Tony’s 2008 Oscar Nominations & Awards

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Some things don’t seem to change. Once again the Oscars® have nominated films’ most normal movie-goers would view as unworthy, which is why most people watch the Oscars to see what the women are wearing (that’s what draws me). The idea of a “best” is that it be entertaining. But Oscar eschews the importance of entertainment in making its evaluations for its awards. It’s getting so that all one need do to qualify for a nomination is produce a film that fits into Hollywood’s political slant.
Mediocrity, too, is still rewarded. Last year, “Little Miss Sunshine” got the nod over two films, “Thank You for Smoking” and “The Devil Wears Prada,” that were so superior to “Sunshine,” it was stunning. This year “Slumdog Millionaire” pales in comparison with “Frozen River,” “Smart People,” “The Wrestler,” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” to name just four Indies that come to mind without thinking too hard. Of those actually nominated, only “The Reader” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is Oscar-quality.
The best category this year is Best Supporting Actress, with Best Director not far behind. All the nominees deserve the Oscar. Awards shows are goofy in any event. At the BAFTA, “Slumdog” was nominated for Best British Picture, but lost out to “Man On Wire.” Then BAFTA turned around and named “Slumdog” best picture of the year. How can a British film be “Best Picture” but not “Best British Picture?”
Here’s the way I would have nominated (since they are my nominations, I’m not limited to five). My winner is indicated by an asterisk:

Best Original Screenplay
Daniel Taplitz, Chaos Theory
Mark Poirier, Smart People*
Courtney Hunt, Frozen River
Woody Allen, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
J. Michael Stracynski, Changeling

Best Adapted Screenplay
Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
David Hare, The Reader*
Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Sergei Bodrov & Arif Aliyev, Mongol
Jeremy Brock and Andrew Davies, Brideshead Revisited

Best Supporting Actor
Jason Butler Harner, Changeling
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight*
Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder
Tom Cruise, Tropic Thunder

Best Supporting Actress
Kristin Scott Thomas, The Other Boleyn Girl
Misty Upham, Frozen River
Rebecca Hall, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Amy Ryan, Changeling
Amy Adams, Doubt*
Viola Davis, Doubt

Best Actor
Dennis Quaid, Smart People
Javier Bardem, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler*
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Sean Penn, Milk

Best Actress
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Amy Adams, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Keira Knightley, The Duchess*
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Best Director
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
Courtney Hunt, Frozen River
Woody Allen, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Clint Eastwood, Changeling
Saul Dibb, The Duchess*
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Stephen Daldry, The Reader

Best Movie
Changeling
The Dark Knight
Frozen River
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button*
The Reader
The Duchess
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

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