Obligatory Oscar Nominations Post

by deerinthexenonarclights

I know that everyone is currently iundated by articles and analysis of the Academy Award nominations, so I will keep this intro brief. If you don’t want one more, skip ahead, but if your addiction is not yet sated then dive in after the jump.

First up, the list. My predictions will be highlighted in Bold while my personal preferences (from the list) will be in italics; the two will occasionally overlap.

Actor in a Leading Role

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

Actor in a Supporting Role

•    Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn”
•    Jonah Hill in “Moneyball”
•    Nick Nolte in “Warrior”
•    Christopher Plummer in “Beginners”
•    Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Actress in a Leading Role

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

Actress in a Supporting Role

•    Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist”
•    Jessica Chastain in “The Help”
•    Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”
•    Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs”
•    Octavia Spencer in “The Help”

Animated Feature Film

•    “A Cat in Paris” Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
•    “Chico & Rita” Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
•    “Kung Fu Panda 2” Jennifer Yuh Nelson
•    “Puss in Boots” Chris Miller
•    “Rango” Gore Verbinski

Art Direction

•    “The Artist” Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
•    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
•    “Hugo” Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
•    “Midnight in Paris” Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil
•    “War Horse” Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

Cinematography

•    “The Artist” Guillaume Schiffman
•    “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Jeff Cronenweth
•    “Hugo” Robert Richardson
•    “The Tree of Life” Emmanuel Lubezki
•    “War Horse” Janusz Kaminski

Costume Design

•    “Anonymous” Lisy Christl
•    “The Artist” Mark Bridges
•    “Hugo” Sandy Powell
•    “Jane Eyre” Michael O’Connor
•    “W.E.” Arianne Phillips

Directing

•    “The Artist” Michel Hazanavicius
•    “The Descendants” Alexander Payne
•    “Hugo” Martin Scorsese

•    “Midnight in Paris” Woody Allen
•    “The Tree of Life” Terrence Malick

Film Editing

•    “The Artist” Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
•    “The Descendants” Kevin Tent
•    “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
•    “Hugo” Thelma Schoonmaker
•    “Moneyball” Christopher Tellefsen

Foreign Language Film

•    “Bullhead” Belgium
•    “Footnote” Israel
•    “In Darkness” Poland
•    “Monsieur Lazhar” Canada
•    “A Separation” Iran

Makeup

•    “Albert Nobbs” Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
•    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
•    “The Iron Lady” Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Music (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
Music (Original Song)

•    “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
•    “Real in Rio” from “Rio” Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett


Sound Editing

•    “Drive” Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
•    “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Ren Klyce
•    “Hugo” Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
•    “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
•    “War Horse” Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Visual Effects

•    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
•    “Hugo” Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
•    “Real Steel” Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
•    “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
•    “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

•    “The Descendants” Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
•    “Hugo” Screenplay by John Logan
•    “The Ides of March” Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
•    “Moneyball” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin  Story by Stan Chervin
•    “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

Writing (Original Screenplay)

•    “The Artist” Written by Michel Hazanavicius
•    “Bridesmaids” Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
•    “Margin Call” Written by J.C. Chandor
•    “Midnight in Paris” Written by Woody Allen
•    “A Separation” Written by Asghar Farhadi

Best Picture

•    “The Artist” Thomas Langmann, Producer
•    “The Descendants” Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
•    “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” Scott Rudin, Producer
•    “The Help” Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
•    “Hugo” Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
•    “Midnight in Paris” Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
•    “Moneyball” Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
•    “The Tree of Life” Nominees to be determined
•    “War Horse” Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Now for some analysis. Let’s jump straight into the juiciest part, the titles that are overlooked and under nominated, both in my eyes and in those of popular culture as a whole. Let’s look at…

The Snubs

This has been an interesting year for me film wise, in that there haven’t been too many movies that I have outright loved; there have though been a whole host of really amazing documentaries, none of which made it into contention. Project Nim, Buck, Armadillo, These Amazing Shadows and many many more were among my favourite films of the year and yet they were disregarded in favour of some much safer titles; some of which I haven’t seen, something that I will soon rectify.

 

Perhaps the style of these films was simply not up Oscar’s alley, how then would one explain the fact that last year’s winner of ‘Best Score’ Trent Reznor failed to even elicit a nomination for his certainly comparable work on The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo, a film that garnered plenty of other technical nods. Ignoring him is not such a shock on its own, but given the context the move becomes more than a little confusing; did he only win because the Academy was trying to prove themselves as being hip, a facade that they can now discard for another decade or so?

 

As a major animation fan I am certainly willing to admit that this year’s output was perhaps below par: PIXAR produced their first bad film, Rango was more than a little messy and Dreamworks went back to releasing childish comedy rather than childlike emotion. So that the category is weak was to be expected, that it would be missing the one working title, the one that won the Golden Globe, is a massive shock. Where is Tintin? For it to not even get a nomination suggests that perhaps the Academy didn’t consider it as an animation, perhaps its technology was so advanced that it got classed with the dramas where ti admittedly didn’t have much of a chance to compete. That this allowed too lesser known but equally good foreign titles a place makes the whole debacle worthwhile, go the french feline!

 

Two of the year’s most critically lauded films were also snubbed; Drive, the first of them received a meagre one technical nomination which I have no inherent issue with, but I will admit that I would not have guessed that this would be the case. The second snub may sound more than a little crazy given just how well it did, but that is Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. The film was heralded as a short shot for Best Picture but based on the many key fields that it failed to even show up in ( Art Direction, Cinematography, Direction ) I would say that it is probably dead in the water.

The Victors

So, I’ve never been much of a betting man myself and as such my choice of winners here should be taken as little more than guesses. It’s already clear though which films should consider themselves as Victors at this stage, based solely on the number of nominations.

War Horse seemed like a sure thing for Oscar nods back when it was announced: Speilberg heading back into the trenches with an adaptation of a much lauded stage play, but when it was finally released something seemed to go horribly wrong. No one championed the film, no critics really even seemed to like it that much; the sugary quality of the trailer alone scared them all away it seems. Thankfully then the Academy have stronger stomachs and are able to ignores such cultural shudders, nominating the film for a deserved number of Oscars.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was in a very similar boat: Fincher is a genius who was hot in contention for awards only last year, the dark IP is also popular and most importantly it is just an amazingly good movie. It was also one that garnered a cold, critical reception however, with many people missing the point and feeling unsatisfied by it as a mystery experience. Again, congratulations to the Academy for getting things right and giving the title the credit that it deserves.

Hugo and The Artist are two films that didn’t speak to me much, but their love of cinema is undeniable and as there is little that the Academy loves more than self-congratulations their nominations were all but in the bag. Technically I think that they earnt the nominations, but will be a little perturbed if they somehow pull off the wins that they are likely too. With The Descendants my feelings here are inverse, sub in opposites as necessary.

The biggest winners though may well be the two smallest films on the ballot for Best Picture, two titles that no-one had much hope for this time last year, hell no-one had really even heard of them; now though they stand ready to take home some of the biggest awards around. Those titles are The Help and Midnight In Paris, two charming little old-fashioned films that may not be the best made this year, but are many peoples favourites and that may well just be enough to get them over the line.

All in all though it is a very tough year to call, with so many good films and so few truly great ones the pack is crowded and quite equal. Bring on the twenty-sixth, it will be quite interesting to see.

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