Wednesday, January 25, 2012

If only I was an Academy member

As I set my alarm Monday night for 7:30 a.m., so I could wake up and watch the announcement of Oscar nominations, I was not expecting so many surprises. I suppose this was wrong of me since this has been such an unexpected year so far, but man, the Academy sure like to pull weird (and sometimes rightfully deserved) surprises. So, when I was lying in bed watching Jennifer Lawrence (my soon to be hero in the Hunger Games films) read off the nominations, I became surprisingly wide awake with the amount of snubs that were happening. Before you read, you may want to see this link for the 84th annual Academy Award nominations.

So, what are these out of the park surprises I've been talking about? Well, first off, I was not expecting nine Best Picture films. With the new rule this year of a nominated film required to receive 5 percent of the first place votes, I was sure it would be between five and seven films. So much for that assumption, instead we get nine interesting films. The biggest surprise is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and then probably the Tree of Life. It just so happens those are the two movies I have yet to see in that category, so I will be sure to keep you all updated if I think they should be in this category.

As for the other major surprises, here is the quick list of what I was not expecting. Terrence Malick to receive a Best Director nod (he was not nominated for a DGA, which is very rare if you are up for an Oscar). Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Fassbender were left off, when I thought at least one of them would have been nominated (although hooray for Gary Oldman! One of the best actors of our time finally received his first Oscar nod). Another big one was leaving out Tilda Swinton for her role in We Need to Talk About Kevin, as Rooney Mara took the final spot in the competitive Best Actress category for her role in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Personally, it doesn't really matter who is nominated because it is really only between Meryl Streep and Viola Davis.

With all those surprises, I have to say I'm pretty indifferent about a lot of them. One I am very passionate about, though, is the fact The Help was not nominated for Adapted Screenplay. Instead, Ides of March, a lackluster script, gets a very unexpected nod. I was also pretty upset to see that Shailene Woodley was not nominated for The Descendants; it would have been great to see her nominated for such a scene stealing performance. For me, however, there was one category I was super happy about, even though I read several blogs that totally disagree with me. And that is the dual nomination for John Williams for his two Steven Spielberg scored films, which was quite surprising to most. For me, I am very biased toward anything Williams does, so I was ecstatic. For most people, however, they were extremely upset Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were not nominated for GWTDT. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of their music, and was kind of upset they won last year for Social Network. But I can understand their unique appeal for many music goers.

Some things I was also happy to see were: Harry Potter getting three nominations, even if it wasn't Best Picture. Although, I was also expecting them to get nominated in both sound categories. All my hope is they win at least one. I don't really care which one, and they all have real tough competition (Art Direction, Makeup and Visual Effects). The fact that the franchise has never won an Oscar for those eight films is preposterous, hence why I just need it to win one. Also, happy to see Melissa McCarthy in the Supporting category after she was snubbed from the Golden Globes for her role in Bridesmaids.

The most thing I think I am happy about is the fact Hugo leads all films with 11 nominations. I absolutely enjoyed this film above all the others I've seen (except maybe War Horse, but I'm a sucker for Spielberg). I think Scorsese has a very good chance of grabbing the director cateogry and I will say right here, it is my "want to win pick" for Best Picture. (I have yet to decide if I am going to actually choose it for my ballot competition, but it wins for the film that I want to win). I still have a few more movies to see, but overall, I have very much enjoyed the unpredictability of this years award shows. Although, I do wonder, what would of happened if I was in the Academy and what films I would have nominated. (Well actually I know what would of happened, I would have nominated Harry Potter for every award, including Foreign Language Film).

Now, here is some lovely movie side notes, Oscar style.
1. Meryl Streep just continues to beat her own record and now has the most nominations ever with 17. However, she hasn't won since she won for Sophie's Choice in 1983. I would love to see her win, but like I've said before, I think Viola Davis deserves it the most.
2. Almost all the Best Supporting Actress nominations are all first-time nominees. With the exception of Albert Norris' Janet McTeer, the four other ladies are attending the big show for the first time. I'm pretty sure, though, Octavia Spencer is a shoe-in for the win.
3. Uh, why are there only two songs nominated? I thought it was the strangest thing to see only TWO songs nominated. Not to mention, they were weird choices. Madonna's Golden Globe-winning song wasn't even one of them. It's like when "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" won in 2006. Like I said, the Academy does some very odd things sometimes.

P.S. Don't forget to watch the SAG awards at 7 p.m., this Sunday on TNT or TBS (and no, this is not a paid advertisement, as much as I wish it was).

With that I say... Live long and prosper.

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