June 26, 2009

'Dark Knight' Never a Best Picture Contender

I intended this blog post to be about how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences decision to open the list of Best Picture nominees from a reasonable five to an unmaneageable 10 seems like an attempt to please everyone all of the time.

However, after reading quite a few articles on the change, and giggling at some of the comments posted in response to these articles, I've determined that there are quite a few bitter, bitter folks out there that feel like the Dark Knight was bamboozled out of its Oscar nomination.

And I happen to disagree.

The Dark Knight was good superhero movie. It had hear-stopping action and blinding explosions. It was dark and beautiful. It had one incredible, stand-out performance that brought attention to the picture and created the kind of buzz that turns a good film into a box office blockbuster. But it was never a contender for Best Picture. Even if there had been 10 slots in the Best Picture category, they would have been filled by:

Wall-E, or

The Wrestler, or

Rachel Getting Married, or

Tropic Thunder,

and a toss-up between Doubt and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. But never the Dark Knight. Sorry fanboys. Heath Ledger was incredible. He did things with the character that made a tired housewife, soccer mom, wine-drinker watch a superhero movie. But he did not turn a good action pic into a Best Picture nominee. Not even close.

Best Picture Change Triggers a Backlash [New York Times]

Oscars to Include 10 Best Picture Nominees [zap2it.com]

June 25, 2009

'Jon & Kate' Emmy Chances Sputtering

Someone has finally put their foot down and said "no" to the sparing 'Jon & Kate'. And that someone is the television academy responsible for selecting nominees for the Primetime Emmy Awards. Jon and Kate wanted their show to be nominated in the nonfiction series category usually reserved for outstanding documentary style shows like Deadliest Catch.

Instead, they have submitted two of their Season 4 episodes for consideration in the more appropriate reality show category. Will TV academy voters tsk, tsk the pairs' behavior by again denying them a nomination? All I can say is go Kathy Griffin.

June 23, 2009

Oscar Predictions Minus the Movies

With some heavy hitting directors up at bat, TheWrap takes its chances and announces potential contenders for this years' Oscar race. I suppose it's fun to take a stab at it, even if you find yourself flailing wildly with a rusted pocket knife, trying not to cut yourself shaving. Fine, fine. For not having seen the movies they seem to have a pretty good grasp on things.

I must admit, I am looking forward to quite a few of these films, and while I agree that having a director like Peter Jackson, Clint Eastwood or dare I say, James Cameron, at the helm pretty much guarantees you nominations at all the major awards shows. Let's just say, we remember Hook, Steven Spielberg. Yes, we do.

Here's my favorites:

SHUTTER ISLAND (Paramount, Oct. 2) I've been a fan of Dennis Lehane as a writer for quite some time, and I recently read his novel of the same name in anticipation of this release. After viewing the trailer, I'm not so sure this rendering is subtle enough for Oscar contention.

THE LOVELY BONES (Paramount/Dreamworks, Dec. 11) Its release date comes late in the season, but The Lovely Bones is my must-see movie of 2009. While it may seem a little too commercial for the Oscars, I look forward to enjoying the magnetism of Saoirse Ronan --both naive and diabolical as Briony Tallis in Atonement. Through his work on Heavenly Creatures, Peter Jackson has proven he has the dramatic chops, and restraint to compete at the Academy Awards.

UP (Disney/Pixar, May 29) Yes, I realize this movie does not fit into the yet-to-be-released-so-they-haven't-seen-it category, but it is a movie that I plan on seeing. That is, I haven't seen it yet. Don't judge. Since Beauty and the Beast in 1971, there hasn't been another animated film nominated. Not sure yet if UP can hold its own in the best picture category anyway.

Ahh. But it's all worth the wait!

TheWrap Predicts the Oscars -- and No, We Haven't seen the Movies [TheWrap]