Oscar Nominations Are Announced


The Academy awards nominations were announced this morning. (Here’s a complete list.) And “Atonement” is still alive! Before getting to the overall statistics, let’s ask: how did Rex Okpodu, lemonwade’s prognosticator do? Pretty well, I think. He predicted four out of five in the three of the acting categories, and five out of five in Best Actor. He predicted four out of five in Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay, and got his worst score in Best Adapted Screenplay — three out of five. Where Rex stumbled is where a lot of prognosticators stumbled: he thought “Into the Wild,” which did well in the SAG nominations, would score in the Oscar race; it was almost shut out here.

In fact, I’d have to say that “Into the Wild’s” poor showing was one of the biggest surprises, along with Tommy Lee Jones’ nomination for Best Actor for “In the Valley of Elah,” and, to a lesser extent, no Angelina Jolie for “A Mighty Heart.” I’m trying hard to hold my contempt for the nomination of Cate Blanchett for Best Actress for the execrable “Elizabeth” sequel, especially since Blanchett also got a Best Supporting nod for the Bob Dylan movie.

“No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood” led the field, with eight nominations each. But as every Oscar soothsayer knows, in the last three years the movie with the most noms has NOT won Best Picture, which means that “Atonement,” which some people had written off, even after its Golden Globe win, is still alive. I will make one prediction right away: “There Will Be Blood” will NOT win Best Picture. I see the biggest prize as a contest between “No Country,” the critical favorite, and “Atonement,” which has more old-fashioned appeal. On the other hand, the fact that “Atonement” got no director’s nom, and an acting nod only for Seoirse Ronin in support, suggests only scattered backing among Academy members. Also, “Atonement” did not get the all-important Best Film Editing nomination, which tends to be a pretty solid requirement to win Best Picture. (Slowly, I seem to be arguing myself out of “Atonement”‘s chances!)

“Atonement” and “Michael Clayton” each got seven nominations. Another fun fact: in the Best Song category, “Enchanted” got three nominations.

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