my hands of them altogether.

    Let us remember: “Rocky” won an Oscar over “Taxi Driver.”

    Kevin Costner has 2 Oscars.

    Helen Hunt has an Oscar.

    Al Pacino won his Oscar for “Scent of a Woman.”

    Martin Scorsese won his Oscar for “The Departed.”

    Alfred Hitchcock never won an Oscar. He received an honorary one instead. And he delivered what may still be the shortest speech in Academy’s history. He said “Thank you” and walked off the stage.

  47. Laura Linney was one of my favorite also, but she lost me when, during an award show (I think it was at the Emmys where she won for John Adams) she ended her speech with “Thank God for all the Community Organizers of this world” or something to that extent. She became instantly an Obot for me…

  48. Anne Hathaway gets too much publicity. What did she do before this? Princess Diaries? Devil Wears Prada? A Lancome line? So I’m pissed she was nominated.

  49. I’m sick of Anne Hathaway.

  50. Anne Hathaway gets too much publicity.

    Supposedly she has something in common with Ana Marie Cox, the founder of Wonkette.

  51. DYB — the year Crash stole it from Brokeback Mountain did it for you? My moment happened 10 years earlier — when Shakespeare in Love stole it from Saving Private Ryan (or for that matter The Thin Red Line or Elizabeth) or Gwyneth Paltrow that same year stealing it from Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth) and/or Emily Watson (Hillary & Jackie). 1998 — Worst.Oscars.Ever.
    But, hate the player, not the game — I still love trying to pick what b.s. reason who will and who will not win each year.

  52. Kevin Costner has TWO Oscars?! Oh Gawd…

    I’m with:
    carolflowery, on January 22nd, 2009 at 11:09 am Said:
    This might sound a bit negative, but im sick of the all the stars at the moment.

    I’m so turned off by the self-important hypocrisy and elitism of it all. My favorites are always the below the radar folk anyway: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl, William Macy et. al. This is Kate W’s year, and she is excellent. Heath will win for sentimental reasons, and he was so talented. Brad doesn’t do it for me–too self-referential. I would like to see Rourke or Langella win–two hard-working actors who have overcome the odds. The pretty boys are a dime a dozen.

    my 2 cents…

  53. Gotta say Angie, I share your pain (tries to bite lower lip like Bill) on all that.

  54. And fif, Mickey Rourke in Body Heat, even before Diner and then so much of the crap movies that came after, man he was one seriously good actor. He may have done better with a stronger agent. He used to remind me of Brando in Streetcar.

  55. Bella, I thought Laura Linney came out pretty early for Hillary, actually one of the vocal ones.

  56. fif & 3 Wickets — remember Mickey Rourke in The Pope of Greenwich Village — he should have won an Oscar for that one.

  57. Yeah, he was good in that with the mermaid lady herslef. But Eric Roberts was the real standout for me. I love actors playing unstable people, really tests their range. Which is why Heath was so good and why that guy (name escapes me) who plays the insane one in Revolutionary Road is so terrific.

  58. See “Grand Torino” last night. Entertaining and enjoyable film. It was a much better film than “Slumdog Millionaire.”

    The film that was overlooked was “Frozen River.” There’s a well-deserved best actress nomination for Melissa Leo, and one I think for best original screenplay. But, you just don’t get a fine performance like that without an outstanding director. The supporting actors were tremendous as well. And guess what? All the nominees for best director are men. Courtney Hunt was robbed.

  59. And also why Costner in “Mr Roberts” is the only time with Kevin I did not taste my stomach in the back of my mouth.

  60. Clint Eastwood just wallows in gratuitous violence. I have never gone to the cinema again since seeing that film about the female boxer, and her moronic trainer.

  61. I’m hoping for the following:

    Best Actor: Mickey Rourke (absolutely superb movie; best of the lot this award season, in my opinion)

    Best Actress: Anne Hathaway (it’s her time. I didn’t see The Reader because WWII/holocaust movies are so overdone – enough already. I refuse to see another one; let’s not encourage Hollywood!)

    Best Supporting Actor: (anyone but Heath Ledger. Personally I don’t think it’s fair to the other nominees, who have to say they lost to a dead guy. I saw his performance and it was okay for a violent movie, but the other candidates are more deserving. Loved him in Brokeback Mountain, though, and he should have won it).

    Best Supporting Actress: I’m okay with Amy or Taraji

    Best Picture: It’s a long shot either way, but I’d like to see Frost/Nixon or Milk win it.

  62. Anne Hathaway is also in “Brokeback Mountain.”

    angie> I hate “Saving Private Ryan.” THat movie is pure crap and I’m glad it didn’t win. (Although I think Spielberg deserved the director Oscar for that opening scene.) I agree about Paltrow winning over Blanchett, though.

  63. Oh, and Laura Linney was a Hillary supporter during the primaries.

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