Obligatory Oscar Post 2012: The Nominations

January 24, 2012 — 10 Comments

I don’t like writing about the Oscars. It’s not some hoity toity snobby thing. In general I actually love the Oscars. I mean, I hate them because they’re stupid and meaningless, but I love the game of it all, and I love the passions it sparks, and I love the whole circus surrounding them. I just don’t like writing about them. It feels too formal. It’s a set of awards I don’t actually take seriously, so why should I grant them the permanence of written prose? But this is the internet, and I have a movie blog, so it’s basically obligatory. ON WITH THE OSCAR BLOGGING!

So let’s talk about these nominations. You can find the full list here, at /Film.

I actually don’t have that much to say. This year is a weird one for the Oscars. There were tons of great films, and it was a given that there would be films left off the list that deserved attention. That said, the complete lack of support for the utterly amazing Take Shelter is disheartening. A Best Picture and Director nod would have been great, but at the very least Michael Shannon delivered one of the best lead performances I’ve seen in a film in years. Very disappointing to see him fall by the wayside.

Also, weirdly, I get the sense of a Spielberg snub of sorts. Oh sure, War Horse picked up a bunch of nominations, including for Best Picture, and Tintin snagged a nod for Best Original Score. But with a film as clearly Oscar bait-y as War Horse, it’s interesting that it couldn’t snag a Best Director nod. It’s especially weird given that War Horse is both a really great movie, but also very clearly directed by a guy who knows what he’s doing. On the Tintin front, it all comes down to whether the Academy was willing to agree that though it is a mocap film, it also counts as an animated film. Well, they didn’t agree. But this is definitely strange given the rules technically allowed it, and in the past Monster House was nominated for the award and Happy Feet won it. That Spielberg, even by name alone, couldn’t get them to throw some support in for Tintin is a sign of just how much the Academy was ignoring the old stalwart this year.

On the plus side, A Separation got some due recognition in not just the Foreign Film category, but the Best Original Screenplay category. Very richly deserved, and in my opinion a win for Screenplay would be amazing. It truly is a marvel of a script.

The big front runners this year are The Artist, Hugo and The Descendants. Weirdly, I still haven’t seen The Descendants, though I’m sure it’s very good. As for the other two? Well, I think they’re both very good, but also highly overrated, and I can’t help but feel like there’s a lot of navel-gazing involved in the support behind them. I’ll be quite straight about it. The Artist is about as undeserving a Best Picture winner as there could ever be. Right alongside Crash and Around the World in 80 Days. It will still probably win, though. Silly, but whatever.

One set of nomination everybody else seemed surprised and happy with were the Best Picture and Director nods for The Tree of Life. Deserving? You know what? Yes. The film didn’t make my Top 20 this year, but being a film with huge critical adoration, and considering the filmmaking achievement it represents, The Tree of Life is a worthy contender. It’s also not at all a surprise to me. A lot of people figured it wouldn’t make the cut, but they had to have been ignoring the fact that Malick and his film have a pretty solid base of fervent fans, even in Hollywood circles. I wasn’t positive about a Director nod, but getting one for Best Picture was a sure thing in my books.

Hmmmm, what else? Okay, fuck yeah, Gary Oldman! Only two nominations for Best Song? At least one of them is Man or Muppet! Oscar Nominee Jonah Hill. LOL!  Film editing is an extremely weird award, and literally none of the films nominated (except The Descendants, which I can’t fairly comment on) are deserving of the recognition. No love for Harry Potter in the big categories? Damn. It’s kind of strange, but given the convergence of Best Picture/Best Director nominees, I guess my logical support must get thrown to The Tree of Life. Smart move, Academy, you bastards.

And there you have it! My first Obligatory Oscar Post of the season! I’m sure there will be at least a couple more. In the mean time, enjoy debating the results to high heaven, and remember, any talk about cinema is good talk. Point: Oscars.

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10 responses to Obligatory Oscar Post 2012: The Nominations

  1. 

    Crash was a very deserving Oscar winner, it was great stuff. The Artist is the best film nominated for Best Picture as well. #coreyiswrong

    • 

      Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris, War Horse, all better than The Artist. And while I do think Crash is a very good film (as is The Artist), it also had no business winning that year against better films like Brokeback Mountain, Good Night and Good Luck, and Capote.

  2. 

    Obligatory schmobligatory…Don’t cave into the pressure man! Having said that, I enjoyed the post, so I guess I’m glad you did…

    However, did you just compare The Artist to Crash? The first is an entertaining (if slight) film that opens and closes BIG and slows down in its middle section. The latter is drivel. Yes, drivel. Awkward, heavy-handed, filled with caricatures when subtle characters would’ve worked far better, etc. It’s one of the most embarrassing BP ever. But like you said, it’s The Oscars, so meh.

    I far prefer The Artist to even recent winner Slumdog which continues to baffle me (I suppose I needed to see it with a large crowd and get swept away with it, but seeing it on DVD was a depressing experience).

    Take Shelter had little to no chance for noms because it has no studio push. As well, the performance (from what I understand as I still haven’t seen the film – sigh) is not your typical Oscar performance.

    And there are no snubs. Spielberg just wasn’t favoured this year. Simple as that. I was surprised Tintin didn’t get the animation nod, but I think you’re right in the Academy simply judging it had more mocap than other previous films (Happy Feet had nowhere near as much). Oddly, they then use mocap against Serkis, so go figure (I’m not one of those who was beating the drum for a Serkis nom by the way – great performance, but I don’t see the nom).

    So to sum up – #coreyiswrongandright.

    B-)

    • 

      Well, The Artist and Crash are not similar films, just similarly undeserving 🙂

      Also, Slumdog Millionaire is a fantastic film, MUCH better than The Artist, and other than the fact that Dark Knight and In Bruges were better, it was a totally deserving win.

      As for Take Shelter. Yeah, the studio completely dropped the ball on it. And Shannon’s performance is totally an Oscar-type performance. The whole film is centred around him, and its about him going crazy. And it’s not all subtle either. There are some magnificent BIG acting moments.

      Snub probably isn’t the right word for what went on with Spielberg this year, but there’s just this weird feeling surrounding it. Like, I don’t see how War Horse is any less Oscar-ish than The King’s Speech, and it’s at least as good. But somehow from the second the film was announced there was this idea that it was Spielberg playing into his childish sentimental side in order to win an Oscar, and when people went to see that it was like they were just trying to confirm their preconceived notions. Say what you want about that film, but the direction is FAR more accomplished than something like Midnight in Paris. The Tintin thing is curious because I figured if anybody would be able to get them to accept a motion capture film it’d be Spielberg, but his clout with the Academy has always been cagey at best, I suppose. I guess he’ll just have to wait till next year with the much more boldly Oscar-baity Lincoln, which sounds pretty fantastic based on the cast alone.

      • 

        Maybe that’s it – maybe they don’t want to overload him this and they’re saving it for next year’s Lincoln. I’m only half joking…

        I haven’t seen War Horse yet and, to be honest, it’s not exactly at the top of my list. However, it is actually ON my list almost solely due to the love you have for it. You made an eloquent case…

        I’ll stand corrected on Shannon’s performance – I got the impression that it was much more wide-ranging between subtlety and going BIG and for it not being exactly obvious what he may or may not be reacting to.

        However, I cede not an inch on Slumdog. I truly don’t understand why that film gets any love at all. People call it a feel-good film? From the moment that boy jump into the shit, he brought the film with him and they never left. It even screwed up the concept of showing how a boy from the slums could know all that different trivia. And, not to belabour things, it was really ugly looking…

        Dammit, I’d rather be at the pub with you hashing this out right now! B-)

        Next time…

  3. 

    As you know I didn’t like Tintin at all – and yet I’m kind of disappointed it wasn’t nominated for its proper category. Weridly enough. I think I’m just upset in sympathy with you and and other lovers of it.

    It was nice that The Tree of Life could sneak its way into the nominations, but for my own part I would rather have seen Melancholia there, if we’re speaking of artsy movies. But I reckon they’d rather not have anything to do with von Trier, being such a PR disaster.

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