‘WALL-E,’ ‘The Dark Knight’ Snubbed For Major 2009 Oscar Nominations

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet

CHICAGO – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their 81st annual nominees this morning, January 22nd, 2009. For a body that has been known to make shocking mistakes, they may have topped themselves by excluding the two most beloved movies of 2008, “WALL-E” and “The Dark Knight” from the Best Picture category.

Heath Ledger landed a nomination for “The Dark Knight” and “WALL-E” was included in the screenplay category, but both were left out of several major categories, including both Christopher Nolan and Andrew Stanton being ignored for best director of the year.

Overall, “The Dark Knight” scored eight nominations and “WALL-E” racked up an impressive six, but the exclusion of both from director and picture makes it clear that the Academy didn’t think they were among the best films of the year.

Christian Bale (left) stars as Batman and Heath Ledger (right) stars as the Joker in The Dark Knight
Christian Bale (left) stars as Batman and Heath Ledger (right) stars as the Joker in “The Dark Knight”.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

The films that did have a good morning when the nominees were announced on Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 include “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” with a stunning 13 nominations. “Button” will compete with “Frost/Nixon,” “Milk,” “The Reader,” and “Slumdog Millionaire” for the big prize. “Slumdog” came in second with a surprising 10 nominations. “Frost/Nixon” scored five nods, “Milk” landed an impressive eight, and “The Reader” can lay claim to five.

The best director category matched the picture one five for five with David Fincher, Ron Howard, Gus Van Sant, Stephen Daldry, and Danny Boyle all being able to put Oscar-nominated next to their name now. Shockingly, Christopher Nolan was left off the list and some had expected that Darren Aronofsky, might make the cut for “The Wrestler”. We forgot about the Academy’s blind adoration of Stephen Daldry. Three movies - “Billy Elliot,” “The Hours,” “The Reader” - a best director nomination for all three.

In one of the few pleasant surprises of the day and a category that they arguably got right, Richard Jenkins will compete for best actor for “The Visitor” with Frank Langella from “Frost/Nixon,” Sean Penn for “Milk,” Brad Pitt for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and Mickey Rourke for “The Wrestler”.

Angelina Jolie made up for her snubbing last year and landed a nod for her work in “Changeling”. She’ll fight for best actress with Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married,” Melissa Leo in “Frozen River,” Meryl Streep in “Doubt,” and Kate Winslet in “The Reader”. The exclusion of Sally Hawkins’ award-winning work in “Happy-Go-Lucky” was the shock of the day and the kind of snubbing that will be remembered for decades.

The supporting actor category produced a surprise with Michael Shannon landing the only nomination for “Revolutionary Road”. He will compete against the frontrunner, Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight,” Josh Brolin in “Milk,” Robert Downey Jr. in “Tropic Thunder,” and Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Doubt”. Why does it feel like Heath Ledger’s category is the only one people will tune in for? If they’re smart, they’ll give it away late in the telecast.

With Winslet moving from supporting to lead for her work in “The Reader,” that left the race for that category wide open with Penelope Cruz returning back to frontrunner status for her turn in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”. She’ll compete with the ladies from “Doubt” - Amy Adams & Viola Davis - Taraji P. Henson for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and Marisa Tomei for “The Wrestler”.

Taraji P. Henson (left) stars as Queenie and Brad Pitt (right) stars as Benjamin Button in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Taraji P. Henson (left) stars as Queenie with Brad Pitt (right front) in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”.
Photo credit: Merrick Morton, Paramount Pictures

Another shocking snub happened in original screenplay when the regularly-nominated Woody Allen was left out of the category in favor of “Frozen River,” “Happy-Go-Lucky,” “In Bruges,” “Milk”, and “WALL-E”. The adapted screenplay category was the most predictable of the day with “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Doubt,” “Frost/Nixon,” “The Reader,” and “Slumdog Millionaire” being the predictable competition.

Nominees for best foreign language film include “Der Baader Meinhof Complex,” “The Class,” “Departures,” “Revanche,” and the likely winner, “Waltz With Bashir”. Animated film nominees were pretty routine with “Bolt” and “Kung Fu Panda” competing for second place with “WALL-E” a likely winner. The final snub of the day? Bruce Springsteen didn’t make the cut for his great title track from “The Wrestler”. The other nominees follow.

Best Art Direction
“Changeling”
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Dark Knight”
“The Duchess”
“Revolutionary Road”

Best Cinematography
“Changeling”
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Dark Knight”
“The Reader”
“Slumdog Millionaire”

Best Costume Design

“Australia”
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Duchess”
“Milk”
“Revolutionary Road”

Best Documentary Feature
“The Betrayal”
“Encounters at the End of the World”
“The Garden”
“Man on Wire”
“Trouble the Water”

Best Editing
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Dark Knight”
“Frost/Nixon”
“Milk”
“Slumdog Millionaire”

Best Makeup
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Dark Knight”
“Hellboy II: The Golden Army”

Best Original Score
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“Defiance”
“Milk”
“Slumdog Millionaire”
WALL-E”

Best Original Song
“Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire”
“O Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire”
“Down to Earth” from “WALL-E”

Best Sound Editing
“The Dark Knight”
“Iron Man”
“Slumdog Millionaire”
WALL-E”
“Wanted”

Best Sound Mixing
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Dark Knight”
“Slumdog Millionaire”
WALL-E”
“Wanted”

Best Visual Effects
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Dark Knight”
“Iron Man”

3:26 p.m. update on Jan. 22, 2009: Various nominees have responded with statements about their 2009 Oscar nominations. Read this story here.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

slumdog's picture

“Why does it feel like

Why does it feel like Heath Ledger’s category is the only one people will tune in for? If they’re smart, they’ll give it away late in the telecast.”

It is understandable and very predictable of you to say this. However, some good films like slumdog (as you mentioned surprisingly, but predictably on your part) got nominations along with walle and benjamin button. Even though there were some notable snubs (Sally hawkins, dark knight for best picture, springsteen for wrestler) the academy none the less have made some good choices. Dev patel should have been nominated for supporting actor (a snub from you and the academy). Ledger was rightly nominated and will win. Rehman who has always produced some thrilling music finally gets nominated for a movie since it was produced by a hollywood distributor. he has made far better compositions but alas how would you know about it. Lets just say that even if half the population of india watches the oscars, the organizing committee might feel it will be a hit (which india will surely will)

Anonymous's picture

Wall-E is my favorite movie

Wall-E is my favorite movie among all listed above. It has everything any successful animated movie needs: interesting plot, love, chasing, adventures, much music. I strongly recommend Wall-E to everybody who hasn’t watched it yet.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
referendum
tracker