If I Ran The Academy

Or, as “the Bagger” put it today, if I “owned every one of the Academy’s 5,800 votes, what injustices would be rectified?” Okay, here’s what.

One, Revolutionary Road would be a Best Picture nominee. Two, Michael Shannon, a beautiful glint-of-madness actor with things to do and miles to go before he sleeps, would win for Best Supporting Actor. Three, The Dark Knight would still not be one of the five Best Picture nominees because it wore me down by being too damn long. Four, WALL*E, just for fun, would be. Five, The Visitor‘s Hiam Abbass would be a Best Supporting Actress nominee, and she might even win.

Let’s go for five more. Six, Kate Winslet would win the Best Actress Oscar for her work in Revolutionary Road and not The Reader. Seven, Gomorrah would be a Best Foreign Film nominee, for Chrissake. Eight, Steven Soderbergh‘s Che would be a Best Picture nominee. Nine, Clint Eastwood‘s iconic Gran Torino performance would be one of the five Best Actor nominees. And ten, I would create a Best Walk-On, Smaller-Than-Supporting Performance Oscar.

50 thoughts on “If I Ran The Academy

  1. Rich S. on said:

    Eleven, I would give out all the technical awards ahead of time, allow each recipient to pick one scene from each film that they felt was most representative of their work, and clear out the whole thing with a montage. It would lop an hour out of the show.

  2. Then Shannon would get the special “walk on” award… so would Viola Davis.

    “Waltz with Bashir” also gets nominated for best animated film and best Documentary.

  3. Change of heart — not tbecause I feel differently but what the hell, you need a populist film in there and I respected the first 30 to 40 minutes of that film enormously.

  4. And further-

    Beckinsale and Farmiga both get nominated (the latter winning).

    Franco is in and Shannon is out.

    Springsteen’s song is beautiful and should have been nominated.

    Woody Allen is nominated over the Coen bros in the screenplay category.

  5. I’m from Jersey. Whenever a Springsteen album is released, it’s written in the state constitution that every Jersey-born citizen must pick it up. And while I like the song for The Wrestler, and think it fits the film perfectly, it’s really not a very good song at all. “Have you ever seen a one-____ _____, then you’ve seen me.” That’s the song. Over and over again.

    And with the walk-on, so long as Shannon would take it and Tom Cruise for Tropic Thunder, I’m all for it.

  6. But I thought CHE wasn’t eligble for the 2008 Oscars because it came out too late? So, won’t CHE be nominated for 2009 Oscars…?

    That movie really deserves a Best Picture nod, though.

    I would also give Springsteen an Oscar nod for his work in The Wrestler. It’s truly an outrage that he wasn’t nominated.

    in my control, Revolutionary Road would NOT be considered for Best Picture, and I’d certainly have not included The Reader, either.

    I would have nominated WALTZ WITH BASHIR as Best Animated Film along with Wall*E because that category deserves better than KUNG FU PANDA and BOLT. For god’s sake.

  7. and if I was wrong about CHE being ineligable, then I would have given Benico del Toro a Best Actor nod for his amazing portrayal of Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

  8. Thank you for the WALL-E semi-turnaround. And totally agree about Shannon deserving a win (no special walk-on category needed) as well as the “right” Winslet.

  9. Can anyone tell me what RR did for them that was so “revolutionary?”

    I don’t mean to be glib, but I’m really not seeing anything in there that wasn’t already explored 10 years ago in American Beauty…or 30 years ago in Ordinary People.

    I know that is sort of a D.Z.-type dismissive statement, but I’m really curious what people admired about that film (outside the acting, which I agree is strong).

  10. Kaned — I admired the writing, directing, acting, editing, and cinematography of Rev Road. Just to name a few things. It wouldn’t make my top 5 of the year but it’s a very strong film.

  11. Jeff: You and David Poland should both just have

    a permanent link to “the Bagger” on your sites.

    It would save you a lot of cutting and pasting.

  12. If Jane Fonda ran the Academy, at least one injustice would be remedied. I just read the following on her back-to-Broadway blog:

    “… Kristin Scott Thomas was living here [in my apartment] during her run in Chekov’s “The Seagull.” What an extraordinary actor she is! Have you seen her in the film “I’ve Loved You So Long”? Whew! She’ll be one my nominees for Best Actor for an Oscar for that role … and will almost no words, just subtle changes in expression, she tells a whole story of emotional transformation.”

    PS – Had to sign in EIGHT TIMES in order to post. Clearing cookies alone didn’t fix the problem.

  13. Rev. Road did nothing new, and it did it poorly, ruining a great novel in the process. And Kathy Bates gave one of the worst performances of the year. When did she become a terrible actress?

  14. Thoughts on Jeff’s ideas.

    1) Yes. Yes. Yes. I think the REVOLUTIONARY ROAD took it for granted that they would get nominated and thus undercampaigned. I think bad word of mouth also hurt it. Nonetheless, it should rightfully be one of the top five, if not the winner.

    2) Any other year and I’d give it to Michael Shannon. Not this one.

    3) THE DARK KNIGHT may be too damn long, but I’d still throw it in the top five anyway.

    4) I’ve bitched about this in greater detail earlier, but WALL-E should be a nominee. In fact, I’d give it leeway over THE DARK KNIGHT.

    5) Am about to watch THE VISITOR this week.

    6) Kate Winslet deserves it for REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, not THE READER.

    7) Haven’t seen GOMORRAH, but what’s with the foreign film branch not nominating tough movies? No CITY OF GOD, no 4 MONTHS 3 WEEKS, and no GOMORRAH. Those people are wimps.

    8) Like you, I am a firm believer that CHE and REVOLUTIONARY ROAD were the two best movies of the year. I hope to god that everybody understands why someday.

    9) Eastwood barely misses my ballot. Best Actor is a crowded category.

    10) I guess you just created a separate category for Anthony Quinn and Beatrice Straight, thus allowing Robert Stack (WRITTEN ON THE WIND) and…I dunno…who would have won in 1976 if not Straight?

    11) IN BRUGES would win original screenplay. It deserves to.

  15. Las Vegas should give odds on whether or not Kate Winslet will weep during her acceptance speech. The poor dear obviously wants it so badly she’s practically salivating over it. I hope she gets it because if not her head might explode. Think of all the future great performances we’ll miss if that happens.

  16. I guess I’d take out BENJAMIN BUTTON, READER and FROST/NIXON, though that’s not to say I dislike them (haven’t seen READER). My top five would be CHE, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, DARK KNIGHT, WALL-E and SLUMDOG (guess I just took MILK out too).

    I can’t nominate it, obviously, but I also thought RECOUNT was terrific. Would that that could win original screenplay.

  17. The Fall would be nommed for Best Cinematography, and win.

    “The poor dear obviously wants it so badly she’s practically salivating over it. I hope she gets it because if not her head might explode.”

    Yeah but…wouldn’t it be great if Leo won? I know I’m being mean but I’d kinda like to see a frozen smile on her face while Leo walks up the stairs to accept the statue. Just because…

  18. wipe out Best Song. Who gives a shit about this category? Then there would be no need for 30 minutes of singing at the Oscars. Why does the least important category get more air-time than the rest?

  19. How about expanding the nominations? Why is there a set number that can be nominated? It should be fluid from year to year. Some years it would be more because of the quality of movies/directors/actors, and other years, it would not be as much. The academy could have a vote after all the nominations and that could weed out some of them. Also, move the show to saturday. More people would watch, and the issue of time would not matter as much.

  20. “Three, The Dark Knight would still not be one of the five Best Picture nominees because it wore me down by being too damn long. ”

    “Change of heart — not tbecause I feel differently but what the hell, you need a populist film in there and I respected the first 30 to 40 minutes of that film enormously.

    Come now, Jeff: you seem to “respect enormously” about 40% of Wall-E but now want to punish The Dark Knight for being overlong?

    Lest we forget, here you are back in July…

    “Some have lamented the oppressive, too-convoluted, over-labynthian pitch darkness of Chris and Jonathan Nolan’s script. But the film is so well slapped together, you see, and committed to its Trip of Darkness, and it doesn’t really drag all that much besides so what’s to complain about? This movie knows itself, knows the turf, keeps the engine tuned, nails it all down…

    …But I really quite liked the way the Joker’s social experiment with the two ferry boats worked out. To me, that was the movie’s beating-heart payoff. It’s almost a kind of Obama moment.

    But if that doesn’t work for you there’s Heath Ledger’s wet mangy hair to look forward to, and what a delight that is. The Dark Knight never once pissed me off or pulled me down, and I loved the ending. But Ledger lifted me out of my seat.”

  21. But I thought CHE wasn’t eligble for the 2008 Oscars because it came out too late? So, won’t CHE be nominated for 2009 Oscars…?

    That movie really deserves a Best Picture nod, though.

    I would also give Springsteen an Oscar nod for his work in The Wrestler. It’s truly an outrage that he wasn’t nominated.

    in my control, Revolutionary Road would NOT be considered for Best Picture, and I’d certainly have not included The Reader, either.

    I would have nominated WALTZ WITH BASHIR as Best Animated Film along with Wall*E because that category deserves better than KUNG FU PANDA and BOLT. For god’s sake.

  22. and if I was wrong about CHE being ineligable, then I would have given Benico del Toro a Best Actor nod for his amazing portrayal of Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

  23. Wells has a short memory on his TDK posts.

    If I had had a ballot to nominate Best Picture:

    1) Revolutionary Road

    2) Rachel Getting Married

    3) I’ve Loved You So Long

    4) The Wrestler

    5) Wall-E

    Also, DiCaprio over Langella in Best Actor. Winslet for Revolutionary Road and I’d banish Daldry from contention for the rest of time. And retroactively, Master & Commander for Best Picture.

  24. Wells has a short memory on his TDK posts.

    If I had had a ballot to nominate Best Picture:

    1) Revolutionary Road
    2) Rachel Getting Married
    3) I’ve Loved You So Long
    4) The Wrestler
    5) Wall-E

    Also, DiCaprio over Langella in Best Actor. Winslet for Revolutionary Road and I’d banish Daldry from contention for the rest of time. And retroactively, Master & Commander for Best Picture.

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