22 January 2008

In the Shadow of the Oscars

So, the nominations for the 80th annual Academy Awards are due to become official tomorrow morning (though some sources may have had an insider's peek). For many, their announcement is yearly the cause of much anxiety and anticipation, since the reaction to them always seems to indicate that the films that the Academy chooses to either nominate or not nominate accordingly either gain or do not gain respect ad finitum in the Zeitgeist opinion of the general public - a phenomenon I like to call the clever misconceptions of the historical present (e. g., the existence of people who earnestly believe Crash was the best picture of its year). For me and, I suspect, for many others who enjoy taking a greater interest in the actual merits of film, the nominations of the Academy (and indeed their awards themselves) are nothing more than the opportunity to see how much the popular gurus "got right" (oftentimes according to our own personal observations) - well, that, or the opportunity to exercise our sports'-fan's-like competitive spirits with others like ourselves (but that's a whole different story).
For my own part, I just posted the final nominations for my own little awards (on the right) and, because I'm a dork who can't resist, I will be waking up early to watch the Academy's nominations' announcement to see "how well we've done." I know that my pushes for films like The Darjeeling Limited are far-fetched to any savvy "Oscar-tracker," but I stand by them all. (I mean, Mr. Anderson's work is not continually admitted to the Criterion Collection because it's bad.) And among the best of the others I stand boldly in the shadow of Oscar: Mr. Idziak's brilliant cinematographical work on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Ms. Garner's striking performance in Juno, and Ms. Lynch's captivatingly ephemeral portrayal in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; and, though I contend that the Oscars actually mean very little nowadays in terms of true achievements, fingers are nevertheless crossed in hopes that they recognize these worthy pieces.
Until the morning...

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