Oscars — no one gets to win more than six!

I spent most of the past four days feeding and changing the babies, so I haven’t had time to read or think all that much about the Oscar nominations that were announced last Tuesday, apart from noticing some of the weird details that everyone else has noticed.

For example, how can Children of Men be nominated for “film editing” when the one thing about the film that impresses even its detractors is its constant use of long, unedited shots?

Or how can Borat be nominated for “adapted screenplay” when it was, supposedly, a largely improvised semi-documentary?

Or has it ever happened before that the film with the most nominations — in this case, Dreamgirls, which has eight — was shut out of both the Best Picture and Best Director categories? (Then again, it is nominated in only six categories, just like Best Picture contenders Babel and The Queen and Best Foreign Language Film contender Pan’s Labyrinth. So let’s call it more of a tie.)

I’m sure other thoughts will occur to me over the next few weeks. In the meantime, here are the films that have been nominated for Oscars, ranked from those with the most nominations to those with only one. The titles of those I have seen are in bold:

8 nominations in 6 categories

  1. Dreamgirls — Supporting actor (Eddie Murphy), supporting actress (Jennifer Hudson), art direction, costume design, sound mixing, original song (x3)

7 nominations in 6 categories

  1. Babel — Picture, director (Alejandro González Iñárritu), original screenplay, supporting actress (Adriana Barraza, Rinko Kikuchi), film editing, original score

6 nominations

  1. Pan’s Labyrinth — Foreign language film, original screenplay, cinematography, art direction, makeup, original score
  2. The Queen — Picture, director (Stephen Frears), original screenplay, actress (Helen Mirren), costume design, original score

5 nominations

  1. Blood Diamond — Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), supporting actor (Djimon Hounsou), film editing, sound editing, sound mixing
  2. The Departed — Picture, director (Martin Scorsese), adapted screenplay, supporting actor (Mark Wahlberg), film editing

4 nominations

  1. Letters from Iwo Jima — Picture, director (Clint Eastwood), original screenplay, sound editing
  2. Little Miss Sunshine — Picture, original screenplay, supporting actor (Alan Arkin), supporting actress (Abigail Breslin)
  3. Notes on a Scandal — Adapted screenplay, actress (Judi Dench), supporting actress (Cate Blanchett), original score
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest — Art direction, sound editing, sound mixing, visual effects

3 nominations

  1. Apocalypto — Makeup, sound editing, sound mixing
  2. Children of Men — Adapted screenplay, cinematography, film editing
  3. Little Children — Adapted screenplay, actress (Kate Winslet), supporting actor (Jackie Earle Haley)

2 nominations

  1. Cars — Animated feature film, original song
  2. The Devil Wears Prada — Actress (Meryl Streep), costume design
  3. Flags of Our Fathers — Sound editing, sound mixing
  4. An Inconvenient Truth — Documentary feature, original song
  5. The Prestige — Cinematography, art direction
  6. United 93 — Director (Paul Greengrass), film editing

1 nomination

  1. After the Wedding — Foreign language film
  2. Binta and the Great Idea — Live action short film
  3. The Black Dahlia — Cinematography
  4. The Blood of Yingzhou District — Documentary short subject
  5. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan — Adapted screenplay
  6. Click — Makeup
  7. Curse of the Golden Flower — Costume design
  8. The Danish Poet — Animated short film
  9. Days of Glory — Foreign language film
  10. Deliver Us from Evil — Documentary feature
  11. Éramos Pocos (One Too Many) — Live action short film
  12. The Good German — Original score
  13. Half Nelson — Actor (Ryan Gosling)
  14. Happy Feet — Animated feature film
  15. Helmer & Son — Live action short film
  16. The Illusionist — Cinematography
  17. Iraq in Fragments — Documentary feature
  18. Jesus Camp — Documentary feature
  19. The Last King of Scotland — Actor (Forest Whitaker)
  20. Lifted — Animated short film
  21. The Little Matchgirl — Animated short film
  22. The Lives of Others — Foreign language film
  23. Maestro — Animated short film
  24. Marie Antoinette — Costume design
  25. Monster House — Animated feature film
  26. My Country, My Country — Documentary feature
  27. No Time for Nuts — Animated short film
  28. Poseidon — Visual effects
  29. The Pursuit of Happyness — Actor (Will Smith)
  30. Recycled Life — Documentary short subject
  31. Rehearsing a Dream — Documentary short subject
  32. The Saviour — Live action short film
  33. Superman Returns — Visual effects
  34. Two Hands — Documentary short subject
  35. Venus — Actor (Peter O’Toole)
  36. Volver — Actress (Penelope Cruz)
  37. Water — Foreign language film
  38. West Bank Story — Live action short film
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  • Re: Children of Men

    People too often mistake frantic or “busy” cutting for good editing. While this particular style can be impressive (Moulin Rouge, for example), the kind of editing I most appreciate is the “invisible” kind, in which the editor establishes a seductive rhythm or mood and sustains it for the entire picture. That’s why it’s exciting to see people like Dede Allen (Wonder Boys) and Andrew Mondshein (The Sixth Sense) get recognized. Another good example is the masterful Anne V. Coates (who won an Oscar editing your favorite movie, Peter), getting a nod for Out of Sight. Nothing terribly showy, but looking closer, you realize what a sophisticated job she did keeping the story hurtling forward.

    I always like to look at the American Cinema Editors awards every year because film editors in the industry get to vote for their peers. To them, winning an “Eddie” might actually be a greater honor than the almighty Oscar!

  • You are a good and brave man to be taking care of your twins. My husband is very good at helping out (especially with the 6 and 3 yr olds), but he still hasn’t had to take care of both twins for longer than an hour or so(after they’ve gone to bed for the night). Mine are not quite 6 months old, so I can’t say I blame him for being a little skittish. But just be glad you are a man when and if you take them out somewhere, since you won’t be asked the intimate details of your pregnancy and delivery :).

  • Jo cool

    You can see the entire Danish poet nominated film on Google. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3011488620865796582&q;=danish+poet

  • Peter, I liked everything about Apocalypto except for the sound. How can they nominate the film for sound editing. Best Film, yes, Sound, no. The effects were okay. But the quality of sound, the levels during the crowd scenes were horrible. Fuzzy, and just plain incomprehensible for a big film such as this. I believe that Mel Gibson is becoming our New Generation’s Werner Herzog. But he should have huffed and gotten P.O.d at his sound guys.

  • RC

    excellent point on it really being a 4 way tie for most nominations

  • This year’s Oscars will be especially interesting. There are several movies that I think deserve to win and quite a few ground-breaking documentaries too. One of them is the film “Jesus Camp” by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, which features what an organization called “Kids In Ministry International” does. Basically they recruit children and make them “talk to God.” The provocative nature of the film’s contents have prompted outrage from non-evangelical Christians and secular people, who suggest that Kids In Ministry International founder and director Becky Fischer employs brainwashing and child abuse to achieve her ministry’s goals. We recently got an exclusive interview with Pastor Becky Fischer if you and you readers are as intrigued as I was, please check this link: “Oscar-Nominated Jesus Camp’s Leading Lady Speaks Out” http://www.orato.com/node/1820

  • Thanks for the link — very interesting. FWIW, I did not interview Becky Fischer herself, but I interviewed the filmmakers here.