Congratulations, Hollywood! You patted yourself on the back for your gut-wrenching weep-fests and screwed genre movies again. An old baby
got a nomination, but not Batman.
Dark Knight got a supporting-actor nomination for Heath Ledger, which is something. And the movie got 8 nominations overall, which is 8 more than most movies get.
But a superhero movie is still a superhero movie in the eyes of Oscar voters, so it gets stuck in the technical awards domain reserved for movies that do anything other than place humans in a kitchen and have them cry.
Wall-E got a best animated movie ghettoization, but the good news is it also got an original-screenplay nomination, along with a couple of technical ones, including the highly sought after sound editing!.
Wanted can now say it's the Oscar-nominated Wanted, and so can Hellboy 2. That's what I shall call them both from now on.
Even though the nominations are for Sound Editing! and Sound Mixing! for Wanted and makeup for Hellboy. I shan't fuss about the nominations for The Wrestler because it's about pro wrestling. I realize they could make the same movie about a washed up tennis player or chess player or synchronized swimmer. But they didn't. They made it about pro wrestling, so ha ha, pro wrestling got an Oscar nomination.
Here's what the Oscar voters, people who work in and on movies, decided was better than Batman:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button got a smattering of nominations. Technically it's got fantasy parts, with the de-aging old baby. We reviewed it on RevolutionSF. But really: It's a genre flick about as much as Titanic is about boating.
The other Best Picture nominees are The Reader, a sad love story, Frost/Nixon, a movie length re-creation of a 1970s talk show. Really. Milk, the yearly edition of the Real Guy Who Died Tragically Oscar movie, and Slumdog Millionaire which has a game show in it.
To ride on those coattails, next year they'll do a re-creation of a Tonight Show interview and call it Carson / Deluise and a game show movie, Ghetto Win, Lose, or Draw
Robert Downey Jr. got a surprise nomination in the only funny comedy I've ever known to ever be nominated for an Oscar, Tropic Thunder. Academy Award voters do not like amusing things. And it's funny that it got nominated anyway, since the movie is about actors who are trying to get nominated for Oscars.
Another surprise: Richard Jenkins from The Visitor, which is not about an alien lizard. It's yet another movie about a sad death. I'm just guessing. I've never heard of it before this moment when I'm writing this. But Jenkins was very funny as John C. Reilly's dad in Step Brothers.
Update: The Visitor is about a sad life, not a sad death. I was close.
So congratulations, Oscar voters. Pat yourself on the back once again for your pretentious sappy melodramas, and for ignoring whatever good work there might be in the other 95% of the stuff you churn out every year.
One good bit of news coming out of the nominations: Frank Langella finally got rewarded for his deep, moving portrayal of Skeletor in Masters of the Universe. It's roles his that make us learn how to feel.