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I love this category- it’s easily one of my favorites. Normally I go in having read most of the books that the movies are based on, but this year I’m a little out of my element with two plays nominated.

Prediction:
Slumdog Millionaire. It’s such a great film and I didn’t even realize that it was a book until it was over- a good sign of a good adaptation.

What Should Win:
Slumdog, for sure. I think there are too many inconsistencies with The Reader’s adaptation to win here. I would love it if Frost/Nixon upset this category, though.

Posted on February 22nd, 2009 by Jess | Leave a Comment
Filed Under Entertainment

I saw this film before Christmas, assuming it would be a celebrated film with award worthy performances and would gather tons of nominations this season.

The Oscar Nominated Doubt

Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Meryl Streep) is the head mistress at a Catholic school in 1964 Bronx, NY. She begins to suspect foul play when Father Brendan Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) takes a particular interest in the first black student to be enrolled in the school, Donald Miller (Joseph Foster). She enlists the help of her fellow nuns, including Sister James (Amy Adams), a wide-eyed young nun who is not as quick to jump to conclusions.

To be perfectly honest, this film bored me to tears. It’s completely over the top and dramatic with its intense score and quick dialogue. If these actors had taken the stage with this material I’m sure it would have been spectacular, but it simply doesn’t translate to this medium. There is so much build up that never actually goes anywhere and with no resolution this film left me feeling very empty. I’m not surprised that the Academy felt the need to honor such a high-powered cast, though I disagree. Additionally, I don’t see this film taking a single award home.

Nominations:

Best Actress – Meryl Streep
I love Meryl, I really do, but she is so over the top in this one. She plays her character to death with her thick Boston accent and overly judgmental scowl. We get it- you’re a strict Catholic nun. Thankfully, Kate Winslet’s beautiful performance in The Reader should prevail here.

Best Supporting Actor – Phillip Seymour Hoffman
A Philip Seymour Hoffman performance can go either way with me- I either love him or hate him. Usually when he’s a supporting actor he’s more tolerable, for instance last year I loved him in Charlie Wilson’s War. This year, however, he was just too much. We all know this category belongs to Heath Ledger, but there are others I would have rather seen with this nomination.

Best Supporting Actress – Amy Adams
Adams is still growing and developing as an actress, and I felt she brought a small breath of fresh air to this film. She’s a welcome change from the stuffy theater performances and actually looks as though she belongs on film and not on the stage. However, she’s not nearly as good as…

Best Supporting Actress – Viola Davis
This breakout performance got a lot of early buzz for the Oscar and with good reason. She has but one scene in this film, and it’s an intense one. Still, the material is more shocking than the actual performance- as the mother of the little boy in question, she takes a surprising stance on the matter at hand. With such a small role, and by splitting the vote with Amy Adams, I think this award will go to one of the other deserving nominees.

Best Adapted Screenplay
I’m very undecided in how I feel about this nomination. On the one hand, the dialogue is quick and smart, but on the other, I still felt as though I was watching a play and therefore it didn’t adapt very well. Either way, I don’t think it stands a chance against Slumdog, so I won’t waste much more time on it.

**½

Phasekitty and the Oscars

Before I break it down film by film, here are some of my initial, knee jerk reactions to the Oscar nominations this year:

First and foremost, this year has been a major disappointment to me for one movie: The Wrestler. This was by far the best movie I saw this year and it is being largely ignored. Not only do I feel that it should have been up for Best Picture, but more importantly Darren Aronofsky deserved a Best Director nod for it as well. I have yet to watch anything this year that impressed me as much as that film did in directing, writing, and acting. I do believe that Mickey will win and deserves the Oscar, but I’m pretty disappointed in the academy for not giving Aronofsky credit for his best work to date. And what is up with the song category? Did they pair it down to three nominees so that we won’t have to sit through 5 live performances during the ceremony? Because I kind of like the performances. Either way, Bruce Springsteen got screwed out of a nomination and that bugs me.

Despite this glaring omission, I do have to hand it to the Academy for giving just one (deserved) nomination to Revolutionary Road, for leaving Doubt out of the Best Picture and Director races, and for shutting out Gran Torino altogether- all were movies that were overly hyped and really just not that great. The nominations for Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep’s incredibly over the top performances in Doubt are disappointing, but expected.

Let’s talk about supporting actors. I love Robert Downey Jr., but his nomination for Tropic Thunder is out of place. I expect that sort of thing from the Globes, but not the Oscars. While RDJ was certainly the standout performance in that film, I can think of plenty of other actors whose performances deserve this spot just off the top of my head: James Franco (Milk), Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight), Viggo Mortensen (Appaloosa). There are a ton of performances that would suit this category better than “the dude playing a dude disguised as another dude.” Even if they would inevitably lose it to Heath, it’s still nice to get the recognition.

A few more things:

  • It’s nice to see The Dark Knight get all the technical nominations, even though it didn’t make it into the big categories. Despite how you feel about big, action super hero films, no one can deny the fact that technically, it’s a fantastically made film.
  • I love the surprise acting nominations this year- Michael Shannon brings a brief breath of life to Revolutionary Road and while I haven’t yet seen The Visitor, who doesn’t adore Richard Jenkins?
  • Angelina and Brad’s nods seem like a ploy to keep them front and center, in case anyone forgot that Hollywood adores them. What a waste of two perfectly good nominations.
  • I’m not usually as surprised by the score nominations as I was this year. It’ll likely go to Slumdog, but I also expected to see Changeling and Revolutionary Road in this category. And I don’t recall a single note of Milk’s score- I would have liked to see one of those two movies in its place instead.

How do you feel about this year’s nominations?

Best Picture

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Frost/Nixon
  • The Reader
  • Milk
  • Slumdog Millionaire

Best Director

  • David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
  • Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
  • Gus van Sant, Milk
  • Stephen Daldry, The Reader

Continue reading to check out the full list of 2009 Oscar Nominees! And keep checking back with the site as Phasekitty watches and takes a look at all of the nominees as we march towards the awards show.

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The 2008 Golden Globe Awards nominees have been announced!


Best Motion Picture – Drama

  • The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
  • Frost/Nixon
  • The Reader
  • Revolutionary Road
  • Slumdog Millionaire

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

  • Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married
  • Angelina Jolie – Changeling
  • Meryl Streep – Doubt
  • Kristin Scott Thomas – I’ve Loved You So Long
  • Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

  • Leonardo DiCaprio – Revolutionary Road
  • Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon
  • Sean Penn – Milk
  • Brad Pitt – The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
  • Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler

To see the full list of nominated films and television shows, continue reading!

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