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David Poland

By David Poland

Oscar Nominations

Brokeback Mountain 8 nominations
Crash 6 nominations
Good Night, And Good Luck 6 nominations
Memoirs of a Geisha 6 nominations
Capote 5 nominations
Munich 5 nominations
Walk the Line 5 nominations
The Constant Gardener 4 nominations
King Kong 4 nominations
Pride & Prejudice 4 nominations
Brokeback Mountain – Focus Features
Capote – Sony Pictures Classics
Crash – Lions Gate
Good Night, & Good Luck – WIP
Munich – Universal
The List
Munich gets 5 noms, in spite of no acting gets.
Star Wars: Episode III shockingly shut out except for Make-Up
Terrence Howard gets the big Hustle & Flow nomination
Documentary category limited to big release titles

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184 Responses to “Oscar Nominations”

  1. James Leer says:

    “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” was nommed for Best Song. May I suggest Celine Dion?

  2. MattM says:

    Only having three best song nominees increases dramatically the likelihood of an on-time finish, as that cuts out two extra performances.

  3. James Leer says:

    I’m just psyched that I guessed every 5:30 nom correctly except for Frances McDormand and Charlize Theron (I’d subbed in Maria Bello and Joan Allen, respectively).
    I’ll reward myself with some scrambled eggs.

  4. EDouglas says:

    Boy it’s a good thing that Munich got that Best Picture nod over the much more deserving Walk the Line, cause there’d be a lot of egg on a lot of faces if it didn’t. The easy money is on THAT MOVIE WE WON’T MENTION for the win.

  5. ZacharyTF says:

    I predicted 41 out of the top 48 correctly. Overall, 61 out of 90. I didn’t better than 3 out of 5 correct in any of the tech categories. Ouch!
    I was pleased with Terrence Howard for Hustle and Flow, William Hurt for A History of Violence, and Batman Begins for Cinematography.
    I was very surprised that Star Wars wasn’t nominated for VFX. Note to self: Do not go into any Star Wars threads today…..

  6. Bruce says:

    Munich was better than Walk the Line.

  7. cb657 says:

    No real surprises (glab to see Clooney get a nod for director) except for Episode 3. Thats gotta rank up there with one of the worst snubs ever. Seriously the effects were groundbreaking especially compered to Narnia.

  8. James Leer says:

    Best Pic and Best Director lined up 5 for 5, the first time that’s happened in about 25 years. Interesting factoid for what’s thought to be a “wide-open” year.

  9. bicycle bob says:

    thats a legendary snubbing. i cant say how they can even defend that. its far and away some of the best effects ever. its revolutionary.

  10. White Label says:

    I have to say, I’m shocked by the Keira Knightley nod. Sure she’s cute, but I don’t believe her as an actress. I guess I have to go see P&P now to truly judge it.

  11. jjreed says:

    A pleasant surprise to see the Best Animated Feature section filled with deserving films, ie. none of Dreamworks’ recent in-house efforts.
    Would have liked to see Eric Bana nominated for Munich, though I’m just glad the whole film wasn’t given short shrift. But there were really no particularly traumatic ommissions (unless I’m forgetting something), which is a nice change. But Narnia in technical? Meh. Batman Begins deserved more representation – Zimmer and Howard being ineligible for their score is a particular embarrassment.
    But the surprises have gotta be Frances McDormand and Keira Knightley – the latter’s numerous detractors aren’t gonna be happy today. And good for Matt Dillon.

  12. TuckPendleton says:

    Walk the Line is much more deserving than Munich? Didn’t realize the stand-ups woke up so early in Los Angeles.
    Walk the Line got exactly the recognition it deserved, two nominations for its stellar leading performers. Other than that, it is a by-the-book, paint-by-numbers biopic that tells you exactly nothing new about Johnny Cash, and which requires nothing of the viewer. Munich, while flawed, is at least challenging the viewer, seeking to elevate the form, and involve us in a story that is not black and white.
    I’m all for a good story well-told, which is what Walk the Line is, but in no way is it a superior film, by any stretch of the imagination, to any of the five nominees.

  13. James Leer says:

    Agreed, Tuck.
    “Narnia” for makeup? Did they not see the same Mr. Tumnus I did?

  14. Eric says:

    Crash was easily the worst movie I saw this year– and I saw lot of crap. I am wholly dismayed.

  15. Mongoose says:

    The Best Picture snub for WTL could actually work in favor for Joaquin and Reese. I can now see them both WINNING their Best Actor categories.

  16. scottp says:

    Given how much the Academy shared the wealth with noms, is it possible that the Best Picture winner might set a record for the fewest wins?
    Brokeback Mountain: conceivably Pic and Director only?
    Crash: conceivably Pic and Screenplay only?

  17. waterbucket says:

    Brokeback Mountain Rules!!!

  18. Joe Leydon says:

    Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me, but… With “Walk the Line” out of the race, isn’t this the first time in a long time when there isn’t at least one breakout blockbuster (or at least a movie that has already grossed more than, oh, $75 million) among the Best Picture finalists?

  19. jesse says:

    You know what, I’m gonna come out and say it: I didn’t really like Capote all that much. I was fighting to stay awake. Certainly Hoffman is excellent and the supporting cast is strong, and the film is tasetful and well-made, but did anyone else get kind of a “so what?” feeling afterward? It has the kind of (admittedly, intelligent) theme that is more interesting to discuss than to illustrate. I feel bad, even, because the whole creative team seems like a bunch of smart guys. It just didn’t do much of anything for me. I might even prefer Walk the Line, even though that was standard-issue biopic stuff (although a much better standard-issue biopic than the fairly lousy Ray).
    I’m happy for:
    -Noah Baumbach, one of my favorite writers around
    -Terrence Howard
    -Amy Adams. Hope she squeaks out a win. It’s unlikely, but supporting actress is traditionally one of the more surprising categories
    -Batman Begins for cinematography!
    -… but not for art direction??
    -Narnia over Star Wars for effects?? It’s just because of the damn talking lion, isn’t it?
    -Those North Country nominations. Not to take away from either talented actress, but it seems like the voting body just taking their medicine with those.
    -The directors and pictures actually match up! That’s actually pretty cool, just very surprising.
    -Cinderella Man for editing? Sigh.

  20. Nick1 says:

    Kiera Knightly’s nom was totally deserved. P&P was not only outstanding, but KK was a total revelation in that film. It should’ve gotten more buzz.
    I thought Jeff Daniels was snubbed.

  21. Melquiades says:

    Totally agree about Knightley. She absolutely deserves the nomination and, in fact, if I had my way she’d win it.
    I’m thrilled about Terrence Howard and “Pimp” making the Best Song list. I hope he performs it on the show.
    Also very happy that the Munich love came through — better late than never.
    Crash’s showing scares me… that movie better not creep its way into the winner’s circle. Yuck.
    I’ll be happy with a Munich or Brokeback win. Would LOVE to see Howard win, but I know that’s not realistic.

  22. Josh Massey says:

    “Crash” will definitely be nominated for Best Picture, with zero chance of winning…
    Posted by: Josh Massey at July 27, 2005 10:26 PM
    Crash has ZERO chance to get a nomination.
    Posted by: BluStealer at July 27, 2005 10:39 PM
    Of course, I also thought “The New World” would be there, but I have to gloat about one of the few times I was right.

  23. Terence D says:

    Not many box office hits in these lists here. Especially in the Picture/Director categories.

  24. AnonChicago says:

    Best song: Hustle & Flow will win.
    Passed over but deserved nom: Thandie Newton, Maria Bello, Mickey Rourke, Donald Sutherland, Brenda Blythe(?). Q-Kilcher in the New World — stunning introduction.
    Happy for William Hurt & Terrence Howard.

  25. BluStealer says:

    Thanks, Josh Massey, for bringing up what I said over seven months ago. LOL.
    If Hollywood would have released some good movies in the fall/winter like they should do, Crash would never be anywhere near this list. It is amazing to me that nothing beat it out and he also got a Best Dir nod. I thought there were at least ten films better than it. You’re going to tell me Haggis was better than Cronenberg or Jackson or Howard?

  26. AnonChicago says:

    I agree with Capote, why that POS was nominated I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the year of “gayness” in Hollywood, but the movie was a snooze. Not great at all, and it’s not making it in the boxoffice receipts either.

  27. DannyBoy says:

    Not even a special effects nod for Episode III? Must be something political going on there.
    With the “Match Point” nomination, I think Woody Allen has now beaten Billy Wilder, with whom he was tied, for most screenplay nominations over a career.

  28. LesterFreed says:

    I’m glad for Terrence Howard pulling it out. I thought he’d have a shot at two. But I’ll take William Hurt in his place.

  29. AgentArc says:

    Baaattttmmmmaaannnn! Yeah!
    Pride & Prejudice & Munich also have a nice welcoming, sweet!
    Great animated films category, maybe the best yet. Best of luck to Howl’s Moving Castle.
    This should be a good watch, with Jon Stewart hosting and plenty of gay cowboy & pimp jokes to follow.

  30. Josh says:

    It could really be the “Gay Oscars”. With Picture and Actor and Actress. I wonder how many jokes they’ll be throwing around during the show. Maybe Hoffman can mention Truman C once if he wins.

  31. Josh says:

    I think the best race is Best Actor. Five really good nominees. I can see any of the five surprising and pulling out a win.

  32. ebennett says:

    Keira Knightly’s nom is a joke. All it does is underscore the lack of competition and the dearth of good female roles last year. She didn’t even get a BAFTA nom! The Brits have more sense.

  33. waterbucket says:

    Brokeback Mountain! Woohoo!

  34. Melquiades says:

    The biggest joke today is every non-acting nomination for Crash.
    I didn’t see Chronicles of Narnia, so I can’t comment on those effects, but King Kong and War of the Worlds had better effects than Star Wars. You actually believed those effects existed in the real world, whereas everything in Star Wars looked animated.

  35. Bruce says:

    Imagine if “Memoirs of a Geisha” was actually a good movie? It would have received a record amount of nominations.

  36. Nicol D says:

    I remember my first day at film school. The head of the faculty spoke to us and said that for four years we were going to learn how to view film through a different prism. That no longer would we judge what a good or bad film was based on ‘old and archaic’ notions of acting, directing, cinematography, writing etc.
    Instead we would judge cinema by modern standards of good and bad by how movies treated issues of race, gender and sexual orientation.
    I’m sure he is looking at this list and is mighty pleased.

  37. Rufus Masters says:

    I’ll take movies with great directing, writing, acting, and cinematography over race and sexuality any day.

  38. hepwa says:

    Man, my predictions were way off (and I’m usually pretty close). I really didn’t think they’d nominate “Crash” for Best Pic. I didn’t hate it, but it sure doesn’t seem worthy of the final five (nowhere near as good as “Constant Gardener”, “Match Point” or “The Squid And The Whale”).
    A bit surprised about the “Star Wars” snubs, but not totally — they really should’ve just made the whole movie CGI — the acting might have been more effective (except for McDiarmid). Just saw “Narnia” the other night and laughed through the last half. And people call BBM propaganda! It might deserve a nod for Sound, but I didn’t buy the effects at all (except for Tilda Swinton, one of the greatest CGI creations of all time).
    While I’m certainly happy that BBM led the noms, I was still not expecting Jake G to get one and I was expecting it to get a nod for editing.
    Maybe the Best Pic nod will boost “Munich” at the box office (I know I’ll finally go see it).

  39. Bill P says:

    Only three nominees for Best Song? Nothing for Rent or The Producers, both of which had new songs just for the film, right? No Randy Newman? No cheesy Celine-esque ballad? It’s almost a refutation of everything an Oscar-nominated is “supposed” to be. What’s going on?
    I can’t wait to see them do “Pimp” at the ceremony. Keep hustlin!

  40. PetalumaFilms says:

    Where’s GRIZZLY MAN!?!?! Weak!
    I pray that just getting nominated is the award for CRASH. I’ll barf if it wins anything.
    I like the best supp acrtesses they chose, nice crop of solid, underrated actresses. Well, unerrated by the masses. I still think Anne Hathaway got poofed twice over. She needs a better PR person or something.
    Glad Gyllenhaal scored a nom and William Hurt too. Would’ve liked to see more for A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. Happy for Terrence Howard although I keep managing to miss H&F.

  41. bicycle bob says:

    why only three nominees for best song? no one else got any votes? or has it been only 3?
    the academy does not like scarlett johanson either.

  42. MattM says:

    I think the lack of nominees for best song was because of a limited number of eligible songs. The new song from “Producers” was godawful, not melodic or funny at all, and the song from “Rent” was not eligible, because it was not written for the film (it was a Larson “trunk song”) and did not appear, even in the closing credits. Many of the things that people would have ordiniarly viewed as cinches (“Wunderkind,” “Love Heals,” and the like) were kicked at eligibility, not snubbed for a nomination.

  43. waterbucket says:

    Scarlett Johansson needs to make a women empowering movie or else she’ll never be a box-office star or Oscar darling.
    She’s talented and gorgeous but I don’t think the women audience like her very much.

  44. Cadavra says:

    This is really way down the list, but I was quite surprised that CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY didn’t get an Art Direction nod.
    Apart from MUNICH edging out WALK THE LINE for the fifth BP slot, there really weren’t a lot of other surprises here. I am ecstatic, though, that the three Animated Feature nods went to the three that truly deserved it. Now who to root for…?

  45. waterbucket says:

    This is a nice article about the 5 nominated directors. Don’t know of Dave put it on the front page yet.

  46. etslee says:

    Wow, the academy really LOVES Spielberg! To nominate such a financial loser like Munich for BP over the relative blockbuster WTL. How many times has that happened?

  47. jrains1 says:

    A lot has already been said to which I have not much to add too. The Constant Gardener or A History of Violence over Crash for director and picture would have been nice. I was befuddled to think of a more fraudulent nomination, but then I continued reading. Narnia over Star Wars for effects is bad, but quite possibly the most awful nomination ever was for Brokeback, a movie which I really enjoyed.
    I mean, HOW THE FUCK DOES BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN WIN BEST SCORE! It is the same damn song over and over, until they play that Allman Brothers song. Elfman and Williams have been wasting their time for years by writing more than one song per movie. One is all it takes, and you get nominated for an Oscar. It is a good song, but it is not a score. Any score would have been an improvement over that choice.

  48. Josh Massey says:

    I’m just messing with ya, Blu. I just thought – back then – that the subject matter would propel it to a nomination. I actually didn’t like the film.

  49. Melquiades says:

    NicolD… did you go to the University of PC Straw Men?
    Brokeback earned its spot on this list because of its acting, direction, script, cinematography, etc. Munich did, too. I think all of the nominated films did, with the exception of Crash — but that’s due to my personal dislike of the film. On an objective level, it too was well-acted and nicely shot.
    This was a year with a lot of “political” or “message” films. I’m not sure which non-message films are obvious snubs here, aside from Walk the Line. Geisha? Squid/Whale? King Kong? Match Point? Would those five films really be a better batch, on strictly artistic terms, than the five we have?

  50. DannyBoy says:

    Dave, Dave, Dave…. As I asked you a few weeks ago on another, admittedly inappropriate, thread, are you reporting from Hollywood or Mars?
    You write about: “a lot of Academy voters who are not interested in voting for Brokeback.” You keep using the phrase “not interested in” to describe people’s homophobia vis-a-vis “Brokeback Mountain.” How tactful you are. If I was a in the Academy, Dave, frankly I

  51. bicycle bob says:

    u can’t say brokebacks subject matter doesn’t influence people a little bit. just like crash does. crash more so because i don’t think its that good.

  52. Wrecktum says:

    All the Best Pic noms are (left-leaning) political, gay, or both. When this becomes the lowest rating Oscars ever, the Academy should look at itself and say, “maybe we should have nominated some films with broader appeal” like:
    King Kong
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    Batman Begins
    The Chronicles of Narnia
    Harry Potter 4
    These are all movies embraced by both critics and the paying audience. Bak in the day the Academy used to recognize films like these. ET was nominated for Best Pic. So were Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jaws. Hell, they weren’t even afraid to throw a bone at crap films like The Towering Inferno or Love Story as a nod to their huge popularity at the boxoffice.
    There shouldn’t be a stigma associated with franchise blockbusters. Batman Begins was a great film and should be rewarded as such. Harry Potter 3 was one of the best studio movies made in the past couple of year and should have been acknowledged by the Acadamy. There’s a huge disconnect going on in this industry. It’s time for a wake up call.

  53. Dr Wally says:

    The lack of an F/X nomination to Star Wars frankly beggars belief. The poster above saying that Kong and WOTW had FX that ‘looked as if they belonged in the real world’, misses the point spectacularly – Star Wars is a galaxy far far away, remember. For the only time in the prequel trilogy, Episode 3 had work from ILM that actually had some real weight and solidity (just look at that ultra-close up of General Grievous as he advances on Obi-Wan and tell me that doesn’t look as if it isn’t actually PHYSICAL to you, at least more so than that talking lion!). I can only assumer that this is in some way related to Lucas and his team not being part of the Guild………

  54. BluStealer says:

    I don’t think Crash would win the Emmy for best tv movie let alone Oscar.

  55. Bruce says:

    The lack of nominations for Star Wars in the tech categories boggles the mind. Did they forget about it? Did the paperwork not get in on time? ILM is the expert in the technolofy. Everyone takes from them. It isn’t even up for debate whether it is the best. It’s like they all voted against it.

  56. waterbucket says:

    If I have my way, the Best Picture nods would be:
    Batman Begins
    Brokeback Mountain
    King Kong
    Good Night and Good Luck
    They’re all good movies with the right amount of critical and box office success. Of course, then Brokeback would dominate!

  57. Melquiades says:

    I think King Kong deserved a slot in the best picture race, even if it’s not one of the five best films of the year. Unfortunately, this blockbuster has been painted as a failure and I think that’s a big reason it didn’t make the cut.
    Re: Star Wars being set in a galaxy far, far away… that doesn’t mean its effects shouldn’t look as if they exist in reality. As I said, the movie looks like a cartoon. I agree that it should have been nominated in place of Narnia, but I definitely put it third after Kong and War of the Worlds.

  58. Terence D says:

    What are you going to do when Brokeback finishes its run? Watch the DVD daily???
    If the Academy really cared about films they would see that Batman Begins was one of the best films of the year.

  59. Kambei says:

    You are being wilfully contrarian when you ignore that Dave Poland says at least three times in that article that Brokeback Mountain is the front runner by a large margin. Dave is just making the observation that he believes the only vaguely potential challengers are Munich and Crash, which you are free to hate on.

  60. Bruce says:

    Oh yeah. Reality. How could I forget? I forgot that aliens, outer psace travel, Wookies, droids, light sabers, Jedi’s, Yoda, and sand people were grounded in reality and everyone knows what they look like and what they should do.
    I’m sorry! My bad on that. Thanks for setting me straight.

  61. oscarpdx says:

    It’s a good thing Oscar does not pick best movie nominnes based on box office performance, otherwise a lot of trashy movies will be nominated.
    And I can’t imagine movies are all happy go lucky with no reflection of social problems, how boring will that be!

  62. Josh says:

    The only way Dave could appease Danny Boy right now would be to proclaim in huge bold letters that BBM is the best film of all time and should be worshipped and adored by all. After that Danny Boy might actually read Dave’s words.

  63. waterbucket says:

    Terence D, after Brokeback is over, you and I are going to Canada to get married. Then we can go to Alberta for our honeymoon. I’ll wash your shirt naked in the stream and you’ll finally let your repressed self go wild and make happy cowboy love.
    That’s what I’m going to do after Brokeback wins its Oscar. Interested?

  64. James Leer says:

    There are a lot of people complaining here about the Best Pic nominees, but frankly, (with the exception of “Crash,” which I didn’t like) I can’t think of a stronger recent year for that category. I mean, last year was crammed with films like “Ray and “Finding Neverland”! This year we have some extremely challenging, well-made, brilliantly acted films. I’m actually excited — and I would think most real film fans would be too.
    Should we care about ratings or should we care about quality?

  65. Wrecktum says:

    “And I can’t imagine movies are all happy go lucky with no reflection of social problems, how boring will that be!”
    Yes, but there must be a balance. For the Oscars to remain relevant, they must at least make the attempt to mirror the tastes of the moviegoing public. In 1976 the two frontrunners for Best Picture were Rocky and Network. Two great pictures, one being a hugely successful crowd pleaser, the other would today be categorized as an art film. Rocky won Best Pic and Best Director, Network won most of the other major awards.
    That’s the kind of balance that the Academy needs. These past few years that hasn’t happened. I hope that trend doesn’t continue.

  66. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Okay – extremely disappointed about some absentees (Joan Allen, foreign films,) but extremely happy about others (Brokeback Mountain, Pride & Prejudice, Howl’s Moving Castle)
    WOW (positive)
    -3 new scorers including two of my very favourites Gardener and Prejudice which I thought wouldn’t even be considered. They rarely if ever let newcomers into their nomination ranks!
    -Not one nominated film is over $60mil
    -Pride & Prejudice did way better than I expected! KEIRA!!!!! She even got the loudest applause too. And great tech support too.
    -I am so proud of myself for predicting Terrance Howard for SO long
    -Howls Moving Castle!!! Yes! Great animated category.
    -2/5 for Best Editing and Best Picture. Usually its 4/5 or 5/5
    -The Mysterious Geographic Exploration of Jasper Morello! Way to go!
    -Star Wars essentially snubbed even in Visual Effects
    Things that are interesting of note:
    -A cameo made it into Supporting Actor
    -Three song nominees! (a branch can decide to lessen the number of nominees if it feels there aren’t sufficient worthy competitors)
    -Not one CGI animated film nominated!!!!
    -They really liked Munich way more than I expected
    -Don Cheadle received a second oscar nomination for producing Crash (I think)
    -5/5 dir and pic. interesting considering there were SO MANY contenders.
    -Woody Allen is back in Oscar’s good graces partially.
    -Memoirs in BOTH sound categories? Strange.
    -Blech to Narnia’s effects. I didn’t like Star Wars but they were waaay better.
    -In a year where the music branch nominated three newcomers (rarity amongst rarity) they also have JOHN WILLIAMS two more careers nods. Oh. My. God.
    -Shame about Brokeback Mountain not getting an editing nod for the late Peroni.
    Still so happy about Keira. It seems she is a real favourite. Shame that Reese is the runaway, cause Keira really could’ve given her a run for the money.
    What someone said up there though is true – it seems like the Best Picture winner (no matter what it is) isn’t going to be a sweeper. if it’s BBM then 4 seems the max, depending if they give it a tech prize/supporting actress to go with the main three of pic/dir/scr. Man, Heath Ledger winning Best Actor would be the greatest thing ever.
    I have to go sleep now though, it’s 6am and I haven’t slept.

  67. Rufus Masters says:

    I don’t work for a network so ratings don’t matter to me. But they have to know they’re not going to get huge numbers for this event this year.
    In regards to the best picture nominees. I don’t think we’re going to be remembering this crop of films in a decade as one of the best ever.

  68. James Leer says:

    I agree that BBM right now only seems like a lock for three awards. It’s definitely got spoiler potential in the acting categories (even Score, if John Williams splits the vote against himself), but its final strength there remains to be seen.
    And I know now that five aliases are going to come after me and say, “Nothing is a lock. You can’t predict what will happen. Anyone could win. How could you say that.” But such is life.

  69. Terence D says:

    Thank you very much for the offer, waterbucket. I am honored that you want to spend your life with me but I’m sorry to say I’m already taken. My wife wouldn’t take kindly to me running off to Canada. She might come up and make me live to regret it.
    A movie can be a crowd pleaser that appeals to the masses and also an Academy Award winning film. They’re not mutually exclusive.

  70. Wayman_Wong says:

    What’s the Academy got against Asian actors?
    Zhang Ziyi was up for Best Actress at the Golden Globes and the SAGs. Gong Li won the National Board of Review award for Supporting Actress. Yet ”Memoirs of a Geisha” scores 6 nominations in another Asian epic where the actors are totally overlooked by the Academy.
    ”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” got 10 Oscar nominations (and won 4 of them), but none of its actors were nominated. By comparison, the BAFTAs nominated Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi.
    ”The Last Emperor” got 9 Oscar nominations (and won EVERY one of them), but none of its actors (John Lone, Joan Chen) were nominated.
    Only 1 Asian actor has been Oscar-nominated in the past 20 years: Ken Watanabe in ”The Last Samurai” (2003). Today, the Academy had a chance to make history: No Asian has ever been nominated for Best Actress (or Best Actor). And the last Asian actress to be nominated for an Oscar was Miyoshi Umeki (1957 for ”Sayonara”); that’s almost 50 years ago (and she won!).
    P.S. Ang Lee could become the first Asian to win for Best Director, and Steven Okazaki (a 1991 Oscar winner for Documentary short) is up for another Documentary short, ”The Mushroom Club.”

  71. Josh says:

    Asians would have a better chance if they had better roles in better movies. We can’t even get 5 good women roles let alone asian roles.

  72. Sam says:

    Bruce, Re: “Oh yeah. Reality. How could I forget? I forgot that aliens, outer psace travel, Wookies, droids, light sabers, Jedi’s, Yoda, and sand people were grounded in reality…” I think you’re missing the point. The charge isn’t that these things are unreal, it’s that they’re unrealistic. Aliens may not exist in the real world, but in a movie they should still look and move like they could. Mass, inertia, gravity, and friction should still apply, and lighting needs to be consistent enough with the surrounding environment that they look *plausibly* real.
    That said, I actually think Star Wars III did just fine on these points and deserved the nomination it didn’t get.

  73. palmtree says:

    Memoirs was terrible, and made it easy to write off what could have been awards-worthy performances. Gong Li in particular is overdue for her amazing body of work. Rob Marshall really f-ed this one up, and if you read his comments in the LA Times months ago, you would realize why. He didn’t care about these character’s histories or identities…he felt he was just doing an American adaptation of an American novel (even Spielberg would have known to cast Japanese people in the key roles). That Memoirs still got six nods in costume, camera, art direction, etc. is a testament to how much of a stage director Marshall is and not one of great cinema (I loved Chicago but in retrospect it was Bill Condon who made it work so well).

  74. Wrecktum says:

    “A movie can be a crowd pleaser that appeals to the masses and also an Academy Award winning film. They’re not mutually exclusive.”
    That’s what I’ve been saying. The Academy shouldn’t fall into the trap of only nominating “Oscar movies.” There needs to be better balance…especially in a year like 2005, where well-respected directors like Christopher Nolan and Tim Burton turned in great work on crowd pleasing, critically accepted films.
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Batman Begins are two films that should have been seriously considered for major awards. But they weren’t, because the Academy has a maddening tendency to shun summer tentpole pics in favor of films that are better suited for the Independent Spirit Awards.

  75. David Poland says:

    DannyBoy – I don’t know if you are intolerant, but you are a bit of a goofball.
    Homophobia is the the only reason not to vote for something other than Brokeback Mountain. Anti-Semitism is not the only reason to have voted for something other than Schindler’s List… which by the way, I would have that year if I had a vote.
    Even in this odd year, I have been endlessly told how wrong I am and then, oddly, movies like Capote and Munich keep turning up.
    Unlike you, I don’t claim to know it all. But I know that you don’t know too much, except how to sling bullshit. And I know that you aren’t really reading me too carefully if you think I have ever suggested that BBM won’t win because of Academy homophobia.

  76. Me says:

    Well, since no one else is going to do it…
    Best movie of the year, even if it won’t win anything (except maybe a longshot Matt Dillon win).

  77. Wayman_Wong says:

    Josh, you’re right. Asians need more roles, but even when they’re in ”better movies,” they’re not getting the time of day from Oscar voters. Between ”Geisha,” ”Emperor” and ”Tiger,” that’s 25 Oscar nominations without an acting nod among them. Did those voters fail to see the Asians on-screen or did they all look alike?
    Looking at the broader picture, if Terrence Howard didn’t get his surprise nomination for ”Hustle & Flow,” all of the acting nominees would be white. And considering that one of the Best Picture contenders, ”Crash,” is about racial divisions in L.A., and features a gigantic ethnic SAG-winning ensemble, it’s notable that the only actor singled out is a Caucasian one.

  78. etslee says:

    The Asian representation in Crash was offensive. We must be invisible in La La land…

  79. palmtree says:

    Rocky was a drama without special effects, still within the realm of awards fodder. Charlie, Batman, etc. were excellent films, but not great all-around (would you consider these films for script, actors?) If they were nominated, wouldn’t we just be complaining about how the Academy is praising this stuff over serious or more artful films? But if any mainstream film deserved a big awards push it was King Kong, but sadly no.

  80. LesterFreed says:

    One minority nomination a year isn’t going to cut it. The numbers are as poor as you get.

  81. palmtree says:

    Ang Lee is the lone Asian representer this year. I think too few people have recognized that BM support is also coming from Ang love and a respect for his varied and high caliber career. And I find that to be even more inspiring than getting an actor up there (though that is sorely needed).

  82. Wrecktum says:

    palmtree, as I said, it’s all about balance. If Batman Begins were nominated instead of Capote, dod you really think there’d be an uproar? I don’t.

  83. palmtree says:

    Yeah, I do, even as much as I loved the way it rejiggered my faith in the caped crusader. Walk the Line or King Kong are probably a much better compromise in my book.

  84. Bruce says:

    I’d rather see Batman Begins get in ahead of Capote and Crash. Who would be upset with that? Can you tell me it wasn’t one of the best of the year?
    I thought Kong would get in til the backlash started right after it was released.

  85. Me says:

    You mean the backlash about Kong being boring? That’ll deflate any chance for a “popular” film to make it.

  86. palmtree says:

    Batman was great, Nolan is awesome (if you loved Memento you’d also like Following), and it’s probably in my top 20 of last year. But it’s flaws (mainly in script) did it in for me. That being said, I don’t think Capote or Crash will necessarily be terribly missed. I just think that there are a handful of other films that could take their place before Batman.

  87. Wayman_Wong says:

    ”Batman Begins” deserved more than just cinematography. How about visual effects? Or better yet, art direction? Instead, they wasted an art direction nomination on ”Pride & Prejudice,” which looks to me like a standard-issue episode of ”Masterpiece Theatre.”

  88. palmtree says:

    I agree with you about Batman should have gotten art direction. But I think the Pride and Prejudice nod is a recognition for the filmmaker’s efforts precisely for making this film as a contrast to the standard Masterpiece Theater fare. Note: in the film, Keira looks like she’s not even wearing any makeup.
    Anyone who’s seen it can back that up?

  89. Hopscotch says:

    Batman Begins art direction? That cave look much different from the last four?
    Though I’ve met Wally Fister, the DP who got nominated for Batman Begins, and he’s a class act. I’m happy for him. I’m even happier for Emmanuel Lubeski’s nod for “The New World”. I’m guessing that will go to Brokeback Mountain, but those are some great looking movies.

  90. Bruce says:

    The backlash was against Peter Jackson. People get sick of someone with success.
    If you tell me that Bennett Miller did a better job directing than Peter Jackson this year, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  91. lindenen says:

    These nomination are so boring and predictable. What an awful year.

  92. James Leer says:

    DPDP< I hate to do this, but: "And I know that you aren't really reading me too carefully if you think I have ever suggested that BBM won't win because of Academy homophobia." - today "If you are one of 60%-plus of Academy members, you won

  93. palmtree says:

    I thought the cave did look different. My only qualm was that he didn’t walk into any guano.

  94. TuckPendleton says:

    Re: Episode 3. Look, we all know nominations and awards don’t always happen for the right reasons. (My personal pet peeve is the Academy treating the screenplay award as a condolence award instead of actually considering the screenplays’ merits as individual works. See: Lost in Translation.)
    Are the effects in Ep 3 fantastic? Yes. Groundbreaking? Probably. But maybe the Academy is telling Lucas that this film is not worth honoring, because of its cardboard acting and writing, and the willfulness with which Lucas has crapped all over the storyline’s continuity and goodwill of fans by trading on our fond memories of the films as children, by shoveling this crap out.
    If the Academy can be whimsical about handing out awards and nominations, surely it can be just as whimsical in holding them back.

  95. James Leer says:

    You guys have to enjoy the Jeff Wells near-meltdown over Munich’s nomination today. My two favorite parts:
    “Three and a half hours ago (around 7 am) I received an e-mail that said “Steven Spielberg says fuck you,” and I guess I deserved that.”
    and the caption:
    “Avner (Eric Bana) and Munich-massacre-montage fuck partner watch initial tube coverage of 1972 Munich Olympic Games hostage standoff.”

  96. Kambei says:

    Yeah, saw P&P at the Toronto Film Fest. They went for a more “real-world” feel than the usual fantasy Masterpiece Theatre 1700/1800s feel. Lots of mud and natural lighting. It was a surprisingly enjoyable film.

  97. grandcosmo says:

    >>>NicolD… did you go to the University of PC Straw Men?
    Which film school isn’t anymore?
    I thought “Crash” was a repellant film but knowing the Westside mentality I am not surprised that it was nominated.
    I would have liked to have seen Maria Bello nominated instead of Keira Knightly (P&P the film for people who haven’t read Jane Austen).

  98. Bruce says:

    The tech awards aren’t for story or plots or characters. It’s for effects and technical things.

  99. James Leer says:

    I do have to give Melquiades a hand for that line. I bust a gut laughing this morning.
    Bello and Johanssen should have gone Lead — they might have had a chance.

  100. Me says:

    Bennett Miller did a better job directing than Peter Jackson this year. Deal with it.
    Kong was long, pretentious, and ultimatley very boring. It’s a largely forgettable movie, and won’t even be mentioned by the people who love Jackson and the LotR movies in a year or so.

  101. PandaBear says:

    Bello was forgotten for some reason. For Knightley? I guess I have to see “P &P”.

  102. Angelus21 says:

    If King Kong would have been nominated Wells may have gone postal.

  103. pstargalac says:

    Hold on… Kong is boring, pretentious and ultimately forgettable, but Capote isn’t? Wow.

  104. Sam says:

    Keira, lead. Bello, supporting. Bello was pushed out probably by Frances McDormand, who seemed to have the shakiest chances going in.

  105. jrains1 says:

    Batman Begins for best picture? I mean, it was good, but not that great. Spider-Man 2 was more entertaining, had a better script, and definitely had more emotion. “Why do we fall? So that we might better learn to pick ourselves up,” really seemed to be a way to echo the “With great power comes…” part of Spider-Man, except to a lesser effect. Actually, my friend and I looked at laughed at each other in the theatre.
    I like Keira Knightley and am happy that she got a nod, but Bello was definitely more desrving. Pride & Prejudice may have received more nods if not for the superior BBC mini-series from abou 10 years ago. I always forget how good Colin Firth can be until I am actually watching him.

  106. David Poland says:

    Leer – You are the one attributing homophobia as the only reason 60% of Academy members would leave early, not me.
    You have made my point.
    If Robert Redford had flipped Meryl Streep over and stuck it in her ass, I assure you that Out of Africa would not have won the Oscar. The last Oscar winner with as languorous a pace as BBM was Ordinary People.
    I keep saying it… there are reasons other than homophobia to not love BBM. The Academy is the least homophobic organization of more than 1000 members – other than gay organizations – that I can imagine. But can you name a single Oscar winner with a sexual moment as graphic – which I acknowledge, isn’t that graphic/intense – as the one in Brokeback Mountain? I know Gwynnie and Mena showed their boobs, but really… tell me. Not homophobic… a bit prude. And that is just one issue.
    As for the Angellotti thing… saying out loud what others whisper is my job. Sorry it concerned you.

  107. Mark Ziegler says:

    Bello wasn’t a lead? Just like Weisz wasn’t either. It’s so random.

  108. Josh says:

    You are going to find a lot of voters thinking the same thing. Do we want to reward this boring movie just because it’s about two gays? Now I know I’ll hear it’s the best movie no matter what and it’s just not about gays arguments but when was the last time Oscar gave the Best Picture award to a film like this?

  109. jeffmcm says:

    What is a ‘film like this’ exactly? A romance? A slow-moving film? Considering that it’s won so many previous awards, I guess people were okay with rewarding it.
    Oh, and there’s something insulting about the idea that they’re rewarding ‘this boring movie just because it’s about two gays’. Are you aware of that?

  110. jeffmcm says:

    Oh yeah…hey Nicol, if you’re out there, what were your five top movies of the year?
    You keep grinding your axe about film criticism being about political correctness and not about actual ‘quality’ markers like acting or story or cinematography, but these are the Oscars. They’ve ALWAYS been about passing trends.

  111. DannyBoy says:

    James Lear, Thanks for pointing out the obvious. Dave has made several comments about all these voters “who won’t care” to vote for (or even watch to the end) a love story between two men; the one you quote is just the most obviously insulting to the Academy.
    You know, with all the mud that’s been flung here, from people calling BM “Bareback Mountain” and “Fudgepack Mountain” and on and on, the only time I’ve seen Dave get offended at all of it was at that good-natured puff piece aimed at people who, as Dave likes to say,

  112. Wrecktum says:

    There was some pretty hot, rough sex in English Patient, Poland.
    And lets not forget the famous BJ in Midnight Cowboy, which was surely more explicit in 1969 than gay cowboy sex is today.

  113. DannyBoy says:

    By the way, guys, hate to break it to you, but most of the members of the Academy could care less about the domestic ratings on TV.

  114. Lynn says:

    “But can you name a single Oscar winner with a sexual moment as graphic – which I acknowledge, isn’t that graphic/intense – as the one in Brokeback Mountain?”
    Really? You think? Huh. Seriously?
    I mean, somewhat dark, mostly clothed, no butts really showing, much less anything dangly… is really too much? I thought that was as un-gratuitous as could be. (Did I mention my 60+ year old father liked this movie and wasn’t squicked, despite a long history of being squicked by anything gay?)
    The older academy members are definitely not Queer as Folk (either version) fans, I guess.

  115. DannyBoy says:

    …what about James Caan banging that woman–for how many seconds was it?–against the door in the first ‘Godfather’?

  116. Melquiades says:

    “But can you name a single Oscar winner with a sexual moment as graphic – which I acknowledge, isn’t that graphic/intense – as the one in Brokeback Mountain?”
    Schindler’s List… The English Patient… Titanic… The Godfather… Midnight Cowboy…

  117. palmtree says:

    The Last Emperor has a threesome and a grown child who sucks on a woman’s nipple. Oskar Schindler bangs a naked chick in black and white. Annette Bening is screwed by the King.

  118. Melquiades says:

    All of those examples are more graphic than Brokeback, which is not graphic at all… UNLESS you consider the very fact that it’s two men “graphic.”

  119. Wrecktum says:

    The sex scene in Titanic was hardly graphic.
    But Shakespeare in Love scenes were pretty explicit. So much so that my mother distastefully dismissed the film after seeing it, due to all the “fornication.”

  120. Aladdin Sane says:

    Okay, I don’t have time to read through everyone’s comments, but I was pretty happy this morning…let me list the ways:
    Good Night, And Good Luck, Munich, Hustle & Flow, Junebug and my personal fave The Constant Gardener all getting some love.
    While i still think it’s Hoffman’s Oscar to lose, I truly hope it’s Terrence Howard that beats him (if anyone).
    I think Ang Lee will take Best Director, with something else upsetting for Picture. Either Crash or Munich.
    Star Wars getting snubbed in the tech categories is a fucking disgrace. I don’t think there was a more visually interesting fx film this year. King Kong obviously has this win all buy sewn up. The Kong animation is amazing, but SW:E3 had the best seamless effext. Whatever.
    I hope Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride wins, although I think W&G will.
    Love to see The New World win Best cinematography (wish it’d seen more love).
    Anyhow, not bad nominee list overall. Hopefully tonight I’ll be able to comment some more on what others have posted, since I’m sure some have already written some interesting stuff. Only a month or so to go…and then we’ll argue about it for a week and then say, “Well, what’s up for next year?”

  121. DannyBoy says:

    “The last Oscar winner with as languorous a pace as BBM was Ordinary People.”
    No way. “Out of Africa” was like watching paint dry. It might have won MORE Oscars if Redford had flipped Streep on her stomach and F****d her, at least it would have woken some of us up. And “Million Dollar Baby” wasn’t exactly “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” How about all those other nominees, that, admittedly didn’t win, but kept Acadamy members in their seats long enough to make it through the end and vote for them: “Tender Mercies,” “The Green Mile,” “In the Bedroom”…

  122. Richard Nash says:

    All these films people are listing with supposed graphic sex don’t feature man on man, anal sex. Don’t remember man on man sex in Titanic, English Patient, or Schindlers List. Why is it so hard to just come out and say it. These Academy members are a staunch set and might not be ready to reward the most hyped film of the year that they don’t even like. It may be the year of the gay nominee but the all gay winners?

  123. Wrecktum says:

    Funny, I thought the man-on-man blow job in Midnight Cowboy was pretty man-on-man. You know, the scene that got the movie an X rating? Yeah, that one.

  124. TheGaffer says:

    “For the Oscars to remain relevant, they must at least make the attempt to mirror the tastes of the moviegoing public… That’s the kind of balance that the Academy needs. These past few years that hasn’t happened.”
    –I don’t agree. Simply nominating movies for their box office appeal would be just as foolish, and there’s no rule that says there has to be a “balance” of any kind — this thinking implies the members of the Academy getting together to find consensus, when it’s one person voting for each individual vote.
    Also, I think the premise is off the mark to begin with, that the Academy has moved away from big box office hits “in the last few years.” This year certainly follows, and so does 2004.
    But in 2003 the Lord of the Rings was huge and Seabiscuit was a runaway surprise hit, and Master & Commander and Mystic River didn’t do shabby either.
    2002 had another Rings movie, along with Chicago, which was huge as well.
    2001? More Rings. And Beautiful Mind. In 2000, Gladiator, Crouching Tiger and Erin Brockovich were all big, big hits as well.
    So I’ll give you this year, and perhaps last year, even though Ray, Million Dollar Baby and The Aviator all did respectable box office and Sideways did great business for an indie as well.
    I think the premise of the argument is incorrect.

  125. TheGaffer says:

    “The last Oscar winner with as languorous a pace as BBM was Ordinary People.”
    –Baloney. Did you manage to get through the English Patient? Could they have chosen a worse nominee of those five? That’s a throw-yourself-off-the-bridge movie, with the pacing of that one.

  126. jeffmcm says:

    Richard Nash, you are correct that Brokeback is the first of these movies to feature gayboy buttsex, but the fact remains that (a) this is the 21st century, and (b) the scene is only shocking if man-on-man action is inherently shocking. Otherwise it’s fairly tame. Tame enough, I think, to get a bye from the geriatrics in the Academy.
    Then there’s this:
    “These Academy members are a staunch set and might not be ready to reward the most hyped film of the year that they don’t even like.”
    Would you agree that you’re making a HUGE assumption here? That the Academy voters have already decided they don’t like this movie, despite all the awards already granted it?

  127. palmtree says:

    Why would the Academy give 8 nominations to a film it doesn’t like?
    And if you think they’re sqeamish, how did Charlize Theron win for Monster? Or Hilary Swank for Boys Don’t Cry?

  128. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Wreckturn, you know the Oscar types don’t like franchises, remakes and sequels. The Razzies do!
    The disconnect between popcorn fare and Oscar Bait was most obvious in the 80’s. How many 80’s hits got acting, director or picture noms? Not very many.
    As usual the Academy pulls a “Just Say No to Comedy”. Jane Fonda and Steve Carrell ought to have the last laugh.

  129. DannyBoy says:

    I’ve been wondering about this, maybe because I’m a bit of a goofball, but has there EVER been an Academy screening of any serious film (we’ll leave aside something like National Lampoon’s European Vacation), at which 60%+ of the audience got up and walked out? I’ll throw it open to any of the three possible connotations Dave might have been suggesting when he predicted 60% of the Academy would get up and leave at a screening of “Brokeback Mountain”: gay stuff, explicit sex OR simply because it was slow moving? Did 60% of the Academy get up and walk out of an Academy screening of: KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (gay), MONSTER’S BALL (hot sex), or THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL (the slowest-moving movie I can remember to win a major Oscar.)
    I was at an industry screening of Todd Haynes’ POISON (which is gay, with explicit sex, AND it’s slow moving), and less that a third got up and left, and I think that was considered something of a record.

  130. Hopscotch says:

    Kevin Spacey jerking off in the shower.

  131. Cadavra says:

    It’s a good thing the State of the Union speech is tonight, otherwise Fox and MSNBC would be trotting out the “Hollywood Is Out Of Step With Mainstream America” trope again. Two gay films and one each Commie, Jew and Black/Hispanic. Man, Hannity, O’Reilly and Scarborough must be gnawing off their own legs!

  132. steve4992 says:

    “gayboy buttsex”?????
    This site just gets stranger and stranger and, frankly, more and more homophobic. From what I’ve been reading in the thread, you’d think that Ang Lee directed (and Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal performed in) a gay porn movie. During the scene in question, both actors remain fully clothed and none of the nether regions can be seen. I simply don’t see what the objection is, unless it is simply the idea of two men being with each other. And if the idea of a movie showing two men being with each other in this very discreet and dimly lit scene is offensive to you, then that is homophobia, plain and simple.
    And I will go further than that. If AMPAS doesn’t give BBM the best picture award at this point, with all of the precursors that it’s won, then they are a bunch of homophobes and should be labeled as such.

  133. tmpost says:

    Interesting to see so many other people who saw through “Crash.” I’ve seen more stirring hour-long TV shows on Fox. Just having a bunch of people spouting racial epithets at each other does not make much of a point. I think “King Kong” had more to say about racism than “Crash” did. But I did like Thandie Newton. I could have seen her getting nominated…but she was one who didn’t. Go figure. I’m glad GNandGL got so many noms. Same with Brokeback Mtn. Oh, and all this talk about sex in this movie. Did you see it? What sex? At least they won’t have much to edit in the Wal Mart version.

  134. jeffmcm says:

    The ‘gayboy buttsex’ remark was meant ironically.

  135. Sanchez says:

    How can I take these awards especially the tech awards seriously if Star Wars Ep 3 doesn’t get one? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.
    Maybe all you BBM lovers out there expected a negative response to your movie from conservatives but I’m sorry to disappoint you. It’s not a big topic of discussion. No one really cares. There’s been no rally’s on it. No one has derided the film. Only praised it. No shows, no radio shows. Not even the online blogs have done anything but praised the film. The hate you were expecting hasn’t come and won’t come. So, get over it.

  136. Fades To Black says:

    If Peter Jackson made King Kong a half hour shorter, we see it on this list today. I feel that in my gut. 110%.
    I’m a little upset about no love for “History of Violence” except for William Hurt. No Mortensen or Bello. Or Director. Or Picture.

  137. PandaBear says:

    Comedy is the bastard step child to the Academy Awards. It gets zero respect. It’s a shame. Just like Rodney Dangerfield said.

  138. jeffmcm says:

    Holy crap, two near-simultaneous Rodney Dangerfield comments on the blog!

  139. Rufus Masters says:

    “gay buttsex”?
    Isn’t this a family blog?

  140. PandaBear says:

    Rodney lives forever.
    You’re a lot of woman, you know that? Yeah, wanna make 14 dollars the hard way?

  141. Aladdin Sane says:

    Sanchez, ep3 did get a best makeup, so yay!?
    I finally found out why, Jeff Wells said that SW got no love cos the Academy grew a set and said no more to George Lucas’ souless…kinda funny coming from the guy who’s beating the dead horse about the Munich sex/massacre scene being something really disturbing/fuct up…Anyhow…I can’t express too much disappointment over the films nominated…
    And The English Patient is by far the worst film to win Best Picture in the past ten years!

  142. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    On Batman Begins: As much as I really really hoped Batman would get a art direction nom (an entire Gotham City built inside a derelict plane hanger! tibetal prisons! caves!) I am glad Pride & Prejudice got in. It felt so real, and lived it, and not at all manufactured. It didn’t feel fake and hollywood like Memoirs’ historically incorrect production design (big twisty winding streets in Kyoto?). I did think Batman deserved effects (so un-LOOKATME!!!) as well, but the fact that Narnia made it in makes this category a farce.
    I find it hard to believe that AMPAS would vote so thoroughly for Brokeback if it didn’t actually like it. Cause if we know anything about AMPAS it’s that if they don’t like something they don’t vote for it. The gay sex in Brokeback really isn’t bad at all. I thought I’d feel uncomfortable sitting through it with my (straight) friends but didn’t. Maybe if Ang Lee had gone all Catherine Breillat on us, then there’d be cause for concern. And the kissing scenes? bah. BBM obviously has high support from the acting branch (Jake made it in, which was never a safe bet) and everywhere else.
    And I still don’t get the whole langorious plot of BBM comments. I’ve sat through much slower films. Even films I admit to loving such as (first off of my brain) Open Range I find very slow. Comparatively I found Brokeback’s pace just right. Perfectly suited to the characters relationship.
    The Star Wars snub in effects is indeed very strange. But as I said before, Narnia’s there so we can all but call this category rediculous.
    However, my favourite nomination comes from another space-bound film directed by a man with the last name Lucas. “The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello”. For those who haven’t seen or even heard of it, this of Tim Burton making a gothic space thriller using Catch Me If You Can’s opening credits animators.

  143. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:
    Can I just say Dolly Parton and Terrance Howard made me happy because they’re actually excited. That what I hope happens on Oscar night. They announce winners and they’re actually excited! Remember Sandra Oh at the Globes and SAGs? I want THAT. I don’t want Paul Giamatti schlubbing himself out of his seat to deliver a boring speech for a boring performance in a boring movie that nobody cares about, merely because he was “snubbed” last year – although maybe AMPAS just didn’t fall for the schlub act.

  144. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Oh, and sorry – one more thing.
    Isn’t it odd that Crash debuted something like a year and a half ago! Bizarre.
    Also, did anybody else’s heart sink when Judi Dench was the first name read for Best Actress and not the rightful person, Joan Allen for The Upside of Anger. Say what you will about the movie but she was worthy of the WIN, not just the nomination. “oh no no, I’m done toasting. I’m just ordering another drink” – priceless.

  145. jeffmcm says:

    As far as I’m concerned, A Beautiful Mind is the worst movie to win Best Picture of the last ten years. That movie is, appropriately enough, crazy.
    Agreed re: Narnia and visual effects. They sucked and were vastly inferior to anything in Star Wars.

  146. Nicol D says:

    Jeff MCM,
    You’ve got a point. I’ll put down my axe for a few moments on political correctness (I’ll give it to one of my troglodyte trolls to sharpen).
    Now with my stone carving instrument as a writing tool, I’ll give you an idea as to what some of my favouite films of the year were. They are in no particular order. In some cases I will list a film that I think should have a nomination beside it but does not due to politics…
    The New World: Easily the most stylistically sophicticated film of the year. With the use of triple inner monologue voice over, every cineaste should put it at the top of their ‘to see’ list. That it does not have a best picture nod says much as to the sophistication of the academy.
    Munich: Got a couple of nods. Not a perfect film but the first two hours are stellar. That Bana keeps getting overlooked is sad.
    Sin City: A brutish film for fan boys staring at Jessica Alba…but it will be discussed in film circles for its technique long after today’s Oscar nominees are forgotten. Dat’s da fact.
    No Direction Home: Bob Dyan: Too long and too focussed on one era, but fascinating nonetheless for its portrayal of a genuine icon and artist who is still misunderstood today.
    March of the Penguins: Stunning cinematography and perhaps the most ‘human’ story of the year.
    In Her Shoes: Better than expected and very human. Avoided many cliches it could have fallen into. Both of these actress’ could have been nominated over the PC choices of Theron and Huffman.
    Cinderella Man : A very rousing film that sadly did not really find the audience it deserved. There was really nothing about it I did not like.Again it easily could have been a Best Pic nod.
    Batman Begins: Made watching pop filmmaking feel like art. Stellar all around. Easily, as well crafted and directed as any of the ‘nominees’. But hey, Batman didn’t have a love affair with Neeson on that mountain top. Think about it…you could easily justify this picture in the top five.
    Revenge of the Sith: Alright it’s flawed. But Ian McDiarmid deserved a supporting actor nod. The scene at the opera alone elevated the film.
    Narnia: The children playing Edmund and Lucie were as good as any of the other nominees in the supporting categories. I’ll stand by that.
    I could go on in more detail about these and others but this is an idea of where I was at this year. There maybe some other titles I forgot.

  147. Wrecktum says:

    Although Narnia’s effect shots weren’t as good as others this year, they hardly “sucked.” Get a grip.

  148. Crow T Robot says:

    Has anyone else observed that probably the most politically conservative film of the five nomineee is the one featuring the gay New York writer defending two murderers on death row?
    (sorry, been off the net for a couple of weeks, folks)

  149. palmtree says:

    Crash is politically conservative although it pretends to be liberal.

  150. joefitz84 says:

    Universal dropped the ball with Cinderella Man. It should be on this list. The release date hurt. But it is one of the top 5 films of the year and had a star, actor and producer with the Oscar pedigree. The list needs a big movie like it too.

  151. Hopscotch says:

    Cinderella Man was very well-made, and pure pedigree production aspect about it was A+. But it’s slow, it’s long and we all knew how it was going to end. Paul Giamatti kept things entertaining, and he was great, but everything else about it…shrug.

  152. Aladdin Sane says:

    Nicol D,
    No Direction Home was PBS then DVD…inexplicably no theatrical release. Too bad.
    Ian McDiarmid would have been an inspired nomination.
    I was sorta hoping that the girl who played Lucy in Narnia would get nominated…same goes with Q’Orianka Kilcher in The New World. Easily coula replaced anyone who doesn’t have the last name of Witherspoon or Huffman…

  153. Nicol D says:

    The Dylan documetary definitely should have had at least one or two theatrical playdates. It was worth it. Even in an abbreviated version.
    As for Ian McDiarmid. This is exactly what a supporting performance does. He elevated the whole film and was riveting.
    Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes also brought a level of emotion and maturity to Narnia that should not have been overlooked.
    Kilcher was fetching and when I found out how young she was afterwards I was even more impressed. She held her own against many veterans and is the soul of the picture.
    The New World truly is cinema as art. Again…true sophistication.

  154. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol, nice to hear from you and I agree with you on Munich, The New World, Batman, McDiarmid.
    I just hope that you’re exagerrating your position on film theorizing. It sounds like your film school professor was himself exagerrating for rhetorical impact – to shake people out of their preconceptions – and either failed to then deliver on his educational goals, or forced people to retrench their beliefs. I had a film school professor who launched a blistering attack on Spielberg and Schindler’s List. At the time I was annoyed, but now I agree that he had some good points (although his larger point, that the film is not good, remains false).
    Anyway, the point is that I have learned a huge amount about filmmaking from the lenses of theory/gender studies/politics that don’t need to supersede traditional ways of regarding film, but rather open up new ways of viewing.

  155. James Leer says:

    I really wonder why you won’t tell us what film school this was, Nicol — and why you continued to go there if it was so antithetical to your outlook.

  156. jeffmcm says:

    Either it was a really good school and he’s embarrassed to say he didn’t get his money’s worth out of it, or it was a really bad school and we can all go “no wonder”.

  157. Nicol D says:

    James Leer, Jeff MCM
    I do not say which film school I went to because it then limits what I can say about it.
    I have made reference on this board to specific incidents…
    (ie. the head of my film department who had to face a tribunal for showing ‘Blue Velvet’ because the class feminists thought it was pro-rape…etc.)
    If I name the school it then becomes potentially easy to find out the names of the specific people involved and I do not know who reads these boards. Perhaps I am being a tad paranoid but I do not seek to hurt anyone’s reputation…nor get any blowback.
    As for why I did not leave…to go where? Another school obsessed with ‘opression theory’, Marxism, and gender identity politics? These are the paradigms through which modern academe is taught. It doesn’t really matter where you go now. I also have a degree in Political Science. Not much difference. I have spoken to other friends of mine who went to other film schools…same thing.
    Instead of studying the auteur theory with any rigour you end up studying the latent repressed homosexual subtext between George Baily and Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life while Bedford Falls is a metaphor for neo-capitalist Christian America.
    I remember one class where we studied ‘Robocop’ as an example of the impotence of modern masculinity. ‘All ridgid erection with no release,’ they said. My friend at the time raised his hand and said he disagreed, ‘The way Robocop shoots his gun, he’s cummin’ all over the place’.
    The prof was not amused.
    What I also thought was sad was that film tended to attract people who really didn’t care about the history of cinema or its craft.
    Mostly it attracted ‘outcasts’ and ‘misfits’ who just wanted to glom onto the ‘social change’ facets of modern film culture and you end up at the end of second year watching a bunch of student films each called ‘Rape: The Evil White Man’s Legacy’.
    Sadly this new ethos seems to be reflected in the type of ‘important’ films coming out of modern Hollywood Culture and the way modern films are reviewed. Not all critics do this, not all filmmakers…but enough that it has taken its course and I think the public is starting to catch on.
    Good for them.

  158. Bruce says:

    Most film schools and most other colleges are run by gender identity politics and marxist theories and how and why capitalism is “bad”. The key when going to these schools is to form your opinions thru independent study and taking what these professors say and using their own arguments against them. The problem is most students don’t do this. Then again most college students don’t really care anyway but that’s a whole other discussion. I know I would ask for my money back if I had to sit thru some professor tell me about the latent homosexuality of George Bailey. That’s terrible.

  159. DannyBoy says:

    Nicol: there are tons of film programs very different from the ones you characterize. (And yes, there are some that seem close to your caricature, if still not quite as bad as you seem to want to describe them.)
    Maybe you went to UC Santa Barbara, which has that kind of reputation. But you could have gone to Madison where the Bordwell group is diametrically opposed to that kind of scholarship. You could have gone to Austin to study with Janet Staiger, UCLA rather than Berkeley Rhetoric, or a whole number of places. Even within most larger film programs, there is a split between the professors like you describe and the ones taking an oppositional approach to that.
    Really, you sound like the kind of person who somehow wound up at Brigham Young and now complains that Mormonism was shoved down your throat.
    Sorry you’re so bitter about your college experience.

  160. Rufus Masters says:

    He doesn’t sound bitter to me about it. Just telling us what he thought of his schooling. You do realize you can attend classes and think your teachers are off their rocker and comment on it without being bitter?

  161. Josh says:

    I know nothing about how good or what is taught at UC-Santa Barbara. But I’d go there in a second. The campus is unreal. Perfection.
    Who hasn’t had crappy teachers? It’s part of the process of attending schools.

  162. DannyBoy says:

    Nicol (at least I think its always been Nicol) has been bringing up the injustice of his college film education on this board over and over again for what seems like forever. I certainly know of a number of former film students who are absolutely sure that they’d have Oscars now if it wasn’t for their lefty film professors bringing up issues of gender, race and class in the movies (as if THE WOMEN, BIRTH OF A NATION, and GRAPES OF WRATH had never been made), instead of imparting to them the secret of how to get a contract at Universal.
    I actually was in a Hitchcock class back in the 90s, looking at this from the opposite perspective, where the (very straight) professor was taking, not about the gay undercurrents in ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE, but the gay undercurrents in STRAGNERS ON A TRAIN, i.e. that Bruno was meant to be seen as a homosexual attracted to Guy. It seemed clear to most of us, but one agitated student claimed we were all reading way too much into the film. It made him so upset that he dropped the class. Guess he just couldn’t handle the “radical” professor suggesting something that “radical” about STRANGERS ON A TRAIN.

  163. Bruce says:

    Most film schools are a waste of time and money anyway. Especially if you’re not going to learn a particular skill. The jobs you want you can get without it.
    The old anthem “those who can, do. those won’t can’t, teach.” rings true in the halls of most film schools. The LA schools are a notch above because most of their professors are actually successful industry people.

  164. Rufus Masters says:

    You can do the homosexual angle to almost any movie out there if you try hard enough. It’s not hard and I didn’t go to film school. I can probably do a paper on ten movies off the top of my head about it. Damn. Pick any Tom Cruise movie the past twenty years.

  165. DannyBoy says:

    The class taking about the gay subtext in STRANGERS ON A TRAIN didn

  166. Bruce says:

    If you’re paying for it and signed up for it you should really make the attempt even if you don’t agree with it. Why else would you go to the class? It’s not mandatory. You’re the one paying for it, right?

  167. palmtree says:

    Learning skills is hardly the only reason to go to film school. They are major networking opportunities. Also getting student films funded are much easier as many organizations are structured for that. And you get access to equipment, editing suites, sound stages, etc. If that means putting up with an occasional lecture that you don’t agree with, then so be it.

  168. Bruce says:

    It does give you more access to things you wouldn’t have access to. But is it worth the tuition? If you can pay for it, I would say go for it. If you’re taking out huge loans, I think I’d try to find work and go that route.
    It’s the film industry. There’s no set in stone path to ones career. You can go about it any which way you want. That’s a good thing. If school works for you I’m all for it.

  169. jeffmcm says:

    In regard to “those who can’t do, teach”: Most working filmmakers have no idea what they’re doing. If they’re good, they’re working on instinct. A lot of them are bad. Not many of the ones who know what they’re doing are interested in teaching.
    Anyway, it’s a pretext of literary and film theory that you have to look at the work itself to understand what it’s saying, and anything the artist says, like “it’s about my childhood” should be disregarded, unless the work agrees. Paul Haggis can talk all he wants about how important his film is, but we don’t have to agree.

  170. PandaBear says:

    “Most working filmmakers have no idea what they’re doing.”
    Pretty big leap there, Mr. Expert.

  171. jeffmcm says:

    I’m not saying they don’t know how to line up a shot. But they may or may not know why they lined up a shot in the way that they did, or why they used that particular color scheme, or used some line of dialogue. Obviously Scorsese or Spielberg or their kind have a better idea of what they’re doing. But ask Michael Bay why he makes the decisions he makes and his answer would be something like ‘because it rocked’.

  172. Josh says:

    I’m pretty sure you can put Michael Bay in a room and he can give you bullshit film school answers to why he lined up a shot with the best of them. Just because he’s honest doesn’t mean you have to hate.
    In his defense his movies aren’t exactly thought provoking and worthy of anything else besides rocking and rolling. If he ever decides to one day stop making crap, we can get a better example of his competence as a big time director.

  173. James Leer says:

    I’m sorry, Nicol, but I just don’t buy it. In this day and age of, what exactly are you keeping secret? All you’ve done is made reference to lectures and events that anyone at your hypothetical school would know about — not exactly classified information. If the film school is as bad as you say it is, wouldn’t you want to identify it so that others don’t attend?
    And I have to take issue when you tar every film school with that brush. For four years, I went to USC — arguably the biggest film school in the country — and I never heard anything about “Marxist theory.” Instead I learned practical knowledge of how films are made and useful ways to interpret them.

  174. jeffmcm says:

    Josh, I’m sure that Michael Bay would be honest if he said that he set up a shot because ‘it rocks’. That’s fine. It’s also not very interesting.
    Here’s a link to one of the best reviews of a Michael Bay film I’ve ever read:
    Where he actually applies a little thing called “critical analysis” to the film. This is the kind of stuff that Bay couldn’t tell you because he almost certainly never bothered to think about it.

  175. jeffmcm says:

    Back to Nicol, sorry that you didn’t enjoy your experience, but as somebody who took film classes both as a graduate student (also at USC) and as an undergrad, at one of those small left-leaning liberal arts colleges, your experiences do not match mine and I learned a huge amount. Marxism/Feminism/social criticism are tools. Like any tool they can be abused, but like any tool they have a useful function.
    Anyway, I don’t think this year’s Best Picture nominees are all that radical anyway. A gay romance filmed in a very mainstream, classical manner; an Stanley Kramer-esque race melodrama; a prison/journalism story based on a 40-year-old novel; a 70s-style suspense thriller with some moral ambiguity, and a loose, jazzy black-and-white journalism drama. They’re all on the liberal side of things, but none of them are exactly reminiscent of Godard in the 70s or Soviet agitprop.

  176. DannyBoy says:

    I love those radical queer feminsit break the codes of dominant cinema films, and yes I learned about them, in part, in film classes. The best one of the year was the French import “Wild Side” and despite stunning cinematography, editing, and music (by EYES WIDE SHUT’s Joceyln Pook) it was snubbed in every catagory by the conventional, artistically conservative Academy. What moderates they are, really.

  177. Nicol D says:

    “Marxism/Feminism/social criticism are tools. Like any tool they can be abused, but like any tool they have a useful function.”
    I disagree with this. Marxism and feminism are not tools. They are ideological philosophies through which to see the world and judge moral behaviour. In the case of Marxism it is a philosophy that has caused more horror and pain in 100+ years than any other philosophy (capitalism, Christianity, Islam) in 2000.
    As for feminism, many do not know what that means anymore. Are we talking ‘equal work for equal pay’ feminism or Catherine Mackinnon ‘all sex within the confines of traditional marriage is rape’ feminism?
    Even if they are tools, they are arbitrary at best. If one is going to use these tools to critique film history why not others?
    Why not Christianity?
    Why not libertariansm?
    Why not capitalism?
    To always interpret films throught this narrow paradigm is arbitrary at best an facile at worst. In some cases it might be relevant. It might be very valid to discuss Brokeback Mountain in terms of feminist cinema.
    But to use feminism and Marxism as a root base for all theoretical discussion of film is philosophically bankrupt.
    James Leer,
    If it seemed I ‘tarred’ every school, than that was not my intent. Of course there are exceptions and perhaps you attended one. But what I spoke of is the modern culture of academic theory in most schools regardless of subject matter.
    Even many economics courses are seen through the eyes of feminism and of course Marxism. Of course there are some good profs (I even had a couple) but to say that these philosophies do not permeate the modern day university campus is incorrect.
    Where do you think all of those draconian speech codes on university campuses come from?

  178. DannyBoy says:

    One of the roles of higher education in the humanities is to challenge students by giving them different ways to look at things from the ones they’ve used their entire lives thus far.
    I took a Marxism class, and it was taught in a comp lit department (as they usually are these days) and treated as a form of liturature. The professor never suggested it was the “true and right” way for society to go, only that it has been one of the most influential theories of the last 150 years. Hell, you can’t even fully understand Cameon’s TITANIC (let alone Godard, Bertolucci, Eisenstein) without understanding Marxism.

  179. DannyBoy says:

    I also took a grad-level film class on Ingmar Bergman, and we had to real a good deal of Christian theory and pilosophy. One of the books was “The Search for God in Time and Memory.”

  180. palmtree says:

    I saw The Island from a Christian pro-life viewpoint. I saw The Firm from a pro-capitalist young Republican viewpoint. I saw Capra from a socialist viewpoint. They are interesting ways of dissecting the meaning…and should not be exclusively marxist.
    Yes, some profs are out to convert (or preach to the choir). But even so, it usually forces the dissenters to more rigorously defend why they don’t agree.

  181. Bruce says:

    Marxism is not a “tool”. Maybe you shouldn’t have been taking film classes but political science classes.

  182. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol (and Bruce, I guess):
    Marxist theory and feminist theory are tools. They are also philosophies, I guess, but in terms of film criticism they are valid lenses through which to analyze any creative text.
    To analyze a movie through Marxism is not the same thing as to go in with the predetermined thought “Capitalism is bad and socialism is good” and feminist film theory does not assume “all sex is rape” except at their extreme ends. It’s not nearly that simplistic in either case. Similarly there are such things as Christian and Conservative film theories but I have never heard of any Libertarian/Capitalist film theory that has ever been developed in any sense.
    And I never suggested that one use feminism or Marxism as “a root base for all theoretical discussion’, merely as I said: a tool for occasional use. I learned a lot about film noir from my feminist film class and science fiction through the lens of Marxism. To ignore these is to shut ones eyes to a huge wealth of understanding and experience.
    To continue, I still have to disagree about your blanket assertion of philosophies permeating modern campuses. I’ve heard horror stories, but my schools remained free of speech codes and I do not believe the problem is as wide-ranging or as pernicious as you think.

  183. jeffmcm says:

    All this talk over women and Commies made me forget the other incredibly interesting branch of film theory: psychoanalytic. Any Scientologists want to object to it?

  184. Mark Ziegler says:

    You shouldn’t call Scientologists out. They’ll never leave you alone. They’ll be showing up at your door with Tests.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon