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5 Thoughts on the Oscar Nominations (Part 1)

Posted by HeroOfCanton, Jan 22 2009, 09:30 PM

(Sorry for the long break from blogging, but I suspect that at least for Oscar Season, I'll be around more.)

As I get them prepared, I thought I would share five things I find interesting about this year's Oscar nominees. (For a complete list of nominees, you can look just about anywhere, but here's the official Academy site.)

1. Does the Academy have a problem with brown foreigners?

For a long time, the Academy lived under a cloud of racism, with everyone assuming the members were too old and too white to vote for actors who weren't white and spoke the King's English. It was 24 years between Hattie McDaniel and Sindey Poitier and another 26 years until Denzel Washington. But then it looked as thought things might be changing with wins and nominations for Hallie Barry, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy, and others. And for years only world superstar Sophia Loren could claim an acting win for a foreign language film, but then Roberto Benigni won, and last year all four acting awards went to non-Americans, including a foreign language performance from Marion Cotillard.

So perhaps the explanation for the Academy's oversight of Slumdog Millionaire in the acting categories is that they like minorities and foreigners now, but not foreign brown people? Especially when the names are hard to pronounce--actually, Dev Patel is pretty easy, but who's counting? Speaking of Patel, he did receive a Supporting Actor nomination from SAG, but Oscar voters decided to go with Michael Shannon, who reports claim is the best thing in Revolutionary Road, so maybe it was the right choice. However, it is awfully suspicious, and rare, for a movie to recieve 10 nominations, including Best Picture, without reaping a single acting bid. After all, how many movies are 10-nominations good without having, you know, good actors?


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