The great Revolutionary Road was blanked entirely in this morning’s nominations for the 14th Annual BFCA Critics Choice Awards, including a denial of Kate Winslet‘s fully deserved Best Actress nomination. BFCA, your middle name is shame. This is a manifestation of the “it’s too gloomy” sentiment that deep-and-heavy-soul types have been muttering all along.
Milk and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button did best with eight nominations apiece. But where’s Kristin Scott Thomas‘s Best Actress nomination for I’ve Loved You So Long? This is ridiculous. Who are these Shallow Sallys and Quarter-Inch-Deep Williams doing the voting?
The positive-surprise standouts were Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress noms, respectively, for Nothing But The Truth‘s Kate Beckinsale and Vera Farmiga; the negative-shocker standout is the omission of Revolutionary Road‘s Michael Shannon for Best Supporting Actor — a performance that is universally acknowledged as totally killer. Shannon is the baby who got thrown out with the anti-Road bathwater.
The too-abundant-and-therefore-close-to-meaningless Best Picture nominations contain no surprises.
The 10 Best Picture noms went to Changeling (a worthy film but not interesting or masterful enough to truly be called one of the year’s best), The Dark Knight (fine), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (okay), Frost/Nixon (default over-50 fave for reasons of efficiency, brevity, quality of performances), Milk (fine), The Reader (a too-generous call — tasteful, well-rendered pic doesn’t deliver emotionally); Slumdog Millionaire (naturally), WALL*E (of course) and The Wrestler (boldly cast downbeat grit, but I have doubts about those metal-staple and delicatessen sliced-hand scenes, which are clearly intended to make viewers flinch and recoil and moan).
The awards will be handed out in Los Angeles on Thursday, 1.8.09, at 9 pm. The show will air on VH1.
The Best Actor nominees are Gran Torino‘s Clint Eastwood (yes!), The Visitor‘s Richard Jenkins (certainly), Frost/Nixon‘s Frank Langella (of course), Milk‘s Sean Penn (yup) and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button‘s Brad Pitt (I loved Pitt in Burn After Reading, but his Button thing is at best passively stirring — the sponge-man thing doesn’t deliver much in the way of arcs or turns), and The Wrestler‘s Mickey Rourke (a given).
The Best Actress nominees are Nothing But The Truth‘s Beckinsale (hooray, Kate! — I’ve been pushing her all along), Benjamin Button‘s Cate Blanchett (take away the de-aging CG and Jack Crabbe old-woman makeup and you’re left with a fine but less-than-breathtaking performance), Rachel Getting Married‘s Anne Hathaway (natch), Changeling‘s Angelina Jolie (very good work but a bit of a perplexing character — why did she accept the replacement kid in the first place?), Frozen River‘s Melissa Leo (naturally) and Doubt‘s Meryl Streep.
The Best Supporting Actor noms went to Milk‘s Josh Brolin (good work!), Tropic Thunder‘s Robert Downey, Jr.(inspired), Doubt‘s Phillip Seymour Hoffman (first-rate), The Dark Knight‘s Heath Ledger (the best) and Milk‘s James Franco (a good man delivering a fine perf).
The Best Supporting Actress noms went to Vicky Cristina Barcelona‘s Penelope Cruz, Doubt‘s Viola Davis, Nothing But The Truth‘s Farmiga, Benjamin Button‘s Taraji P. Henson (who’s fine, but she had a much better role in Hustle & Flow), The Wrestler‘s Marisa Tomei and The Reader‘s Kate Winslet.