In this corner, the three most warmly received Oscar nominations are those for Richard Jenkins in The Visitor for Best Actor, Melissa Leo‘s for Best Actress for her Frozen River turn, and an excellent Best Supporting Actor nomination going to Michael Shannon — Michael Shannon, ladies and gentlemen! — for his truth-telling nutter in Revolutionary Road.

I really wasn’t figuring on Happy-Go-Lucky‘s Sally Hawkins not getting nominated for Best Actress. ’08 really was her year, and she was honored up and down by many other awards-giving groups.

And the Academy blew off bestowing a gold-watch Best Actor nomination for Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. Just not enough love.

The inclusion of The Reader in the Best Picture quintet is a bit weird. What decided it, I wonder — the holocaust factor? Because it really doesn’t work all that well.

What happened to the alleged groundswell momentum for The Dark Knight being Best Picture nommed, and especially WALL*E jumping the animation Rio Grande fence and getting nommed for Best Picture as well?

Hooray for Viola Davis receiving her much-deserved Best Supporting Actress nomination for that one absolute-killer scene in Doubt.

In my book and in the eyes of independent contrarian thinkers in years and decades to come, Che should have nabbed a Best Picture nomination, and Steven Soderbergh easily deserves a Best Director nomination for his intensely passionate work on this film. And a Best Actor nomination for Benicio del Toro as well — let’s not forget that.