It’s Christmas time for movie lovers. Tom Sherak, president of the Academy, and last year’s nominee, Jennifer Lawrence, just announced the nominations for the 2012 Academy Awards. It’s an event that always generates a huge amount of buzz.
I can’t quite believe this but I picked the 9 nominations for best picture back on 21 November 2011 in my awards season preview. Here’s a quote from that blog...
“This year’s best picture race has been made murky by a rule change – there will now be between 5 and 10 nominees depending on the support level for the top films. This makes it hard for me to give a set list in my predictions. Assuming there could be up to 10, I thought I’d list out my top predictions in order of likelihood…
1. The Descendants, 2. The Artist, 3. War Horse, 4. The Help, 5. Midnight In Paris, 6. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, 7. Moneyball, 8. The Tree Of Life, 9. Hugo, 10. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”
In turns out the films marked 1 to 9 were the ones nominated. I can take a little bit of credit but it does highlight the predictable nature of the awards season race.
It’s Hugo who leads the charge with 11 nominations in total. The Artist is nipping at its heels with 10 nominations. They’d appear to be the two most popular films amongst Academy voters as the next best are Moneyball and War Horse with 6 nominations each.
Australians nominated this year (from what I can gather) are editor Kirk Baxter for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (he won last year for The Social Network), producer Grant Hill for The Tree Of Life and sound mixer Andy Nelson for War Horse. We had 3 acting nominees last year but sadly none in 2012.
Let’s cut to the chase and get into the major categories…
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
This year’s best picture nominations were always going to be interesting since we didn’t know how many nominees there would be. It would be between 5 and 10 depending on the number of films to get at least 5% of the first place votes.
We have 9 nominations in all this year. Major films to have missed the cut included Bridesmaids, Drive, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Ides Of March and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
I was certainly surprised by the inclusion of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close given it’s had a lukewarm reception from critics. The film only earned one other nomination – Max Von Sydow for supporting actor. The film must have a few die-hard fans.
The same can be said of The Tree Of Life that also caught a few off guard with a best picture nomination. It was completely snubbed at the British Academy Awards which were announced last week.
The Artist is the clear frontrunner and it’d be hard to see it losing.
Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Some great stuff here. Leonardo DiCaprio (J Edgar) and Michael Fassbender (Shame) were the major casualties. Taking their spots were Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Demián Bichir (A Better Life). It’s wonderful to see Oldman get his first ever nomination! It’s well overdue and I asked him about awards recognition in my interview last week (see here). Bichir is a Mexican actor who I know most from starring in the television series Weeds. It’s always nice seeing small films recognised and I can’t wait to see A Better Life down the track.
Clooney should win here but don’t count out either Dujardin and Pitt.
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
Unfortunately for fans of Tilda Swinton, she missed out this year for her chilling performance in We Need To Talk About Kevin. I guess the Academy didn’t like the film. A shame. Also missing out was the wonderful Charlize Theron in Young Adult. The good news is that both have won Oscars before.
So who’s going to win here? It’s a coin flip between Davis and Streep. I hope Davis gets the nod. It’s interesting though that The Help picked up just 4 nominations – 3 acting and 1 for best picture. Many thought it would perform stronger.
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
This category was ripe for a few surprises and the lack of a nomination for Albert Brooks (Drive) is disappointing. Most thought he’d earn his first nod but I guess the Academy didn’t think too much of Drive. It received just one nomination amongst the categories. I’m thrilled to see Jonah Hill get his first nomination – he’s great in Moneyball. As proof that you’re never too old in Hollywood, two 82 year old actors have been nominated in this category – Christopher Plummer (Beginners) and Max Von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close). It’s the second nomination for them both.
Plummer can’t lose this category as far as I’m concerned.
Best Supporting Actress
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help
It’s great to see the Academy recognising comedy with the nomination of Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids. Co-star Kristen Wiig is also nominated in the original screenplay category. It was sad to see Shaileen Woodley (The Descendants) miss a nomination here because her performance was excellent. It’s a tough field though and I guess someone had to miss out.
Spencer looks like she has the goods here but Bejo and Chastain will keep her honest.
Michel Hanazavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
With more than 5 nominees now for best picture, this category has become the pseudo “top 5” since director and picture often align. I dare say that only 3 of these guys will be appearing the ceremony however. Allen was last nominated in this category in 1994 (Bullets Over Broadway) and has never once turned up at the ceremony when nominated. The same applies to the reclusive Terrence Malick who scored a somewhat unexpected nomination for The Tree Of Life.
This looks like being a two horse race between legend Martin Scorsese and relative newcomer Michel Hanazavicius. You’d have to lean towards Hanazavicius but I’d hate to be putting money on it.
Best Original Screenplay
Midnight in Paris
I was saddened to see 50/50 miss out in this category given my love for the film at the Toronto Film Festival. I’m very keen to see Margin Call given I work in the financial industry and have a keen interest in the subject matter. A Separation solidifies its reputation as the year’s best foreign language film with a screenplay nomination.
Woody Allen last won an Oscar in 1987 but I think that streak is about to be broken. Midnight In Paris should have enough in its bag to defeat the silence of The Artist.
Best Adapted Screenplay
The Ides of March
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Another solid crop of films. It’s interesting that only 5 of the 9 best picture nominees earned a screenplay nomination. And here I was thinking the script was the most important quality of a movie?
This is fairly wide open given Alexander Payne (The Descendants) has won here before. Aaron Sorkin (along with co-writers Steve Zaillian and Stan Chervin) will be going for back-to-back wins with Moneyball (following his success last year with The Social Network). I think Moneyball will take this out.
Best Foreign Language Film
In Darkness (Poland)
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
A Separation (Iran)
Upsets are frequent in this category but you’d be a brave person to bet against A Separation.
Best Animated Feature
A Cat In Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
This has to be the strangest of all the categories. Who the f*** are Chico & Rita? What is A Cat In Paris? If only you could have seen my reaction when they announced them as nominees. They got in at the expense of big-budget productions such as Arthur Christmas, Cars 2 and Rio. The big surprise though is the lack of a nomination for The Adventures Of Tin Tin. How did this happen? The film won the Golden Globe and the Producers Guild but doesn’t even get an Oscar nomination? Very strange indeed.
Well that’s it from me. It’s time for bed and then I’ll be up early in the morning to discuss all the nominations on Brisbane’s highest rated breakfast show on 612ABC! Sweet dreams.
All Rights Reserved. Matthew Toomey. 2012.