The Five Best and Worst Things About This Year’s Oscar Nominations

I’ve just finished reading the full list of the Oscar nominations for 2012, and boy, is this ever going to be a BORING ASS YEAR. Sorry for the bluntness, but dear lord, this is going to be a snoozefest between the lackluster nominations and Billy Crystal as the non-controversial-in-the-least host.

But in the interest of being fair and balanced, I’ve decided to find some good in the announced nominations list, even if it I have to dig pretty far to find it. Here are the five best and worst things about the Oscar noms this year:

Worst – Dragon Tattoo Screwed Over

I think the ten film Best Picture list is pretty bad overall, but to say that movies like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Tree of Life deserve a spot of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is ridiculous, as it was far and away one of the best made films of the year. Yes, Rooney Mara got her nomination for Lisbeth Salander, but Fincher didn’t get a director nom and neither did Trent Reznor for the excellent score.

Best – The Artist Nominated for Everything

It’s a rare occurrence that I agree with the critics, but The Artist is far and away the best film of the year, and deserves not only to be nominated 10 times, but if it swept all its categories, I wouldn’t complain. It’s a masterful film that everyone should see, and despite its illusions of pretention, is anything but.

Worst – No Andy Serkis

Fox pushed HARD to get Andy Serkis a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his mo-cap work as Caesar in Planet of the Apes. His performance was a brilliant blend of acting and technological talent, and the ability to lead a film (not support, by the way) as an ape evolving into an intelligent creature more than deserved at least a nomination, if not a statue. But the Academy decided to be their boring, ordinary selves and keep their show from being progressive or interesting in any way. But yes, I’m sure Jonah Hill acting like Jonah Hill totally deserved to be there.

Best – Melissa McCarthy

It may be a novelty nomination from their perspective but it’s good to see not only a nomination for a role in a crass R-rated comedy, but for a performance by a female as well. But I have to wonder if gender roles were switched, yet every line and personality nuance remained the same, if anyone would have considered the performance as worthy.

Worst – Where is Drive?

Drive is landing on nearly every top ten list that comes out this year, including my own, yet its conspicuously absent from almost every category here, relegated only to “Best Sound Editing.” Seriously? Well it better f***ing win it then.

Best – No Cars 2

I thought Pixar had a free pass for a gold statue every year, but I’m glad to see the Academy punishing them for their insolence. Cars 2 was a trainwreck, and didn’t even deserve a nomination, which I’m glad to see it didn’t get. Rango, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in Boots hardly seem like the cream of the crop though, and it’s sad that barely anyone is making truly good animated films save Disney and Pixar recently.

Worst – Hugo is Just Not That Amazing

Look, I saw Hugo. I get that it’s a tribute to the magic of cinema, and the snobs in the Academy eat stuff like that up, particuarly when it’s Scorsese at the helm. But was it good enough to warrant ELEVEN nominations? No way, not even close. As novel as it might be that a PG-rated flick could walk away with an armful of statues, it’s far and away the most overrated film of the year.

Best – I Don’t Have to Care Anymore

There’s almost nothing on this list the gets me the least bit excited, meaning I really have no stake in this year’s show at all. Outside of The Artist and Rooney Mara, there’s really nothing or no one I’m passionate about as snubs left most of my favorite films and performances of the year in the dust. Billy Crystal won’t do anything remotely controversial, and mark my words, with this nomination lineup and the returning (for the twentieth time) host, ratings are going to be WAY down this year. When are they going to figure out how to make people care about this damn show?



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  1. I really didn’t like Drive. And i like Nicolas Winding Refn movies (well except Valhalla Rising – that was a mess). And too me Drive is a little bit above the Valhalla. And no i am not a guy who expected car chases, wild action and whoring around. I just don’t see the appeal of Drive. It’s IMO most overrated movie of 2011.

    Anyway, i agree about Serkis.

    And considering Girl with the dragon Tattoo – i would say that it wouldn’t be fair to the original if (no matter how much i respect) Fincher got nominated or even won (Scorsese got away with Departed tho). I heard it’s mostly the same thing as original which didn’t even get an Oscar nomination for best foreign film. More importantly, i don’t think that story is anything special in any of those two cases, but it’s the atmosphere and acting that are putting them above mediocrity.

    Also, i am watching Artist tonight.

  2. I hope The Artist makes it’s way to my city so I can see it before the Oscars…I’d like to see what the fuss is about.
    I have to ask…was the dog really that amazing? I love those kinds of dogs but there is now article after article saying the dog should have been nominated….the dog…I think that’s adorable but really?

  3. Drive certainly deserved to be nominated for more than just “Best Sound Editing”! While I’m not sure if it could have won any of them, save for “Best Supporting Actor”, it warranted more than just one nomination. However, anything more than “Best Picture”, and “Best Cinematography”, in addition to the previous two that I mentioned, would have been pushing it. And, like I said, it probably wouldn’t have won in any of the “additional” categories. Of the movies that I’d seen this past year, Drive was the only one that pulled me in and never let go. Ides of March might be the only other movie that I saw that could be considered Oscar-worthy.

    It’s a bit odd, as this might be one of the first times that I haven’t seen a single movie that was nominated for “Best Picture”. That’s not to say that I didn’t want to see most, if not all of these movies. And, if I didn’t mind going to movies by myself, I’m sure I would have seen at least half of the “Best Picture” noms. The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Hugo, and Moneyball are probably the ones I wanted to see most.

  4. I didn’t like the Brad Pitt nomination for best actor. I never seemed like a challenging performance. I agree with you on Hugo and Jonag Hills. Obviously, nominating “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” for best picture is basically a kick in everyone’s balls.

    Oh, and you’re using the phrase “far and away” too often.

  5. I expected Tintin and Winnie the Pooh in the Animated Film Category. Tintin won the Golden Globe after all…

    It is interesting that two of the nominations in that category are foreign films, though both of them were actually released in 2010 so I don’t know what they’re doing in this year’s awards.

    And why are there only two nominations for Best Original Song? (though I do like that Bret McKenzie has a 50% chance)

  6. You’re wrong about the animation remark. Pixar and Dreamworks are NOT putting out quality animation…whereas the much overlooked ILLUMINATION studio is… (Despicable Me, The Lorax, etc.). You are right about Cars 2 however. I’ll be rooting for Rango…it’s kind of like the upcoming election….it’s the best of the worst.

  7. The Best Animated category is a joke, with the two best animated movies I’ve seen this year (Tintin and Pooh) left out in the cold. I guess I want Rango to win, but Kung Fu Panda 2 is the worst movie I’ve personally attended this year.

    I gotta say that I love Tree of Life, but The Artist is probably my second favorite. I haven’t seen Dragon Tattoo, but don’t hate on Tree of Life out of backlash – according to Academy rules, there were more slots available that just didn’t get filled, so I don’t think any BP noms “stole” places that other movies should have taken.

    The score for Dragon Tattoo was nothing special to my ears; I’m more upset that nothing Desplat composed is on the docket this year.

    Agreed on Hugo. Every word. Good but nothing amazing.

    And while I like the McCarthy nomination, it does have some precedent in Robert Downey Jr getting nominated for Tropic Thunder (which I was shocked the Academy noticed that year).

    One of my favorite details was the underrated Margin Call getting a screenplay nod.

  8. Pro: Gary Oldman finally got a well-deserved nomination.

    Con: Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in Boots over Tintin? Really? Seriously? Tintin should have been the walk-up favourite.

  9. It’s funny that you think a remake of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” deserves an Oscar, what with your recent Forbes article about Zynga and all. Of course I realize that the circumstances aren’t the same, but they’re close enough that it’s, as I said, funny.

  10. sorry, but i recall you saying in a recent article that you haven’t even watched tree of life yet, so talking shit about it ‘taking’ the spot that should belong to ‘girl with dragon tatoo’ seems a bit stretched.

  11. Above, someone said Brad Pitt doesn’t deserve a nom because it’s not a challenging role. Neither has any role that Jack Nicholson has been in 20 years.

    IMO, the Artist comes close to a sweep, with maybe 8 or 9 wins.
    And don’t confuse things, very few of these movies are ART. Most are about making the most money possible.

  12. No movie actually “took the place” of TGWTDT in the Best Picture category, as only nine out of the ten available slots were filled. It simply didn’t get enough love from the voters to be nominated.

  13. I disagree with your take on Rango.

    It’s a wonderful film with great humor, the best thing Johnny Depp has been in for the last few years.
    It looks amazing.

    Furthermore, a chameleon looking for his identity is a wonderful premise. It really, really deserves the Oscar.

  14. Marc, while I agree that the idea of an identity-challenged chameleon is a potent one, I thought the movie didn’t do much with it other than just sort of include it. Honestly, it’s about on the same plane of depth as Tintin is, for me, but I think Tintin is more rewatchable (having seen both twice) and works better as a movie.

    They’re both quite funny. Rango is funnier, agreed, but sometimes at the expense of the believability of the story.

    End of the day, though, I don’t think we had a GREAT animated movie come out this year, at least not that I saw. We certainly had a couple of BAD ones, though, and it’s a shame that one of them made it into the Oscar race.

  15. As far as animated films go for this year I think Winnie the Pooh was by far the best. It was exactly what a movie for small kids should be. Most people that I talk to did not even know it was released.

  16. Actually one of the worst is that there isnt ‘The Adventures of Tin Tin’ in animated film. if it where in the category it would of won, and how did Kung Fu Panda 2 get nominated?

  17. I thought Gary Oldman should’ve walked away with the statue. I thought Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy wasn’t that great a spy film (come on, it’s just as series of boring conversations) but Gary Oldman’s studied, detailed performance far outshone everyone else.

    Also, I don’t think The Artist should’ve won anything (and I mean ANYTHING). A black and white silent film? sure I can understand the artistic merit of such a film, but hasn’t Hollywood, cinema in general and the human race moved on from the 1920’s? The actors have to convey so much emotion that it borders on melodrama.

    I still can’t understand why Inception didn’t get more recognition than it did. The plot made me question the nature of all reality for crying out loud! and the hallway fight scene is just epic.

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