There’s been a fair amount of fall out from last week’s Academy Award nominations. The biggest controversy has surrounded the omission of The Dark Knight from the list of best picture nominees. I wouldn’t have included it myself (it was a very good film, not a brilliant film) but I wouldn’t have been too disappointed if it was nominated. It is the second highest grossing movie of all time in the United States and it was well received by both the public and critics. It has also featured in many lead up awards.


Spoilt Milk


I am a huge Oscar buff and follow many blogs and news sites throughout the year to read about the latest news. Of all the interesting articles I’ve seen, this one released over the weekend tops the pile -


On the Internet Movie Database (which the world’s biggest movie site), the public can rate a film on a scale between 1 and 10. The votes are collated electronically and you can see the current score of any movie. As you can see from the chart in the article, Milk’s ranking in the all-time best movies list took a nose dive after Thursday’s nominations. It seems a large number of people suddenly logged onto the site and gave it a score of 1 out of 10 – hence the fall in score.


As alluded to in this article, this is widely attributed to a backlash from homophobic moviegoers. I find this ironic in a week when Americans saluted their very first black President. I guess the gay movement still has a long way to go.


This reminds me of all the anti Brokeback Mountain sentiment in early 2006. It lost the best picture Oscar to Crash, despite the fact that Brokeback had won almost every single important lead up award. It’s sad to find out that little has changed in the past 3 years.


Screen Actors Guild Awards


The most important lead up awards to the Oscars are the Screen Actors Guild Awards (the SAGs).


They were held earlier today and the winners were:


Best Actor – Sean Penn (Milk)

Best Actress – Meryl Streep (Doubt)

Best Supporting Actor – Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)

Best Supporting Actress – Kate Winslet (The Reader)

Best Ensemble Cast – Slumdog Millionaire


They can’t match up with this year’s Oscar winners because both Winslet and Streep will face off in the same category – best actress.

The last major awards are the BAFTAs which are announced on 8 February 2009.


Oscar Betting


For those new to the Film Pie, I always place a few bets each year on the Academy Awards. I’ve done this every year since 1996 and over the last 12 years, I’ve managed a profit of $4,280. Hey, it’s fun to win the money, but I really do it for the challenge of outsmarting the betting agencies and showing that I know how to pick a winner.


Having won $265 already on the Golden Globes earlier this month, I’ve had the following bets on this year’s Oscars…

Best Actor – $400 on Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) to win $346.70.

Best Actress - $400 on Kate Winslet (The Reader) to win $386.83.


Mickey Rourke is in a two horse race with Sean Penn. The reason I like Rourke over Penn is because (1) Rourke’s win would be a remarkable comeback – a Cinderella story, and (2) Penn won in this category 5 years ago and it’s tough to back up so close after a win – the Academy likes to spread the love around. I know that Penn just won the SAG (which would automatically give him favouritism) but you have to remember that Penn didn’t win the SAG in the year he won the Oscar (for Mystic River). Today’s SAG win was his first and was widely tipped by the pundits. I did win a lot of money on Penn back in 2004 but this year I’m betting against him and going with Rourke.


Kate Winslet faces off against Meryl Streep in the best actress category. It’s going to be one hell of a contest but as Winslet has always been the bridesmaid and never the bride, I think the Academy will shine a light on her this year – her 6th nomination. She also has two great performances – The Reader and Revolutionary Road and that may sway voters minds. Streep is a danger but I think Winslet is too strong this year.


I’ve been talking so much about the Oscars and the year end awards races over the last few weeks. I usually don’t have much else to talk about at this time of the year so I hope it’s not too boring. See you next week!