Jeffrey Overstreet reads the Oscar nominations and finds them wanting

On his Looking Closer blog, Overstreet laments over the Oscar nominations this year: “The Oscars have always been political, and have often overlooked great things. But this is beyond ridiculous.”

While I did not have the chance to see many of the top rated movies of the year, I agree with him that WALL-E and The Dark Knight should have been represented more. Anyone have a good theory of why Benjamin Button recieved 13 nominations? 

Looking Closer » Blog Archive » I give up. I’ll be skipping the Oscars this year. WALL-E party at my house!.

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  • Wait, what should WALL-E or The Dark Knight have been nominated for that they weren’t? Besides the technical prizes (that I don’t have the wherewithal to judge), WALL-E seems like the only category it merits is Animated Feature (I’m surprised that Waltz with Bashir didn’t get nominated here since it did get nominated for Foreign Film). WALL-E was cool for what it was, but it was never a reasonable contender for best picture. Same with The Dark Knight (which may have been closer to a nomination had Bale been comprehensible)—it probably would have been sad for Nolan to get nominated for a Batman movie when his real work of genius (Memento, if anyone remembers) was snubbed.

    The Danes last blog post..20081119.ChurchLies

  • Carissa Smith

    The Dark Knight should have been nominated for Best Score.

    But you know what? People disagree about movies. I don’t see the point in being shocked and appalled when the Academy’s taste disagrees with mine.

  • That could be true. I don’t remember any scores from any films from 2008.

    And yeah, the Academy proved itself insensible so long ago that I’m surprised people continue to see it as relevant.

    The Danes last blog post..20081119.ChurchLies

  • Mink

    Which is why Ben Butt got 13 nominations…

  • So I just saw Waltz with Bashir. That was some pretty crazy stuff. A real kick in the gut. Very well done. The animation really adds to the final result.

    Does anyone know why it got nominated for best foreign film but not for best animated film? Are they really trying to say that Kung Fu Panda is better than nominees for Best Foreign Film? Is a film not allowed in both categories? It’s certainly not because Waltz is foreign because I remember both Persepolis and The Triplets of Belleville being nominated in the past.

    Is it because they were afraid WALL-E would have some actual competition?

    The Danes last blog post..20081119.ChurchLies

  • Carissa Smith

    I think (and I could be wrong here) that it depends on which category the producers choose to enter it. But I think I remember that Persepolis was France’s entry in the Foreign Language Film category last year, but it didn’t win enough votes to be one of the five nominees in that category, while it did in the Best Animated Feature category. So apparently a film *can* run in both categories, but it’s unlikely to become a nominee in both.

    Given that Persepolis lost to Ratatouille last year, maybe people thought Waltz would have a better chance against The Class.

    On a side note, I was just reviewing the nominee list yesterday and thinking how odd it is for WALL-E to be nominated in the Best Original Screenplay category, since it has about 10 lines of dialogue, and the film is remarkably better in the long sections with no dialogue. My husband was imagining yesterday how irate I would be if WALL-E and Frost/Nixon were in the same screenplay category (they’re not; Frost/Nixon is Adapted) and WALL-E received a nomination while Frost/Nixon didn’t. So I guess there are some categories I’ll get worked up about. We then started imagining Frost/Nixon dialogue done WALL-E-style: “Frrrostuh!” “Neeeexon!”

  • Bwahaha. Funny. Yeah, you’re right. WALL-E is remarkably better when it’s silent. During the first half-hour, when there’s no dialogue and it’s just WALL-E cruising around the wasteland doing his thing, the film is excellent. I was surprised at that point last summer, thinking that maybe I was watching the best movie of the year. Even when it was just WALL-E saying “Eve-uh?” over and over again, it was still pretty amazing. Once it got to the human stellar civilization, it turned back into a typical kids movie.

    I had (and still have) a hard time trying to describe how I feel about the movie. The first half is excellent, but I can’t forgive the last half. It’s like watching to wholly different movies. The one about the abandoned robot is straight-up four stars and amazing, while the one about the people (and all the robot hi-jinks) is maybe two-star pap. I had similar feelings for Titanic: the part about the boat was incredible, the part about the Jack and the Rose much less so.

    The Danes last blog post..20081119.ChurchLies