And today is the day...the nominations came out. See them here.
First, what makes the Best Picture of the Year or Actor?
It is clear, it is not box office money, trendy casting, budget, or even popularity. And sorry to all those comedies that were made....think dark, dramatic, dirty to win. Its pretty much a mystery to the common public. For this reason some movies and actors are sadly left out(the Dark Knight, Clint Eastwood) or surprisingly included (e.g. Juno, Elle Woods, Tropic Thunder). And the academy loves to be 'historic'...which usually means increasing nominations for Judy Dench, Meryl Streep (who I loved in Mamma Mia but got nominated for Doubt), Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sean Penn, Tom Hanks, and Kate Winslet who are required to be nominated if they produced a film that year (Nicole Kidman usually as well but was not included for Australia). I was surprised that Meryl and Kate were not double nominated...they love that too. I guess they, Pitt and Jolie, are not 'married' but how many other couples have been nominated in the same year? Heath Ledger's Joker, which is fabulous, was a given nomination as well.
So this is what we do...nominations come out. We strategically plan which films to see...the films with the most nominations usually win our tickets. This is also the only time of year I go to Blockbuster. It is like a fun race to complete in the 4-week period. We feel like if we see all the nominations and we can make an informed decision on the winner...that will influence the outcome.
My recommendation...if you are only going to experience one film this season....Slumdog Millionaire...the movie, the soundtrack, the book.
See it on the big screen (the fabulous Art Theater in CU).
I would also track down the documentaries....they are actually usually the best overall films nominated (Netflix, the library, and, in CU, Rentertainment).
On a final note...my most hated category....Best Original Song...which so often goes to a crappy song played over the credits. The best example of this flawed category is Moulin Rouge who was not eligible for any music categories since it was not original music (Come What May was actually written for another project originally), not to mention any movie-version of a musical. This category should clearly be converted to Best USE of Song in a movie.
So...what is your Best Picture, Actor, and Actress picks for 2008 (Oscar nominated or not)?