Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Wait is Over: The Oscar Nominations

After months of speculation, the nominees were finally announced this morning by Oscar Nominee, Jennifer Lawrence. And, as expected, there are surprises to be had. Let's get right to it:

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

So, is anyone else confused as to why they didn't just do 10 nominees? Having 9 is just as excessive. And saying there would be between 5 and 10 nominees made it hard for people to predict. They couldn't make some room for a Bridesmaids or a Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in a 10th spot? No real surprises here except for Extremely Loud... Most people had counted it out due to lukewarm reviews and lack of precursor awards, but apparently Stephen Daldry and Oscar can never be counted out. 

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

I think they forget to name Michael Fassbender. I thought that one was all but assured. This was Fassy's year! I'm glad to see that Leo didn't make the cut for J. Edgar. And pleased to see that Gary Oldman was finally able to get his first career nomination (about damn time). The main surprise here is obviously Demian Bichir. This year's Richard Jenkins. I know he got a SAG nomination, but did anyone see this coming? Everyone was predicting Michael Shannon as the surprise nominee.

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

Poor Tilda. Passed over three years in a row now. Even when it looked like she was getting that fifth slot, they decided to go...younger. Remember when she won!? Come on, Academy! You used to like her. What happened? If I couldn't have Charlize, at least give me Tilda. It's come down to Meryl and Viola. And it's looking like Glenn Close will tie Deborah Kerr and Thelma Ritter as the actress with the most nominations without a win.

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"

This is Christopher Plummer's award. The other four nominees seem a little like place holders. Particularly that Nick Nolte nomination. His big dramatic scene was so ridiculously over-the-top that I couldn't stop laughing. I know the Academy was more embracing of comedy this year, but come on. Jonah Hill was good in Moneyball but I still can't wrap my head around the fact that he is now a Oscar Nominee. Especially when I think about all the people who have never been nominated. And, apparently, Kenneth Branagh has now been nominated in five separate categories in his career. 

Best Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo, "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain, "The Help"
Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"
Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs"
Octavia Spencer, "The Help"

Of the four acting categories, this is the only one that I correctly predicted all five nominees. They're all perfectly fine, but I'm not all that thrilled with any of them. So, congratulations to me? I'm just glad there's no Shailene Woodley. That was such an adequate performance that I never understood the Oscar talk to begin with. Thank god for little miracles. I know most people are excited about Melissa McCarthy. I am as well. It's such an unexpected performance to be nominated for an Oscar. Could this open the door for future comedic performances? I certainly hope so. 

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

Best Original Screenplay
Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
JC Chandor, "Margin Call"
Asghar Farhadi, "A Separation"
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, "Bridesmaids"

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxton, Jim Rash, "The Descendants"
John Logan, "Hugo"
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, "The Ides of March"
Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian, "Moneyball"
Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughn, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"

Best Animated Feature
"A Cat In Paris"
"Chico & Rita"
"Kung Fu Panda 2"
"Puss in Boots"

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Bullhead (Belgium)
Footnote (Israel)
In Darkness (Poland)
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
A Separation (Iran)

Original Score
"The Adventures of Tintin," John Williams
"The Artist," Ludovic Bource
"Hugo," Howard Shore
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," Alberto Iglesias
"War Horse," John Williams

Best Original Song
"Man or Muppet," The Muppets; Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
"Real in Rio," Rio; Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown, Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Best Achievement in Art Direction
"The Artist"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"
"Midnight in Paris"
"War Horse"

Best Achievement in Cinematography
"The Artist"
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
"The Tree of Life"
"War Horse"

Best Achievement in Costume Design
"The Artist"
"Jane Eyre"

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

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 Achievement in Film Editing
"The Artist"
"The Descendants"
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"

Best Achievement in Makeup
"Albert Nobbs"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"
"The Iron Lady"

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

Best Live Action Short Film
"The Shore"
"Time Freak"
"Tuba Atlantic"

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
"War Horse"

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
"War Horse"

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

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