Wednesday, January 23, 2008

First Oscar Thoughts and the Heath Ledger News

What a shocking news story from yesterday.  I doubt that I'd call myself a Heath Ledger fan, although I thought he was very good in Brokeback Mountain.  I joked about him getting the role as Joker, but was coming around on it as I heard reports from set and saw the first pictures.  Apparently he had a very dark take on the iconic character, and it might have played a role in his death.  There was a story from a couple of weeks ago where he talked about how he was having a hard time with the character and had only been able to sleep a couple of hours a night since wrapping up the role.  That story leads me to believe that his death was accidental stemming from an overdose on sleeping pills.  It's a shame that he would die at such a young age (ah, I remember 28.  Like it was only two years ago) and obviously could have brought so many more roles to life.  My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family, and especially his two year old daughter.

This news on the "Entertainment" front totally overshadowed the release of the Oscar nominations, and rightfully so.  Much later, I'll do my prediction post as well as my 2007 Top Ten and Honorable mentions, but I do have a couple quick thoughts.

This is probably one of the most wide open Best Picture races in years.  Only Juno doesn't really have much chance.  There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men both had the most nominations (8), while Atonement and Michael Clayton each had 7.  No clear cut favorite at this point, although of these four, I feel Michael Clayton is the least likely, considering two of the films have more nominations, and Atonement already has some wins under its belt.

The most surprising thing to me is there isn't a single nomination for one of the year's best (if not the best) films, David Fincher's Zodiac.  Even Norbit got a nomination for goodness sake.

The last preliminary thought I had after seeing the nominations is that Original Song has gotten a little pointless.  For the last few years, one movie has provided at least three of the five nominated songs.  I think they should probably limit this to just three nominations, and have a rule only allowing one entry per movie.  That would serve to shorten the Oscar telecast (something they are always looking to do) as well as make the category a little more suspenseful.  (Plus, my regular readers know that this is always my least favorite part of the Oscars, and I'm somewhat of a songwriter myself, I just hate what this category has become.)  At least they went back to the original artists performing the music as opposed to the one year when Beyonce sang them all.  Painful.

Until Next Time, the return of LOST is just over a week away, and I can't wait.

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