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December 04, 2008

'Slumdog,' Hathaway and Eastwood


"Slumdog Millionaire" but no Danny Boyle, David Fincher but not "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Anne Hathaway but not "Rachel Getting Married."

If the National Board of Review Awards, just announced, are any indication of Oscar, there may be some mismatches in the offing. We'd rather think that these kudos are right in some cases and really off the mark in others -- Clint Eastwood as best actor for "Gran Torino"? Over Sean Penn and/or Mickey Rourke? That wouldn't be our vote, though it's well documented how much the Academy loves Clint, and he's said this is his last acting gig.

Not to overlook the quality of NBR's picks. Penelope Cruz for best supporting actress in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," "WALL-E" for best animated feature, "Mongol" for best foreign film and "Man on Wire" for best documentary. There's "Slumdog" as best picture, with its writer, Simon Beaufoy, sharing the adapted screenplay award with "Benjamin Button's" Eric Roth. Richard Jenkins ("The Visitor") shares the Spotlight Award with Melissa Leo ("Frozen River").

But some of those Top 10 films of the year? We can see at least three of those -- "Defiance," "Burn After Reading" and "Changeling" -- that wouldn't come anywhere near our list.

Here's the full list. Let us know what you think this critics' group hit and what it missed.


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Revolutionary Road should be on the list and so should Heath Ledger. Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet should finally win their oscars this year.

Dark Knight

What about Dark Knight? Personally, I think that should be awarded Best Picture. For some reason, the Academy virtually always awards emotional and liberal films that peculiar oscar and almost never anything breathtaking unless it falls underneath the above categories. Either that, or they seem to fall in love with films nobody ever sees or ever wants to see in the theater (No Country for Old Men, Crash, American Beauty, Bah!). What about Star Wars? What about E.T.? What about Jaws? What about Spiderman 2? All of those films were a thousand times better than the films that had won Best Picture. But nooooo...they have to pick Annie Hall, Gandhi, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Million Dollar Baby. Why not make an emo film about a miserable enviromentalist wacko pacifist who can't stand being poor and not being able to buy himself a pair of shoes because he can't afford them and instead of getting a job and trying to excell, he throws a fit and starts crying in pain and agony for ninety minutes and everybody starts pitying him? And then award that film Best Picture simply because it is emotional and it's a drama and it's hating capitalism? I hate those movies! Plus they are never any good compared the breathtaking films like Star Wars or the Dark Knight (the last breathtaking film to have won Best Picture was The Return of the King, though I am convinced that they probably could not get away with denying that film a win like they did with the other predecessors). Dark Knight for Best Picture, or I'll boycott the entire Academy!

Blade Runner

I agree. Dark Knight for Best Picture!

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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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