So the 2008 Academy Award nominations were released today.
Looking over the movies that came out this past year, it’s actually kind of a weird year.
There is some stuff I absolutely loved – Iron Man, Dark Knight, In Bruges, Wall-E, Tropic Thunder.
Some I thought were pretty good – Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Cloverfield, Run, Fatboy, Run, Speed Racer, The Incredible Hulk, Gran Torino, Frost/Nixon.
There are a few I wanted to see, but didn’t get around to – Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Synecdoche, New York, Burn After Reading.
There are probably some I just can’t think of at the moment that were decent but I may or may not ever see again.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull definitely marks the biggest disappointment of the year.
The one foreign film I managed to see this year, and probably the film that affected me most deeply, was 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days – which didn’t even get nominated for Best Foreign Film.
That’s the general trend, actually. Very few of the films I saw this year and thought were good were nominated for much of anything. Speed Racer didn’t get any technical nominations, which seems completely mad to me.
It just seems like a weak year to me. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing Doubt, or Slumdog Millionaire, they look like perfectly fine movies. But I’m not getting a “holy crap these are going to blow me away” vibe from them or any of the other nominees. I dunno. The big daddy of them all, Benjamin Button, just doesn’t interest me. I get the concept and all, but the trailers just aren’t sucking me in.
Three really solid comic book movies (balanced out, sadly, by several not-so-solid comic book movies, but really who expected Punisher War Zone to be any good?) give me great hopes for the future of that genre, but other than that, 2008 didn’t really wow me for film. Then again, now that I’m looking over the 2007 list, it’s looking pretty good. It just seems like the diamonds that came out in 2007 were better than the diamonds of 2008.
And I still think the “Best Animated Feature” category is a joke. There’s no reason Wall-E, for example, can’t stand shoulder-to-shoulder with, say, Frost/Nixon. And Persepolis totally got robbed last year.
Ah well. Oscar rants there will be aplenty in the coming weeks, so I’ll end mine here.