Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
Here's the list. No big surprises on first glance. Atonement, Juno, There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men were all forgone conclusions for best picture nominations - the only doubt I had was whether the SAG-supported Into the Wild might beat Michael Clayton for the fifth spot. Similarly, the actor noms were by the book, with the mild but understandable surprise being that Laura Linney sneaked past Angelina Jolie for a chance to lose to either Marion Cotillard or Julie Christie.
One other mild upset on first glance: While many expected Juno to get loads of nominations, few saw director Jason Reitman actually getting credit. But it was nice to see that he did. I still wonder if the dialogue in the first part of that movie was intentionally meant to be as annoying as it was - as much as I liked it at the end.
More to come later, time permitting.
Wow, that was not as good as sleeping.
Laura Linney got the acting nomination because of my spotting her at LAX before I left.
I also finished season two of Battlestar Galactica. How can they not release season 3 before season 4 starts? I need to catch up.
Oh, and I started Firefly. Great show. I watched a lot of tv this weekend.
The drama mounts.
Are you a Michigan fan?
Eddie Vedder's shutout with Into the Wild was disheartening.
Vedder being shutout seems strange.
I am going to be in Santa Barbara during the International Film Festival. Does anyone have any picks that are "must sees"?
Everytime I think I have the Oscars figured out, it turns out I don't. Those last two omissions really threw me for a loop.
"Juno"?!? How can Jason Reitman get a best direction nod for that? A talky "Napoleon Dynamite" meets "Garden State" in the third best pregnancy movie of the year (don't get me started on the foreign language selections). I watched it the entire time thinking: "Wow, you can definitely tell that a first time screenwriter wrote this." The dialogue is painfully overwritten ("That is one doodle that can't be undid, home skillet"), the situations are overly ornate and/or preachy (the mom going off on the ultrasound tech), the only character with any development seems like a thinly veiled stand in for the screenwriter herself, while everyone else talks exactly like her and there is zero plot development as the movie swings towards a completely predictable ending (Pauly Bleeker just sits around like a milktoast waiting for Juno to like him and then its over). Its the sort of movie that talks about punk and grunge but then has a soundtrack entirely of twee indie. It was disposable fare for the Myspace generation that somehow Roger Ebert and Andrew Sarris decided was the best movie of the year. Obviously it isn't going to win best picture, but it shouldn't be in the conversation.
I think your criticism of Juno is too harsh - the overwritten dialog tapers as the film goes on (I still feel this is intentional), and I don't know how you can say there is zero plot development. The character development is focused mostly on Juno, but it's considerable. I agree that it's flawed, but I think you're too hard on it.
The comment that Juno = Diablo Cody not only is beside the point, it seems off the mark. Little in Diablo Cody's life relates to the plot of this movie. And so what if it did?
As far as winning goes, I feel it's a race between No Country and TWBB. If there's an upset candidate here, it's Michael Clayton.
I don't think her competitors have much of a shot. I don't think Laura Linney will win anything until she plays a prostitute.
As a Pearl Jam devotee I am thoroughly disgusted with the Vedder snub. I'm still stewing from the 2004 show when PJ's song from BIG FISH got beat out by TWO songs from TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE which about 8 people saw. To lose out to 3 songs from one movie- which was no Dreamgirls anyway- salt in the wound.
And I saw "The Triplets of Belleville" and I loved it and I own the soundtrack and I felt that it was easily the best song of the five nominated.
However, Annie Lennox won for "Lord of the Rings" and people probably liked that song because they knew once they heard it, the film was over and they could finally go to the bathroom.
That being said, I really hope "Falling Slowly" wins for best song. I can't remember a song affecting a movie so much.
"Raise It Up" from "August Rush" (Warner Bros.) Nominees to be determined
That being said, I also watched Good Luck Chuck this weekend and predictability is often over rated. My 5 word review of Good Luck Chuck; "Fun, better than I expected." How is Jessica Alba not up for best Actress? Outrageous!
I thought the dramatic arc of the film was quite good.
I'm kind of numb right now.
And the Guest/Levy troop deserves some recognition in the long run, right? (that said, For Your Consideration was not enjoyable...)
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