The nominations for the 75th-annual Academy Awards were announced this past Tuesday and, as per usual, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences marred one of the best years for film with it’s choices.

Charles Paradis

Why is it they have to announce the Oscar nominations at 8:30 in the friggin’ morning every single damn year? I suppose I shouldn’t complain, considering those unfortunate souls on the west coast have to get up three hours earlier than I do. Regardless of time zone issues, the Academy needs to seriously look into announcing it’s nominations later in the day. Getting up early is a sure-fire way to ruin my day, and those fine Oscar folks made my Tuesday even worse when Marisa Tomei opened her mouth and spit up the list of this year’s honorees.

The list of nominees this year is so nauseating it’s hard to pick a good starting spot to dissect where the Academy went wrong. Let’s start from the top and work our way down. The Best Picture category this year includes “Chicago,” “The Hours,” “The Pianist,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” and “Gangs of New York.” The early front runner for the grand prize is “Chicago,” riding on its box office success and 12 other nominations. Tolkien fans, myself included, should not get their hopes up for the second installment of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy to win (even though it overwhelmingly deserves to), as its nomination is more of a pity vote than anything.

While Peter Jackson’s sprawling fantasy epic was once again nominated for Best Picture, “The Two Towers” was erroneously left out of several other major categories. “The Fellowship of the Ring” took home the Best Cinematography award last year (a just decision), but the tide turned this year and “The Two Towers” didn’t even get a nomination. The same thing can be said of the Best Score category where “Fellowship” composer Howard Shore took home the gold in 2001 while in 2002 “The Two Towers” was snubbed from consideration.

Perhaps the most ludacris of all the categories this year is the makeup category. For some obscure reasoning, beyond all logical rationale, the Academy is only recognizing two films this year for achievement in makeup. Now if you could only pick two movies from the past year that had outstanding makeup, what would they be? I’m guessing you might pick “The Two Towers” and some other less-deserving movie. If you said “Frida” and “The Time Machine” you’re either an idiot or an Oscar voter. Yes, you read that correctly, “The Time Machine” has been nominated for an Academy Award. Please kill me now.

The acting categories this year surprisingly didn’t piss me off too much and were actually quite predictable; I only wish the Oscar voters would have paid closer attention to their “Punch-Drunk Love” screeners and given Adam Sandler a nod for his surprising performance (the film also deserved credit for directing, cinematography, sound and editing, but apparently the Oscar voters thought they were watching “Eight Crazy Nights”).

At around 8:47 on Tuesday morning I slapped the side of my TV when Marisa Tomei incorrectly said “About a Boy” was nominated for best adapted screenplay instead of “About Schmidt.” It turns out my TV was working just fine and the “My Cousin Vinny” star hadn’t misspoke. By this point in the announcements I was ready to buy a plane ticket to Los Angeles and hunt down each and every Academy voter.

Moving on to the all-important Best Director category, I’m not sure why they even announced nominations for this portion of the awards show. Martin Scorsese, having been previously screwed over by the Academy for his brilliant work in “Raging Bull” and “Goodfellas,” is a shoe-in to walk away with the little gold statue. The other nominees – Rob Marshall (“Chicago”), Roman Polanski (“The Pianist”), Steven Daldry (“The Hours”) and Pedro Almodovar (“Talk to Her”) – are just going to have to wear their “we’re just happy to be nominated faces” come ceremony time when Scorsese accepts the award. Polanski may steal the show if he decides to show up, what with the whole being verboten in the United States because he raped a 13-year-old girl problem. The Los Angeles district attorney’s office said earlier this week Polanski would be jailed if he tried to attend the awards ceremony, but there’s always a chance the director will pull a Snoop Dogg circa Video Music Awards and make an appearance despite having law enforcement breathing down his neck.

Despite my disgust for the Academy and everything it stands for, I will be the first one in front of my television March 23.

– Did the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ignore your favorite films of 2002? You can cry on Jeff’s shoulder at jsdicker@umich.edu.

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