Now that Katniss Everdeen, um, I mean Jennifer Lawrence, has announced the nominations for this year’s Oscars, we can all second-guess The Academy of Motion Pictures. Who got robbed? (The Muppets! Andy Serkis!) Who got the recognition they deserved? (The Tree of Life! Meryl Streep!) And who shouldn’t be on a list of the nine Best Pictures of the year even if they were the only picture made that year? (I’m looking at you, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close!)
Here are my reactions:
Best Animated Film
The Adventures of Tintin
|The news in this category is that, unlike last year when Toy Story 3 deservedly made it to the Best Picture category, the contenders this year were kind of blah. Kung Fu Panda is OK, I guess, and Puss in Boots is workable, but none of them reaches the transcendence of aToy Story 3. Rango is likely to win, but is my least favorite. |
The Academy should consider a category tweak. The Muppets was better than all these movies I’ve seen and would win against them for sure. But it has no home, no category in which to be nominated. Poor, poor Muppets. They should write a song about that.
Best Supporting Actress
|Bérénice Bejo, The Artist|
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help
|I’m glad to see Melissa McCarthy nominated for her fresh, hilarious role in Bridesmaids. Funny, fresh movie and funny, fresh actress. |
Octavia Spencer definitely deserves a nod for The Help, but I would have picked Amy Ryan for Win Win and Shailene Woodley for The Descendants. Carey Mulligan in Drive was also fantastic.
Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
|So glad to see Nick Nolte nominated for Warrior. His emotional but understated depiction of a lifelong alcoholic trying to remain sober and atone for his misdeeds was excellent. Who knew he had it in him? Would love to see him win. |
I would have liked to see John Boyega for Attack the Block. He did a tremendous job as a thug in training who finds his calling and nobility in fighting aliens. Really. Watch it.
While I love Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is just an overdone movie and doesn’t measure up to being nominated.
The biggest scandal, however, is the absence of Andy Serkis for his motion capture acting as Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He played an intelligent ape. Not a human shaped like an ape, but an actual thinking ape. That he did it in front of a green screen with little nobby things glued all over his body…even more amazing.
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
|This is about right, I suppose, although I’d probably trade Glenn Close for Charlize Theron in Young Adult. (I’d probably trade Glenn Close for just about anyone. She rubs me the wrong way.)|
Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
|I would have liked to have seen Ryan Gosling for Drive, Paul Giamatti for Win Win and Brad Pitt for The Tree of Life instead of Moneyball. The studio campaigned for him for Moneyball, and he is excellent in it, but he is transcendent in The Tree of Life. |
To make room for them, I’d take out the favorite, George Clooney, and Gary Oldman.
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
|No doubt in my mind that Malick deserves this win. No doubt. |
All these movies are well directed, however, and I’d be happy to see any of them win. Disappointed, though, that Nicolas Winding Refn wasn’t nominated for Drive.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
|War Horse and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close are not in the same universe as the other films. One is long and boring, the other actively annoying. |
Films that should have been included: Drive, Win Win, and Warrior. That would make a nice, even ten.
The Tree of Life should win, but won’t. It’s the best movie in several years, but extremely polarizing. In a perfect world, it would win. But in a perfect world, we wouldn’t need it.