Oscar Nomination Reactions
* The New World for Best Cinematography! Mark those ballots now, people.
* I love years where they spread the wealth. Brokeback leads with eight, the fewest nods for a front-runner since American Beauty in '99. Also, the categories do not just slavishly mirror one another (even where they usually do, like between Art Direction and Costumes, or Picture and Film Editing).
* Terrence Howard gives me someone to root for solidly in Best Actor, but AMPAS didn't go overboard with a double-nod, as I thought they might (for his Supporting work in Crash)
* Only three nominees for Best Song! AMPAS knows a bum year when it happens, and they didn't even fall for the Mel Brooks stunt of scribbling off a new song... a cheat that worked for Chicago and, much worse, for Phantom.
* A big deal: no Editing nomination for the Best Picture front-runner, Brokeback Mountain, which I think is just as it should be. Way too little connecting material holding the film together as it continues, and in my mind, a Zulema-style smackdown to Ang Lee for switching editors. (The late, brilliant Geraldine Peroni and Dylan Tichenor are hard to argue with, but where's the loyalty? Was Tim Squyres just busy?)
* No Walk the Line for Best Picture! I didn't think this would happen anyway, but I'm still jazzed that it didn't.
* I had predicted the Capote and Munich Best Picture slots for Cinderella Man and The Constant Gardener, and not only do I think the Academy chose much the better films, they're actually my two faves in the lineup. (I'm surprised how pleased I'm feeling for the Munich crowd; that strange film has really lingered well with me.)
* No Shopgirl sneak attacks. (I was worried about Adapted Screenplay.)
* No Cheadle or Hoskins emptily taking up space in Supporting Actor.
* No overestimation of Narnia in the tech categories.
* Howl's Moving Castle over Chicken Little and Madagascar for Animated Film.
* Amy Adams keeps Junebug alive in popular film memory.
* Woody Allen can have his Screenplay nod for Match Point, but the Academy didn't fall for the myth of his resurgent abilities any more than that.
* Tech-group excitement over Geisha did not translate into any above-the-fold nominations. By contrast, Pride & Prejudice worked a little of its magic all over the place, from Actress to Art Direction to Original Score (though, sadly, no Screenplay nod).
* I'm still not over the exclusion of Grizzly Man, even though it dropped from competition over a month ago.
* Canonization of unremarkable acting: Giamatti, Phoenix, Dench, Gyllenhaal, Hurt
* The North Country gals are better than people who haven't seen the movie are likely to assume, but this still feels like excessive praise
* No New World for Art Direction, Costume Design, or Makeup? Um, okay.
* Indeed, the Makeup derby is absurd. Hayden was looking ragged in Star Wars, Episode III (more than necessary, I mean), Narnia wasn't all that accomplished... and Cinderella Man???
* Crash, a film I respected quite a lot when I saw it, has been souring lately in my memory, and all the nods, even though I predicted them, are for some reason damning it further in my mind. Gonna hafta rent that one again.