Not Grouchy About ‘Oscar’: Blogs All Over Big Movie Day

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By: E&P Staff

The Academy Award nominations came out this morning, at about 8:30 ET, far too late for any morning papers, so it was one of those stories truly made for the Web — and, with the rumor and gossip quotient, especially blogs.

David Carr, the “Carpetbagger” at The New York Times who covers the awards season intensely if humorously, quickly expressed shock that “Dreamgirls” did not get a Best Picture nod. He observed:

“Experienced Oscar hands will tell you that it’s best to watch for who is not there when the nominations are announced and this morning provided a whopper. Despite the nomination of two of supporting actors, ‘Dreamgirls,’ the one film confected to order for the Oscars, is not going to the big show in the best picture category. For a complete list of nominess, click here….

“The absence of a best picture nod for ?Dreamgirls? had reporters in the auditorium leaning into each other and asking if they heard right. Everything old is suddenly new and the sprint to the finish line should be brutal….

“In other news, Kate Winslet got a best actress nomination for ‘Little Chidren’ as did Jackie Earle Haley from the same movie. The Bagger thought that the movie was criminally ? O.K., that?s a bit much ? sadly ignored. Paul Greengrass of ‘United 93,’ got a directing nomination, an acknowledgement of the achievement of putting together a movie that made people want to look at one of the most terrible days in American history.”

Meanwhile, Tom O’Neil at the Los Angeles Times’ popular Gold Derby blog, notes, “Sorry, but you can’t blame ‘Dreamgirls’ being snubbed in the best-picture and director races on a suspicion that those ole white geezers in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences don’t embrace black folk. This year there’s a breakthrough number of African-American nominees in the acting races (five): Forest Whitaker (‘Last King of Scotland’), Will Smith (‘Pursuit of Happyness’), Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson (‘Dreamgirls’) and Djimon Hounsou (‘Blood Diamond’). The previous record was three (2001 saw noms for Denzel Washington, Halle Berry and Will Smith all in the lead race).”

He also provided a long and entertaining list of who got snubbed this year.

Washingtonpost.com was a little slower to react, but did offer audio and video and a promised online chat coming up today with its film critic.

But everyone still has to catch up with Carr, who wrote while awaiting the announcements:

“We are inside the auditoriium at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and there are two figures on stage. Both are life-size Oscars, mute golden neuters whose eyes seem to follow the Bagger where ever he goes. In a matter of minutes, more will be revealed, except, perhaps, their gender.”

UPDATE: More from O’Neil at the L.A. Times site–

“Looks like Eastwood just ambushed the Oscar derby in the last leg of the race again, just like he did two years ago with ‘Million Dollar Baby’ overtaking ‘The Aviator’ at the last sec. Can he win again? Yes. The academy loves the courageous perspective of his ‘Iwo Jima’ and it has special resonance right now.

“But perhaps too much so. ‘Iwo Jima’ asks us to look back at a war we won (World War II) with us as the bad guys. Just like the Iraqi conflict today. Inevitably, we think: Hey, didn’t we win that war? Then why do we feel so icky when we watch CNN’s Iraq coverage? Will voters feel as repulsed by the idea of warming up to Clint’s retelling of the Iwo Jima invasion?

“Poor Marty Scorsese. The noms this morning were his worst nightmare. The director who keeps losing to actor-directors is back facing the acad’s favorite thesp-turned-helmer who clobbered him just two years ago.”



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