I Am A Golden God!
Brief thoughts after skimming the Oscar nominations:
1) Why haven't I seen more of these movies? Looking over the nominations, I felt like Longfellow Deeds in the Big City, gawking at these cinematic city slickers and their hip violence, these movies and performances and set designs I haven't experienced. It's like trying to have a conversation about love in a foreign tongue.
2) The film blogs seem distressed at Zodiac's shutout, which seems a little like being concerned about Fred Thompson dropping out of the presidential race: this meandering thing is the dreamboat you pinned your hopes on?
3) Cate Blanchett was nominated for Elizabeth II: Electric Boogaloo? Really? I bow to no one in my admiration for Ms. Blanchett, but...really?
4) Good for Ellen Page, George Clooney, "Falling Slowly," Julie Christie and craggly, loveable Deep Throat Hal Holbrook. Boo on the Academy for once again overlooking the joy of comedies and musicals, which means that neither Amy Adams nor James Marsden got nominated for any of their multifarious delights in Enchanted, Hairspray or Charlie Wilson's War.
5) Is Juno poised to be this year's Crash (It's already got Roger Ebert's "Best of the Year" blessing)? It's a much better film than Crash, but I already sense a backlash developing, especially since revisionist Westerns like There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men seem to have 2007's hipster cred locked up, and fierce partisans bullying on their behalf (this is not a bashing of either film, both of which I'd like to see, just a noting of the shape the conversation seems to be taking).
6) I agree with what Shamus/Larry posted a few months ago: part of me thinks that if the Academy really wanted to be daring, they would've tossed Julie Taymor into the mix for best director: Across the Universe is deeply flawed, but its batshit audacity is as vibrant and imaginative and memorable as any other directing I've seen this year (and, I mean, they nominated Julian Schnabel).