Adding to my malaise today is those annoying nominations announced this morning. Look, I know the Academy Awards are nothing to get all riled up about, and I haven't even studied the whole list to really see what encourages me versus what pisses me off, but just looking at the Picture and Director categories make me seriously consider calling this the most absurd year for Oscar in I don't know how long. I'm shocked at the nominations for Crash, a movie which I actually liked more than many and which I believe had a fantastic collection of performances, but while it explored interesting themes and ideas was far from a flawless film and wasn't very well directed. Then there is Capote: its nominations don't surprise me as much as disappoint me. Capote is now officially the most overrated movie of 2005. I don't need to repeat myself as I've said this over-and-over again, but the entire success of that film is solely on the shoulders of the incredible Phillip Seymour Hoffman; "Best Director Bennett Miller" is absolutely laughable for this drab film.
And then there's Munich. No, its nominations certainly can't be considered a surprise either, other than the fact that conventional wisdom was probably counting it out by this point. I still haven't gotten around to writing about Munich -- and I fully intend to (sigh) -- and I also certainly didn't hate it as much as some people. Yes, it's the kind of sprawling epic political movie the Academy loves -- that doesn't make it great, but I guess if Oscar wants to celebrate the best of Hollywood rather than the best of cinema, Munich fills the bill.
The biggest surprise to me, actually, is that this year for the first time in recent memory all five Picture and Director nominees match up. Usually there is at least one film that doesn't receive a director nomination and (obviously) vice-versa.
So basically for me, this year's Oscar race is between Brokeback Mountain and Good Night, and Good Luck -- two movies which along with Jon Stewart hosting should have conservative America hating this year's Academy Awards more than ever. Huzzah.
As for the rest of the nominees and my various reactions, more to come ....