Oscar Nominations are announced

And yes, I'm up prior to the crack of dawn to get them to you. The biggest surprise, if you can call it that, is the strong showing by MICHAEL CLAYTON, with six nominations. Not so surprisingly, THERE WILL BE BLOOD and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN each have eight.

Via CNN, because it announced even before the official Oscar site:

The nominees for best picture are "No Country for Old Men," "There Will Be Blood," "Atonement," "Juno" and "Michael Clayton."

JUNO? Really? Just goes to show there's a right way to market a teen comedy. And yes, all those spouting the cliche were right -- it IS this year's LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE.

The nominees for best actor are Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood"), George Clooney ("Michael Clayton"), Johnny Depp ("Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"), Tommy Lee Jones ("In the Valley of Elah") and Viggo Mortensen ("Eastern Promises").

Tommy Lee Jones for ELAH rather than NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN? That's a head-scratcher, and proof that irrational love for Paul Haggis is still ever-present.

The nominees for best actress are Marion Cotillard ("La Vie En Rose"), Ellen Page ("Juno"), Julie Christie ("Away from Her"), Cate Blanchett ("Elizabeth: The Golden Age") and Laura Linney ("The Savages")

Nothing much to find fault with here, although I'm told ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE wasn't worth seeing, so I never did. Blanchett has little chance at this.

The nominees for best supporting actor are Javier Bardem ("No Country for Old Men"), Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Charlie Wilson's War"), Casey Affleck ("The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"), Hal Holbrook ("Into the Wild") and Tom Wilkinson ("Michael Clayton").

Casey Affleck's was really a lead performance, but whatever, so was Geena Davis in ACCIDENTAL TOURIST. Philip Seymour Hoffman had his best performance of the year recognized after all.

The nominees for best supporting actress are Ruby Dee ("American Gangster"), Cate Blanchett ("I'm Not There"), Saoirse Ronan ("Atonement"), Amy Ryan ("Gone Baby Gone") and Tilda Swinton ("Michael Clayton").

Ruby Dee is a sympathy vote, nothing more. It's between Blanchett and Ryan, and frankly, imitating Bob Dylan doesn't strike me as that hard. Haven't we all done it at one time or another?

The nominees for best director are Ethan and Joel Coen ("No Country for Old Men"), Paul Thomas Anderson ("There Will Be Blood"), Julian Schnabel ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"), Jason Reitman ("Juno") and Tony Gilroy ("Michael Clayton").

As always, one odd one out -- Schnabel's movie gets a bone thrown to it. (Matthieu Amalric should have gotten a Best Actor nom too).

The rest after the jump:

Via the official Oscar site, finally...

Best Animated: Persepolis, Ratatouille, Surf's Up.

Surf's Up is a surprise, but yeah, poor TMNT was better than it got credit for, and missed out here.

Best Art Direction: American Gangster, There Will be Blood, Sweeney Todd, Atonement, The Golden Compass.

American Gangster? Why not Zodiac, for the same thing but better?

Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins competes against himself with No Country for Old Men and The Assassination of Jesse James. Also, Janusz Kaminski for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Seamus McGarvey for Atonement, and Robert Elswitt for There Will Be Blood.

All worthy choices, but Kaminski deserves it most.

Best Costume Design: Atonement, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Across the Universe, La Vie en Rose, Sweeney Todd.

Surprising amount of love for Elizabeth, but as I learned working in a theater, movies like that are the blockbusters for the over-60 crowd.

Best Documentary: No End in Sight, Sicko, Taxi to the Dark Side, War/Dance, Operation Homecoming.

Lake of Fire = Robbed

Best Original Song: Three songs from Enchanted, one from August Rush, and one from Once.

Once should be enough.

Best Visual Effects: Transformers, Pirates 3, The Golden Compass

No way the Compass gets it.

Adapted Screenplay: Atonement, Away From Her, No Country, There Will Be Blood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

No surprises there. Original Screenplay: The Savages, Juno, Michael Clayton, Ratatouille, Lars and the Real Girl.

Wow -- do my eyes deceive me? An animated movie getting noticed for screenplay? Good job. Lars and the Real Girl is an overlong SNL skit, but then so is Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan. And the fact that "Diablo Cody" got a nod proves that the Academy members are stocked up on their Viagra.

Complete list HERE


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