More Thoughts on the Oscar Noms

I don’t mean to go overboard complaining about today’s Oscar nominations or dive too deep into Dark Knight fanboy territory, but I thought this post from critic website Rottentomatoes needed to be shared:

“A couple of blogs:


Which brings us to the elephant in the room: “The Reader” was the film to steal the Bat’s thunder, not “Gran Torino” like I expected, not “WALL-E” as others had hoped. A pornographic account of a sympathetic Nazi, rushed through production and ultimately a sloppy piece of drama, rightly abandoned by its initial producer at a crucial time on the basis of principle on one hand, politics on the other — this is one of the Academy’s five Best Pictures of the year.

These people should have their cards taken away. This member-for-life **** has to go because you end up with crotchety fools that have no idea what good cinema is, let alone a care about how their organization’s choices will be looked upon in the future. Years from now, “The Reader” will be a blip on the map of film obscurity. “The Dark Knight” will live on in infamy as one of the year’s titans, both a popular blockbuster and a critically acclaimed work of art.

What an absolute tragedy.


Wow. Nice to see Mickey Rourke on there, but The Wrestler is a hell of a lot better than any of their best picture nominees. Frost/Nixon? Milk? The Reader? Is this an award for great filmmaking or the IMPORTANT STORY FROM HISTORY award? And I’m sure you’ll all notice the Dark Knight snub. Even if you don’t think it deserves a best picture nomination (I’m on the fence, myself), Chris Nolan still deserves a best director nod (this dismissive wank is for you, Ron Howard). It’s much harder to make a believable movie about Batman than it is to make yet another holocaust masturbation. Do they realize what they’ve done? They’ve made us bored. With THE HOLOCAUST. At some point, they may have to recruit some members of the Academy who aren’t a million years old. Just a thought.

Yahoo’s thoughts:


The Academy undoubtedly upset both critics and fans when it decided to overlook the Caped Crusader’s latest adventure. Perhaps voters felt it was too violent. It’s conceivable to assume that they’ve agreed to forever shun superhero flicks. Maybe they just miss Michael Keaton. Who knows? In any case, the $1 billion-grossing blockbuster deserved to be decorated for many reasons, including Christopher Nolan’s precise directing, the groundbreaking cinematography, and Heath Ledger’s trumping of Jack Nicholson as The Joker. And, hello? If “Titanic” can win Best Picture, doesn’t “The Dark Knight” at least deserve a nom?…1?nc#OmgPhoid=2

Too violent? No Country? The Departed? The Silence of the Lambs? No, this all boils down to bias, pretention and arrogance.

Courtesy of Nat Rogers at The Film Experience:

Empire Magazine’s thoughts:


The clue, of course, is in the wording of the category itself: Best Motion Picture. And The Dark Knight, while not necessarily the best motion picture of last year, is certainly one of the best five, and a damn sight better than the shameless Oscar-baiting of, say, The Reader (Holocaust! Winslet! Oscar! Oscar! Oscar!) or Frost/Nixon which, while engrossing, is a TV movie on steroids.

The Washington Time’s thoughts:


How can a movie rack up eight nominations at the Oscars and still get snubbed? When only one of those nominations comes in the major categories, it’s pretty easy.

“The Dark Knight” picked up eight nominations for the 2009 Academy Awards, seven of which were in craft categories such as cinematography, visual effects and editing. It did snag a nom in one of the “major” categories: Heath Ledger is up for the best supporting actor Oscar.

But “The Dark Knight” was ignored in the best picture and best director categories; the academy simply couldn’t set aside its bias toward a big-budget, action-adventure movie that subtly commented on society. Without taking into account the academy’s inherent reluctance to honor something so pedestrian as, shudder, a “comic book movie,” ignoring “The Dark Knight” and its director, Christopher Nolan, is inexplicable.

Instead, the academy chose to honor a Holocaust clunker like “The Reader,” a bloated retread of “Forrest Gump” like “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and a cliched biopic like “Milk” with best picture nominations.

And the academy wonders why people care less and less about the Oscars every year.…he-dark-knight/


ALSO, here’s a list tallying up the scores from all the critic’s year-end top ten lists, and guess which one is nowhere to be seen…




3 responses to “More Thoughts on the Oscar Noms

  • Bob

    After looking over this post, I have become even more angered with this year’s Oscars… pff.

  • sdennison

    Man…this is my first blog post in forever and my first legit one on this site, but if there was ever a deserving topic for a post, it’s the travesty of this year’s Oscars. So, despite the fact that my opinion is irrelevant, I’m gonna go ahead:

    Yeah. The Academy had a chance to dispel all of the criticism of their various hypocrisies and inconsistencies, and they went ahead and fucked it up. Of course I’ll still watch the Oscars, because I always do, but this year I’ll be criticizing myself for doing so. Obviously the elephant in the room is The Reader stealing the nom from either The Dark Knight or WALL-E, because both of those films were extraordinary, and The Reader is a shitty Holocaust movie. It’s not even a good Holocaust movie. (Yes, I saw The Reader because I felt morally obligated to see if it was actually good.) And while Winslet deserves her nom in every way imaginable, nominating the movie for picture is the most flagrant disregard for movie quality or reception EVER on the part of the Academy in recent memory. Winslet should (and hopefully will) win, but dear lord, at the point where I don’t really give a shit about the Holocaust/WWII because the movie’s so blatantly formulaic and mediocre, something is wrong.

    On a semi-related note, I think what pisses me off more than The Reader is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button/Brad Pitt, aka the worst movie and performance of the entire year. Words can’t begin to describe how boring, unnecessary, and pointless Benjamin Button was, and how terrible Brad Pitt’s acting was. The Academy could have gotten over their disdain for animated and action films, but now they have erased any shred of credibility they ever had…the awards can cling to relevance because they rightfully acknowledged Slumdog Millionaire and Milk as two of the greatest movies of this or any year, but that’s pretty much it.

    So yeah, that’s my rant. I’ll also put in two plugs as a response to the article blurbs from the post: Kate Winslet is easily the best film actress working today, and it’s a crime that she hasn’t won an Oscar yet. Sadly, it will be for The Reader and not for Eternal Sunshine, when she should have won, but whatever. Secondly, Milk, despite being a biopic, was still one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

    In a perfect world? The Best Picture nominees are…

    The Dark Knight
    Slumdog Millionaire
    The Wrestler

    Oh, and Angelina Jolie? Give me a break. I know that Sally Hawkins was better in Happy-Go-Lucky and I haven’t even seen Changeling.

  • evan

    i pretty much agree with you on your first few paragraphs, though i actually thought the reader was decent, at least better than frost/nixon. and, as disappointed as i am that the reader took dark knight’s spot, i too hope that winslet (or melissa leo) wins best actress.

    as for benjamin button, i gotta disagree with you on that one. i thought the movie was pretty damn good. however, though i do love brad pitt, i disagree with his oscar nom. he was good, and i actually liked how subdued he was, but i would’ve given his spot to someone else.

    i think your “perfect world” top 5 are pretty spot on. thumbs up.

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