Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday Oscar Retrospective: The Real Best Pictures of 2008

Welcome back to a weekly feature here at Movies with Abe, Wednesday Oscar Retrospective. The Real Best Pictures is the seventh in a series of projects looking back at the past eight years of the Oscars, dating back to the first ceremony I watched and closely followed.

For this feature, imagine that an Oscar nomination for Best Picture was cumulative rather than based on votes in just that category. That means taking into account how well a film performed in other categories, and how many Oscars it eventually took home. Like the other series before it, this one is highly speculative, but the point is just to have fun, so chime in with your thoughts in the comments!

And the nominees were… The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader, Slumdog Millionaire

The keepers, no questions: Winner Slumdog Millionaire was the surest thing, as was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which earned a staggering thirteen nomination. Milk, which earned Oscars for lead actor Sean Penn and for its original screenplay, was safe too.

The question marks: Though it received five nominations, Frost/Nixon didn’t win any of them. It did get all of the crucial nominations – Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, and Editing – so it may still have stayed.

The losers: That would be The Reader, which got the same top nominations but didn’t have a legitimate chance in any category aside from Best Actress, which it won, and elicited plenty of hate from Oscar prognosticators for taking the spot away from a fan favorite film.

The new inclusions: Two films that earned eight and six nominations, respectively, The Dark Knight and Wall-E. Though they only won three total awards, Best Supporting Actor, Best Sound Editing, and Best Animated Feature, they’re collectively commonly seen as the reason that the Best Picture field was expanded the following year to include ten nominees.

The new nominees: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, Wall-E

Come back next week for a look at the Real Best Pictures of 2007, an especially interesting year!

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