Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012 Oscar Nominations

There are plenty of surprises this year. Here are the films with the most nominations:

Hugo 11
The Artist 10
Moneyball 6
War Horse 6
The Descendants 5
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 5
Midnight in Paris 4
The Help 4

Best Picture

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

One of the biggest shock inclusions has to be Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Surprise omissions include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Drive.

The Artist is the early favorite, although my preference would be for The Descendants. Midnight in Paris is one of my favorites from the list, but has no chance of winning. It is a pleasant surprise to see The Tree of Life nominated. It's such an ambitious film, but not something likely to appeal to a wide audience.

Actor in a Leading Role

Demian Bichir (A Better Life)
George Clooney (The Descendants)
Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
Brad Pitt (Moneyball)

Michael Fassbender (Shame) and Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar) are the biggest omissions.

I'm a huge Jeff Bridges fan, but his 2010 win was not the best performance of his career. I believe that Clooney should have won that year for Up in the Air and his performance in The Descendants is just as good. The Artist has the potential to sweep the awards, so Dujardin has a strong chance. Pitt was great in Moneyball, but I don't think it's his turn this year.

Actress in a Leading Role

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)

Once again, there's no love for Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin). As a fan of Jason Reitman's films, I'm a little sad that Charlize Theron (Young Adult) was overlooked. Mara did a decent job, but it's questionable whether she was better than Noomi Rapace in the original version of Dragon Tattoo. Streep captured Margaret Thatcher perfectly. I'm of the opinion that the best performances should be rewarded regardless of how many times somebody has won in the past. Streep has been robbed of several Oscars and this could be another with Viola Davis the likely favorite.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn)
Jonah Hill (Moneyball)
Nick Nolte (Warrior)
Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)

It's shocking to see von Sydow included, although I love his acting. Plummer is the likely winner, but my favorite performance came from Hill. Moneyball wouldn't have worked without the right actor supporting Pitt. Patton Oswalt was great in Young Adult, so it's a shame he isn't among the nominees.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Berenice Bejo (The Artist)
Jessica Chastain (The Help)
Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)
Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs)
Octavia Spencer (The Help)

I would like to have seen Shailene Woodley among the names for her work in The Descendants, but it wasn't to be.


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

What a great list. Payne edges out Allen for me, but this category is wide open.

Animated Feature Film

A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots

Pixar usually wins with any entry so it's surprising that Cars 2 wasn't even nominated. Rango is the most deserving of the nominees, but I would rather watch Arrietty than any of them.


The Artist
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Tree of Life
War Horse

It's hard to imagine a more beautiful film than The Tree of Life.

Film Editing

The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Descendants
The Ides of March
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The Descendants deserves to win, but Moneyball doesn't deserve to lose.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

The Artist
Margin Call
Midnight in Paris
A Separation

Another win for The Artist? My vote goes to Midnight in Paris for actually producing something with fresh ideas.

Art Direction

The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
War Horse

Costume Design

The Artist
Jane Eyre

Documentary Feature

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

Documentary Short

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

Foreign Language Film

Bullhead (Belgium)
Footnote (Israel)
In Darkness (Poland)
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
A Separation (Iran)


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

Music (Original Score)

The Adventures of Tintin
The Artist
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse

Music (Original Song)

"Man or Muppet" (The Muppets)
"Real in Rio" (Rio)

Short Film (Animated)

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

Short Film (Live Action)

The Shore
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic

Sound Editing

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

Visual Effects

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Don't be surprised if Harry Potter wins something as it's the last of the eight films.

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