Just as movie trailers tend to give away so much that the films themselves can sometimes seem redundant, all of the lead-up blather can make the announcement of the Oscar nominees an anticlimax.
Just a few minutes ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced its nominees for this year and only a small handful of choices are likely to raise an eyebrow. Interesting that Matt Damon scored for Supporting Actor in "Invictus." And that Maggie (driving spell check crazy) Gyllenhaal made it for "Crazy Heart." And a shame that "(500) Days of Summer" was roundly ignored.
Doubling the number of Best Picture nominations made that category open to such films as "District 9" and "A Serious Man" that otherwise would have been ignored. Unfortunately, the Academy only made room for one animated film, taking "Up" but leaving out the wonderful "Fantastic Mr. Fox." And where the heck is "Where the Wild Things Are"? That remarkable film scored exactly zero nominations--not even one for adapted screenplay.
Deeper into the category list, it's no surprise that "The Weary Kind" was nominated for Best Song (Let's see them turn that into a big production number). It's up against two Randy Newman "Princess and the Frog" tunes, one from "Nine," and something that doesn't stand a chance from a film called "Paris 36."
I'm always hoping to see films that were screened at the Heartland Film Festival or Indianapolis International Film Festival show up in the documentary, short film, or other categories. This year (and this is a correction from an earlier draft of this post), Heartlanders can cheer on "Kavi," while IIFF-ites can root for "Miracle Fish." Alas, no nom for Hal Holbrook, who gave what I think is the performance of the year in "That Evening Sun," which screened at Heartland.
In all, it looks like a year I'll be rooting against some films (""Avatar" and "Inglourious Basterds") rather than for others.
Then again, I still have to see "District 9," "An Education," "Precious," and "A Serious Man," so maybe there's hope.