Unlike some of my other bloggers, try as I might, I just can’t be cynical or grumpy about this year’s Oscar nominations. They are a far cry better than last year’s popular choices of “Little Miss Sunshine” and “The Departed.” Sure I could rant about such politically correct movies as “Michael Clayton” receiving too many nominations when other movies were shunned. And I certainly go on another tirade about the overrated documentary “Sicko” setting Michael Moore up for a possible win. Then there were foreign films like “Four Months” that were completely overlooked.
Still, I am thrilled that relative unknown Amy Ryan is nominated for “Gone Baby Gone.” The same goes for Casey Affleck being recognized for “Jesse James.” I am excited than a movie as uncynical as “Juno” has made the short list and that “Away From Her” didn’t totally escape attention. In a tough animation category I am glad “Ratatouille” is receiving the props it deserves over a film like “The Simpsons Movie”.
And while I don’t think Oscar has exactly grown-up, I do think the Oscars are like your typical narcissistic teenager. The Oscar voters want all the other cool kids in Hollywood to think they’re cool, too, so they nominate the “important” films, regardless of quality, just so they other cool kids will hang out with them and they can be cool together.
However, just like a teenager, the Oscar voters occasionally do the right thing. Which is why, just like when I was a teenager, I can never really give up on the drama that is the Oscars.