Oscar Nominees

The Academy announced this years Oscar nominations this morning. Below is the list of nominees and some of my random thoughts.

Best Picture
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
“The Help”
“Midnight in Paris”
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”

Thoughts: I was pretty shocked to see The Tree of Life actually received a Best Picture nomination since it’s surrounded by very mainstream films, but I’m happy about it. I’m just glad The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo didn’t sneak in here. I didn’t see Extremelly Loud & Incredibly Close, but I did see an insanely manipulative trailer and the worst reviewed Best Picture nominee ever. Also, in my very personal opinion… screw The Artist. If I had my way Shame, Take Shelter, Martha Martha Marcy May Marlene, and Drive would replace The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, and War Horse.

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
Alexander Payne, “The Descendants”
Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”
Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”
Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”

Thoughts: Nicolas Defn (Drive) and Steve McQueen (Shame) should really be here, but again I’m really glad to see Malick.

Best Actor
Demián Bichir, “A Better Life”
George Clooney, “The Descendants”
Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”
Gary Oldman, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”

Thoughts: Where the hell is Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender and Michael Shannon!? Their performances in Drive, Shame and Take Shelter were easily the best male performances of the year. I’m so sick of The Artist… I really need to see A Better Life and thank god Gary Oldman has finally been nominated!

Best Actress
Viola Davis, “The Help”
Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”
Rooney Mara, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn”

Thoughts: I really want to see Elisabeth Olsen and Kirsten Dunst here. I loved their subtle, real performances. That said, I’ve only seen Mara out these nominees. She was pretty good, but as you may know… I did not like Dragon Tattoo.

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, “My Week With Marilyn”
Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”
Nick Nolte, “Warrior”
Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
Max Von Sydow, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Thoughts: I can’t believe Albert Brooks wasn’t nominated for his performance in Drive! From day one this was a two man race between him and Christopher Plummer. Apparently, that’s no longer the case. I truly believe Patton Oswalt should have been nominated.

Best Supporting Actress
Bérénice Bejo, “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain, “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer, “The Help”

Thoughts: Two words… Carrey Mulligan.

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“The Descendants”
“The Ides of March”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

Thoughts: I’m going to guess The Descendants is going to win this… but out of these choices Moneyball easily have the best screenplay. I really didn’t even like The Descendants screenplay. It was sexist and first third is FULL of crappy expository narration. Again, Drive had an incredible screenplay. I guess the Academy really didn’t like the amazing film.

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
“The Artist”
“Margin Call”
“Midnight in Paris”
“A Separation”

Thoughts: I love that A Separation was nominated. I haven’t seen the film yet, but it’s always a big deal when a foreign film is nominated in a major category. Bridesmaids is funny, but come on…. Martha Marcy May Marlene was brilliant and it’s a complete travesty it didn’t get a nomination.

Best Art Direction
“The Artist”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
“Midnight in Paris”
“War Horse”

Thoughts: I dunno. I don’t pay enough attention to art direction.

Best Cinematography
“The Artist”
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”

Thoughts: The Tree of Life, and it’s not even close. That said. The Artist will probably win (ugh).

Best Costume Design
“The Artist”
“Jane Eyre”

Thoughts: Sick of this award going to period pieces.

Best Film Editing
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Thoughts: Martha Marcy May Marlene…

Best Makeup

“Albert Nobbs”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
“The Iron Lady”

Thoughts: No clue.

Best Music (Original Score)
“The Adventures of Tintin”
“The Artist”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
“War Horse”

Thoughts: I’m surprised Tretn Reznor wasn’t nominated again.

Best Music (Original Song)
“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets”
“Real in Rio” from “Rio”

Best Sound Editing
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
“War Horse”

Best Sound Mixing
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
“War Horse”

Best Visual Effects
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
“Real Steel”
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

Thoughts: Honestly, Melancholia should have been nominated. And where the hell is The Tree of Life?

Best Foreign Language Film
“Bullhead” – Belgium
“Monsieur Lazhar” – Canada
“A Separation” – Iran
“Footnote” – Israel
“In Darkness” – Poland

Thoughts: I haven’t seen any of these. I suck.

Best Animated Feature Film
“A Cat in Paris”
“Chico and Rita”
“Kung Fu Panda 2”
“Puss in Boots”

Thoughts: Whoa. No Pixar.

Best Documentary Feature
“Hell and Back Again”
“If a Tree Falls: The Story of the Earth Liberation Front”
“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”

Thoughts: I still can’t believe The Interrupters wasn’t short listed, but where the hell is Project Nim? UPDATE: I just saw If a Tree Falls: The Story of the Earth Liberation Front and it is utterly infuriating, heartbreaking and brilliant. I can’t believe the Academy nominated it.

Best Documentary (Short Subject)
“The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement”
“God is the Bigger Elvis”
“Incident in New Baghdad”
“Saving Face”
“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom”

Best Short Film (Animated)
“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”
“La Luna”
“A Morning Stroll”
“Wild Life”

Best Short Film (Live Action)
“The Shore”
“Time Freak”
“Tuba Atlantic”

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2 thoughts on “Oscar Nominees

  1. I know I’m in a minority and the fact that I keep repeating this is quickly killing my credibility but I think Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a deserving Best Picture nominee, and Max Von Sydow is an ESSENTIAL Best Supporting Actor nominee. To be fair, I was a kid from north NJ with parents working in NYC on 9/11 so it all resonates deeply (didn’t now this at the time, but they both worked far away in midtown). I have such a deep affection for the Oskar character and he resonates with me personally. Like it or not, Oskar’s journey emotional represents the one we as a country have faced (and are still facing) — which is why i don’t understand how the film is exploitative. 9/11 is America losing its innocence, how can the story be told from any point of view other than a child? I’m just saying all this now (and yesterday and surely in the future) because I think people need to see the film and decide for themselves. Like War Horse, if it doesn’t work for you it’ll be way over dramatic (which was my experience with War Horse), but if it does it could be one of your favorite films of the year. But again, maybe it’s all just my bias.

    A Better Life is pretty good, worth a watch (nothing tooooo special…you’ll be mad Bichir got the nomination…try not to judge it as the performance that beat out Fassbender/Shannon/Gosling but rather as a good performance in a small but worthwhile film).

    Also infuriated by them ignoring Olsen, but I’m shockingly overall happy with the nominations (Malick and Tree of Life were the most important things to me, & the nomination of EL&IC was affirming to how I feel about the movie).

    You don’t suck on the foreign films, none have been released in the US yet. In Darkness will be out before the Oscars (not sure about Boston, I know the Coolidge was interested in showing it), Footnote is coming out in March, Bullhead has distribution but no release date, and A Separation starts in Boston on Friday.

    Oh and I’m equally as confused by the love for The Descendants and that screenplay, what a freakin’ mess. To my knowledge adapted screenplay is not a done deal though, Moneyball is a major competitor. The WGA winner will be very telling. Regardless, the academy loves to cover the bases…they could be thinking Artist for pic & dir, Descendants for actor (Clooney), and Moneyball for screenplay. I’ll probably pick Descendants for Oscar pool and root for Moneyball =)


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