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This year this category is full of very strong contenders with no clear front runner.

Prediction:

Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Mickey Rourke. There’s the chance that Sean Penn could upset this as he’s gotten a lot of praise for his Harvey Milk, and Langella is the dark horse here, but everyone has just adored Rourke this awards season. He’s quirky, he gives crazy acceptance speeches, and above all, he freaking deserves it. I think the Academy will do the right thing here.

Who Should Win:
Mickey by a mile.

Phasekitty and the Oscars

This category has been majorly paired down this year and I’m certain it’s the Academy’s attempt at livening up and shortening the ceremony. Not only are there only three entries this year, but they will be performed in a brief medley on Sunday night, rather than in 3 separate performances. The nominees this year are:

Prediction
“Jai Ho.” The cast’s Bollywood dance at the end of the film is both original and awesome and I’m sure I’m not the only one who can’t get it out of my head.

What Should Win
“The Wrestler.” Yes, I know Bruce’s song isn’t even nominated here, but it should be, and it should win. He was robbed. But out of the nominees, I’ll go with “Jai Ho.” It’s a really fun and catchy song.

I saw this film at the AFI Festival back in November. It was actually a pretty cool experience- I’ve been to AFI galas before, but this one was at the Chinese theater in Hollywood and I had to walk the red carpet on my way in. It was a lot of fun that night, plus I saw the movie over a month before it was released in theaters.

The Wrestler with Micky Rourke

Mickey Rourke plays Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a professional wrestler whose glory days are far behind him. He spends his weekends as a local legend- the last act of the night at small time gigs and doing signing appearances that attract few. On the weekdays he works in the warehouse of Acme and frequents the local strip joint. After a health scare, the doctors tell him he needs to quit wrestling, causing him to take a good look at his life outside of the ring. He pursues a relationship with Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), an older stripper at the club, and upon her advice seeks out his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood). I wonder if I had seen this film amongst all of the other nominees this year if things would have been different, but the fact is that I loved this film so much that it set my standards for the year, a standard that no other film I’ve seen since has met. Mickey Rourke fully embodies The Ram and Aronofsky captures every moment be it glorious, gritty, embarrassing, or desperate. A lot of the film literally follows The Ram from behind, tracking his every movement from behind Rourke’s head- it’s so real and introspective that I felt as though I was watching a documentary of this man’s fall from fame.

Nominations:

Best Actor – Mickey Rourke
I have no doubt in my mind that Rourke deserves this Oscar more than anyone else this year. Yes, Langella is astounding as Nixon and Penn does a fantastic job as Milk, but I’ve never felt so engrossed in a character than Rourke’s Randy the Ram.

Best Supporting Actress – Marisa Tomei
She’s great in this role- I’d say it’s one of her best performances, but her competition here is very steep. And let’s face it, this is really Mickey’s film.

Snubbed?
I could talk a lot here about how it got snubbed for a ton of awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Song), but instead I’ll just implore everyone to see it and form your own opinions, since mine appears to be in the minority. This was my favorite film of the year and that’s enough for me.

*****

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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