Jared, I’ll take your two-day delay and raise it by a day-and-a-half. So there. And John? I know I only have myself to blame, dammit, but I started writing this before you posted yours and now you stole most of my thoughts.

  • Eddie Vedder’s non-nomination was clearly the biggest head-scratcher for me. If the Academy is going to withhold an Oscar eligibility for Best Score because it’s based mostly on songs, then at least nominate his damn song. I thought it was a shoo-in for the Oscar beforehand, and now it’s not even nominated?
  • Along the same lines, I’m the only one to date who even saw Enchanted. “That’s How You Know” is your typical cheery Disney melody, and it deserves a nomination mostly because the song and dance number through Central Park is the sole highlight of the otherwise uninteresting movie.
  • My biggest disappointment had to be the exclusion of Angelina Jolie from A Mighty Heart. As I wrote in my post, Jolie’s performance was nothing short of brilliant. I was looking forward to having the Page/Jolie debate with Jared and (in all likelihood Adam), but now I’m resigned to take my second choice. And is there an over/under on years before Cate Blanchett plays Queen Victoria? What about Catherine the Great? or Maria Theresa? I’d be convinced that Oscar voters don’t actually go to the movies if it weren’t for…
  • Laura Linney. Yay. I know Gavin disagrees with the crew here (pipe up, dude), but her acting was superb throughout. She made a role that could have been overacted look easy.
  • Original Score. This is my favorite category. And I agree with John on the technicality with the There Will be Blood score. It is awe-inspiring and matches the movie perfectly. In the future, in a music/video culture where mashups are becoming increasingly common, perhaps there will be changes in the award process. But Greenwood’s work wasn’t fully original, so the ruling makes sense.
    • On that note…the actual nominees will bear more listening to. My favorite so far is Atonement, though I do remember liking 3:10 to Yuma on the XM Cinematical station on my flight out to California last month.
  • And…Best Picture. I can’t figure why Michael Clayton has had such staying power. It’s a strong legal thriller with lots of strong acting. But it came out at the end of September, and for a movie that isn’t terribly original in scope or message, I don’t get the huge buzz. Oh wait, it stars George Clooney. Now I get it.

More below.

  • Best Actor: The Tommy Lee Jones thing was amusing, mostly because I can’t wait to see Elah now. And the less undeserved love for Emile Hirsch the better.
  • Ruby Dee. John, maybe the reason that none of us mentioned her in our posts is that she was barely in the damn movie! I’m not surprised that the Oscars needed their version of the Ellen Burstyn Award for Nomination Laziness, but if it had to be Dee or Vanessa Redgrave, I’m glad it was Dee. And that’s because…
  • Saoirse Ronan. My goal is to be able to pronounce her name by the time the ceremony starts. She drove the first third of Atonement, and it was because of her excellence that the rest of the movie sucked relatively. That’s saying something. So to go back to my last bullet point, if Redgrave is there, then she takes away any slim chance Ronan would have had for an upset.
  • Lastly, the screenwriting awards. No big shockers here. Five strong contenders, and I know I’m in the minority on this one, but I wasn’t all that impressed with Lars and the Real Girl. It was good, but both Superbad and Knocked Up were better (and funnier) scripts. Apatow continues to be the Rodney Dangerfield of awards shows. This is two straight movies where he’s been shafted.