As usual, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences chose to bestow Best Picture nominations on heavy dramas and biopics. But what was the real best picture to come out of 2008?
My pick would be Pixar’s WALL-E. The movie had pretty much everything you could want from a movie: a main character you could root for, a story with a message that isn’t overly preachy, a touching romance, plenty of comedic moments, and it’s stunning to look at. And the fact that all of this was possible in an animated movie about robots that had very little dialogue is amazing. I may be a bit biased, because like WALL-E himself, I’m a movie musical lover, and have seen his beloved Hello, Dolly! many times. So when WALL-E opened with the strains of a young Michael Crawford singing the “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” number, I was already sold.
But whether you got the Hello, Dolly! references or not, I can’t think of another movie in recent memory that was more engaging, heart-warming, or just outright enjoyable than WALL-E. I had my fingers crossed that it would cause a last-minute upset and be nominated for Best Picture, but alas, I’ll have to be satisfied to see it win Best Animated Feature and know that it really was 2008’s best picture. If Pixar continues to crank out movies of this caliber, I won’t have to start feeling weird that I’m getting too old to enjoy cartoons.