Nathaniel's got the full list for you, so go check 'em out.
Melissa Leo and the Frozen River screenplay nomination. I'm sad Sally Hawkins got snubbed too, but Melissa was more than deserving, and I always like when an unheralded indie script gets nominated.
In Bruges gets Original Screenplay nomination. Way too many deserving scripts this year, and this category also contained my two saddest snubs (Jenny Lumet for Rachel Getting Married and Robert Siegel for The Wrestler). But I'm glad that funny little comedy about Belgium can carry the "Oscar-nominated" moniker.
Kate Winslet once. For The Reader. In lead Actress. It kind of heads off that distasteful Winslet backlash that was brewing after the Golden Globes (because we want nothing but success for our favorite actresses -- just so long as it's not too much success and they're not too happy about it -- ugh), and it allows everybody who wants her to win the Oscar to funnel their votes into one category. Good stuff.
Richard Jenkins: Oscar nominee. Heck yes! Funny that it's a Best Actor nod when he's been the consummate supporting actor for so long, but right is right.
The Dev Patel snub. Not because I thought he was so awful, but because he would have been the only nominee with a chance to unseat Heath Ledger, and nobody wants to see a kid start getting death threats at such a young age.
Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road. God damn it. Just as I was getting my hopes up that awards season had justifiably passed over the year's most overpraised, hammy, scenery-devouring performance, the Academy has to go and remind me how much they love-a the BIG performance. And to top it off, every smug Revolutionary Road supporter who whined for two months about how Shannon was getting the shaft now gets to be smug for a week. Crap.
No Sally Hawkins. No Rosemarie DeWitt. No Darren Aronofsky. No Colin Farrell. No Debra Winger. No James Franco. No Eddie Marsan. Sad.
No Dark Knight or WALL-E. Yes, yes, just the other day I said they were overrated, and neither made my own Top 5. But they were better than 80% of the nominated Best Pictures, and they would have injected some interest into what is not a stultifyingly boringBest Picture race. Plus it gives the "Oscar is out of touch with Real America" reverse-snobbery proponents some (really good) ammunition.
His-n-Hers nods for Brangelina. Look. I'm no hater. They've both been worthy of nominations before that they didn't get, and I think they're still generally underrated for their acting ability. But these were not, in my opinion, award-worthy performances. That being said, I will once again attempt to throw cold water on the idea that the Academy is nominating them simply for their star power. For one thing, it's not like they wouldn't probably be there anyway, as presenters or whatever. Secondly, people have been glibly predicting Brangelina twin nominations practically since they got together. In 2006 (Brad for Babel, Angelina for The Good Shepherd); in 2007 (Brad for Assassination of Jesse James, Angelina for A Mighty Heart). Big snubs both times. It took Brad starring in the overall nominations leader and Angelina hooking up with Clint "Oscar magnet" Eastwood to make this grand photo op happen. It really does take more than just star power. Ask Leonardo DiCaprio.
ONE INTERESTING THING
I can't say it with any certainty, but I'm going to float my hunch that despite Kate Winslet's one nomination, she probably made the Top 5 in her category three times. With the preferential ballot system that the Academy uses, I'd be willing to bet Kate placed #1 on enough ballots to merit nomination for Lead Actress for Revolutionary Road, Lead Actress for The Reader, and Supporting Actress for The Reader. But since you can't be nominated twice in the same category, there goes Revolutionary Road. And since you (obviously) can't be nominated in two categories for the same performance, there goes the Supporting notice for The Reader. So what now looks like a partial snub might well have actually been a SUPER-DUPER LOVE FEST. But we'll never know.
What did you all think?