For years I've been talking about the Chamber of Commerce theory of entertainment awards. Basically it says that organizations issue awards based on what they think makes them look good -- socially responsible, politically aware, far-ranging -- instead of what actually is good. Of course, other factors can also come into play, among them sentiment and the need to honor previously overlooked careers, but when in doubt, the Chamber of Commerce theory explains a lot.
I'm still scanning this morning's Oscar nominations but there appears to be a lot of Chamber of Commerce action -- the bump for "Blood Diamond" in the major acting categories, for example; the overlooking of "Dreamgirls" for best picture and director; the nodding to independent film with "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Half Nelson," the acknowledgment of the international importance of film.
A few more notes: Mark Walhberg was very good in "The Departed" but Alec Baldwin stole the movie.
Jennifer Hudson may have been submitted as a supporting actress but let's be real: "Dreamgirls" is her movie. Let me say it again: "Dreamgirls" is her movie.
Never underestimate Clint Eastwood.
You've got a fair number of Oscar contenders on DVD or headed that way, including "Little Miss Sunshine," "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Jesus Camp," with the anticipated post-Oscar bump making the likes of "The Queen" and "Babel" more accessible in theaters.
I planned to add more to this as I took a closer look at the nominations, but ended up writing up those notes for Wednesday's Beacon Journal. You can find that piece here.