Location: Los Angeles, California

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Oscars, Good Work

This year's Academy Award nominations were, for the most part, extremely well chosen. Here's why:

1. "Dreamgirls" missing out on Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay shows the Academy actually watched the film and decided to go against the manufactured hype. "Dreamgirls" had no right even being considered a Best Pic contender, and having "Letters from Iwo Jima" in the lineup instead gives the Academy a boost in credibility.

2. Paul Greengrass getting a Director nod for "United 93" was a classy way to honor the film. Granted, it deserved much more, but at least the man responsible for constructing this harrowing masterpiece got his due.

3. "Pan's Labyrinth," which was my favorite film of the year, surpassed all my expectations with its 6 nominations. I am particularly happy its haunting music got nominated (you can listen to the entire score here). If the movie was released just a few weeks earlier, I think you would have seen noms for Best Picture & Director too. People clearly love this film (it has already climbed to #90 at IMDb). I think "Pan's Labyrinth" can easily walk away with three wins (foreign-language film, score, and makeup).

4. Jack Nicholson's bloated performance in "The Departed" got rightfully ignored.

5. "Borat" got a much-deserved Adapted Screenplay nomination, and I think it has a shot at winning the category too.

6. "The Prestige" earned Art Direction and Cinematography nominations, which is two more noms than I thought it would get.

7. Also, you got to love how ethnically diverse the acting nominations are - a record 5 African-Americans, 2 Latinas, 1 Japanese actress, and a load of Brits.

8. The Best Picture race is now wide open. I think it's "Babel" vs. "The Departed," but "Letters from Iwo Jima" and "Little Miss Sunshine" are clearly competitors too. This all makes for a much more exciting Academy Awards broadcast.

Oscars, you did well.


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