I used to get really excited about Oscar season because I was a big movie nerd when I was in high school. I actually would tape the press conference wherein the nominations were announced and watch it when I got home from school. One year, I won the Oscar pool at my local video store, and I got two free movie rentals every week for a year. (My parents blamed me for putting the video store out of business.)
Since college, however, I haven't been as excited. Sure, last year I won twenty bucks at an Oscar party, but I'm generally disappointed with both the nominees and the winners. Like most mainstream award shoes, the Oscars tend to shut-out independent offerings and hand out the top awards to fairly bland, crowd-pleasing films (I'm looking at you, Crash. And you, Chicago. And Gladiator. And Titanic. And Shakespeare in Love. And Forrest Gump. Etc.)
This year, however, I'm fairly excited. The best films of the year, There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men, tied for the most nominations. Of course, they will probably not win Best Picture (I've got a feeling they'll split the vote and it'll go to Atonement). I haven't seen Atonement, nor did I catch Michael Clayton during its brief theatrical run. I've got mixed feelings about Juno, and was going to wait for Netflix, but now I feel like I should give it a chance. And while Brittany is right, that it will most-likely win Best Original Screenplay despite the unrealistic dialogue, I'm already not as offended as I was about Little Miss Sunshine. (Don't get me started on that mess. It's NOT well-written, America.)
I share Adam's aggravation that Jonny Greenwood's score from There Will Be Blood was not nominated because it wasn't entirely scored for the film, but as I pointed out to him this morning, the nominated song from Once, "Falling Slowly," was released in 2006 on Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova's album, The Swell Season. Ah, well.
On a related note, I saw Persepolis last night, and it was stunning. If Pixar wasn't guaranteed an Oscar for everything they release, I would expect it to nab the award for Best Animated Feature.