Wall-E, Iron Man, Dark Knight take aim at the Oscars


Sci Fi Movies Nominated in the 2009 Academy AwardsWell it’s that time of the year again – the Academy Awards are upon us and the nominees are finally out.  How has the sci fi genre scored this time around?  Well, to be honest, I don’t have that many criticisms this time around.  Yes there’s some questionable decisions but there’s also some fairly good decisions by the Academy when it comes to the sci-fi genre.  Let’s take a look. 

It’s exactly one year to the day since 28 year old Heath Ledger died from an accidental drug overdose – but he hasn’t been forgotten by a long shot.  Since winning his posthumous Golden Globe expectation has been strong for his portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight to net him a posthumous Academy Award.  Today this expectation moved one step closer to realization as he received a formal best supporting actor nomination. 

Few people would argue Ledger doesn’t deserve it, and typically a Golden Globe win almost guarantees the Oscar.  His toughest competition is probably Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt or perhaps Josh Brolin for Milk.  He’s also up against Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder, but to that I simply say, erm, what?  Downey Jr. was hilarious in the role, but seriously, an Oscar?  No, I think Ledger is a shoe-in and this will be one award The Dark Knight takes home on the night.

It may not be the only one it takes home although, oddly, whilst many believed The Dark Knight would receive a nomination for best picture, it was not to be.  Whilst I’m one of those that still feels Batman Begins was the best of the two movies and that without Ledger’s performance The Dark Knight wouldn’t have received the fanfare it has, I nonetheless find myself wondering what the?  The Dark Knight has raked in a basket load of nominations in a variety of categories including best art direction, best cinematography, best film editing, best makeup, best visual effects, best sound mixing and best sound editing.  I find myself agreeing with all of these nominations.  I even feel Hans Zimmer and James Newton-Howard should have been nominated for their score to the film.  With all of these elements of the movie nominated for being the best of the best, I ask myself how it can be that The Dark Knight didn’t get nominated for best picture?  Surely so many ‘bests’ equate to an overall ‘best’ nomination?  Apparently not.  I think this will remain a mystery to me.

Less of a mystery is the nomination for Wall-E for best animated film.  It’s up against Kung Fu Panda and Bolt, but if you’ve seen all three of these movies you’d realize you don’t need to be a sci-fi junkie to pick Wall-E as the winner here.  Wall-E was a superb film and the only animated film I’ve hurried to view more than once.  I’ll be very surprised if Wall-E doesn’t win this.

Wall-E has also received a nomination for best music score, but with all due respect to the composer of Wall-E, this is a wisdom I have to question.  What about The Dark Knight

I wonder how it can be that renowned composers Hans Zimmer and James Newton-Howard could be ignored for their excellent score to a film nominated for awards in virtually every other category.  Surely people realize a film is never quite the same without its score!  The Dark Knight is a film that has broken box office records, lead to a plethora of awards and award nominations, and is recognized by all types of people from all walks of life as a brilliant piece of film making – a large part of this success relates to its perfectly suited and brilliant orchestral music score that helps set the mood of every scene in the film.  The Dark Knight soundtrack has become one of my favorite scores of the year and not only does it suit the movie perfectly it is by all accounts awesome to listen to in its own right.  It has been released in multiple formats including extended editions by demand.  How this could be ignored is beyond me. 

Next up, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army joins The Dark Knight and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for a nomination in the best makeup category.  I think this is a good decision, but sadly for both Hellboy 2 and The Dark Knight I’ve gotta say The Curious Case of Benjamin Button will be the pick of the night in this category.  It probably deserves it too, although I haven’t seen it – but I have seen the images of the aging Brad Pitt and they are pretty amazing.

Iron Man also gets a couple of nods, one for best sound editing and one for best visual effects.  When it comes to the sound editing Iron Man is up against The Dark Knight, Wall-E and Wanted (and Slumdog Millionaire but, erm..).  I’m thinking this is Wall-E’s win.  But I’m going for Iron Man on best visual effects.  I mean honestly, the effects in Iron Man were sick enough to make you believe a man really could fly in that iron suit, can anyone really argue that?  I’m betting on Wall-E for best sound editing and Iron Man for best visual effects.   I admit it’s hard to look past The Dark Knight here, especially considering the Joker’s magic disappearing pencil trick :D , but no, Iron Man blended its effects into a believable realism that deserves the win.

Finally, once again, Wall-E receives another nomination – for best writing (original screenplay).  It’s got some stiff competition, but I have to say to the stiff competition – Wall-E is the stiffest competition of all.  I think Wall-E deserves the nod for best writing.  That’s not because I’m a sci-fi buff, but because Wall-E managed to turn a completely artificial scenario into a very moving emotional journey with subtle yet profound life messages that people literally cried more than once over – and it did all this with virtually no words.  That’s top quality writing, make no mistake.  Only this morning did I witness (and not for the first time) a little kid running around the Supermarket isles calling ‘E-V-A!’.   Any movie that can achieve this with only three syllables takes the cake in my view.

Here’s the sci-fi related nominations in summary:

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Wall-E

BEST ART DIRECTION
The Dark Knight

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Dark Knight

BEST FILM EDITING
The Dark Knight

BEST MAKEUP
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army

BEST MUSIC (SCORE)
Wall-E

BEST MUSIC (SONG)
“Down to Earth” – Wall-E

BEST SOUND EDITING
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Wall-E

BEST SOUND MIXING
The Dark Knight
Wall-E

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

BEST WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
Wall-E

For a complete list of all the nominations that don’t just throw blatant bias towards sci-fi, go here.



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This entry was posted on Friday, January 23rd, 2009 at 7:11 pm and is filed under All News, Movie News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.