Oscars snub genre (again)

Well, this isn’t really even news at this point: true to form, the 80th annual Oscar nominations virtually snubbed science-fiction, fantasy, and horror films, except in a handful of technical categories. In a way, this is no surprise: you cannot really blame the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for ignoring bloated, brain-dead blockbusters like PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END. However, 2007 did feature a critically acclaimed horror-musical-comedy that deserved multiple nominations – SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET – yet wound up with only one major nod. This might barely big forgivable if the top nominees were all great, but THERE WILL BE BLOOD – which received nominated in eight categories – is an over-rated and interminable piece of junk – the kind of thing people only waste their time and money on because they are fooled into thinking it’s “good.”
At least Johnny Depp was nominated in the Best Actor category for his role as Sweeney Todd. I’m not particularly good at prognostication, but I’d say he has a good chance this year. The Academy likes to hand out awards to popular entertainers responsible for box office blockbusters – but usually only when they take on a more serious projects. For example, Steven Spielberg won big for SCHINDLER’S LIST – which came out the same year as JURASSIC PARK. Depp is in a similar position, with the third PIRATES movie having come out earlier in the year.
SWEENEY TODD was alos nominated in the categories for Art Direction and Costume Design, yet somehow it was overlooked in the two Music categories, for Score and Song. RATATOUILLE was nominated in the former; ENCHANTED scored three nominations in the latter.
Visual Effects was the only category dominated by genre titles. The three nominees are THE GOLDEN COMPASS, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END, and TRANSFORMERS.
In the Sound Editing category, it was RATATOUILLE again, along with TRANSFORMERS. Both titles also showed up in the Sound Mixing category. (Apparently, even the people who vote on these things are not quite sure what the difference is between the two.)
Finally, the Animated Feature Film category omitted THE SIMPSONS MOVIE. The three nominees are RATATOUILLE, SURF’S UP, and PERSEPOLIS, of which the first is the obvious front-runner.
Of course, what form next month’s Oscar presentation may take is anyone’s guess, thanks to the Writers Guild strike.
Read the complete list of nominees here.

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