Our initial reactions to the nominations

Two weeks ago the idea that this year's Oscar Nominations would contain even the smallest of surprises was preposterous to us.

How wrong we were. The Total Film team were silent during the announcement. Key titles were overlooked, and other – in our opinion – less undeserving titles took their places.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be letting you know our thoughts (at length, you might say) but for now here’s our initial reactions:


Jamie Graham, Deputy Editor

“More surprises than normal: Kate Winslet getting a Best Actress nod for The Reader rather than Revolutionary Road; Leo not getting a nomination at all; Sam Mendes getting snubbed; Sally Hawkins missing out for Happy-Go-Lucky; and – an absolute disgrace – Gomorrah being overlooked in the Best Foreign Film category.

“Still, nice to see Richard Jenkins get rewarded for his touching turn in The Visitor (a rare lead performance for one of TF’s favourite character actors).”


Matthew Leyland, Reviews Editor

“Biggest disappointment for me is Gomorrah going AWOL from the foreign-language category, closely followed by no love for The Wrestler in either Best Picture or Director.

“Ron Howard's direction is the least distinguished element of Frost/Nixon, but then he is Ron Howard - the Academy will never leave him out in the cold.

“I'm slightly surprised but unbothered by Revolutionary Road's meagre showing, mildly outraged to see Bolt up for Animated Film and will pin sizeable amounts of cash on The Duchess walking away with Best Hats, Bags & Shoes.”


Jonathan Dean, News Editor

The big five are Slumdog/Button/Frost/Milk/Reader – all nodded in both Best Director and Best Picture – with Slumdog likely to walk both, leaving Button to take home the more minor accolades among its 13 nominations.

Because, let’s face it, Fincher’s film isn’t going to win either of its acting nods either. Pitt? Nah, it’s Rourke’s win. And Michael Shannon for Supporting Actor? It’s pretty much a closed case in favour of Heath Ledger. If The Joker wins, it’s fully deserved.

And then there’s Winslet, only up for one award this time round, her people taking Gervais’ advice that Holocaust flicks win prizes and pushing for her role in The Reader.

She’ll probably win at sixth stab, but personally? I’d like to see Hathaway nab it. Rachel Getting Married is a superb effort, fully deserving more noms, but like The Wrestler it’s perhaps too edgy. Acting for Hathaway and Rourke in them will go a small way to making up for such omissions.

Finally. In Bruges. It would be ace if it won Best Original Screenplay. Fingers crossed enough voters have seen it.

Chris Hicks, Deputy Digital Editor

"Very disappointed that The Wrestler didn’t receive as much love as it deserved, but wasn’t expecting it to clean up, really. But where was the Springsteen song?

"Kate Winslet’s missing nomination for the largely ignored Revolutionary Road really was surprising, especially considering the buzz surrounding her right now. Another year where she’s overlooked? Most likely.

"On the positive side though - great news for Pixar. The screenplay nod is interesting, considering how the film begins. And nice to see both Ledger and Downey Jr nominated for Best Supporting Actor.”

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, News Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Emily Murray. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.