Thursday, January 26, 2012

The 2012 Academy Awards Nominations

I was holding off on writing this due to yesterday's extremely sad news (some of you know what that is). But then I realized I needed a bit of a distraction.

Boy, there were some hits, misses and serious surprises this year! The Academy Award nominations for calendar year 2011 were announced Tuesday morning literally right up the street from In Sync (I love living here) and here is my take on what's up and what's out.

I had two big reactions to the full roll-out.

First, the most wonderful surprise of the morning was Melissa McCarthy being nominated for Best Supporting Actress in "Bridesmaids"! I was like' WOW' in the car as I watched on my iPhone while riding to work in seriously slow traffic. Loved the movie and was actually reading an article online about it's Oscar potential, even though a long shot because of the sometimes gross comedic content, and how McCarthy should be considered. Now that is a fact instead of speculation.

On the disappointing flip-side of adulation, what happened with Albert Brooks?! MAJOR snub! Not cool. His incredibly evil turn in "Drive" was an absolute shoe-in. When the final Best Supporting Actor nominated actor was read (Max von Sydow in "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close") there was a gasp from the audience, not as a distractor to Sydow's performance but clearly at Brooks' omission.

"Hugo" beat out "The Artist" for highest number of nominations; 11. We loved "The Artist" as well as "Hugo" but I think amongst others in the Best Picture race, the little silent movie that could will bring home the top honors in a month.

Speaking of the Best Picture race, where the hell is "Drive"?! Another serious omission for a movie that's toped every critics list in the country...AND a film we thought was incredible, stylish and cinematic with great performances. Ryan Gosling not up for Best Actor in either this movie or "The Ides of March" (which I still haven't seen yet)?...2011 was definitely his year and for the Academy to not acknowledge one of these performances seemed very misplaced.

Glad to see Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" up for Best Picture, yet "The Adventures of Tin Tin" didn't come near the Best Animated Feature category. "Rango", maybe. "Puss in Boots"? O.K. I guess. "Kung Fu Panda 2"? I think we're starting to wear thin on animated films. "A Cat in Paris" and "Chico & Rita"? Huh? What? Who and what are those?

Best Foreign Film....BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, fast forward!

"Bridesmaids" scoring a Best Original Screenplay was another awesome surprise. Kristen Wiig must be seriously excited and this is now a category I'll be paying more attention to this year.

Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie being nominated for Best Song for "The Muppets"...Brilliant!! I know he's going to win!

I'm amazed that Harry Potter did not get nominated above technical awards. Thought the Academy would look at the series as a whole and hand out some larger acknowledgements, ala "The Lord of the Rings" after "Return of the King" was released.

OK, I'm getting a little ahead of myself...


Everything in this race looks good, even though there are a few like "War Horse", "The Descendants" and "The Help" I have not seen yet. Never been a big Woody Allen fan but I definitely need to see "Midnight in Paris".

"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"....whoa, where did that come from! It's not been a critical favorite, I can tell you that.


Michelle Williams in "My Week with Marilyn": LOCK!


George Clooney will most likely take home the statue, but would love to see Gary Oldman receive his first gold.


I am seriously rooting for Kenneth Branagh in "My Week with Marilyn" (and not just because I worked on the movie), but why does it seem like Christopher Plummer or Max Von Sydow will probably get this? Again, where the hell is Albert Brooks in this category?!


Nothing would make me happier than to see Bérénice Bejo or Melissa McCarthy win. But in reality everyone might be surprised by Octavia Spencer.

The question on the minds of movie fans is 'why isn't Andy Serkis being acknowledged for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"?' I truly feel the same...but how would the Academy do so? Some might say the Best Actor category would shudder with the thought of someone not physically appearing in a movie being given a nod. Nevertheless, "Rise" has been nominated for Best Visual Effects. This HAS to win! Nothing else up for the award even touches what was accomplished with the realization of Caesar. AND NO F-ING "TRANSFORMERS"!!!

More snubs...

I hear Michael Fassbender is amazing in "Shame" but he was somehow missed. Leonardo DiCaprio didn't get even a glance for "J. Edgar" yet I understand his performance is uneven and the movie is a bit of a mess. And one more time I'm going to say...Ryan Gosling, where are you?!

Here is what has become the almost official reason why "Tin Tin" lost out on being recognized at all, even though it's the most stunning CG animation in a film....EVER (right up there with "Rise of the Planet of the Apes", just an entire feature of it):

'The visual effects branch didn't recognize it because they thought it was animation, and the animation branch didn't recognize it because it was using performance capture and visual effects techniques.'

Sounds like a bit of a lame excuse to me. Regardless, this is probably one of the most shocking omissions of the roster.

The only nomination for "Drive": Best Sound Editing. That's IT?!

Michael Shannon is missing in the Best Actor category for "Take Shelter" despite coming across like one of the front runners. I thought his performance was intense, yet the movie seemed to go on a bit long during some scenes.

So there you go! Exactly one month from today is the big show and sometime between now and then we'll be going to the Kodak Theatre so I can do my annual walk of the red carpet. Cheers!


At January 27, 2012 at 5:15 AM, Anonymous Allen said...

I call B.S. on leaving "The Adventures of Tintin" off the Animated Feature list.

Wish "Bridesmaids" had been nominated for Best Comedy.

Very happy for Michelle Williams, I hope she wins.

Surprised (just a little) that "Cars 2" didn't make the cut (they've been nominated every year I think). BUT... it is by far the worst Pixar movie to date. AND... I hope it serves as a wake up call for all involved; Lasseter, Disney and the whole notion of these Disney synergry productions. PLEASE, make a good movie first, THEN worry about toys, theme park rides and sequels later.

At January 27, 2012 at 5:16 AM, Anonymous Allen said...

Oh yes! Thrilled for Gary Oldman. What the hell took so long?!

At January 27, 2012 at 3:32 PM, Blogger LA Filmcutter said...

'I call B.S. on leaving "The Adventures of Tintin" off the Animated Feature list.'

...Absolutely!! There was just no excuse.

"Bridesmaids" was definitely one of the best and funniest films of last year. There's no Best Comedy category at the Oscars but it was nominated for a Golden Globes this year.

Go, Michelle Williams!!

The funny thing is I've always felt that Pixar has had that exact thought in mind: making a GOOD movie before the toys. Lasseter has always spearheaded that notion from the start. I haven't seen "Cars 2" yet and I have to say the so-so reviews swayed me in staying away. Kind of sad because Pixar has been hitting each and every movie out of the park!

Gary Oldman...I KNOW REALLY!!! I am so amazed this is his FIRST nomination! The man is one of THE BEST actors of this generation!


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