Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oscar Outrage

At 8:35 AM EST the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its nominations for the 84th Academy Awards, to be handed out on February 26, 2012. Jennifer Lawrence (a(n undeserving) nominee for Winter's Bone) announced the nominations alongside Academy president, Tom Sherak. There were quite a few surprises and more than a few snubs.

I am positive outraged that Tilda Swinton was not nominated for Best Actress for her work in We Need to Talk About Kevin - this is the same actress who won raves for her performances in Julia (2008) and I Am Love (2009) and went without Oscar recognition. Swinton gave the hands-down best performance of the year in my personal pick for best film. Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn) should feel guilty.

The Academy Awarded opted for nine Best Picture candidates when maybe six are deserving. I have seen eight of the nominated films. The lone holdout: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I have no intention of seeing it. Peter Howell, movie critic for the Toronto Star and one of my least favourite critics, made me howl with laughter in his scathing review, in which he called the film 9/11 porn. It is currently hovering under 50% at RottenTomatoes.

The biggest surprise for me in the bunch is Gary Oldman's incredibly deserving nomination for Best Actor for his performance as George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The category seems to be a toss-up between George Clooney and Jean Dujardin, but Oldman deserves recognition.

Here are a list of nominations in the major categories:

Best Picture
The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Help
Hugo
Midnight in Pars
Moneyball
The Tree of Life
War Horse

I would love to see Woody win, but it is not his best film. The Artist is hot right now, but does the Academy love The Descendants more?

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

I think Michel Hazanavicius deserves it most, but Martin Scorses won the Golden Globe.

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

One undeserving nominee. One I have not seen. Three I loved.

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

I predict Tilda wins by write-in votes! (A great year for actresses. A weak crop of nominees.)

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

Christopher Plummber in a landslide.

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

Octavia Spencer was fantastic in The Help. But so what Jessica Chastain. A completely different brand of performance.

Best Writing - Original Screenplay
The Artist
Bridesmaids
Margin Call
Midnight in Paris
A Separation

A category Woody Allen is actually favoured to win. (A fun fact, Pedro Almodóvar won an Oscar for Original Screenplay for his foreign language flm Habla con ella (Talk to Her)).

Best Writing - Adapted Screenplay
The Descendants
Hugo
The Ides of March
Moneyball
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Does Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy have the empathy vote?

Two international titles were nominated for Best Animated Feature, A Cat in Paris from France and Chico and Rita from Spain.

Only two songs were nominated for Best Song, one from The Muppets and one from Rio, guaranteeing that Madonna will not have to talk about the merits of her film at the Oscars. But it also means no Mary J. Blige!

Weigh in with your thoughts, and shortly before February 26 look for both Siobhan and I to make our expert picks!

1 comment:

  1. It's sad because every year we lament how tame the choices, how safe the nominations but it just seems to keep getting worse!

    Brutal.

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