Oscar Nomination Bitchfest: 10 Reactions

1. Chicago is the best of the five films vying for Best Picture, and it deserves its 13 nominations. Props to the academy for recognizing the film’s two greatest (if briefest) performances: Queen Latifah and John C. Reilly. Don’t mourn Richard Gere’s shutout; while tolerable, his tap-dancin’ lawyer was just OK.

2. How did Gangs of New York become the second most nominated film? Is it a spectacle too big to ignore? Payback for all the times Scorsese got snubbed for superior films? There’s a reason why Daniel Day-Lewis’ love-it-or-hate-it turn got the only acting nod.

3. Sadly, no directing nods for Todd Haynes and Peter Jackson, both of who deserved it more than Stephen Daldry or Scorsese. But Pedro Almodovar’s nod is the year’s most delightful surprise by far.

4. The least delightful surprise? Only two nominations for About Schmidt. No Best Dicture, no Best Director, not even a screenwriting nod.

5. If Spirited Away doesn’t triumph for Best Animated Film, I will spit on the first Disney logo I can find.

6. Deserving films sadly shut out: 25th Hour, 13 Conversations About One Thing, The Cat’s Meow, Punch Drunk Love (how could they ignore the cinematography?!), All Or Nothing, Monsoon Wedding, Secretary.

7. Deserving actors given the shaft: Alfred Molina (Frida), Isabelle Huppert (The Piano Teacher or 8 Women), Hugh Grant (About A Boy), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Secretary), Patricia Clarkson, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert (all Far From Heaven), Toni Collette (exquisite in The Hours, and much, much better than Ed Harris). At least none of these omissions are as blasphemous as Steve Buscemi (for Ghost World in 2001), Michael Douglas (for Wonder Boys in 2000) or Bill Murray (for Rushmore in 1998).

8. Why only two nominees for makeup? Was the makeup in Lord of the Rings, Chicago, Gangs of New York, etc; not as worthy as Frida’s mustache?

9. Thank the academy for at least taking the high road and giving multiple nominations to The Pianist instead of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

10. The year’s best film, Y Tu Mama Tambien, received one nomination (for Best Original Screenplay). Hey, that’s better than none…