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Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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@christylemire: Greetings from the Academy. It's Hollywood's biggest morning. We are all very glamorous. And jacked up on caffeine.

@ropeofsilicon: Hugo leads the pack with 11 nominations followed by The Artist with 10.

Fortunately, these are the two movies that sound the most appealing to me, of the ones I haven't managed to see yet (that would be most of them).

@cinemablend: The 7 Biggest Surprises Of The 2012 Oscar Nominations.

@cleolinda: Rooney Mara!! Gary Oldman!!

Look, I love Noomi Rapace and Rapace!Lisbeth, but I was really impressed that Mara managed to do something with the character that wasn't just a pale Noomi impression. I never did post my writeup of the movie--short version, I liked the idea of Lisbeth as a fragile "perfect victim" type (Stieg Larsson's words) who armors herself in badassery, but you can still see the fragility underneath--you're constantly reminded that she is armoring herself, that it's an ongoing process of self-defense, that this tough, cold, hostile, tattooed and pierced "Lisbeth Salander" is an act of self-creation. Whereas with Rapace, I think all of that is there, but we're not as starkly reminded of the contrast; her Lisbeth seemed (to me) to be more evolved and further along on the badass spectrum. I mean, that look in Mara's eyes when Daniel Craig says, "I want you to help me find a killer of women," a look of almost childlike surprise that seems to reach into something vulnerable beneath the armor, right before she mentally tugs it back into place--that to me was what her performance was about, and why it was worth having a second interpretation to stand next to Noomi Rapace's. (Maybe I should go polish up that entry draft and post it after all.) I'm not even saying Rooney Mara should win (she won't), or even that she deserves to be there instead of Tilda Swinton. I'm just saying, that's why I thought Rooney Mara was good. In conclusion: GARY OLDMAN.

And I admit, the moment I heard Demián Bichir's name, my first thought was, "Somewhere, Chris Weitz is a very happy man." Weitz had been on Twitter campaigning for Bichir back this summer when the movie first came out, and I remember thinking, poor guy, I don't know that people will remember a little indie labor-of-love six months from now. Victory lap for you, sirs!

SNUBS OMG: a mix of professionals and friends on my timeline

@Movieline: 'Extremely Loud,' 'Tree of Life,' Brooks snub shock in 2012 Oscar noms

@DuncanVB: No #OscarNoms for: Drive, Shame, Melancholia, Tyrannosaur, W.N.T.T.A. Kevin, Kill List, Super 8, Take Shelter

@YahooMovies: Notoriously absent from this morning's #OscarNoms: Tilda Swinton, @AlbertBrooks, and Michael Fassbender...

@Ceilidhann: The Drive snubs surprise me because I thought there'd be a lot of goodwill for Albert Brooks.

@AlbertBrooks: I got ROBBED. I don't mean the Oscars, I mean literally. My pants and shoes have been stolen.

@petertravers: Oscar snubs Alberts Brooks/Drive. Ditto Fassbender for Shame, Shannon for Take Shelter & Swinton for Kevin. A new definition for ignorance.

@ropeofsilicon: The Oscars ignoring We Need to Talk about Kevin entirely is sort of sad.

@cleolinda: Nothing for SWINTON, although she has the consolation of having already won and also being SWINTON.


@robbiereviews: Nothing for DRIVE either. Oh dear, The Academy. #OscarNoms

@cleolinda [in response to MANY cries of outrage]: Now now now! Drive is nominated for Sound Editing.

@themaholupper: ONLY SOUND EDITING?!?!

@feynmanguy: Drive, Shame, and Martha Marcy May Marlene were all completely shut out of the Oscars. #smh

@christylemire: But bummed that my favorite movie of the year, Martha Marcy May Marlene, got nothing. Olsen's great, it's shot/edited beautifully.

@nprmonkeysee: How long has it been since a Pixar film missed an Oscar nomination? (It may not have been long; just wondering in re: Cars 2.)

@bestforfilm: Nothing for Melancholia either. Even with all those shots of horse lying down #oscars2012 #horseaward #warhorse

@bestforfilm: No nomination for Andy Serkis either... #monkeyist #oscars #2012

@Haunt1013: Watching the live tweets blurting out names and either "HOLY SHIT YEAH" or "FUCK YOU FOR SNUBBING ____" much better than actual awards show.

I think what happened this year was that we had a crowd of fairly-good-to-great Movies You're Supposed to Nominate trampling a exceptionally large crop of Quality Indie Movies. There just wasn't room to do everything justice, so the glossy Oscarbait took automatic precedence. (I think this is also why people were so shocked Tree of Life was recognized as much as it was.) And, I mean, it's said that traditionally the Academy membership skews old-to-elderly. They weren't going to see Drive, and they sure as hell weren't going to see Melancholia or Shame. Shit, I'm surprised they apparently sat through enough of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to nominate it for anything.

You know what was right up their alley, though?

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: TWEETRAGE

Max von Sydow's supporting actor nomination was where I first knew this was not going to end well, certainly in terms of public outcry. I haven't seen it, nor am I going to ("9/11 kitsch" just really sounds like it is not for me), so I'm going to have to fight my urges to blindly agree on principle.

(My mother paused on her way out the door and started watching the announcements. "Christopher Plummer is going to win," she announced, and serenely went on her way.)

@Ceilidhann: Does this mean I'll have to sit through Extremely Loud now? The memory of the 9/11 falling man reverse flipbook makes me grind my teeth.

@trollprincess: I don't want to watch Extremely Loud + Incredibly Close, not b/c of the 9/11 thing, but b/c reading the book made me hate that kid.

@nprmonkeysee: I cannot wait for the obnoxious tooth-gnashing over that last Best Picture nomination. Cannot wait. Hilarious.

@nprmonkeysee: How everyone else feels about EXTREMELY LOUD being nominated? That's how I felt about THE READER being nominated. Enjoy.

Linda elaborates,

The last [Best Picture nomination], however, was Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, the adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel about a boy grieving the loss of his father on 9/11. That's the nomination you're going to be hearing about all day, at least from critics, many of whom reacted to the film with near-apoplectic disgust and offense. Interestingly, Extremely Loud was directed by Stephen Daldry, who also directed The Reader, the 2008 film in which Kate Winslet played an illiterate Nazi prison guard — a Best Picture nominee that a fair number of critics also hated. At the same time, it's genuinely not often that a movie that this many critics hate this much is nominated for Best Picture, even if it does star Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock. (Here's just one example.)

Which is a link to a review from the AV Club, which, in turn, says The Artist, Hugo lead Oscar nominations; Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close leads backlash against the nominations:
Brooks’ snubbing made room for Max Von Sydow’s performance as a mute old man in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, which showed impressive resilience despite mixed—and in some cases, toxic—reviews and zero year-end awards. To his credit, Von Sydow’s work is the best thing about EL&IC, much like lunch at the hospital commissary is the best thing about radiation treatment. That it scored a Best Picture nomination, too, is a mystery best not pondered.

That first review link on "in some cases" actually goes back to an NPR review, at which point the universe folded in on itself and died.

@russfischer: I'm praying that EXTREMELY LOUD wins Best Picture, because it will be so much fun to watch you all go insane at once.

Two songs wtf

From that Cinema Blend link: This category can often wind up a wasteland without any notable competition, and the voters are known to actively take down competition they don't like. At least "Man or a Muppet" from The Muppets made it in, and is likely to win against the animated nominee Rio. But everyone who looks forward to the song performances at the Oscars ought to be disappointed by a fairly thin year.

@scottEweinberg: Two whole nominations for Best Song? Why not just eliminate the category instead of insulting songwriters? Jesus.

And I don't know how they'll cram Beyoncé in at all, you guys. :(


@cleolinda: Full nominees at oscars.com, including my favorite category, best costume.

(Their nominations page is no longer working for me, so I'll amend that to oscars.org now.)

@christylemire: Also thrilled to see "Hell and Back Again" get a documentary feature nomination. It is stunningly beautiful.

@griner: Awesome. Documentary short about a Bham civil rights hero is up for an Oscar.

@cleolinda: Harry Potter and Dragon Tattoo both have some tech nominations as well.

@katylizg: "Harry Potter and Dragon Tattoo both have some tech nominations as well” read as Harry Potter and THE Dragon Tattoo. Which was confusing.

(I... I don't want to see that movie.)

@cleolinda: Paradise Lost 3 on Best Documentary; Jane Eyre in costume--wait, there's only two best songs?


@FelicityDisco: Wait, Jane Eyre was this year? And only got Costume? BAH. The Academy does not seem fond of Fassbender, huh?

@cleolinda: Re: Shame, you can just hear the older members sniffing, "We are not voting for that PORNOGRAPHY."

(I imagine the Michael Fassbender snub is the one that fandom will seize on, but--look, George Clooney took precious moments of his Golden Globes speeching time to give Fassbender's... talent a shout-out on national television. I don't know that there's anything further for him to aspire to anyway.)

@cleolinda: I rly rly wanted to see [Jane Eyre] get something for cinematography, yeah.

(Mostly because they did some really interesting things with candles and firelight.)

@FelicityDisco: Yeah, their cinematography was amazing. Wouldn't have minded Adapted Screenplay either. Bah, I say!

(Now that she mentions it, I did talk a lot about what a great job the movie did mixing it up with the chronology of the story.)

@FelicityDisco: ...at least now I am less likely to wind up watching Shame in a theater with my dad?

@cleolinda: And that is how you know our God is a merciful God.

I don't know--I'm to a point where I find snubs and shocks more entertaining than anything. Remember when Brokeback Mountain lost Best Picture to Crash? And the world didn't end, and all the copies of Brokeback Mountain weren't chucked into a landfill so you could never enjoy it ever again, and it's still a major modern cultural touchstone? And no one really cares or talks about Crash anymore? Awards and nominations are nice in the way they ripple into the future and give people new opportunities, but that's about it. The greatness of something speaks for itself, whether it wins or loses, and a lack of actual greatness overwrites undeserved places in history, really. Let nature take its course in terms of how legacies are decided, and enjoy the circus for the silliness it is, I guess.

There are a ton of movies I have not mentioned (is Bridesmaids really that good? All people keep mentioning is some scene involving explosive poop? I am afraid?), so: discuss.

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Oh god, I hated Martha Marcy May Marlene, despite being a John Hawkes devotee. I'm glad that of this entire clusterfuck (THE HELP? THE HELP? WHAT THE HELL? And also, I cannot STAND Jonathan Safran Foer.) that movie got nothing.

Since I've seen, you know, none of the movies nominated at all, those are the only opinions I will espouse on this.

It sounds like The Help is this year's The Blind Side. Except at least the focus isn't on the white actress this time.

I am outraged that Alan Rickman did not get a nod for Harry Potter (possibly with or without a Dragon tattoo).


Yeah, a lot of people are angry about that, I'm hearing. I don't think the Academy's ever taken Harry Potter seriously, though--I kind of suspected this was going to happen.

Bridesmaids is pretty funny. Basically, the character Megan steals the entire show. So hard. There are some good moments aside from her, but she is the best.

I saw a preview for Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close and I was overcome with disgust. I really hate overt emotional manipulation in movies (e.g. cheaply referencing major human disasters to get the audience to feel sad) and this is a movie that is entirely cheap emotional manipulation.

See, because... yeah. I saw the EL&IC preview and was just... ugh. I feel bad just outright saying, "This looks terrible and I will never see it," because any opinions or "facts" I feel tempted to spout after that will have no basis in reality. But... well. I'll just point out what critics who did see it have said. I'm sure there are positive reviews somewhere, but I have not come across them.

Also, the flipbook of the jumper in reverse that was apparently in the book. I can't even.

I've seen almost nothing with a nomination (of any kind), so I can't really talk about it. Like you, though, I find the whole spectacle more amusing than worthy of outrage. The Oscars are just a super-glamourous Best Widget Salesman competition, and Hollywood is the most profoundly bourgeois industry there is. If you try to take any of it seriously you'll just give yourself a headache. It's much more fun to use the awards themselves as pure entertainment, not as any actual measure of quality.

(I... I don't want to see that movie.)

I think I would, actually. Or at least read the fanfic which transposed Lisbeth et al into the Wizarding World. It's not like it doesn't have plenty of messed up characters and backstory to set things up.

(Disclaimer that I have recently been reading Auror case-fic stuff, which means I am currently finding conspiracies, serial killers and wizards an easy fit.)

I was thinking more of Harry Potter in Really Unpleasant Scenes. Do not want.

As GWDT was the only movie I saw I'm rooting for it.

I suspect the Academy realized they might not have too many more opportunities to throw awards at Max Von Sydow, so they're pulling the trigger now. And I love Max Von Sydow and his awesome name, so I can't complain too much even through I don't want to be a theater next to one playing Incredibly Loud, let alone pay money to see it myself. (Got me why it's up for best picture. They probably saw Tom Hanks and just assumed.)

As a side note, when I saw the trailer for that during J. Edgar the crowd actually started booing the screen. The only trailer I've ever seen get a more negative reaction was when M. Night's name came up during Devil.

That's funny, when M. Night's name came up during Devil, the whole crowd laughed. I think either reaction is appropriate.

(My mother paused on her way out the door and started watching the announcements. "Christopher Plummer is going to win," she announced, and serenely went on her way.)
Your mom is so cool.

I'm rather apathetic about this entire awards season, TBH, because I haven't seen 99% of these movies yet, and am totally over awards-show writing. The most shocking thing to me is Extemely Loud being nominated, because I have yet to hear one single good thing about it.

I know, it's kind of amazing. Like I said somewhere in here, I'm sure someone somewhere gave it a good review, but I don't know who.

We Need to Talk About Kevin was, in my opinion, the best performance in Tilda's entire career. I think it was the one movie I saw last year where I left the theater utterly convinced there would be an Oscar nod.


Yeah, that's what I've read/heard. I'm wondering if it's another one of those movies that the Academy members were just never, ever going to watch.

Did none of these idiots SEE TTSS?? Tree of Life, are you shitting me??

That's kind of how I feel about it.

I would only have had serious kittens if Hugo had not been nominated for Best Director and Best Picture. That film is magical. I hope it gets re-released so people have a chance to see it. It's one of those that needs to be seen on a full screen. When I saw it, I thought, "well, there goes Harry Potter," because it falls in the same stupid kind of kid like only not really so we can't take it seriously category. At least it got nominated in a few categories.

I'm torn between rooting for Hugo and rooting for War Horse. Which pretty much guarantees they're both hosed, but maybe Hugo can pull out a Best Director, at least.

Your last paragraph sums up my feelings on the Oscars perfectly. They always go for baity studio prestige over anything else (Harvey Weinstein's career seems wholly based in playing to that), and there's so many examples of forgotten winners (when was the last time you watched Greatest Show on Earth?) and utter classics that got completely ignored.

Also, if Andy Serkis didn't get a nod for Gollum, I doubt he had a shot for Planet of the Apes.

Edited at 2012-01-24 06:25 pm (UTC)

I was hoping that the mere concept of CGI acting had become more acceptable over the last ten years, and therefore he might possibly get something this year. Also, he has a lot more screentime as Caesar, even if the role isn't as melodramatic as Gollum/Smeagol.

I have been stuck in my hidey-hole for like months on end and have basically no idea what's going on with movies, but why wasn't A Dangerous Method nominated for ANYTHING? Granted, I am a shameless Jung fanatic and omgViggo and omgFassbender, but seriously, watching Kiera's ticks and twitches was so...painful, like, in a good way? NO idea if that makes sense. Gurl should've gotten some recognition, IMO.

Agreed, I loved Keira Knightley in A Dangerous Method. It was a really raw, brave performance.

(Deleted comment)
I'm a bit sad 'Rainbow Connection' didn't get a nomination but for all I know it already did with the original Muppet Movie.

I've seen very few, if any, of the nominated movies, but I am SO happy Gary Oldman is finally nominated. He's such a fantastic actor and deserves way more recognition than he gets.