So the Academy Awards nominations were released yesterday and the internet has been abuzz with who their picks are and who they think was robbed of a nomination. I’ve listed all the nominations below and have added my own commentary as to who I think should win or who was overlooked.
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”As of now, I have yet to see The Descendants, A Better Life or Moneyball so I don’t know who I’d pick here just yet. Based off of what I have seen, I would go with Jean Dujardin from The Artist. However, the Academy has made a terrible oversight in not nominating Andy Serkis for his performance as Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I don’t care that the character he plays is a CG ape. The reason that the character works so well is because of the performance behind it. I’ve long been a fan of Serkis and think of him as an unsung hero in the world of acting. He’s an amazingly talented actor and a pioneer in motion capture performances. Every emotion and expression that Caesar emotes is all because of Serkis. It’s a crime that he’s not recognized for his exceptional work. No matter who wins this, for me, Andy Serkis owns the award this year. Also, it seems Michael Fassbender got snubbed for his performance in Shame. I haven’t seen the film yet (though I will be seeing it tonight) but I hear he’s amazing in the film.
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”This is a tough one as I really enjoyed Christopher Plummer in Beginners but Nick Nolte should win this in my opinion. I’ve never really been much of a fan of Nolte but I thought he gave a really great performance in Warrior. Branagh was good in My Week with Marilyn but I think the other two stand out more with their performances. I’d be happy with either Plummer or Nolte, but my bet is on ole scruffy voice.
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”This will probably go to Meryl Streep even though I still feel like her performance could fit into a SNL skit. I think Michelle Williams did a pretty good job as Marilyn but I personally would root for Rooney Mara. While I’m not really all that enthusiastic for the American remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I thought she did a pretty good job (even though she’s performing in the shadow of Noomi Rapace) and I found her to have the most magnetic performance out of anyone listed here. I think if she won it would be a bit of an upset but I’m all for Rooney taking home the Oscar.
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”I really enjoyed Bérénice Bejo’s performance and would be my personal pick out of these nominations but I do like Jessica Chastain and wouldn’t have a problem with her taking the Oscar. I thought Melissa McCarthy was hilarious in Bridesmaids but I don’t think she’ll win this category.
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 VerbinskiI’ve not seen, nor heard of, the first two animated films. I haven’t seen Puss In Boots and Rango yet but hope to correct that soon so I can properly judge this category. I did enjoy Kung Fu Panda 2 but I really don’t see it being an Oscar winning film at all. The Adventures of Tintin should be here and it’s absence is simply mind boggling. Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in Boots can make it but not Tintin? Another Academy mistake.
- “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
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 SandalesI think this should go to The Artist or Hugo. My money is on Hugo though.
- “The Artist” Guillaume Schiffman
- “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Jeff Cronenweth
- “Hugo” Robert Richardson
- “The Tree of Life” Emmanuel Lubezki
- “War Horse” Janusz KaminskiThis category is a tough one. While The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was underwhelming story wise, the movie looked really good. The Artist was a film that successfully evoked a mood through its visuals and Hugo was incredible and is literally the best use of 3D in any movie thus far. This really is a toss up but if I had to bet money on it, I’d say The Tree of Life wins. You can say what you want about the film itself but I don’t think anyone can deny that the film is phenomenally beautiful.
- “Anonymous” Lisy Christl
- “The Artist” Mark Bridges
- “Hugo” Sandy Powell
- “Jane Eyre” Michael O’Connor
- “W.E.” Arianne PhillipsI’m pretty terrible at predicting this category, I must admit, but I think it’s going to end up being either The Artist, Hugo or Jane Eyre. If I have to choose just one, I’d go with Jane Eyre.
- “The Artist” Michel Hazanavicius
- “The Descendants” Alexander Payne
- “Hugo” Martin Scorsese
- “Midnight in Paris” Woody Allen
- “The Tree of Life” Terrence MalickI’m biased and would instantly pick Woody Allen. However, I’d say that Michell Hazanavicius, Martin Scorsese and Terence Malick have the best chances here. I personally would lean towards Hazanavicius or Scorsese but I think, ultimately, Hazanavicius will walk with the award.
- “Hell and Back Again”
Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner
- “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”
Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
- “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”
Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard MiddlemasI’ve not heard of any of these documentaries so I will have to scour Netflix to see if any of these are available to watch instantly or rent on disc before the Oscars.
Documentary (Short Subject)
- “The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement”
Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
- “God Is the Bigger Elvis”
Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
- “Incident in New Baghdad”
- “Saving Face”
Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
- “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom”
Lucy Walker and Kira CarstensenAgain, all nominations here I’ve never heard of. This category is often relegated to a simple guess when I fill out my Oscar ballot. I highly doubt I will find a way to see any of these so your guess is as good as mine.
- “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 TellefsenThis is definitely a category that I can’t quite decide on. My guess is the editing team of The Artist or the editor on Hugo.
Foreign Language Film
- “Bullhead” Belgium
- “Footnote” Israel
- “In Darkness” Poland
- “Monsieur Lazhar” Canada
- “A Separation” IranUsually when the nominations are announced I’ve seen at least one or two of these nominees but this year I haven’t seen any of them. In fact, I really only know of A Separation, which I will have the chance to see soon at the theater, but it looks like I’m going to have to do a little research to find out how to see the other films before the Oscars.
- “Albert Nobbs”
Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
- “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin
- “The Iron Lady”
Mark Coulier and J. Roy HellandI personally would give it to Harry Potter but I suspect Albert Nobbs may take it.
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 WilliamsHands down I have to give this to Ludovic Bource for The Artist. The score for that film was really great and had some really fun pieces of music mixed in with some really dark ones. The score really helped sell the emotion of the film.
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 GarrettThis is a no brainer. “Man Or Muppet” must win this or I’m going to go buy a copy of Rio on DVD and then blow it up with firecrackers! Okay, I’m not really that passionate about this category but I really do think Bret McKenzie did some great music for The Muppets. Why are there only two nominations here? I personally would have nominated “Life’s A Happy Song” from The Muppets as well. That song stands out more than “Man Or Muppet” to me. This category is pretty superfluous anyhow as a lot of the selections every year are pretty trivial, with exception to Bret McKenzie’s song of course. I’m still upset that the Academy didn’t nominate any of the music from Scott Pilgrim last year.
- “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, ProducersEvery year after the nominees have been announced for Best Picture, whatever nominees I haven’t seen yet I make sure to see before the Oscars broadcast. So it’s really annoying to me that I have to watch what some have touted as one of the worst films of 2011, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. The film may or may not be worthy of the worst film title but regardless, I just really don’t want to sit through a movie with a whiny kid as the main character. Sadly, I must now. But what’s an even bigger crime is the fact that Beginners is not nominated!! What the hell Academy?! Beginners could take the place of The Help or War Horse or that annoying kid movie I mentioned before, those films really don’t belong here. Hell, I’d put in Attack the Block and Young Adult as well to fill in those other nominee slots. I’d choose Midnight In Paris as Best Picture but I still can’t believe some serious omissions this year. For shame Academy!
Short Film (Animated)
- “Dimanche/Sunday” Patrick Doyon
- “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
- “La Luna” Enrico Casarosa
- “A Morning Stroll” Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
- “Wild Life” Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby
I like pizza. (I don’t know anything about these)
Short Film (Live Action)
- “Pentecost” Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane
- “Raju” Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
- “The Shore” Terry George and Oorlagh George
- “Time Freak” Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
- “Tuba Atlantic” Hallvar Witzø
I’m going with The Shore since one of the guys behind it is named Oorlagh. That’s about all I can do to guess since once again nothing in this category is known to me. Then again, does anyone ever really know these?
- “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 RydstromI’m going with Drive‘s sound editing team on this one. I remember the sound being very effective in the film.
- “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick
- “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
- “War Horse”
Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart WilsonI think I’d have to go with War Horse or Transformers here.
- “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
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 FrazierThe visual effects for Rise of the Planet of the Apes are amazing. Weta did an incredible job. They better win.
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 StraughanMy personal pick would be Hugo but I think Moneyball may have a good shot here.
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 FarhadiThis really should go to Woody Allen. I don’t think any of these scripts have anything on the screenplay for Midnight in Paris. Once again though, Beginners is left out and Mike Mills’ excellent script isn’t nominated. What is with the lack of recognition for one of 2011’s best films? And why is Bridesmaids even here? Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed Bridesmaids and am a big fan of Kristen Wiig but the screenplay they wrote, while entertaining, isn’t among the pinnacle of scripts written this year. Diablo Cody’s screenplay for Young Adult seems to be missing from this list as well. I have to wonder Academy, what are your thought processes behind all of this?