Oscars: January 2009 Archives

Oscar ballots are in the mail

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The ballots are in the mail for the 5,810 members of Hollywood's elite who get to vote on the Academy Awards.

Today's final ballots include nominees in 19 categories, among them best picture, director and the four acting prizes.

31 Days of Oscar

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Turner Classic Movies' annual "31 Days of Oscar" slate of acclaimed films begins Sunday morning with one of our favorites, Peter O'Toole playing a hilarious drunk in "My Favorite Year." Clear that DVR -- this year's schedule groups the movies in themed blocks, such as Architecture of Ancient Rome (Feb. 3, including "Julius Caesar," "Bn-Hur" and "A Funny Thing Happened ..."), Ornithology (Feb. 11, including "The Pigeon That Took Rome" and "The Birds"), an Speech and Language Development (Feb. 19, including "Pygmalion," "My Fair Lady" and "Singin' in the Rain"). Here's the schedule as a Flash page online or a PDF download.

Oscars by the numbers

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The Oscars from zero to hero:

0 -- Number of times an animated film has won the best picture. With no "WALL-E" nomination today, that figure will stand.

0 -- Number of times a superhero movie has been nominated for the best picture. Ditto this year -- no "Dark Knight" nod.

$0 -- What seat fillers get paid to occupy empty seats during the awards show.

How to win your Oscar pool

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Here's good advice, including this bit of wisdom I think we're all in agreement with this year:

"1. There are no coincidences. The Dark Knight didn't make best picture. Do the math. Bigger isn't better this year. Go for less that's more, like, say Slumdog Millionaire."

As well as this reminder:

"8. Always vote against Meryl Streep. She hasn't won for a long time."


"Slumdog Millionaire" director Danny Boyle is understandably thrilled this morning. "I'm ecstatic!" he says. "Thank you to the Academy from the cast and crew here in Mumbai where the film was made and where it's being premiered tonight. It feels like you've given us a billion nominations!"

Here are some other reactions from the nominated ...

The best picture nominees

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Need to catch up on your movie watching now that the Oscars have made their picks? Here are trailers for the films nominated for best picture ...

Global perspectives on Oscar nods

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The headlines for today's Oscar nominations depends on who your readers are.

In India, of course, they're all cheering for "Slumdog Millionaire," the film that swept the Golden Globes and "brought recognition to India." At least movie fans there will get to see the film before Oscar time -- it finally opens in India tomorrow!

Down Under, the papers are shouting: "Heath Ledger nominated for Academy Award"

In the UK, the headlines focus on their revered Kate Winslet -- with the Telegraph pointing out that this nod brings both excitement and anxiety: "Pleasure because her turn as Hanna Schmidt has been one of the acting highlights of the last year. Anxiety because this is not the first time she has been nominated. She was up for Best Supporting Actress for her roles in 'Sense and Sensibility' (1995) and 'Iris' (2001), and for Best Actress in 'Titanic' (1997), 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' (2004) and 'Little Children' (2006). On each occasion she was overlooked."

Rolling Stone's vantage point is: "Oscars snub Springsteen" -- and they have a point: "Bruce Springsteen's 'The Wrestler' didn't even get a nod despite winning the Golden Globe, as the Best Original Song category only includes three nominees: Peter Gabriel's 'Down to Earth' from WALL-E and a pair of Slumdog Millionaire songs: M.I.A. and A.R. Rahman's 'O... Saya' and Rahman's 'Jai Ho.' It's surprising that the Academy only went with three songs, also ignoring Clint Eastwood's 'Gran Torino.' "

The best pic box office numbers

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Nominees for best picture don't always make the most dough at the box office -- certainly not this year with the "Dark Knight" snub.

Here are the figures for North American box-office performance as of Monday for the new Oscar best-picture nominees, compiled by AP:

-- "Frost/Nixon," Universal, five nominations, $8.8 million, released Dec. 5.
-- "Milk," Focus, eight nominations, $20.5 million, released Nov. 26.
-- "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Paramount, 13 nominations, $103.6 million, released Dec. 25.
-- "The Reader," Weinstein Co., five nominations, $7.8 million, released Dec. 10.
-- "Slumdog Millionaire," Fox Searchlight, 10 nominations, $43.9 million, released Nov. 12.

And the nominees are ...

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Here's the list of nominations for the 81st annual Oscars, announced this morning ...

Nominees coming in

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"The Curious case of Benjamin Button" leads the nominations with 13. "Slumdog Millionaire" gets 10. "The Dark Knight" has eight -- but none for directing or best picture.

The best picture nods are: "Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Frost/Nixon," "Milk," "The Reader," "Slumdog Millionaire."

"Slumdog Millionaire" also was shut out of the acting categories.

Heath Ledger picked up his expected supporting actor nom for playing the Joker in "The Dark Knight."

Kate Winslet is nominated for best actress, but not for "Revolutionary Road" -- for "The Reader" instead!

In fact, "Revolutionary Road" didn't get a single nomination!

Is it going to be a 'Dark Knight' morning?

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Oscar nominations expected any minute now. Updates and full lists coming here and to Roger Ebert's site soon! We'll be Twittering them, too.

In the meantime, everyone's wondering if "The Dark Knight" will make a showing beyond Heath Ledger's supporting actor bid, or whether Oscar voters will turn their nose up at the commercial superhero hit -- and thereby cement their alienation from mainstream America. Here's a good analysis of this conundrum.

What are your Oscar show pet peeves?

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Fandango, the online movie ticket broker (because why not pay a little extra for movie tickets?!), launched its own awards-show site today -- with the results of a curious lil' poll. For a few weeks they asked their readers what their biggest Oscars pet peeves were. More than 7,00 people responded with these results ...

Golden Globes winslet.jpg
Kate Winslet after the Golden Globes, clutching both her acting awards. Should one of them really be for supporting actress? (AP file)

Thank you, Robert Osborne, for bringing to light what's been nagging at us about Kate Winslet's thrilling but shocking double-win at Sunday's Golden Globes. The nut of the nag: How could she possibly be called a supporting actress for "The Reader"?

And the Oscars presenters are ... a secret

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Guess who's coming to the Oscars this year?

Leslie Unger, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, says none of the superstar presenters will be announced before the Feb. 22 telecast.

Oscar's foreign language picks narrow

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The top Cannes Film Festival prize winner and a key Golden Globe honoree are among contenders for the foreign-language prize at the Academy Awards.

French director Laurent Cantet's "The Class" and Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman's "Waltz With Bashir" are on the academy's short list of nine films that have advanced from a field of 65 eligible titles.

'WALL-E' wizard getting honorary Oscar

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One of the digital wizards behind such cartoon smashes as "WALL-E," "Ratatouille" and "Finding Nemo" is getting an Academy Award.

Pixar Animation co-founder Ed Catmull is receiving the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, an honorary Oscar statuette, for lifetime achievement in computer graphics for filmmaking.

Heroes battle for visual effects Oscar

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Superheroes Batman, Iron Man and Hellboy are mixing it up with Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman and an ancient mummy for the visual-effects Academy Award.

The Batman blockbuster "The Dark Knight" is one of seven films competing for the Oscar, along with fellow comic-book adaptations "Iron Man" and "Hellboy II: The Golden Army."

Awards calendar

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Oscars category from January 2009.

Oscars: December 2008 is the previous archive.

Oscars: February 2009 is the next archive.

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