Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oscar Nominations Announced

Quite a few surprises lined up for the 2012 Academy Awards. (Note that the movies of 2011 will be honored, obviously. Therefore, I refer to this ceremony as the Academy Awards of 2011. Think of it as the 1900s being referred to as the twentieth century. Do I really have to explain this to you?) Yes, indeed, while many of the nominees were sure-things, there are some that simply astonished. Equally baffling were the several snubs of worthy contestants (particularly Michael Fassbender and Albert Brooks). Shall I continue into the specifics?

Melissa McCarthy - This was the biggest shock of the list. (No pun intended. I'm not an asshole.) While I was aware of the buzz surrounding the actress's performance, I doubted she would get a spot as a nominee. For an Oscar. But the Academy proves to shock and surprise us all. Let's just reflect on McCarthy's performance: she pooped in a sink. I'm sorry to make that the headline of her portrayal in Bridesmaids, but she did. And I'm not condemning her performance as something to be disgusted by or heckle at either. I'm just making the transparent observation that the Academy should not be honoring that. Even at the Golden Globes it would be acceptable, but at a prestigious venue as the Academy Awards, it certainly is no place for inappropriate, butch women. Again, McCarthy was enjoyable in Bridesmaids, but Oscar? I think not.

Midnight in Paris - I was both surprised and delighted to see this marvelous film in four categories, including Best Picture. As much as I adore this film, I was a bit hesitant in being confident it had a spot as Best Picture. However, in this special case, the Academy surprised me in a good way. I wish I could get used to such a pleasant feeling, but based on its choices in the past (seriously, The Hurt Locker?), I very much doubt that. In any case, I am incredibly pleased with Woody Allen's film getting such high esteem.

Talented, and attractive too
Best Actor snubs - Two performances have been wrongfully ignored in this year's leading actor category: Michael Fassbender in Shame and Leonardo DiCaprio in J. Edgar. Of course, the magnificent Leonardo DiCaprio will have many more chances to get a Best Actor statuette in the future, so I'm not as disappointed about his snub. Plus, I've been hearing not-so-great things about Clint Eastwood's biopic, which I honestly expected to be the star of this ceremony. Apparently, there would be no such event. As for breakout star Michael Fassbender, I am overwhelmed by how upset I was at not seeing his name on the Best Actor list. While I haven't seen Shame, I had a some hope he would have been recognized for his shocking, edgy portrayal as a sex-addict. Did you hear he shows full-frontal nudity? Nothing wrong with that. I have, however, seen X-Men: First Class and Inglourious Basterds, where he played a small yet notable part, and am very excited for his rising-star status. He might not have gotten a nod this year, but I'm nearly positive he will get one in the future. Here's hoping for our two terrific actors.
Demian Bichir: Thief
The two actors who stole their spots as a nominee were Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Demian Bichir for A Better Life. I understand Oldman's nomination, as he is a great character actor and deserved that long-awaited first nod. As for this Bichir character...who is he and what is this movie called A Better Life? And, also, has anyone beside the pretentious Academy seen it? I just read the plot summary, and must say that this is so "been there, done that". It sounds like a segment of Crash, and while I love that movie, it was seven years ago. A Better Life is about a Hispanic gardener who tries to keep his son away from the gangs he was exposed to as a teenager. Ergo, give his son "a better life". Get it? Well, while that's all fine and dandy, "a real tearjerker" one would say, it is no place at the Academy. Especially when he's stealing a more-deserving nod from Michael Fassbender. Really, Academy, get it together.

Where's Albert Brooks? - I don't know, you tell me. The actor known as the goofy, whiny dad-type character in corny comedies finally shows potential as a sinister villain, and the Academy snubs his wonderful performance. Really? For once, I agree with what critics are saying about Drive (because I usually don't agree with what they say about the 2011 movie in the past...that was sarcasm, I'm making fun of myself) and the Academy completely ignores him. I'm truly upset by this! The one good thing about Drive was not noticed...okay, I'm just repeating myself. Read the Drive post, and you'll understand.

The Artist and Hugo - The Academy's ultimate winners. With ten and eleven nominations, respectively, they are definitely the highlights of the past year in cinema. I am already certain in declaring The Artist as the greatest film of last year (expect a review in the near future!). If you haven't, watch the glorious silent film that may very well win Best Picture this year! As for Martin Scorsese's Hugo, I am almost definite in my prediction that it will be a cinematic masterpiece, considering who's in the director's chair. Plus that film looks simply astounding. And the Oscars go to....

On the right, we have Marilyn Monroe.
On the left, we have someone who believes she is her because she has a beauty mark and looks sleepy.
Michelle Williams - Hmm. How can I succinctly put this? No.

Nothing for Ryan Gosling - I'm not going t pretend I'm upset by this. Sure, he starred in three big movies last year, but none are worth an Oscar. In Drive, he was difficult to understand and showed no emotion. In Crazy, Stupid, Love. he was actually really good, but definitely not worth a nod. And I didn't see The Ides of March, but it looks a tad too boring for my taste. Plus, he didn't even show up to the Golden Globes, when he was nominated twice. If you ask me, he didn't deserve anything this year. Oh yes, I said it.

I guess that's all I have to say on the matter of Oscar nominations. As for my overall reaction, I'd say it is considerably more cheerful than previous years. This year, there are no Hurt Lockers, no Preciouses, and no Slumdogs. Plus, if the ceremony takes a turn for the absolute worst, Billy Crystal will be there as the host to spice things up. Finally, a host I can actually be entertained by. Until then!


  1. Actually Demian Bichir was quite good in A Better Life, but Oscar worthy? I doubt it.

    What's wrong with Michelle Williams?

    I've not seen Extremely Loud and Incredible Close, but looking at reviews it looks an extremely stupid and incredibly nonsensical choice...

    1. For Michelle Williams, read my revised post, or the post about the Golden Globes.

      As for the Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close comment: hilarious!