Reaction to the 2012 Oscar nominations

Okay, so I feel a little like the “Leave Britney alone kid” but still…

No Best Animated Feature Nomination for The Adventures of Tintin?! Are you serious?!

Right, now that’s out of my system… (Okay, it really isn’t)

The 2012 Academy Awards nominations (you can see the full list here) were announced yesterday, but when I got home I discovered that my telephone line was broken and I couldn’t access the internet. (That’s my excuse for being slow on the uptake).

So, Hugo managed to rake in 11 nominations – including Best Picture and Best Director for Martin Scorsese. I would love to tell you that I had seen the film and could provide an educated opinion, but my press screening was cancelled at the very, very last minute (as in, while I was standing at the cinema).

Anyway… Here are my thoughts, scribbled down as I go down the list of nominees.

Best Picture

I’m still backing The Artist. But Hugo is making me doubt myself. Will wait for DGA and WGA Awards first though. Also, I loved The Help but I didn’t think it would be Best Picture material. Best Actresses, heck yes. I would have liked to see a nod for Drive.

Best Actor

Quite stoked with the Gary Oldman nomination for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Shame (see what I did there?) about the lack of Michael Fassbender though. He does pretty up the red carpet. It’s hands-down Jean Dujardin vs. George Clooney… Still think Jean will take this one.

Best Actress

They couldn’t have picked a better group of women if they had tried. Very pleased with Rooney Mara’s nomination for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She was outstanding. Still reckon Meryl Streep will nab it.

Best Supporting Actor and Actress

Um, Jonah Hill? Whaaaat? To be fair, I haven’t actually seen Moneyball yet, but he didn’t look any different from the trailer. Shall we start engraving Christopher Plummer’s name on the Best Supporting Actor trophy already? Also, glad to see a nomination for Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids. I’d love to see Octavia Spencer get the award, she was delicious in The Help.

Best Director

Pretty predictable fare here. Truly thought the Academy had forgotten all about Tree of Life, though.

Best Animated Feature

Okay, Puss in Boots over The Adventures of Tintin? Did Puss buy votes? (Or, in keeping with the theme of the film… Steal them?) It was good, not great. Although I do understand that the Americans didn’t get Tintin at all, I thought that the motion capture animation was beyond outstanding. Fine – I’ll move on to backing my second-favourite animated film of the year, Rango.

Miscellaneous thoughts

Yay for the nod for The Muppets song Man or Muppet. It is such a great moment in the film. Also encouraging to see a Best Original Screenplay nod for Bridesmaids – seems comedy may be growing on the Academy after all.

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Racing to Oscar

It’s always fun trying to predict who will take the Academy Awards when you haven’t seen most of the films.

Not for lack of trying, of course. It’s just that movies get released a little later here in South Africa than they do everywhere else. For example, The Muppets only releases this Friday. That is, 27 January. We’ve still not got The Artist. Or Hugo. I’ve seen The Descendants and My Week With Marilyn, largely because I’m a journalist. But you get the picture. Most of it is tracking the trends through the rest of the Awards Season. Golden Globes? Surprisingly inaccurate in terms of predicting the Oscars… At least recently.

So we take a look at the Other Awards. The Guild Awards (Producers, Directors and Writers – most of them double up as Oscar voters) and the loose ends – the Critics Choice, the SAG Awards… So far, I can tell you, that nobody has come close to touching The Artist.

But in the interests of fun, I’m going to make Oscar predictions each week before the Oscars. My picks may change as the weeks go by, depending on how the other ceremonies go. Also, I suppose, on the actual nominations – which are being announced on 24 January (by one of my current big-screen crushes, Jennifer Lawrence).

I will only be picking in the “major” categories – Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Actress, Director and, for fun, Animated Feature.

* Disclaimer: These are early days, and I still haven’t seen half of the films.  

Week 1 – 22 January

Best Picture: The Artist
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin – The Artist
Best Actress: Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady (although I would love for Michelle Williams to get this for My Week With Marilyn, she was breath-taking)
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer – Beginners
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer – The Help
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist (Just beating Martin Scorsese for Hugo)
Best Animated Feature: The Adventures of Tintin

Oscar nominees… In LEGO!

I saw this a couple weeks back and I simply can’t resist posting… It’s the Academy Award best picture nominees, built out of Lego!

The artist, Alex Eylar, has a super-cool flickr page where you can trawl through some more of the creations. In no particular order (other than alphabetical), the best picture nominees are…

127 Hours

127 Hours

Black Swan

Black Swan

Inception

Inception

More after the jump…

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It’s that time of year again…

Black Swan

Natalie Portman in 'Black Swan'

The nominations for the 83rd annual Academy Awards have been announced – and let’s be honest, there weren’t that many surprises. But there were one or two…

Most noticeably absent in the Best Director category was Inception helmsman Christopher Nolan. He was bumped out of the category by the much more Academy-friendly Coen Brothers (No Country for Old Men, anyone?). Yup, it seems the Academy is allergic to all things science-fiction, and while Inception picked up eight nominations it’s hardly the runaway favourite in any of its categories.

Also absent – which was, in my opinion, a travesty – was a supporting actor nomination for The Social Network star Andrew Garfield. His on-screen chemistry with Jesse Eisenberg produced one of the stand-out partnerships of the year – and while Jesse scored the nod for his role as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg, Andrew was absent. [Note: My huge crush on Andrew Garfield aside, he’s ridiculously talented. Go rent Boy A. Now.]

I still think it’s a little too earlier in the season to start accurately predicting the winners, but I think Colin Firth has the best actor award in the bag. He’s simply astounding in The King’s Speech ­– which itself is nominated for 12 Oscars, despite its made-for-BBC feel.

Natalie Portman for Black Swan also seems a sure thing – I haven’t seen the film yet (our press preview is only tomorrow) but I’m chomping at the bit. She’s hands-down the strongest contender in the best actress category – Annette Bening was fabulous in The Kids Are All Right but the Academy tends to prefer darker roles for their leading ladies.

Best Picture I think is a clear three-horse race between The King’s Speech, The Social Network and True Grit. I haven’t seen True Grit yet (that preview is only in February) but the critics are simply raving about it – as well as 14-year-old star Hailee Steinfeld , who picked up a nod in the best supporting actress category.

My other, less certain predictions? Christian Bale for best supporting actor in The Fighter – he was sensational.  Best supporting actress nominees Melissa Leo and Amy Adams – Bale’s The Fighter co-stars – were fabulous, though everybody’s going crazy about Steinfeld’s performance – so I think this category’s pretty open, with Leo leading by a hair. In fact, the only person who wasn’t nominated in The Fighter was its leading man – Mark Wahlberg. I’m not Wahlberg’s biggest fan – I find him terribly bland at times – but he does play the unlikely hero so, so well.

And if Toy Story 3 doesn’t win the best animated feature film Oscar, I’ll march down to the Kodak Theatre with a pitchfork myself.

See the nominees in the other, more technical categories here.