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Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies 
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Post Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
The 5 Movies nominated this year...

Milk
Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Frost/Nixon

I have seen all 5 and here are my quick hit thoughts...

Milk...Good movie but I am not a huge Biopic Fan since they all follow the same trajectory

Slumdog Millionaire..loved it...Boyle's a genius and have loved his movies in the past like Trainspotting and Millions

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button...hated it..complete Forest Gump Rip-off....long and boring..this was one of those movies I was constantly looking at my watch from about the one hour point...that's never a good thing

The Reader...a joke this was nominated...take out Kate Winslet and her standard nudity and this is a really bad Hallmark or Lifetime Network Movie..the last 40 minutes after the trial ended never seemed like they were going to end...

Frost/Nixon....being a history buff I really liked this alot...this movie on paper has no business working but thanks to strong performances from the leads it does....not sure it was brilliant filmmaking but it was a good story...


I would have rather seen The Dark Knight and Gran Torino get nominated instead of Button and The Reader

The Dark Knight was just so epic and the story was really sad beneath the surface..just a great film that shows what a "comic book" movie can be

Gran Torino was just Eastwood at it's best....and the 5 minutes where the girl takes him to her party is the best 5 minutes on film this year...snappy dialogue one line after another..and no movie's ending in 2008 had me thinking about it more


Should Win..Slumdog Millionaire

Will Win...Slumdog Millionaire


Share your thoughts....I like seeing what other people think and can sometimes change my opinions based on a good arguement


Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:28 pm
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
Benjamin Button: My favorite of the bunch, though I've still only seen it once and simply know my appreciation for it will deepen (if not necessarily grow) will multiple viewings. The Forrest Gump parallels hardly bother me, even if it amounts to screenwriter hackery (a judgment call I'm deliberately not making; in my mind, it's the superior remake this story has long deserved). Fincher's sleight of hand is astonishing, and though I dislike the often knee-jerk comparisons to Kubrick's perfectionism, the manner in which emotion is doled out through his almost hermetically-sealed mise-en-scene does ring a bit of Barry Lyndon. Maybe a masterpiece. (***1/2)

Milk: Paranoid Park is the Van Sant joint of the year, but this is another solid effort from one of our best auteurs, and one of the most astonishingly well balanced cases of mainstream and indie styles since the explosion of the latter. We can debate about Proposition 8 all we want, but in the end I think the film boils down to a very well rendered character study/biography, not much more but all the better for its generally humble nature. Penn's practically a chameleon in the role; I hope Rourke wins the Oscar for sentimentality's sake, but I do prefer Penn's performance in the end, if only just. (***)

Frost/Nixon: Against expectations, this is the first Ron Howard film I've been able to call remotely watchable since Apollo 13. Still not very good, though, best when it centers on Langella, but I still don't buy its manipulation of history, seeing as the film itself purports general historical importance (versus the dreadful A Beautiful Mind, which was pure Hollywood gimmickry, so stylistically divorced from its real life subject matter that the creative liberties struck me as totally unimportant). A weak dramatization with nothing else going for it; Howard's emperor still has no clothes. (**)

The Reader: This has nothing to do with The Dark Knight, a film I like very much but find astonishingly overrated. If this movie wins the Oscar (a dark horse possibility I very much dread), it will stand as one of the worst to ever take home the prize, if not the worst (I still haven't had the willpower to revisit Haggis' awful Crash). By the time Winslet was bawling her eyes out to the climax of "The Odyssey", I was out for the count, sickened by the superficiality and blatant awards-baiting, which at times seemed less like schmaltz than outright self-parody. This film offers only lip service about its serious issues, pandering to pseudo-intellectuals who pat themselves on the back for rewarding this kind of self-important junk. How sad that Winslet will most likely win for the worst performance she's yet been nominated for (I disliked Revolutionary Road almost as much, but found her work in that film to be quite excellent). (*1/2)

Slumdog Millionaire: I was smitten by this movie from the start, and though I can't call it great, I'm definitely a fan of it and will be pleased if it wins (and most likely when) it wins Best Picture, primarily because I've long seen Danny Boyle as a talent and this will surely do wonders for his career. Don't quite get the hate the film's garnered in some circles, most of which translates to "lots of editing = bad", "manipulation of feeling = bad", which I simply don't buy if the film itself isn't dubious about those facts. Oscar may be largely "out of touch" this year (I don't think it's so much that they're out of touch as they just don't care), but it's nice to see a genuinely feel-good movie getting such laudatory praise. (***)

Should win: Slumdog

Will win: Slumdog

Dark horse: The Reader


Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:06 pm
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
I agree with the OP, The Reader shouldn't have been nominated. I'm still on the fence about Benjamin Button; it was good, especially in the technical areas, but there are all the problems that people have been talking about. Frost/Nixon was solid, but there were better options I thought. If I had it my way, my five would be:

Slumdog Millionaire
Milk
The Dark Knight
Revolutionary Road
In Bruges (I know this one was probably out of the discussion, but it was my second favorite movie of the year)


Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:12 pm
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
El Duderino wrote:
In Bruges (I know this one was probably out of the discussion, but it was my second favorite movie of the year)

I'm not that big of a fan of it (meaning I don't love it like it's biggest adherents do), but In Bruges is definitely one that grows on you. I watched it, liked it, and now, some six months later, ended up buying it. The end really gets you, too, I think, smacking you with profundity that you might not have realized was already there. That plus how the movie straddles the line between the sick and funny and just plain brutally real is something to behold, almost on par with last year's No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood.


Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:47 pm
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
robhumanick wrote:
El Duderino wrote:
In Bruges (I know this one was probably out of the discussion, but it was my second favorite movie of the year)

I'm not that big of a fan of it (meaning I don't love it like it's biggest adherents do), but In Bruges is definitely one that grows on you. I watched it, liked it, and now, some six months later, ended up buying it. The end really gets you, too, I think, smacking you with profundity that you might not have realized was already there. That plus how the movie straddles the line between the sick and funny and just plain brutally real is something to behold, almost on par with last year's No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood.


Exactly. When I first watched it, I was expecting a flashy action comedy that never took itself too seriously, almost in the vein of a Guy Ritchie film. By the end though, I was taken aback by, as you said, the brutality of it. The whole movie was surprisingly thought-provoking while still maintaining some absurdity, and on top of that, the "unorthodox" dialogue had me in stitches at all the right moments. This movie had one of the best balances between drama and comedy that I can recall.


Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:13 pm
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
I've only seen three of the five Oscar nominated movies, so I'll only comment on those.

Frost/Nixon - The first one of the Best Picture nominees I saw was also my favorite. For a movie about interviews, it's absolutely thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat most of the time, especially toward the end with the last interview. Excellent movie. (***1/2)

Benjamin Button - It was good, but still kinda disappointing. I really enjoyed it up until we see Tilda Swinton for the last time, then I started to lose interest. It has a really good ending, though. (***)

Slumdog Millionaire - Really awesome. I didn't like it quite as much as Frost/Nixon, but still worthy of a Best Picture nomination. At the end, I found myself cheering for the protagonist. It's the only movie this year that has gotten me to do that. (***1/2)

As for Milk and The Reader, I still really want to see Milk, but I may have to wait for it to come out on Blu-Ray. I really have no desire to see The Reader. If I do, that'll be on Blu-Ray as well.

Should Win: Frost/Nixon
Will Win: Slumdog Millionaire

If I were picking the nominees, they would be:

The Dark Knight - My favorite movie of the year. (****)
Frost/Nixon - See above. (***1/2)
In Bruges - An absolutely brilliant film, hilarious yet thrilling. (***1/2)
Wall-E - It's a shame this got dumped in the Best Animated Feature category. (***1/2)
Slumdog Millionaire - See above. (***1/2)


Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:34 pm
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
I'll stick up a bit for The Reader here. While The Dark Knight deserved the spot for Best Picture, it is a very good film that left me quite conflicted by the end, and that is a feeling I just don't get very often anymore from films.

I found myself emotionally relating to the main male character, Michael Berg, especially the younger version played by David Kross. There is the element of excitement in the romance that (quite unbelievably) blossoms between him and Kate Winslet, but it is the moral conflict he faces later in the film that drew me in.

Of course, I also think Revolutionary Road was, maybe, the best film I saw this year so maybe my judgment is whack.


Last edited by Edmund Exley on Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:29 pm
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
Nice analysis Rob...I enjoyed reading that....did not change my mind on Button though....The other thing about Button that annoys the hell out of me is it's one of those movie's that think's it's more important than it really is and that it is making some sort of grand sweeping statement about life....I'd rather go sit through 4 Christmases again...at least that piece of crap had the common courtesy to only be 80 minutes instead of 166!!!


Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:30 pm
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
This is one of those years where I really don't have a film this year I love in the best picture line-up. Milk, Benjamin Button and Frost/Nixon are great films, while Slumdog Millionaire is merely good in my eyes. Though I know Valkyrie, Speed Racer and W had no chance, the lack of recognition for Dark Knight and Wall-E doesn't make sense. Here they had a chance to nominate two films that were adored by the public and were actually hugely critically acclaimed and they completely blew over them, simply because one had a lead character dressing as a bat and another was done entirely on a computer.


Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:30 pm
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
Thus far, I've seen Slumdog Millionaire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Reader.

I enjoyed Slumdog the most by far. Benjamin Button was quite good, but it truly felt long and the more I think about it, the more I realize how boring a character Benjamin Button is. And The Reader didn't do a lot for me.


Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:33 pm
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
I love Slumdog Millionaire. I've seen it three times and it hasn't worn on me yet. I like Milk and Frost/Nixon a lot, but I almost appreciate them more than I like them. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button started out at number five in my end-of-the-year top ten, but now it's nowhere to be found. Its flaws are beginning to shine brighter for me and it's length is becoming something of a distraction the more I think about it. I'd like to see it again, though. As far as The Reader goes, it's good. Best Picture? Hell no.

My ideal five (different from my top five, which includes U2 3D and The Class):

Slumdog Millionaire
The Dark Knight
Let the Right One In
The Wrestler
WALL-E

My ideal Oscar-nominated five (Oscar-predicting mentality: those that had a good chance and deserved the nomination, regardless of what I thought):

Slumdog Millionaire
The Dark Knight
Milk
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
WALL-E


Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:52 pm
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
I don't think there's any question that "Slumdog Millionaire" will win at this point. And while I didn't even have it in my year's top ten, I think it's a good choice as it's universally beloved. Nice change of pace for the Oscars, as well!

I'll agree with everyone that says "The Reader" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" don't belong anywhere near this list. I'd replace them with "The Wrestler" and "WALL-E".

I'm still baffled that "The Reader" was chosen over "Revolutionary Road". I know people think the latter is self-important and pretentious... but "The Reader" just didn't work for me at all once the trial started. I prefer Kate Winslet's performance in "Revolutionary Road", as well.


Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:28 pm
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
I've seen all five and I can live with Button, Milk, and Slumdog as contenders. Slumdog finished second on my top 10 (only Knight finished higher). Frost/Nixon is a fine movie hampered by a few minor problems including too many retrospective interviews. Reader was fine for the first half but ran out of gas near the end. Didn't help that the movie worked as a circle story. Slumdog made that work. Reader doesn't.

Batting 3/5 ain't bad, given the Academy's unpredictable nature. Revolutionary Road should have gotten the nod (same for Winslet's performance there) and Knight, I suppose. If not that, then maybe something like Wrestler or Rachel Getting Married.


Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:36 am
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
C.R. Jakes wrote:
I've seen all five and I can live with Button, Milk, and Slumdog as contenders. Slumdog finished second on my top 10 (only Knight finished higher). Frost/Nixon is a fine movie hampered by a few minor problems including too many retrospective interviews. Reader was fine for the first half but ran out of gas near the end. Didn't help that the movie worked as a circle story. Slumdog made that work. Reader doesn't.

Batting 3/5 ain't bad, given the Academy's unpredictable nature. Revolutionary Road should have gotten the nod (same for Winslet's performance there) and Knight, I suppose. If not that, then maybe something like Wrestler or Rachel Getting Married.


Rachel Getting Married's so underappreciated. It never would have been considered for Best Picture in a billion years and that's unfortunate. Its style really works and Anne Hathaway blows me away. Although I felt Winslet outperformed her in The Reader, I think I favor Hathaway just a tiny bit more. She's had a rocky year and I empathized with her character more. There a lot of movies that I've only seen once, but I think back to and have very fond memories. Rachel Getting Married is one of them and I'll probably get it on Blu-ray soon to rectify the problem. That all being said, it deserved an Original Screenplay nomination.


Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:43 am
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
wow, some interesting thoughts,

Slumdog, my pic to win, and a good film well deserved.

Benjamin Button, well, a good movie, but really shouldn't have been nominated over Torino, in my humble opinion, overtly long, and just a touch to cute.

Frost/Nikon, not seen yet

The Reader, here is where I differ from folks, I think it is a remarkable film because of the way the movie makes you wonder and think about the choices the characters make in the movie, particularly the second half, This film had folks talking at work on several different days. I agree with the nomination

Milk, a good film, deserved nomination, but I wasn't drawn into this film like some of the others,

three that should have been nominated: Dark Knight, Gran Torino, Rachel Getting Married (also agree, a very underrated Film!) Add these to the Doubt, and Slumdog and you have my 5


Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:37 am
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
While I disagree with you about Gran Torino deserving a Best Picture nomination, I was one-hundred percent satisfied with it. Maybe I'm the bad guy, but I thought it was one of the funniest movies of the year since it was so over-the-top. I also thought it was richly affecting and it is a hair away from my top ten of the year.


Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:56 pm
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
Freeze Gopher wrote:
I would have rather seen The Dark Knight and Gran Torino get nominated instead of Button and The Reader

The Dark Knight was just so epic and the story was really sad beneath the surface..just a great film that shows what a "comic book" movie can be

Gran Torino was just Eastwood at it's best....and the 5 minutes where the girl takes him to her party is the best 5 minutes on film this year...snappy dialogue one line after another..and no movie's ending in 2008 had me thinking about it more


Agree 100%, a bit of a joke really.


Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:57 am
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
The Reader has gotten considerable backlash (mostly from people who perceive its nomination as a slight to the Dark Knight and the Wrestler). James didn't seem to be blown away by it, but does it really not have any business with the others? I have no burning desire to see it, but I was just curious about whether its panning was deserved or because it was included over the others I mentioned.


Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:09 pm
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
I still have not seen Slumdog Millionaire, but out of the choices here that I've seen so far, I really, really liked Milk. Now, I hate the politics surrounding the Oscars as much as anyone - does anyone think, considering the whole Proposition 8 spiel and backlash over in California, that Milk stands a chance to win Best Picture, if only for symbolic reasons? There's something to ponder. I personally hate when movies or actors/actresses win simply because of Oscar "politics."

That said, I think it deserves to win anyway - I loved it. ;)

And...that said, I hate the Oscars. I used to love them when I was young.
I've quickly realized how irrelevant they are to my well being and enjoyment of film.


Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:12 pm
Post Re: Best Picture 2009 Nominated Movies
I was actually shocked when the reader and button got nominated
i hated both of them
i thought revolutionary road and dark knight would get the nomination


Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:49 am
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