WEIRDLAND: "Zodiac" snubbed by Oscars

Saturday, February 23, 2008

"Zodiac" snubbed by Oscars

"No surprise, and absolutely proper: Roger Deakins for shooting both "No Country for Old Men" and "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" (though I hope they don't cancel each other out). But nothing for "Zodiac"? At the very least it should have received a nomination for its amazing visual effects. But unless you've seen the Director's Cut DVD (or some Digital Domain clips on YouTube) you probably wouldn't have known they were effects. That's how good they are".

Looking at the odds, "Atonement" is an unlikely best picture because its director (Joe Wright) wasn't nominated. "Michael Clayton" and "Juno" lack an editing nomination, which (statistically speaking) is crucial to winning the top prize. On the other hand, "Michael Clayton" is honored in three acting categories, for George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton -- and guess which branch of the Academy is the biggest? "No Country for Old Men" didn't claim a lead acting slot, perhaps because it's an ensemble piece. If you go strictly by statistically significant nominations, only "There Will Be Blood" has 'em all -- an old-fashioned Hollywood epic built around a big performance (by a previous Oscar winner). But will its unremittingly bleak nihilism (and the bizarre ending that alienated even some admirers) prove too bitter for Academy voters? -Jim Emerson. Source:
"The academy has traditionally been resistant to genre films, which is the only reason I can fathom for the snubbing of "Zodiac" in every category. David Fincher's mesmerizing drama about the obsessive search for the true-life serial killer who terrorized San Francisco in the late '60s and early '70s made many a critic's top 10 list but didn't receive one nomination. Talk about a killer!" Source:
Cinematography --

"Golden Door" and "Zodiac". I like Seamus McGarvey's camerawork for "Atonement," but that's about all the movie is. Starting with The Tracking Shot, the film's wallop is impurely visual. You notice and admire it all the more because none of the characters is as robust as his imagery. I'd swap that out for either of Agnes Godard's photography on "Golden Door" or Harris Savides and David Fincher's work on "Zodiac." Godard helped stage some of the most breathtaking images I've ever seen in a movie, such as hundreds of Italians aboard a boat that, as it peels away from the dock, creates a growing chasm between the passengers and their families that didn't appear to be there. The photography tells the story, not the other way around. Meanwhile, "Zodiac" makes painterly, panoramic use of digital photography. The academy seems to prefer its nominees shot on film. Their loss. In "Zodiac," the format's usual immediacy achieves a haunting scope and textural richness as indelible as the 35mm images nominee Robert Elwit captured for "There Will Be Blood". Source:

Revisit my review of "Zodiac"

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