My Overall Thoughts:
This was the year which helped the Academy decide that 5 Nominations in this category just weren’t enough. At the time, I agreed with that sentiment, but after having seen some of the films that made it into the expanded lists, I think the idea just doesn’t work well.
The Dark Knight was able to get nominations for BP in many of the different awards shows, but not here and that was the main reason for the idea to rethink the limit of 5.
I think that more than 5 cheapens the glory of the nominations and it should be switched back to 5.
The nominees in this year were mostly ok, but overall it can be seen as a weak year because there was no blockbuster epic film that was a clear winner.
The fact that the Academy chose instead to laud all of their awards on SM is a shame because the film really is overrated and was by far the weakest of the 5 nominees which are good films, but not necessarily GREAT ones like they should be.
- 5. – Slumdog Millionaire – VERY over rated film that shouldn’t have won the award this year. Definitely among the mistakes that the Academy has made over the years.
- 4. – The Reader – Really liked the way that they essentially tell two completely different stories here; one a story of young love and the other how one deals with knowledge about the past. Winslet is great here and definitely deserved her Oscar for Best Actress for this role because it is both sensual and also horrific at the the same time once you watch things unfold. I’m not convinced that this film deserved a Best Picture nomination, because it isn’t as good as one would hope for it to be and due to the fact that it was the weakest of the 5 nominees that year while there were two excellent films overlooked by the Academy: Wall-E (2008) and The Dark Knight (2008). The moral issues brought up in this film are ones that can be pondered over for a long time after watching it.
- 3. – Frost/Nixon – Sheen and Langella make this film so fun to watch because they are both such engaging characters. The discussions between them through the course of the film seem like a seesaw because both have points where they are up and points when they are down, but each is doing his best to stay at the top. The fact that a story like this can stay engaging for the entire two hours says so much about the directing by Howard. Definitely deserving of the Best Picture Nomination, but not the strongest contender that year so I wouldn’t have expected it to win.
- 2. – Milk – Penn loses himself in this role and is unrecognizable here. The story is enjoyable the whole way through.
- 1. – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Great story told in a great way. Excellent script that really makes us feel for and understand many of the characters and their actions. Pitt is amazing as the lead character. Unbelievable use of special effects that make us truly wonder how it was all done. I’m still baffled that the Academy chose Slumdog over this one…
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – NOT AT ALL! This is a year where any other choice would have been a better one, but the hype and “uniqueness” of the winner really makes everyone still scratch their heads 8 years on.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!