The 2008 Oscar nominations are finally upon us, and boy were there some surprises. Let’s take a snapshot approach to the announcements, a quick analysis on what transpired, and what lies ahead.

“Into The Wild” got screwed. This is story #1. Here’s a beautifully made film that led the Critics’ Choice awards in nominations, and scored DGA, WGA, and SAG honors. This morning, not only was it left out of Best Picture, but Sean Penn got the shaft for his direction, Emile Hirsch was overlooked, and Catherine Keener too. Did “Into The Wild” peak too soon with its October release? Interestingly enough, no film released before November received a Best Pic nomination.

“Atonement,” thankfully, did better than expected. Despite little guild support, it scored a Best Picture nomination. Saoirse Ronan in supporting was also a pleasant surprise. “Atonement” was popular with the Globes and Baftas and we thought it was too little too late, but apparently those groups were on to something.

Awesome boost for Tommy Lee Jones. He missed out on Critics Choice, Globes, and SAG recognition, but nonetheless scored an Oscar nod. That is practically unbelievable.

“Juno’s” Jason Reitman gets a Best Director nod. Wow! This positions “Juno” in a better spot than “Little Miss Sunshine” from last year. If “No Country” and “Blood” split the dark and depressing vote, maybe “Juno” can score one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history.

Why no love for “Zodiac?” Not a single nomination. Yet, “Norbit” gets one. Please someone explain this.

“The Kite Runner” deserved a lot better than one original score nomination. Did anyone even bother to see that film?

Same goes for “Gone Baby Gone.” Extraordinary effort. Much greater than just showcasing Amy Ryan’s performance.

Once again, no film gets more than 8 nominations. So we have a wide open race. Best Picture looks like it’s between “No Country” and “Blood,” which each secured nods in the key categories of directing, writing, cinematography, and editing. Who’s got the edge? “Blood” is peaking right now, but “No Country” has more overall critical support. It could come down to the campaigns.

Biggest snub. Easily Angelina Jolie. Once again, people forgot “A Mighty Heart” because it came out in the summer. Voters’ attention spans get shorter and shorter each year.

So the Academy has spoken, and now let the races begin. It should be a remarkably competitive race, and show or no show, stay tuned to OscarFrenzy for the most reliable predictions you can put your money on.Like Mike hd