The nominations have been announced for the Oscars and a right mixed bag of quirky choices they are too. Not so much the choices themselves, as the bizarro combinations. For example, the musical Dreamgirls got most nominations of any movie but wasn't selected for best picture, best director or a screenplay award. Its eight noms are somewhat misleading, as they don't represent anything like a sweep of the major categories. Instead the film got nods for best supporting actor [Eddie Murphy], best supporting actress [Jennifer Hudson], three craft categories and three competing nominations for best original song.
In another quirk, none of the best actor nominees have been selected for any of the films chosen as best picture nominees. More common is the disconnect between best picture and best director catgories. There's always some poor sod who helms a best picture nominee but gets overlooked for their direction. This year Paul Greengrass gets a nod as director of United 93, while Little Miss Sunshine takes its place in best picture, leaving director Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris out in the cold.
Over in best actress, Kate Winslet picks up her fifth acting nomination - and all the portents suggest she's going home empty-handed again. There's plenty of time, she's only 31. Judi Dench got her sixth nomination this year for Notes on a Scandal and the dame is 72. Still, Kate must be wondering when it'll be her year. Perhaps the company of Meryl Streep will be a comfort. Streep picked up her 14th nomination for The Devil Wears Prada. She has won twice, but not since Sophie's Choice in 1983 - nearly quarter of a century ago! Streep has been nominated ten times since then, but some of the films are kinda hard to recall.
Silkwood and Out of Africa, not a problem. Ironweed I happened to see at the pictures, by some unhappy chance. But does anyone remember Evil Angels from 1988? [Just looked it up on imdb.com - no wonder I didn't remember it, the film was called A Cry in the Dark outside America. It's the true story of Lindy "Dingoes stole my baby!" Chamberlain.] Then there's Postcards From the Edge, The Bridges of Madison County, One True Thing [that one's not ringing a lot of bells], Music of the Heart [huh?], Adaptation and now The Devil Wears Prada.
Just for fun, here are my snap predictions of who'll win Oscars. Come back after the ceremony and laugh at how many of these I got wrong, wrong and wrong again...
Picture - The Queen [a longshot, but you never know]
Actor - Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
Actress - Helen Mirren, The Queen
Supporting Actor - Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
Supporting Actress - Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Director - Stephen Frears, The Queen [even more of a longshot]
Original Screenplay - Peter Morgan, The Queen
Adapted Screenplay - Todd Field, Tom Perrotta, Little Children