Today's Blogs

Dream Deferred

Bloggers wax prophetic about the Oscar nominees and condemn the murder of Armenian editor Hrant Dink in Istanbul.

Dream deferred: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced  its Oscar nominations Tuesday. Dreamgirls drew eight nominations—more than any other film—but didn’t get a nod for best picture. Meanwhile, Borat’s up for best adapted screenplay, and Martin Scorsese has yet another crack at best director. Bloggers emit huzzahs, moans, and, of course, prophecies.

David Weigel at Reason’s Hit & Run isn’t surprised by much except the Dreamgirls snub: “Most people who still care about the Oscars will probably be happy with the nominations, as 1)The Departed was a huge hit 2)National Lampoon’s Redondo Beach Vacation (a.k.a. Little Miss Sunshine) was also a hit and 3)black people don’t watch the Oscars.”

At VH1’s Best Week Ever blog, Michelle Collins feels the hurt: “Was Dreamgirls cheesy? Of course. Over the top? How could it not be. But exciting and fun and dramatic and tear-jerking? Yes. Clearly, this is some sort of Hollywood backlash against ‘good times.’ ” Rachel Sklar at theHuffington Post’s Eat the Press is shocked by the shafting: “Wow, ‘Babel’ instead of ‘Dreamgirls’ in so many key places; the Oscar clip show is going to be intense and boring this year, with way too few sequins.”

Sometime film critic John M. Scalzi at By The Way… provides extensive analysis of each category, including best director: “Look: Scorsese’s due. Everyone knows it. And what’s more, this year the stars are lining up for him. Frears isn’t a serious threat because The Queen is not a serious contender for Best Picture. Eastwood already has two directing Oscars and (I suspect) would probably tell people to vote for Scorsese anyway, because what does he need a third for? And Alejandro González Iñárritu, good as he is, doesn’t have the constituency Scorsese has. … If Scorsese doesn’t win, I will buy a hat and eat it.” Melvin Crabtree at Crabbie’s Hollywood rips into the best actress nominees: “How boring is this? Meryl Streep, Judi Dench and Helen Mirren. Ugh. And Kate Winslet. If that chick were any duller she’d be Rachel McAdams. The only halfway exciting name in the bunch is Penelope Cruz.”

TV comedy writer Ken Levine offers some pithy one-offs: “Diana Ross must’ve been on the nominating committee. … If Eddie Murphy does win don’t expect a repeat with NORBIT. … Is this finally the year for Martin Scorsese to win Best Director? He’s the perfect winner too because he’s the only guy who can thank 47 people in under ten seconds.”

Read more about the Oscar nominees.

Turkey shoot: Armenian newspaper editor Hrant Dink was shot dead in Istanbul Friday, after being prosecuted for challenging the Turkish government’s take on the 1915 Armenian genocide. One gunman reportedly confessed to the shooting, while tens of thousands of mourners surged into the streets for Dink’s funeral. Bloggers think the consequences could be grave.

Amos at Middle East group blog Kishkushim sees “two ways to read the recent murder of the Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink. Some fear that this is the beginning of an open season on those who, like Dink, challenge the ultra-nationalist vision of Turkey. On the other hand, the public and literary condemnations of the murder may also signal the self-assertion of Turkish liberals.”

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded to the murder by announcing, “A bullet was fired at freedom of thought and democratic life.” Michael van der Galien at the Moderate Voice thinks he’s full of it: “[T]he Turkish government should honor Hrant Dink by getting rid of the ridiculous law that says that one is not allowed to insult the Turkish identity (which was used against Dink). Until that time I will simply regard Erdogan’s words to be hypocritical.”

Little Green Footballs’ conservativeCharles Johnson complains of a “media blackout” on the subject of the killer’s motives: The press is “pushing the ‘Turkish nationalist’ angle in the assassination of Armenian editor Hrant Dink, as if ‘Turkish nationalism’ were completely unconnected to its Islamic roots.”

Hugh Fitzgerald at the conservative Jihad Watch considers Dink’s murder the last blow to Turkey’s E.U. membership: “Call off the farce. And this should also be the time when the Bush Administration reads Turkey the riot act about Kurdistan, and starts to make plans for that independent state … And if it doesn’t accept that? Then Turkey, whose military is entirely dependent on American re-quipping, American spare parts, American training, can see that American connection go up in smoke from the top of Mount Ararat.”

Read more about Hrant Dink’s murder.