Thank you, internet.
Xan Brooks: "[T]his year’s featured films paint a portrait of America that is guaranteed to have the Bush crowd fulminating. This is a land where the frontier is a hotbed of gay love (‘Brokeback Mountain’), and where the cities are seething cauldrons of race hate (‘Crash’). It is a country where the workplace is a site for sexual harassment (‘North Country’), the heroes are pimps (‘Hustle & Flow’) and the pioneer spirit is embodied by a pre-operative transsexual (‘Transamerica’)."
Dave Carr: "There are full hearts all over town, as really cool, idiosyncratic little movies â€“ ‘Capote,’ ‘Good Night, and Good Luck’ and ‘Crash’ â€“ demonstrated not only that they can play with the Big Boys, but they can clobber them. The studios on the other hand, survey the horizon and see only burning piles of rubble, the smoke rising from all of the money they spent positioning their big movies for love that never came."
Aaron Dobbs: "Then there is ‘Capote:’ its nominations don’t surprise me as much as disappoint me. ‘Capote’ is now officially the most overrated movie of 2005. I don’t need to repeat myself as I’ve said this over-and-over again, but the entire success of that film is solely on the shoulders of the incredible Phillip Seymour Hoffman; "Best Director Bennett Miller" is absolutely laughable for this drab film."
Roger Ebert: "The increasing divide between good movies and box office grosses was dramatized when all five ‘best film’ nominations went to titles that have so far been out-grossed by a documentary about penguins. ‘March of the Penguins,’ nominated for best documentary, has grossed $77.4 million, and the best film nominees are ‘Brokeback Mountain’ ($50.8 million), ‘Capote’ ($14.3), ‘Crash’ ($55), ‘Good Night, and Good Luck’ ($24.9) and ‘Munich’ ($38)."
Anthony Kaufman: "The only surprise [in the Best Foreign Film category] is Italy’s ‘Don’t Tell’ (aka ‘La bestia nel cuore’), a melodrama that has no U.S. distributor and stole the remaining position from a number of more estimable films. I would have loved to see the Dardenne brothers’ ‘The Child’ as the wild-card pick, but I stopped putting faith in Oscar years ago."
Tom O’Neil: "[M]any upsets could occur in many top categories on March 5. All over Hollywood you can hear Oscar voters whining, ‘This is the most boring Oscar year ever! Well, one thing’s for sure! I am NOT voting for (fill in the blank).’"
Matt Zoller Seitz: "The major studios haven’t entirely given up on substance (or a better word, artistry) but to find it, you have to make the effort to look outside the venues where Entertainment Weekly tells you to look (Oscar-baiting, star-packed, good-but-far-from-amazing semi-indies like ‘Good Night, and Good Luck’). ‘War of the Worlds’ is a greater but less glumly earnest movie than ‘Capote’ (it’s Spielberg‘s ‘The Birds’)… Most of the best movies I see in any given year (including 2005’s ‘The Weeping Meadow,’ ‘2046’ and ‘Tony Takitani’) tend not to get the time of day from the Academy because they’re foreign, too small, too odd, or dogged by funding and/or timing issues."
At Movie City News, there’s also a compiled list of reaction quotes from nominees pulled from various news stories and film sites.
+ America … according to Oscar (Guardian: Culture Vulture)
+ Pieces of Eight (Carpetbagger: New York Times)
+ Four Random Thoughts About the Oscar Nominations… (Matt Dentler’s Blog)
+ OH OSCAR, YOU’RE SO DAMN STUPID (Out of Focus)
+ ‘Brokeback’ leads nominations (RogerEbert.com)
+ Foreign Oscars Offer Little Surprises (Anthony Kaufman’s Blog)
+ Oscar, battling -isms one movie at a time (Boston Globe)
+ Expect big upsets on Oscar night (Gold Derby: LA Times)
+ And away we go (The House Next Door)
+ The Oscar Reactions (Movie City News)