The biggest surprise is clearly Tommy Lee Jones’ nomination for In the Valley of Elah. He got absolutely no recognition for that role from critics groups or the SAG. And now Jared has to watch the latest Haggis film, which I admit amuses me some in a mean sort of way.

The only real big surprise is Surf’s Up taking the third Animated Feature Film slot. The Simpsons Movie was my sentimental choice, but I’d admit that the surprisingly sweet and trippy Meet the Robinsons was even better. Surf’s Up looks absolutely terrific, which might have given it a big boost. You feel like you’re surfing with those penguins. Plus the creators pioneered a new way of “filming” animation. The scenes were animated in 3-D and then a “cameraman” “walked” through the scene (really an empty space with motion sensors) “filming” the action, allowing it to really feel like a documentary.

But it’s not a very good movie. It’s like they spent all their time on the style and not enough on story or characters. Minus the spectacular imagery it’s mostly a big yawn.

I’m most upset that I spent all that time breaking down the Original Song contenders just to have such a bad list of nominees. It’s not even that the songs are bad, but that the list is so unoriginal. Three songs from Enchated? Are you kidding me? Pick one, sure, but three? Then after the requisite Once pick (and at least they got that right) and the three Enchanted songs they squeeze out Eddie Vedder’s awesome work for Into the Wild for an August Rush song? I do like “Raise it Up” and can give the Academy some credit for choosing a song outside the usual mold, but it’s nowhere close to Vedder’s work, which felt like another character in the film.

Ruby Dee popped up from mid-pack with her SAG nomination but we clearly missed the boat since not a single one of us mentioned her in our reviews.

I was very happy to see Laura Linney get nominated for The Savages. She got a “YES” and a fist pump when her name was announced (the only other nominee to get the same treatment was Juno for Best Picture).

Sad but not particularly surprising to see Knocked Up shut out of Original Screenplay, though it’s nice that Lars and the Real Girl got some love. The Adapted Screenplay nod for Away From Her was mildly surprisin.

Jared thinks the disqualification of the score from There Will Be Blood is a joke. Maybe it’s a joke that the decision only came out a day before the nominations, but it’s not a joke of a decision. Significantly less than half of the score was composed by Greenwood and he also relied heavily on a BBC-commissioned work he created a few years back. It’s called “Original” Score for a reason, otherwise everyone could just throw on some Beethoven and collect their trophy.

Anyway, it’s a good spread-out year this year (just one film – Michael Clayton – grabbed more than one acting nomination) and I’m looking forward to catching up with the films I’ve missed.

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