As well as I loved No Country for Old Men, I was pleased to see the unlikeable Burn After Reading get shut out after a degree of buzz.
Heather Ledger was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, to no one's surprise and on the first anniversary of his tragic passing. In somewhat of a surprise to me, he is up aginst Robert Downey Jr as Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder. Now, I stay out of debates about whether or not the deceased should win such awards; it is my feeling that an Oscar should neither be given nor denied just because someone died in the interim. In this case, however, I have to support Downey, for several reasons (other than his hotness and my admiration for him):
- The role of Kirk Lazarus encompassed several other roles--specifically that of Lincoln Osiris.
- The sub-plot of Lazarus as Osiris drew attention to Hollywood's racial politics in a way that is both funny and inventive without being insulting...all because RDJ made it work.
- While Ledger did an amazing job, psychology that abdormal is somewhat less challenging to portray. The audience has no frame of reference and therefore suspends disbelief more easily.