“No woman director will win 2 Oscars on my watch!” The Academy Award nominations for the year 2012!!!

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Lately, most film geeks seem to simply write off the Academy Awards as a popularity contest.  Not one person can ever agree with 100% of what the Academy nominates, cause everyone has their own opinion.  That said, I LOVE the Oscars!!!!  It’s a big deal for me.  It’s the Super Bowl for film geeks.  I get excited every year!  I have watched every single Academy Awards broadcast since I was 5 (when ON GOLDEN POND was nominated).  It’s my favorite event of the year!  Movies are the most important thing in my life, so when something like The Oscars comes around every year, I embrace the opportunity to celebrate the medium, regardless if I agree with the Academy or not.  I love to cheer when they get something right, and I love to bitch and complain when they miss the boat completely.  In particular, I love the morning announcements.  This is something that I have done for the past 28 years (ouch!  That ages me!)  I wake up at 7am, just to hear what was nominated, and then go out for breakfast with my brother and father.  In many ways, I find the live announcements more exciting than the actual awards.  You have an “idea” what will be nominated, but you DON’T know for sure until they actually announce it right in front of your eyes.  That’s exhilarating to me.  Film geeks that don’t get a chance to watch the announcements live are really missing out.

So, anyway, without further ado, here are the nominations, as well as some thoughts.  No predictions yet, though.  Too early guys!:

BEST PICTURE:

AMOUR
ARGO
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
DJANGO UNCHAINED
LES MIERABLES
LIFE OF PI
LINCOLN
SILVER LINING PLAYBOOK
ZERO DARK THIRTY

For the most part, no surprises here, with the exception being AMOUR.  It’s on several Top Ten lists, so its been critically acclaimed, but I still wasn’t sure it would be nominated.  Unfortunately, I missed my screening for it so I have yet to see it.  I also have to see ZERO DARK THIRTY (seeing that tonight). Many thought MOONRISE KINGDOM might sneak in there, but AMOUR definitely took it’s spot.  There are 2 films on the list I don’t care for.  LINCOLN and BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, which I felt was very overrated.  Of course, I’m happy to see my favorite film of the year, DJANGO UNCHAINED nominated. 

BEST ACTOR:

Bradley Cooper – SILVER LINING PLAYBOOK
Daniel Day-Lewis – LINCOLN
Hugh Jackman – LES MISERABLES
Joaquin Pheonix – THE MASTER
Denzel Washington – FLIGHT

John Hawkes (THE SESSIONS) was the one left out today.  Every else here was pretty much expected to be nominated.  For my money, Pheonix gives the best performance of the year (though the film itself let me down), but will he win? …that’s unsure of at the moment.  The more I watch DJANGO UNCHAINED, the more I feel that Jamie Foxx really does give an Oscar worthy performance, though I’m sure it was hard for the Academy to notice since Jackson, Waltz and DiCaprio give “showier” performances.  I also enjoyed Anthony Hopkins in HITCHCOCK more than Day-Lewis in LINCOLN, but I’m just a lowly internet critic, so who cares, right?

BEST ACTRESS:

Jessica Chastain – ZERO DARK THiRTY
Jennifer Lawrence – SiLVER LiNiNGS PLAYBOOK
Emmanuelle Riva – AMOURr
Quvenzhane Wallis – BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
Naomi Watts – THE IMPOSSIBLE

I still have to see THE IMPOSSIBLE, ZERO DARK THIRTY and AMOUR, but I’m just crazy about Jennifer Lawrence right now.  Wallis is the youngest actress to be nominated, and while she does a decent job, I’d argue against her work being Oscar worthy.  The real snub here was Marion Cotillard for her work in RUST & BONE.  I haven’t seen it yet, but she’s been getting nominations in just about every other organization

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

Alan Arkin – ARGO
Robert De Niro – SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
Philip Seymour Hoffman – THE MASTER
Tommy Lee Jones – LINCOLN
Christoph Waltz – DJANGO UNCHAINED

You can take out Alan Arkin right now.  He does NOT give a performance.  He’s “Alan Arkin”.  He already won for LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, which I felt he deserved, but he doesn’t belong here.  To me, his inclusion in the film felt like stunt casting.  He’s not bad, but he doesn’t really act here either.  Happy that Waltz got nominated, but I feel that Samuel L. Jackson should have been acknowledged, though I wasn’t surprised that he was excluded. 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

Amy Adams – THE MASTER
Sally Field – LINCOLN
Anne Hathaway -  – LES MiSERABLES
Helen Hunt – THE SESSIONS
Jacki Weaver – SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

While I thought she was fine, Weaver doesn’t really belong here.  Though she never would have been nominated, I think Emily Blunt in LOOPER more than deserved a nod for her work.  Hathaway is clearly the best here and might as well accept her trophy now.

BEST DIRECTOR:

Michael Haneke – AMOUR
Ang Lee – LIFE OF PI
David O. Russell – SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
Steven Spielberg – LINCOLN
Benh Zeitlin – BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

This category held the most surprises.  Ben Affleck was expected to be a front-runner for directing ARGO, and he was unexpectedly snubbed.  However, the real shock was to see Kathryn Bigelow left out for her work on ZERO DARK THIRTY.  I still have to see it, but it’s been getting crazy critical acclaim and was clearly a front-runner for both picture and director.  In fact, many were predicting that Bigelow would be getting her 2nd Oscar win.  In the past, the Academy has been known to leave out female filmmakers, and this exclusion has now confirmed the fact that women are clearly not top priority when it comes to the Academy.  Wow!  Zeitlin and Haneke were the real surprises here.  Zeitlin is undeserving in my opinion, since the movie was shot in unwatchable shaky cam….. best director…….. really???

BEST FOREIGN FILM:

AMOUR
KON-TIKI
NO!
A ROYAL AFFAIR
WAR WITCH

I ‘ve only seen NO!, which I really enjoyed.  AMOUR seems to be the favorite though.  Can’t wait to see it!

BEST ANIMATED FILM:

BRAVE
FRANKENWEENIE
PARANORMAN
THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS
WRECK-IT RALPH

I actually enjoyed all of these films, but my favorite is gonna have to be PIRATES!. 

BEST DOCUMENTARY:

5 BROKEN CAMERAS
THE GATEKEEPERS
HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE
THE INVISIBLE WAR
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN

I haven’t seen any of these, but that’s going to change quickly.  Both INVISIBLE WAR and PLAGUE are available on Netflix streaming, and I’m seeing THE GATEKEEPERS next week at a press screening. 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

ARGO – Chris Terrio
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD – Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
LIFE OF PI – David Magee
LINCOLN – Tony Kushner
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK – David O. Russell

The only real snub was PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, which was expected to be nominated.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

AMOUR – Michael Haneke
DJANGO UNCHAINED – Quentin Tarantino
FLIGHT – John Gatins
MOONRISE KINGDOM – Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
ZERO DARK THIRTY – Mark Boal

I’m tickled that Tarantino got nominated.  FLIGHT is the only one that doesn’t belong here. 

CINEMATOGRAPHY:

ANNA KARENINA
DJANGO UNCHAINED
LIFE OF PI
LINCOLN
SKYFALL

Very happy that SKYFALL got noticed.  But I think that THE MASTER had some of the best photography of the year, along with MOONRISE KINGDOM, both of which were snubbed.

BEST EDITING:

ARGO
LIFE OF PI
LICOLN
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
ZERO DARK THIRTY

LIFE OF PI is the best edited of the five, in my opinion.

COSTUME DESIGN:

ANNA KARENINA
LES MISERABLES
LINCOLN
MIRROR MIRROR
SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN

Stuffy period films usually win, but for my money, MIRROR MIRROR had the most original costumes.

PRODUCTION DESIGN

ANNA KARENINA
THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY
LES MISERABLES
LIFE OF PI
LINCOLN

LIFE OF PI is an interesting choice here, cause most of the design was CGI, not practical sets.  Hmmmmmm

MAKEUP:

HITCHCOCK
THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY
LES MISERABLES

HITCHCOCK is the best by far, for me.  Though I think CLOUD ATLAS was totally snubbed since you had actors not only playing different ages, but different races and genders.  That was impressive!

BEST MUSICAL SCORE:

Mychael Danna – LIFE OF PI
Alexandre Desplat – ARGO
Dario Marianelli – ANNA KARENINA
Thomas Newman – SKYFALL
John Williams – LINCOLN

Wow!  What a boring set of scores.  Williams was sleepwalking with LINCOLN, I felt.  Newman did a pretty good job with SKYFALL.  Didn’t like Desplat’s score for ARGO.  Sounded pretty generic.  Marianelli’s score was fine, I guess.  Danna’s score for LIFE OF PI is the best one here.  Upset that CLOUD ATLAS was left out, which was my favorite score of the year. 

BEST SONG:

Before My Time – CHASiNG iCE Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
Everybody Needs A Best friend – TED Music by Walter Murphy Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
Pi’s Lullaby – LiFE oF Pi Music by Mychael Danna Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
Skyfall – SKYFALL Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
Suddenly – LES MISERABLES Music by Claude-Michel Schonberg Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Suddenly was good, but not as good as the rest of LES MISERABLES.  I liked TED a lot, but for the love of me I can’t remember that song.  Wished that at least one of the four original songs in DJANGO UNCHAINED would have been nominated.  SKYFALL is the best one here.

SOUND EDITING:

ARGO
DJANGO UNCHAINED
LIFE OF PI
SKYFALL
ZERO DARK THIRTY

There’s this…..

SOUND MIXING:

ARGO
LES MISERABLES
LIFE OF PI
LINCOLN
SKYFALL

And there’s that….

VISUAL EFFECTS:

THE AVENGERS
THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY
LIFE OF PI
PROMETHEUS
SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN

I think CLOUD ATLAS had some of the best effects of the year, so it was snubbed!  I loved the stylized look of LIFE OF PI.  But I think the best effects here are in PROMETHEUS. 

LIVE ACTION SHORT:

ASAD
BUZKASHI BOYS
CURFEW
DEATH OF A SHADOW
HENRY

Haven’t seen any of these…

DOCUMENTARY SHORT:

INNOCENT
KINGS POINT
MONDAYS AT RACINE
OPEN HEART
REDEMPTION

… nor these

ANIMATED SHORT:

ADAM AND DOG
FRESH GUACAMOLE
HEAD OVER HEELS
THE LONGEST DAYCARE
PAPERMAN

I’ve seen three of these.  PAPERMAN is one of the best animated shorts I’ve ever seen.  It brought me to tears.  Fantastic!

And that wraps up the nominees!  What are your thoughts?  Any snubs I didn’t mention?  What do you think the Academy got right and what the got wrong?  Please…. do share!

The Oscars will air on Sunday, February 24th.  Can’t wait!!!

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Categories: Austin Kennedy, Movie News, Special Reports and Rants

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