Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012 Oscar Nominations

I’ve long since written off this year’s Oscars, declaring that they will be as boring and predictable as last year’s, but the recent announcement of the 84th annual Academy Award nominations has me at a loss for words.

They are, in short, the most baffling, misguided set of nominations that I can remember. Were there highlights? Sure, I suppose. But the lack of certainly outweighs the positives.  Don’t expect a lot of Oscar talk from me over the next month, because, really, who wants to blab about something so painfully awful?

Best Picture
The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse
Yes, it is nice to see The Tree of Life here, and although I’m willing to put aside my complete abhorrence for War Horse and The Help, did voters actually see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close? It was extremely boring and incredibly idiotic.

Best Director
Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life
Alexander Payne – The Descendants
Martin Scorsese – Hugo
Malick is a genuine surprise. A surprise that hasn’t a chance at hell at winning. But, hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?

Best Actor
Demián Bichir – A Better Life
George Clooney – The Descendants
Jean Dujardin – The Artist
Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt – Moneyball
Yep, I loved Demián Bichir in A Better Life, I thought it was one of the great, unspoken performances of last year. And I’m also very glad that Oldman gets to celebrate his first Oscar nomination this morning. But were they (or anyone else on in this category) better than Michael Fassbender in Shame? No, they were not. By far the Academy’s most egregious oversight in years.

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
Not much to say here, as it was either going to be the equally deserving Mara or Tilda Swinton (for We Need to Talk About Kevin) who took the fifth spot in the category that Viola Davis is going to (justly) win.

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh – My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill – Moneyball
Nick Nolte – Warrior
Christopher Plummer – Beginners
Max Von Sydow – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Did you all know that Jonah Hill did a better job than Albert Brooks in Drive? Yeah, me either.

Best Supporting Actress
Bérénice Bejo – The Artist
Jessica Chastain – The Help
Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer – The Help
Hey, Shailene Woodley, you were the best part of your film and deserve to be here more than any of the actual nominees. Better luck next time.

Best Original Screenplay
Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris
J.C. Chandor – Margin Call
Michel Hazanivicius – The Artist
Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig – Bridesmaids
Asghar Farhadi – A Separation
Margin Call was so plain and ordinary (okay, the acting was great), that I didn’t even bother to review it. Tom McCarthy (Win Win), Mike Mills (Beginners), and, you know, Steve McQueen and Abi Morgan (Shame), are much more deserving to be here.

Best Adapted Screenplay
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon – The Ides of March
John Logan – Hugo
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash – The Descendants
Aaron Sorkin & Steven Zaillian – Moneyball
Peter Straughan & Bridget O’Connor – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
 All solid scripts, no bitching to be had. I’m losing steam here anyway.

Best Cinematography
Jeff Cronenweth – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Janusz Kaminski – War Horse
Emmanuel Lubezki – The Tree of Life
Robert Richardson – Hugo
Guillaume Schiffman – The Aritst
Well, at least Lubezki made the cut. But will he win? No, of course not. Don’t be silly.

Best Score
Ludovic Bource – The Artist
Alberto Iglesias – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Howard Shore – Hugo
John Williams – War Horse
John Williams – The Adventures of Tintin
I knew Harry Escott’s masterful, simplistic Shame score wouldn’t be recognized here, but no Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Yeah, I’m done writing about these nominations.

Click here for a full list of the nominations. But be warned: it only gets worse.


  1. I pretty much agree with your thoughts. It was great to see The Tree of Life and Malick on there, but some of the acting oversights were sad. Woodley is the worst for me and a big surprise. Brooks and Fassbender are sad, and it's clear that the Academy didn't consider either movie worth recognizing (Sound Editing doesn't count). Yikes.

  2. @Dan Heaton Yup, completely agree. Just a... shameful year for award nominations.

  3. Totally agree with everything you say. To focus on just one category - there are two too many John Williams for my liking. Overall: shameful.

  4. @Andy Buckle haha YES! Whatta bummer man. Gonna hop over to your site and see what you have up.

  5. I'm just horrified by what they did to Fassy. Horrified.

  6. Pretty much as I expected!! Weren't you expecting them to be pathetic??? War Horse?? Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close?? No Fessbender, No Swinton, No Woodley and Albert Brooks.
    Academy Voters, please go to your nearest Cliff and JUMP OFF IT !!! They have done few things right(e.g Malick) but I am too pissed off to give them any credit for that.

  7. @Sati. I'll never understand. One of the best acting performances I've ever seen.

  8. @SDG Yes, I was expecting them to be bad, but not THIS bad. I definitely convinced myself that Fass would sneak in there. Silly me.

    I share your frustration, my friend!

  9. I don't think ANYONE liked the nominations. Don't know how they could get it so wrong.

    Drive snubbed. Shame snubbed. Mara was the only positive for me. Sigh!

  10. I'll be posting my thoughts on my blog too, but I mostly agree with you. I had a long list of about 25 films that I thought could get a Best Picture nomination, and "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," wasn't even on it. I loved Shailene Woodley as well, but I figured she wasn't getting nominated. I actually thought Judy Greer was the better supporting actor role for "The Descendants," though. A small role, but very critical and powerful. Would've liked her to have been nominated.

  11. Just a thought, perhaps Shame, Drive and We need to talk about Kevin were too controversial, after all, the oscars in my opinion is the most mainstream award show (Midnight Cowboy kind of films don't win oscars too often.

    As has ben said, glad to see academy appreciation for Malick's experimental Tree of Life at least.

  12. @David Baruffi's Entertainment Views and Reviews I agree with you about Greer, I love her in most everything she's in, and I thought she stole her scenes in The Descendants. Extremely Loud, man, just didn't do it for me. At all.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  13. What a joke. I'm happy The Tree of Life got the Best Picture and Director nod plus one for Chivo.

    I'm not happy about Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close getting the Best Picture nod. I'm still not going to see it. Stephen Daldry is a fuckin' hack. He is the dramatic equivalent of Michael Bay.

    I'm unhappy that Shame (yeah, I loved that movie), The Skin I Live In, Melancholia, We Need to Talk About Kevin, and Take Shelter didn't get anything.

    I'm also unhappy about the following who didn't get nominated: Albert Brooks, Carey Mulligan (for both Shame and Drive), Michael Fassbender's penis, Ryan Gosling, Michael Shannon, Shailene Woodley, Michael Fassbender's schlong, Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Michael Fassbender's big fella, Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, the kids in The Tree of Life, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and of course, Michael Fassbender and his elephant-sized cock.

  14. @Chris Oh you're absolutely right. The majority of the Academy is comprised of old, rich, white men who like to play it safe. But with top honors to The Departed, No Country, Slumdog (most of which wasn't in English, which is a Best Picture rarity), and The Hurt Locker, I thought we were on a daring trend. The King's Speech put us back. So that's where we are now. Bummer.

  15. @thevoid99 Glad you're skipping Extremely Loud, it is stupid as all hell, needlessly taking up a top spot like The Fucking Blind Side did two years ago. And I agree with all of the gapping omissions you mentioned. The big, giant, long, thick, sturdy omissions.

  16. Oy, why do I still pay attention to them? Completely shutting Shame out is one thing. Giving Drive the cold shoulder for the major categories? Pardon my French, but that's fucked up.

  17. Poor Albert Brooks! Major snub. Same with Cranston.

  18. @Ty Man, Cranston was so good in that, but Brooks... come on. I thought it was inarguable that his performance was great. Seems a couple thousand people disagree.

  19. The only thing War Horse should be nominated for is a Razzie.