The first most irritating thing was James Horner's nomination for Avatar. I expected it, of course, but to actually see it in print yesterday morning set off a whole new wave of irritation. Horner has annoyed me for years. Whenever I see a movie in which the score is so loud and obvious and overwhelming that it draws you out of the movie (rather than doing its job and drawing you in), I check the credits to see who is to blame. And four times out of five, it's Horner. Not to mention that he has been associated with some of the most irritating movies of the past 30 years (although I forgive him a little for his work on The New World).
The second most irritating thing was Matt Damon's nomination for Invictus. It's not that Damon doesn't deserve a nomination; he's a terrific actor. And I like Invictus very much; it has some classically brilliant filmmaking by Clint Eastwood. But the movie was overreaching and Damon's character was underdeveloped. We only saw Francois Pienaar (Damon) in relation to Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman); we hardly come to know Francois on his own terms. Indeed, the movie could have been improved by narrowing the focus to the friendship between the two men, rather than trying to take the temperature of an entire nation. Not to mention that Damon's clever performance in The Informant! was a great deal more impressive. But the real reason I was irritated was that Damon's appearance here edged out Christian McKay for Me and Orson Welles.