Originally just a bitch session re: Ms. Jolie, I've reworked this post into a more extensive rant on everything that has annoyed me about the onslaught of December precursor awards. I figured I'd put it in list format, just to ready myself for my own onslaught of year-end blogging once all this Christmas stuff is over with. So, here are the things I disagreed with in regard to the precursors, and thus also the things I hope the Academy decides against doing.
1. As previously mentioned: Angelina Jolie was nominated for a GOLDEN GLOBE, a SCREEN ACTOR'S GUILD AWARD and CRITIC'S CHOICE AWARD because either a) overacting DOES mean good acting, b) they want her and her husband both there, and/or c) voters felt guilty for her A Mighty Heart Oscar snub, or for falling asleep halfway through "Changeling." Please, PLEASE Academy voters: This is not a performance worthy of an Oscar nomination. Especially not if it means shutting out Sally Hawkins or Kristin Scott Thomas or Melissa Leo (or Michelle Williams for that matter but that's not happening either way). I'd honestly be happier if you nominated her for Wanted.
2. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"'s Across-The-Board Precursors: I don't mean to harp on the Jolie-Pitts, but how did so many people fall for this film? I mean, sure, I expected Golden Globe nods a plenty, but it even got a few critic's wins for best picture (from St. Louis and Houston, yes, but still...). Even though this might not of been the best year for movies, I can't fathom how any group of civilized people could see Milk, WALL-E, The Dark Knight, Happy-Go-Lucky, The Wrestler, Revolutionary Road and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and then say to themselves, "Button is the best film." And I'm not even including the dozens of superior films that aren't as mainstream. I found the film so infuriating. The whole time I just felt numb, waiting for it to end, or at least for Brad Pitt to get young hot so I'd have something to amuse myself with. I'm shocked its getting all the kudos it is. At least Forrest Gump was charming.
3. "Slumdog Millionaire"'s SAG Ensemble Nod: I liked Slumdog Millionaire a lot. I didn't love it. I don't think it deserves its frontrunner status. But there are worse films out there (see above), and I'll be fine with it winning best picture. But somethings are just overkill, specifically its best cast ensemble nomination at the SAGs. The kids are alright, sure, but again, it's all about what's being left out at their expense, namely: Rachel Getting Married, Revolutionary Road and Synecdoche, New York.
4. The Critics' Award Sweeps: Across almost every category, one film emerged as the clear critic's choice. And in most cases (Let The Right One In, Man on Wire, Sean Penn, Heath Ledger, Sally Hawkins, even Penelope Cruz), I agreed. But it still would have been nice to have seen some variety. Gomorrah or The Class or A Christmas Tale in the foreign category? Michelle Williams or Kristin Scott Thomas or Melissa Leo for best actress? Etc, etc.
5. "Revolutionary Road" Snubbing: Of all the big, Oscary December pics, this was by far my favourite. So how come it's also the one getting totally left out? It could very well end up with a sole major nod for Kate Winslet, which would be a real shame.