2008 featured the most dramatic election in memory, and some of the most compelling figures ever seen on the political stage -- characters not even the best screenwriters could top.
Despite or, perhaps, because of this, this year's politically themed movies -- Frost/Nixon, Milk, W., Swing Vote -- struggled at the box office. Hollywood just couldn't match the drama being played out on the campaign trail.
So, with the Oscars coming up on Sunday, I thought it would be a good time to salute -- and mashup -- some of the year's noteworthy achievements in the worlds of politics and entertainment... which, these days, aren't always easy to tell apart.
The envelopes please...
Best: Kate Winslet and David Kross in The Reader
Worst: Eliot Spitzer and Ashley Dupré in Client #9
Best: the compromising photo stolen in The Bank Job
Worst: the $50 billion Bernie Madoff stole from his hapless clients
Return on Investment:
Best: Slumdog Millionaire, which cost $15 million to make and has grossed over $130 million worldwide.
Worst: the $350 billion we gave to Wall Street banks -- with nothing to show for it.
Best: The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan's brooding follow up to Batman Begins
Worst: TARP II, Tim Geithner's vague follow up to Hank Paulson's Bailout Begins
Performance in a Drama:
Best: Mickey Rourke's soulful comeback in The Wrestler
Worst: the banking CEOs trying to act contrite in front of Congress
Performance by a Rodent:
Best: Matthew Broderick as the fearless mouse in The Tale of Despereaux
Worst: Rod Blagojevich as the Senate seat-selling rat in A Tale of Desperation
Best: Auf Der Strecke (On the Line)
Worst: Fred Thompson's blink-and-you-missed-it presidential run
Mega-Buck Action Fantasy:
Best: Iron Man
Worst: Self-Regulation on Wall Street
Performance by a Grizzled Veteran:
Best: Clint Eastwood tosses aside his prejudices and finds redemption in Gran Torino
Worst: John McCain tosses aside his principles and loses an election in Maverick No More
Best: Heath Ledger as The Joker
Worst: Stew Parnell as The Jerk who shipped out peanut butter he knew contained deadly salmonella
Jim Carrey says "Yes" to everything in Yes Man
Unfunny: Republicans say "No" to everything in Congress
All right, HuffPosters -- now it's your turn. List your Political Oscar nominees in the comment section below and we'll publish the best ones this weekend.
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