Oscar Reaction

Below this post, we have posted the Academy nominations for the six major categories. In all, today’s biggest winners are “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood”, two films that earned a bevy of nominations and both of which have a lot of steam. But as Kris Tapley wrote over at Variety, the guild awards that usually serve as predictors of the Oscar nominations “failed us” this year. Here are the nominations or lack thereof that surprised me most.

Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah. Jon mentioned this as one of the most overlooked performances of the year, as critical groups and guild awards did not recognize Lee Jones after all had praised him in September for his performance. The Academy clearly went with experience by choosing Lee Jones over younger actors like Emile Hirsch and Ryan Gosling, but you have to love when they prove they have a mind of their own.

Angelina Jolie, nowhere to be found. It’s pretty shocking that Angie was overlooked in favor of Blanchett and Linney, especially because Blanchett also earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Jolie was on almost everyone’s final five, and Newsweek’s Oscar roundtable, so surely her people are upset today she wasn’t in the final five.

Jason Reitman. Looking at the nominations, it looks like the Academy totally bought into Juno and Michael Clayton, and they didn’t love Into the Wild as much as we’d thought. But for Reitman to get a directorial nomination is huge, and while he won’t win, that nomination is sign the comedy does have some legs to win Best Picture.

Atonement. My third favorite movie of the year — behind Juno and Into the Wild — I will not be complaining about Atonement on the list. But Oscar prognosticators had ruled the movie all but dead in the weeks before the Golden Globe win. Those in the movie will be totally happy with a HFPA win and an Oscar nomination — but without nominations for Joe Wright, James McAvoy, Keira Knightley and Vanessa Redgrave (even though the film did score 7 nominations in all), the movie is the least likely of the five to win.

Since I stupidly ended my Oscar preview series one award before Best Picture, here’s that race handicapped, given that we now only have five:

No Country for Old Men = 3:2
Michael Clayton = 7:2
There Will Be Blood = 4:1
Juno = 6:1
Atonement = 10:1

Let me also say one last time how ridiculous it is that “Michael Clayton” has received this much support. Five of the six major categories for a “smart thriller”? Come on.

I will also let Jon tell you later how silly it is that Eddie Vedder didn’t get a nomination after his album written for “Into the Wild”. Surely, that is the movie of the year that resonated with one generation and wasn’t appreciated enough by another.

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