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Oscar nominees!

01.25.2005

The Oscar nominees for 2004 were announced early this morning in LA. Lots of surprises here (Paul Giamatti NOT nominated?!?!) so give me a minute to digest and I'll be back with some commentary...

OK, I'm back. THE AVIATOR led the pack this morn with 11 nominations, followed by MILLION DOLLAR BABY and FINDING NEVERLAND, which both scored 7 each. It was a banner day for Jamie Foxx, who doubled his chances to win an Oscar with two acting nominations for his lead work in RAY and his supporting work in COLLATERAL. On the flip side, Paul Giamatti, who was snubbed for AMERICAN SPLENDOR, was looked over again for his work in SIDEWAYS, despite being considered by many to be a lock. Michael Moore's controversial documentary FAHRENHEIT 9/11 broke box-office records but didn't make an dent in the Oscar noms failing to score even one nomination. THE INCREDIBLES unfortunately didn't get that nod for Best Picture but can be happy with 4 total nominations including a writing credit for Brad Bird. Stay tuned for more news on the Oscar nominations as I drink some more caffeine and get my juices flowing.

BEST PICTURE
SIDEWAYS
THE AVIATOR
MILLION DOLLAR BABY
FINDING NEVERLAND
RAY

Pretty standard stuff here. While I was disappointed to see both ETERNAL SUNSHINE and THE INCREDIBLES not on this list, I wasn't entirely surprised. But really - aside from Jamie Foxx's electric performance, was there much to RAY? Was it really one of the five best movies of the year?

BEST ACTOR
Leonardo DiCaprio - THE AVIATOR
Jamie Foxx - RAY
Don Cheadle - HOTEL RWANDA
Clint Eastwood - MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Johnny Depp - FINDING NEVERLAND

I can't remember, in all the years of my watching the Oscars with any amount of serious interest, a bigger nomination snub than Paul Giamatti for SIDEWAYS. Jim Carrey (MAN ON THE MOON) and Leonardo DiCaprio (TITANIC) not getting acting nominations were probably more memorable cause they're big leading men, but this... Had he been nominated, I would've listed him as the runner-up right behind Jamie Foxx. Lord knows we all love Johnny Depp here at the JoBlo, but I think he coasted in on reputation this time. In the end though, I think this just adds to Giamatti's lovable, everyman quality. I think the majority of us can relate to being overlooked by the popular crowd...

BEST ACTRESS
Kate Winslet - ETERNAL SUNSINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
Hilary Swank - MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Imelda Staunton - VERA DRAKE
Annette Bening - BEING JULIA
Catalina Sandino Moreno - MARIA FULL OF GRACE

This was probably the least surprising category of the day, along with Supporting Actress. I'm glad Kate Winslet made the cut, though unfortunately I don't think she has much of a chance to win. Hilary Swank is, no doubt, already preparing her acceptance speech.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Virginia Madsen - SIDEWAYS
Cate Blanchett - THE AVIATOR
Natalie Portman - CLOSER
Laura Linney - KINSEY
Sophie Okonedo - HOTEL RWANDA

I say this not to pat myself on the back or toot my own horn but this category and the one above turned out exactly like I had predicted on my tip sheet. Really any of these women could win and I'd be happy. I guess if I had to pick one, I'd go with Madsen cause she was in HOT TO TROT for God's sake. That's gotta be worth something...

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Thomas Haden Church - SIDEWAYS
Morgan Freeman - MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Jamie Foxx - COLLATERAL
Alan Alda - THE AVIATOR
Clive Owen - CLOSER

How great is it that Thomas Haden Church is nominated for an Oscar? Not just for SIDEWAYS but for his entire unappreciated career. That said, I gotta pull for Morgan Freeman. He was Red for God's sake. That's gotta be worth something...

BEST DIRECTOR
Martin Scorsese - THE AVIATOR
Clint Eastwood - MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Alexander Payne - SIDEWAYS
Taylor Hackford - RAY
Mike Leigh - VERA DRAKE

I hope I'm not jinxing the guy by saying this, but I really feel this is the year Martin Scorsese takes home the Oscar. And really is there anyone else maybe in this entire crop of nominees who deserves to win ONE Oscar more than Marty Scorsese? He directed RAGING BULL, GOODFELLAS and MEAN STREETS for God's sake. Now THAT has gotta be worth something!

BEST ANIMATED FILM
THE INCREDIBLES
SHREK 2
SHARK TALE

It's a shame that this new-fangled "Best Animated Film" category seems to preclude exceptional animated films from being nominated for Best Picture. I mean SHARK TALE really should've been up there with THE AVIATOR and MILLION DOLLAR BABY. A travesty of justice...

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
THE AVIATOR - John Logan
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND - Charlie Kaufman
HOTEL RWANDA - Keir Pearson & Terry George
THE INCREDIBLES - Brad Bird
VERA DRAKE - Mike Leigh

Shit. Who the hell do I root for? ETERNAL SUNSHINE or THE INCREDIBLES? Two of my favorite movies of 2004. This is just like when Spock had to fight Kirk on "Star Trek." Best friends forced to do battle. Dum-da-da-da-da-da-da-dum-da-da-da!

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
SIDEWAYS - Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
MILLION DOLLAR BABY - Paul Haggis
FINDING NEVERLAND - David Magee
THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES - José Rivera
BEFORE SUNSET - Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke

It's interesting how a largely improvised film can be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. It's amazing what two actors and a director can come up with on the fly using real emotion can be better than much of the written word through the year. Actually in a year that brings us CATWOMAN, I shouldn't be too surprised.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
AS IT IS IN HEAVEN
THE CHORUS
DOWNFALL
THE SEA INSIDE
YESTERDAY

I've heard DOWNFALL (or DER UNTERGANG as it's known in Germany) is truly a spellbinding film but I haven't had the good fortune yet to see it. It follows Hitler's stenographer as she recounts his last days in the Berlin bunker. Scott Weinberg, who's covering Sundance for us out in Utah, called it a "seriously fascinating and technically brilliant film."

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
BORN INTO BROTHELS
THE STORY OF THE WEEPING CAMEL
SUPER SIZE ME
TUPAC: RESURRECTION
TWIST OF FAITH

SUPER SIZE got a lot of the publicity this year but I love that a documentary about TUPAC (or Two-Pack as my mom calls him) is nominated. There was some controversy about how this film, which was released in 2003, was eligible but somehow it squeaked in.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
AUTISM IS A WORLD
THE CHILDREN OF LENINGRADSKY
HARDWOOD
MIGHTY TIMES: THE CHILDREN'S MARCH
SISTER ROSE'S PASSION

BEST MUSIC - ORIGINAL SCORE
FINDING NEVERLAND
HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN
LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
THE VILLAGE

I was disappointed that THE INCREDIBLES didn't get nominated for Best Picture but how you can not nominated Michael Giacchino's score is beyond me. Maybe I'm biased because he's a fellow Jersey boy and his work elsewhere ("Lost," "Alias") is so fantastic. But I really felt his music added so much to that film. Luckily for us, he's relatively new to feature film scoring and he has a bright future ahead of him.

BEST MUSIC - ORIGINAL SONG
"Accidentally in Love" - SHREK 2
"Believe" - THE POLAR EXPRESS
"Look To Your Path (Vois Sur Ton Chemin)" - THE CHORUS
"Al Otro Lado Del Río" - THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES
"Learn To Be Lonely" - PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

"Learn To Be Lonely"...if only someone had given me that advice when I was younger. And speaking of THE POLAR EXPRESS, can anyone tell me whether that film was eligible to be nominated as Best Animated Film? Or Best Visual Effects? Cause it was nominated for neither...

BEST FILM EDITING
THE AVIATOR
COLLATERAL
FINDING NEVERLAND
MILLION DOLLAR BABY
RAY

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Caleb Deschanel - THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
Robert Richardson - THE AVIATOR
Zhao Xiaoding - HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS
John Mathieson - THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
Bruno Delbonnel - A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT

Caleb is Zooey's daddy and I have a crush on his daughter so I have to be happy he was nominated and root for him to win so that he may eventually grant me his daughter's hand in marriage. Hopefully they'll overlook the fact that I'm already married.

BEST ART DIRECTION
THE AVIATOR
FINDING NEVERLAND
LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT

Funny it seems like one thing THE PHANTOM lacked was any direction in the art design. I think the only direction was, "Gaudier!"

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
THE AVIATOR
FINDING NEVERLAND
LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
RAY
TROY

BEST MAKEUP
LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
THE SEA INSIDE

BEST SHORT FILM - ANIMATED
BIRTHDAY BOY
GOPHER BROKE
GUARD DOG
LORENZO
RYAN

I'm ashamed to admit I know very little about any of these films. I do know that LORENZO was initially supposed to be part of FANTASIA 2000. I'm going to make it my mission to see all these shorts before the awards.

BEST SHORT FILM - LIVE ACTION
EVERYTHING IN THIS COUNTRY MUST
LITTLE TERRORIST
7:35 IN THE MORNING
TWO CARS, ONE NIGHT
WASP

BEST SOUND MIXING
THE AVIATOR
THE INCREDIBLES
THE POLAR EXPRESS
RAY
SPIDER-MAN 2

BEST SOUND EDITING
THE INCREDIBLES
THE POLAR EXPRESS
SPIDER-MAN 2

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN
I, ROBOT
SPIDER-MAN 2

Source: Oscar.com

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