My annual “shoulda been a contender” list is up at MSN now.
Academy voters have proven quite open-minded about hobbits and elves, serial killers, gangsters and all manner of eccentrics when it comes to handing out Oscar gold. So why is it that comic-book movies still get no love from Oscar? “The Dark Knight” has been racking up critics’ awards and guild nominations all season, only to be knocked out of Academy Award contention by the self-consciously serious “The Reader.” Literary pedigree and “important” themes trump pop-culture mythology. Apparently voters don’t know how to respond when the metaphors are masked in spectacular set pieces and Halloween costumes.
From the flamboyant to the sublime: It would have been lovely to see Kelly Reichardt‘s quietly intimate “Wendy and Lucy” get a nom and some much-deserved attention. And although foreign films are rarely acknowledged in the top category, it would have been exhilarating to see “A Christmas Tale” (MSN Movie’s pick for best film of 2008) in that company, especially because it wasn’t even submitted for the Foreign Language Film category. At least “WALL-E” has its Animated Feature Film nomination (and is pretty much a shoo-in to take home the statue).
See the complete list here.