Thoughts on the Oscar nominations

Ms Salma Hayek and Mr Someguyinasuit announced the nominations for the Academy Awards today. Some of the noms were fairly predictable (oh look - the oh so worthy and actually quite mediocre Babel) but there are some interesting inclusions, and apart from Her Majesty Dame Helen Of Mirren, no definite winners.

Best picture
I'd like The Departed or Little Miss Sunshine to win this, but it'll probably go to the worthier Letters From Iwo Jima or Babel. I really don't think Babel deserves all the praise it's getting - I found it to be little more than an unfocussed and unengaging succession of unfortunate events.

Best director
Go on, give it to Scorsese, I dare you. I imagine Babel will bag it. It's a lot better than Crash, so it wouldn't be a complete travesty, but it's nowhere near as good as Pan's Labyrinth or Casino Royale or The Prestige or most of the other films released last year.

Best actor
It's be nice to see O'Toole get the Oscar that he should have got for Lawrence Of Arabia, but surely this is Forest Whitaker's. The Last King Of Scotland was far from perfect - I've yet to be convinced about the merits of Peter Morgan's particular habit of blurring of fact of fiction - but Whitaker's performance was amazing. It's just a shame that it overshadowed the rest of the film in the eyes of the Oscar voters - where are the nominations for James McAvoy and Kevin Macdonald?

Best actress
"Okay Ms Streep, we've checked the rules and it says that with every tenth Oscar nomination you're allowed to upgrade one supporting role to a leading role."

Best supporting actress
Normally I'd look at a nomination for a ten year old and say, quite loudly and obnoxiously, "Pft!". However, I've seen Little Miss Sunshine and every time Abigail Breslin said or did anything I burst into tears. Shower her with gold at once.

Best supporting actor
I never thought I'd say this but … this is really hard … I'd quite like Mark Wahlberg to win this one. That's right, I'm a born again Wahlbergian. Yeah, and I think Donnie is pretty good too. You want to take this outside?

Best foreign language film
The otherwise unjustly snubbed Pan's Labyrinth has to win this one, surely. And how come Letters From Iwo Jima isn't in this category? Hmm? It's not best foreign film, it's best foreign langauge film.

Best animated feature film
Despite the huge number of animated films released this year (most of which involved domesticated animals), there have been depressingly few good ones. Even Pixar slipped a little with their bizarre decision to remake Doc Hollywood with Cars. Still, probably the best of the bunch.

Best adapted screenplay
How is Borat "adapted"? Or does that cover improvised/cast-devised screnplays? I suppose that would explain how Before Sunset was nominated a couple of years ago. Anyway, this should go to The Departed, if only for Mark Wahlberg's impressive swearing.

Best original screenplay
It'll go to Little Miss Sunshine (it always goes to the indie film that's missed out in other categories), but Pan's Labyrinth deserves it more. It's worth noting that two and a half of the films are foreign and one of them has a character who doesn't say anything for most of the film. The collpase of the English language is nigh.

Best music (score)
I have no strong opinion on this one.

Best music (song featured in the film "Dreamgirls")
Sorry Melissa Etheridge, sorry James Taylor, you're simply not eligible for this category.

Best documentary feature
Could Al Gore win the first Oscar awarded to a glorified PowerPoint presentation?

Best visual effects
I don't get why they only have three nominees in this category. Surely there were more than three special effects movies last year? What about X-Men 3, or films with more subtle use of effects like The Prestige or Perfume?

Best costume design
I hope they stage an actual handbag fight between Marie Antoinette and Queen Elizabeth II at the awards ceremony. It's be much better than Stomp.

Best make-up
Surely it's Pan's Labyrinth. Although it would be kind of funny if an Adam frickin' Sandler film won an Oscar.