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Snap Judgment: The 2008 Oscar Nominations

The Oscars ceremony simply must go on. When else am I ever going to see Michael Cera in a tux?

Seriously, though. Now that I've seen the nominees the Academy plucked for this year's awards, I'll be truly upset if the strike keeps actors and writers from attending the show. Some of my favorite films of the year got major nominations, while others were recognized in smaller (but still significant) ways. Overall, the nominations feel spread out, with seven films receiving four or more nominations each. There's also quite a range in tone, from bleak (There Will Be Blood) to delightful (Juno). There are quite a few categories where I'd feel satisfied no matter who won, and that's rare for any awards show.

Here are a few of my other thoughts on the nominees:

  • Of course, I have to celebrate the nominations for Juno, my top movie of '07. Ellen Page pulled off what could have been a cheesy or simply unbelievable role in less adept hands, and Diablo Cody's screenplay shined. It gets notice for its witty language, but beneath those tricks, it was purely a great story.
  • Speaking of which: This is the first time three of the Best Original Screenplay nominees have been penned by women. Congrats to Cody, Nancy Oliver (Lars and the Real Girl), and Tamara Jenkins (The Savages). Add in Sarah Polley's Best Adapted Screenplay nod for Away from Her, and I think we can officially call this a banner year for female writers.
  • That said, you know what literally made me yelp with joy? Brad Bird's writing nomination for Ratatouille, especially after his call for more respect for writers on animated films.

Lots more — including my thoughts on a couple of snubs — so


  • I figured The Diving Bell and the Butterfly would have a tough time since it's not eligible for Best Foreign Film and might have been a long shot as Best Picture, but I still can't help but feel that it got snubbed. I finally saw it, and I thought it was a powerful example of what movies can be at their best. At least it's nominated for many awards — for its director, cinematography, script, and editing — that recognize how strong it was.
  • I'm aware that a lot of people liked Michael Clayton a lot more than I did, but I'm still surprised to see it get quite so much love. Its seven nominations cover all the major categories except Best Actress — quite the Oscar darling.
  • On the other hand, Atonement also got seven nominations, and yet they feel more minor. I'm surprised to see Joe Wright left out of the Best Director category, since I thought his direction was such a major part of the film. I am glad to see Jason Reitman and Julian Schnabel in that category, though.
  • Cate Blanchett was easily the best thing about I'm Not There, so I'm glad she's getting recognition. Her nomination for Elizabeth: The Golden Age, though, seems a little too easy.
  • What an age range in the Best Supporting Actress category — from Ruby Dee (83) to Saoirse Ronan (13)!
  • Speaking of Dee, I'm a little surprised the Academy generally shied away from American Gangster — or, for that matter, 3:10 to Yuma, both of which had major Oscar buzz when they were released.
  • Maybe it's the Curse of Tim Burton rubbing off, but I practically expected Johnny Depp to get snubbed.
  • Last year, it was three songs nominated from Dreamgirls; this year, it's three from Enchanted. Does this mean Amy Adams gets to sing at the Oscars?
  • Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood was thought to be a shoo-in for the Best Original Score category for There Will Be Blood, but his work was disqualified at the last minute because the film also includes music that was not written specifically for it.
  • Finally, I couldn't be happier to see Hal Holbrook get his due for Into the Wild. Fun fact: He's now the oldest supporting actor nominee ever at age 82.


Join The Conversation
naked_american naked_american 9 years
Falling Slowly better win. I saw There Will Be Blood last night and was blown away. Daniel Day-Lewis better win the Oscar for that role. See it if you haven't yet... it's amazing. And the score is incredible.
fashion4ward fashion4ward 9 years
There were too many good movies this year, it seems. I really wish Into the Wild would have gotten some more nominations, especially Sean Penn for Best Director as well as Julie Taymor for Across the Universe, it's time for a women to win (but props to all the gals nominated for writing!)
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
I'm super happy about the No Country and There Will Be Blood nominations (although I agee with Josh Brolin...he was great). My two favorite movies this year :) The one thing I was disapointed about was Paul Dano from There Will Be Blood not being nominated. He was fantastic as Eli Sunday...and apparently only had days to prepare for the role!
RobinFabulous RobinFabulous 9 years
A mighty heart.... REALLY shocked that it didn't get anything..... Not a personal favorite, but I thought the Academy loved Angelina
susanec susanec 9 years
I was very happy to see Falling Slowly on there. I thought There Be Blood was more sinister in tone rather than overtly violent, it's excellent though and well done.
pinkflats pinkflats 9 years
no love for the zodiac...whatever.
juju4 juju4 9 years
I loved 3:10 to Yuma as well, Nancita.
nancita nancita 9 years
I am so excited about the number of women nominated in the screenwriting category, all very well deserved. I am also surprised that 3:10 to Yuma didn't get much love; in my opinion, it probably should have gotten the best picture nod that Juno got. I know that will make me very unpopular here, and I really loved the movie. I just wouldn't say it's best picture material.
Phil Phil 9 years
I hope this doesn't encourage PT Anderson to wait another 5 years to produce another film. And, cheers to No Country for Old Men which is probably the best film I've seen from '07. I think the best Coen Brothers film, very well considering Fargo. Can't wait to see what's done about the awards ceremony sans writers and sympathisers.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
I really hope "Falling Slowly" beats any song from Enchanted.
amers230 amers230 9 years
i was surprised that "michael clayton" got so many nods while keira knightley and james macavoy weren't nominated for acting. other than that i can't find a lot of fault with the nominations.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
i was hoping ben affleck would get a nod for director. you know, wild boy becomes family man and does good, lol. i won't see either, no country for old men, or, there will be blood, because i can't stand the violence. i was also happy with the ratatouille :) some interesting choices this year.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
Interesting competition in the Best Actress category; they all gave great performances, but I'd love to see Marion Cotillard win. So happy that "Falling Slowly" is nominated for Original Song; Once is such a great film.
halfbakedjake halfbakedjake 9 years
Because they have a limited number of spots to put on a ballot. There is no one on earth who's going to be completely happy with the Oscar nominations. And as always, the Academy goes the safe route with rather predictable choices.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
I think McAvoy deserved a nomination more than Keira did, although the competition was so stiff for both categories that I'm not really disappointed either way. But I am disappointed that Josh Brolin didn't get a nod for No Country. Yay for Sarah Polley! How cool that the chick from The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, and Go! and the Dawn of the Dead remake is nominated for a writing award. That makes me happy.
resurrectedred resurrectedred 9 years
I'm wondering, why the hell didnt Keira Knightley and James Mcavoy get nominated????????
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