Are 'Doubt' and 'Revolutionary Road' in trouble?

Yesterday I remarked on the omission of Doubt and Revolutionary Road from this year’s American Film Institute honorees and mentioned how I considered the top 10 lists from the AFI, National Board of Review, and Broadcast Film Critics Association combined the most reliable bellwether of eventual Academy success. In case any of you were wondering, here are the films that made it onto at least two of those tallies in the past three years, with each year’s Oscar nominees for Best Picture in bold type. You’ll see what I’m talking about.

Three lists: No Country for Old Men, Michael Clayton, Juno, Into the Wild
Two lists: There Will Be Blood, Atonement, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Sweeney Todd, The Kite Runner

Three lists: Little Miss Sunshine, Babel, Letters from Iwo Jima
Two lists: The Departed, Dreamgirls, United 93, The Devil Wears Prada, Blood Diamond, Notes on a Scandal
(note: The Queen was ineligible for the AFI but made it onto the BFCA list)

Three lists: Crash, Brokeback Mountain, Good Night and Good Luck, Capote, Munich
Two lists: Walk the Line, A History of Violence, King Kong, Syriana, Memoirs of a Geisha

So what does this all mean for this year’s race? Let’s look at the tallies.

Three lists: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Milk, Frost/Nixon, The Dark Knight, Wall-E, The Wrestler
Two lists: Slumdog Millionaire, Gran Torino, Changeling

The case could easily be made that the five Best Picture nominees will come from the above nine films. Doubt, meanwhile, was only recognized by the BFCA, while Revolutionary Road was ignored by all three groups. If history repeats, then both films may already be out of the running.

UPDATE: The very savvy Cynthia Swartz, executive at 42West and orchestrator of Doubt and Revolutionary Road‘s Academy campaigns, sent me the following response: “Here is another piece of history that totally rebuts your history. In the past 50 years, 60 films have received at least 3 acting nominations. 52 of them were nominated for Best Picture. Of the 8 that were not, only 4 also had a screenplay nomination. And since there are no actors in the NBR, the BFCA or on the AFI board, I will go with my history.”

Well, we’ll see which history wins out in a month, won’t we? I’m a big fan of both Doubt and Revolutionary Road, so I hope they’re not totally over. I’m merely presenting the facts here.

addCredit(“Doubt: Andrew Schwartz; Revolutionary Road: Fran├žois Duhamel”)

Comments (50 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3 4
  • anthony s.

    oscar nominees for best pic this year should be as follows:
    Dark Knight, Slumdog Millionaire, Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon and Milk
    end of story. if WALL-E gets a nom for best picture then the academy will lose all credibility…. best animated maybe, but best picture? seriously? please…. give me a break

  • Nathan

    Actually, if the Academy recognizes THE DARK KNIGHT over WALL-E, then it loses all credibility.

  • wolfblitzer

    Wall-e is awesome alright.

  • wolfblitzer

    The dark knight is awesome too. Stop dissing the best movies ever!

  • Shakespeare

    Dave, I think you are so wrong on this. The AFI does not matter to the Academy Awards! Just look at The Departed, it one BEST PICTURE and was not included in the Top Ten AFI’s list. Never count Leo out, he always comes back punching!

  • Lee

    The Dark Knight stunk. Even the Golden Globes had enough sense not to nominate it. I hope the Academy follows suit.

  • Clayton

    Dark Knight, Wall-E, Benjamin Button, Slumdog, and Milk
    looks solid to me

  • Probabilities and Oscars

    It’s really hilarious when prognosticators look at past behaviors as predictors of what can happen, particularly when the precursors are obscure and the formulations are just weird (“If you just take two from Column A and add something from Column B, you’ll discover that “Frost/Nixon” is a slam dunk,” etc. ) One could probably invent some equally arcane method to prove the opposite. (“The best film of the year according to The New York Times is nominated six out nine years.) There may be a few obvious omens, like the Golden Globes, or the DGA, but really, the rest is just silly.

  • Libertine

    I’ve never felt like Leonardo was a great actor. He’s a decent actor, who has a great work ethic, and maintains his relationships. The Majority of his best movies were good because of the actors that supported him.
    Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken(Catch me if you can) brought amazing charisma. Daniel Day Lewis as the butcher in Gangs of New York.
    So I’m not surprised that Revolutionary Road is not at the top of people’s lists.

  • Chris

    I would be kind of surprised if The Dark Knight doesn’t get nominated for Best Picture and Best Director. Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Sixth Sense, two of the biggest blockbusters, didn’t get nominated for Best Picture at the Golden Globes. They both went on to get nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Golden Globes doesn’t always have something to do with what the Academy chooses or doesn’t choose. To be different for the first time in about, 5 years or so, they may decide to throw in a blockbuster. The Dark Knight is the perfect blockbuster to throw in there. It’s got the critical acclaim, box office success, great cast and great director to make it’s way to the top. Just because it’s based on a superhero doesn’t mean it’s ineligible for Oscar recognition.

  • josh

    Have any of you actually seen all of these films?? How can anyone (who is not a critic) comment? Most of these films have not had a wide release as of yet and therefore haven’t been seen by most. So let’s save this discussion for mid-January when ALL of the above films have had a wide release.

  • meg

    Wall should get nominated for best pic. There was more acting and story in that animated feature than most of the films out this year. It may be animated but It has to be the best film I’ve seen this year and I’ve seen many. And Beauty and the beast got nominated for best pic and I think wall-e was even better. Dark knight was great too. I hate how only dark dramas can be nominated for best pic. The academy needs to change it up, comedy, animation can be just as good if not better

  • Buscemi

    I have seen five of these films (Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, Wall-E, Dark Knight, and Changeling). All five are good, so it definitely would not be a travesty if they got nominated for best pictures. Milk, Slumdog, Dark Knight, and Wall-E definitely deserve the nom, with the 5th one open for me so far. Right now, I would love to see Rachel Getting Married or The Visitor sneak in there, but that probably will not happen. I will have the see the others on the list to truly decide.

  • Katie

    The Dark Knight
    The sterling blockbuster.
    The social commentary.
    Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    The pedigree film.
    Slumdog Millionaire
    The indie winner.
    The political statement.

  • Rob

    Leo DiCaprio has been recognised a couple of times this decade for his work – so that will certainly ensure people watch the film. I think he’ll make it.
    In my mind he gave the best performances in The Aviator and The Departed. I agree that neither Doubt or Revolutionary Road look likely at the moment, that said, neither did Atonement at this point last year.
    Both films cited are likely to play well with actors, so I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them turns up on nomination morning.

Page: 1 2 3 4
Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos in Movies


From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by VIP