Nominees: Bolt, Kung Fu Panda, WALL-E
With CGI animated films accounting for four of the top 10 box-office hits of 2008 (and some of the warmest received by critics), and with so many of the most imaginative Hollywood films relying heavily on CGI effects, maybe it's live-action that should be a ghetto category, and animation the major one. Pixar is always, and rightfully, a major player for Animated Feature. The studio's most adventurous and emotionally rewarding film since Finding Nemo, WALL-E should cop a statuette for the director of both movies, Andrew Stanton. He and his fellow writers were also nominated for Best Original Screenplay.
I chose this as the best film of the year, so I'd be contradicting myself by saying it didn't deserve to win in this category. I'm just sorry that the Academy's addiction to worthy big-theme, political-period pieces Nazis in the '50s, Nixon and gays in the '70s kept WALL-E from getting a Best Picture nomination.
Robbed: Waltz With Bashir
Well, maybe not robbed since this Israeli doc-cartoon was nominated for Best Foreign Film but certainly pick-pocketed. The true-life tale of the haunting effects carried by several middle-aged men who had an army stint during the 1982 massacre of Palestinians, Bashir has the political gravitas and artistic verve of a movie that both blends and transcends the categories for which it might have been nominated. Anyway, see it.
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