As usual, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences managed to throw a few curveballs our way when they announced the 2009 Academy Award nominees this morning. In the “Surprise!” category:
- Robert Downey, Jr. gets a Best Supporting Actor nom for his role in Tropic Thunder. You just don’t mess with the dude, playing a dude, disguised as another dude.
- Also in the Best Supporting Actor pool, Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road. He was the best, but most overlooked, part of that movie. Though Leo, who was locked out of the Best Actor pool, may be inclined to disagree with me.
- Kate Winslet getting nominated for Best Actress for The Reader, rather than Revolutionary Road. I’m still not sure how the Golden Globes considered that to be a supporting role, and I’m glad to see the Academy agreed with me.
- No Best Picture nom for Revolutionary Road. Sure, it was great to see Kate and Leo reunited on a sinking ship of a totally different kind, and they both gave great performances, but the movie as a whole was overrated and underwhelming. If you’re going to make a movie about the ennui of life in 1950s suburbia, a subject that’s been done to death, make sure you have something “revolutionary” to offer (pun totally intended).
- The Gran Torino shut out. Yes, Clint Eastwood is a legend, but I have cranky, racist grandparents of my own that I can go see whenever I want. And they don’t charge me $12 to do it.
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)