Richard Linklater’s Austin-made A Scanner Darkly has landed on the Oscar qualifying list of “Best Animated Feature” nominees, according to the Hollywood Reporter. I, for one, was disappointed when his first animated/live-action hybrid Waking Life did not receive the nomination, because what Linklater and his crew of artists are doing with these films is hands-down more original and captivating than any of the many “talking critters” features being unloaded by the gallon into theaters. So who knows if it will make the final list of (this year) five nominees?
But I can tell you, having Laura Kim from Warner Independent Pictures behind them, is a very good step. An inspired marketing exec, she helped Paradise Now and March of the Penguins come up from obscurity to not only strong box office but Oscars in their “niche feature” categories (Foreign Language Film and Documentary Feature, respectively). Here’s to hoping that Academy voters will cancel out all these “talking critters” films (Open Season, The Wild, The Barnyard, etc.) and celebrate a truly original animated feature. And while I’m at it, I hope to hell that Scanner co-star Robert Downey, Jr. gets some awards love somewhere for his charmingly deranged performance in the film.