"okay, I am impatiently waiting to see your Oscar thoughts!
I eventually saw all the best picture nominees except "The Wrestler" My thought.... Clint Eastwood got jobbed! Gran Torino was easily better than any of the nominated films, and Changeling was better than all but Frost/Nixon.
And Frank Langella's Nixon was better than Penn's Milk!"
Best Picture - I saw all the Best Picture nominees except The Reader. We're going to see that tonight for our anniversary (15 years ... yay!!). I did see one of my favorite actresses, Kate Winslet, in her other big movie this year, Revolutionary Road with Leo DiCaprio. That movie was good and very representative of the suburban malaise of that period (and this period, for that matter) but maybe just a tad depressing. It reminded me a bit of the movie The Ice Storm, also set in suburban Connecticut, which hit upon the same subject but was set in the 70's instead of the 40's and 50's.
I didn't get to see The Wrestler, Gran Torino or The Changeling but want to see all of them.
Frost/Nixon was great and it was my pick for Best Picture until I had seen Slumdog Millionaire. Slumdog had everything - setting, music, anguish, redemption, fresh faces. I wholeheartedly agreed with all the awards it took in.
Best Actor - I do agree that Langella was better in Frost/Nixon than Penn in Milk but I cannot fault Penn's performance at all and I think he's owed an Oscar or two. His acting is consistently great and this is such an un-Penn-like role that he pulled off. He got jobbed big time last year for directing and Best Picture with Into the Wild.
Langella truly transcended in that performance and you don't hear a lot of people giving credit, but I thought Michael Sheen as David Frost was fantastic.
Overall, I think it was a great year for Best Actor nominees. I would have had no problem with any of the nominees winning, save Pitt. And that's not a knock on Pitt. I thought he was fine, but the other four nominees gave the performances of their careers.
Best Actress - I saw none of these movies but I'm happy to see Winslet win. I'll let you know what I think of her in the Reader this weekend.
Best Director - I think Danny Boyle had the most complicated job of any of the nominated directors - A couple of countries, iffy working conditions, non-English speaking non-actors, an unconventional narrative. And he pulls it off. Plus I dig him because he directed one of my favorite movies of all time - Trainspotting.
I also like the subtle directing job of Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon.
Music - The Academy consistently fucks up the nominations in this category and slightly redeems itself with the winners. Last year, they didn't nominate any of the songs from the best soundtrack of the year, for Into the Wild, but the winner from the good movie Once slightly made up for it.
This year, Springsteen didn't get nominated for the Wrestler song. I mean, WTF? Why were only 3 songs nominated in this category? All that being said, I liked the noms and win for Slumdog and I always like Peter Gabriel.
Best Supporting Actor - I saw 4 of these performances. I've already ranted about the advanced screening of Tropic Thunder that I saw. I love Robert Downey but did not like this movie. Nuff' said.
I really like Josh Brolin in Milk and felt that Emile Hirsch and James Franco could have easily been nominated also. Brolin is turning into quite the character actor the last few years (No Country, W, Milk) and is at the top of his game. But this category was going to go to Ledger, and rightly so. It takes quite an original performance to make you forget Jack Nickolson's portrayal of the Joker.
Best Supporting Actress - I only saw Henson in Benjamin Button and she was good.
As for the telecast itself, I thought it was fine. I like how they have several former winners present the acting awards. But, I'm a sucker for awards shows, so my threshold for being impressed might be lower than other people.