Oscar Beat: Slumdogin’ in DC, Heath Ledger, Man on Wire and Oscar Snubbery

Not a necessarily large update from the awards season warpath today, but there are quite a few different stories to talk about. As the season wears on toward February, more and more critics associations will be chiming in with their lists of the best films and performances. Today we get updates from Time, the critics of the District and the folks down under, among others.

First up is Time Magazine’s Ten Best Films of 2008. Time’s critic Richard Corliss lopped some love all over Pixar’s WALL-E, giving the cute little bot the top spot. It was followed closely by Synecdoche, New York, My Winnipeg, 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days, Milk, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Slumdog Millionaire, Iron Man, Speed Racer and Encounters at the End of the World. The notable omission was The Dark Knight, which should be good for some fanboy rage — not for the fact that TDK didn’t make the list, but for the realization that not everyone loved The Dark Knight more than their favorite Chewy doll. The interesting choice on Corliss’ list is Speed Racer, which he heralded as an “avant-garde FX masterpiece.” Sure, you could call it that, I suppose. [Time Magazine]

The Washington DC Area Film Critics announced their awards this week, becoming the second critics association in a row (with the NBR) to name Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire the best film of the year. The also honored Boyle as best director and gave nods to Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) and Meryl Streep (Doubt) for Best Actor and Actress respectively. The supporting actor nod went to Heath Ledger for his performance in The Dark Knight. [WAFCA]

The WAFCA crew wasn’t the only association handing out posthumous praise to Ledger this week, as the NY Daily News reports the Australian Film Institute recognized Ledger’s performance with it’s top honor. [NY Daily News]

And finally in documentary news, the International Documentary Awards recognized both James Marsch’s Man on Wire and Ari Folman’s Waltz With Bashir as the best documentaries of 2008. On a personal note, Man on Wire is one of the most brilliant docs that I’ve ever seen — and I’m not just being hyperbolic. [Variety]

Also, we were tipped off today to a very interesting article from Film.com’s Dre Rivas. He is predicting that while The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is going to be nominated and possibly win multiple Academy Awards (which having seen the film, I would agree with him). Though, the one who will get snubbed is star Brad Pitt, who undoubtedly delivers the films most important performance. This leads me to my Oscar Beat question of the week below. [Film.com via The Playlist]

Should Benjamin Button be nominated for and win multiple Oscars and Brad Pitt get snubbed (no nomination, no win), would it be a huge tragedy?

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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