I’m sure you’ve heard the nominations so I’ll just share some of my reactions to them. For the most part, I like the nominees but of course, there were a few omissions I wasn’t happy about. First, where’s the Ryan Gosling love for best actor? He had a stellar year, starring in three different films and was outstanding in all of them, most notably Drive. I can only assume his absence from the shortlist is because Academy members couldn’t decide which of his performances to vote for.
Michael Fassbender’s work in Shame is also woefully missing from the same category. It’s brave and raw, and he made a difficult character sympathetic. I’m glad Demián Bichir got a nod, though I don’t know why people found that shocking since he was nominated for a SAG Award.
Rooney Mara did just fine as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but if anyone deserved a nomination for playing that role, it should’ve been the fierce, original Lisbeth, Noomi Rapace (here‘s what I thought of her performance). I don’t know anyone who’s seen both versions who doesn’t agree.
I have no problem with Albert Brooks being omitted from the best supporting actor race. Why should someone get a nomination for playing against type? It should be because the performance is remarkable, right? His work was solid as the gangster in Drive, but I didn’t find it exceptional or among the best of the year.
Best Supporting Actor is the weakest out of the acting categories for me. Why is Christopher Plummer the front runner? I liked Beginners and his performance as a gay man who’s liberated by the death of his wife, but it wasn’t more outstanding than anything else he’s done in the past. Ewan McGregor, Melanie Laurent, and Goran Visnjic (maybe even Cosmo the Jack Russell terrier) moved me more in that movie. Plummer’s nomination smells like a lifetime award thing.
I also didn’t find Kenneth Branagh’s work in My Week with Marilyn to be anything special and don’t mean that as an insult. He was just, you know, doing his usual Branagh thing. One of the slots in this category should’ve gone to Sir Ben Kingsley, who got snubbed despite being Hugo‘s most valuable player on screen.
Speaking of which, Hugo got the most nominations of any film? Puh-leeze. I completely agree with best cinematography, visual effects, and art direction, but most of the rest were generous.
I also don’t understand Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close being nominated for best picture, but I’m not alone here so enough said. I do agree with the Academy leaving Bridesmaids out of the best picture category. Yes, it made me laugh a couple times, but the fact people thought it deserved to be among the best movies of the year confounded me. This is not because I’m against comedies getting Oscar love; I’m very much for that. Bridesmaids just wasn’t that comedy.
So, my winner predictions for the lead categories are:
Best Picture—The Artist
Best Actor—George Clooney (though I’d love a Jean Dujardin upset)
Best Actress—Viola Davis (but am rooting for Michelle Williams, who’ll get my vote in the SAG Awards this weekend)
Best Supporting Actor—Christopher Plummer
Best Supporting Actress—Octavia Spencer
Best Director—Michel Hazanavicius
Here are the major nominees:
The Artist (Thomas Langmann, Producer)
The Descendants (Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers)
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Scott Rudin, Producer)
The Help (Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers)
Hugo (Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers)
Midnight in Paris (Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers)
The Tree of Life (Nominees to be determined)
War Horse (Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers)
Moneyball (Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers)
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
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
ACTRESS IN SUPPORTING ROLE
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help
The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants, Alexander Payne
Hugo, Martin Scorsese
Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen
The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick
WRITING (Adapted Screenplay)
The Descendants, Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Hugo, Screenplay by John Logan
The Ides of March, Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
Moneyball, Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. Story by Stan Chervin
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan
WRITING (Original Screenplay)
The Artist, Written by Michel Hazanavicius
Bridesmaids, Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
Margin Call, Written by J.C. Chandor
Midnight in Paris, Written by Woody Allen
A Separation, Written by Asghar Farhadi
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
A Cat in Paris, Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
Chico & Rita, Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
Kung Fu Panda 2, Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Puss in Boots, Chris Miller
Rango, Gore Verbinski
Click here for the full list. What did you think of the nominations?