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It was a big day in the world of movies as the 84th Annual Academy Award nominations were finally announced. There were some big winners, but sadly, there were also a few upsets as well. Even more upsetting is that one particular film weaseled its way past many acclaimed films. Well, let me now discuss some of the 84th Oscars’ biggest winners and losers.
Let’s first take a look at the acting nominees since they make a huge portion of the nominations:
Melissa McCarthy, 2011’s queen of comedy, got what she deserved! The Bridesmaids breakout star had audiences everywhere laughing in 2011 between her Oscar-nominated performance, her new sitcom Mike & Molly, and outrageously hilarious hosting job on SNL. Melissa had quite the year! The Best Supporting Actress was quite a competitive field this year with McCarthy drifting in and out of the list of nominees. Thankfully, she got the nomination when it mattered most. The trophy is Octavia Spencer’s to lose, but don’t be surprised if McCarthy ends up snagging the gold.
Nick Nolte did wonders in Warrior, one of the best reviewed movies of the year. Unfortunately, the film was not nominated for another other awards, but considering the fact that very few people actually saw the film, it is a triumph that Nolte was nominated. Who knows, maybe this veteran could pull off a huge upset by snagging the trophy from Christopher Plummer.
Poor Michael Fassbender seemed to bear too much in his portrayal of a nymphomaniac. Perhaps, the performance was tad too edgy for the more conservative Academy. Like McCarthy, Fassbender had an extraordinary year with stellar performances in each of his four movies. Unlike McCarthy, Fassbender was included on nearly every precursor, and many predicted that he had the potential to beat out Clooney. This is just a damn Shame (sorry, I had to!), however, I have high hopes for Fassbender’s future and predict that he will be back in this category soon enough.
Shailene Woodley had every right to be in the Best Supporting Actress category. Why she was left out is beyond me. The tepid response to Albert Nobbs should have been enough to knock Janet McTeer out of the race, but I guess we have to wait for the rising star to have another hit. Let’s hope she gets away from the likes of Secret Life and delves into more serious acting, because she’s sure got the knack for it.
After a career of Oscar-worthy performances, Gary Oldman finally receives his first nomination. This long overdue recognition seemed like it was never going to happen, but thankfully the esteemed Brit beat out DiCaprio and Fassbender for a coveted slot in the Best Actor race. Although Clooney’s name is being chiseled into the trophy, we can at least applaud the Academy for recognizing one of our most versatile artists.
Miss Rooney Mara continues to rise through the ranks. Somehow this breakout star snuck into the predetermined Best Actress race, and in the process knocked out Tilda Swinton. While I would have rather seen Glenn Close bumped out, I am glad to see a rising star among the Hollywood heavyweights. Mara marks hope for the future, and this nomination is only the beginning.
Now for the other categories:
Best Achievement in Sound Editing! Oh boy! I am not mocking the importance of sound editing, but Drive deserved a lot more than a lone nomination. Not even former nominees, Gosling and Mulligan, got any love. This is especially surprising considering that both of them had multiple acclaimed films this year. Those two aside, not even Albert Brooks was able to sneak in. It seems Max von Sydow, one of the greats, snagged a nomination for Extremely Sappy and Incredibly Undeserving. I guess Drive needed a little more Oscar bait….
Not even a single nomination for the cancer dramedy. Granted, 50/50 is not exactly Best Picture material. The subject matter does not appeal to most Academy voters, plus it is not big and dramatic such as Hugo and War Horse. However, this does not make the film any less deserving of nominations. Each actor blows you away, none more so than Anjelica Huston in the final moments. Also, for most of the awards season this seemed like a shoo-in for Best Original Screenplay. But alas, no dice. Maybe the Academy just doesn’t like to laugh.
Another black comedy that did not make the cut. Charlize Theron and Diabolo Cody already won the gold, but Jason Reitman is 0-4, while Patton Oswalt has yet to snag even a Golden Globe. Maybe this year’s nominations are for premium members only…….
Take Shelter was another one of the most acclaimed films of the year, yet found no love. However, this came as no surprise since it never had the opportunity to gather enough buzz to bring it from the art house theaters to the mainstream.
The Tree of Life
Just when you thought everyone had forgotten about this epic! The Tree of Life came through and received multiple nominations, including a Best Director nod for Terrence Malick as as well a Best Picture nod. This is a huge success for this forgotten treasure. The film premiered way back at the Cannes Film Festival, and since then has lost much of its momentum. Luckily, between its dedicated fans and the Academy’s love for Malick, the film managed to find a number of nominations.
The perfect swan song for our favorite wizards was not enough to woo the Academy. Blocked out of all major categories, Harry Potter will never get to compete with Lord of the Rings’ record breaking 11 wins. Then again, a $7 billion box-office history for the series is a pretty hefty prize to beat!
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close received a Best Picture nomination. How in the world did this happen? The film has a 48% on Rotten Tomatoes, yet is included in the same category as The Tree of Life and The Artist. I know 2011 was an overall weak year for movies, but it was in no way this weak. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Drive, Warrior, Jane Eyre, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy are among the many that are more deserving than this obnoxious Oscar bait. Bridesmaids, however, is the film that gets the biggest backlash from this. The female driven comedy was a huge hit among critics and audiences alike, yet gets thrown aside for this tepidly received bait. The Academy should have kept the number of nominees at eight, for I would rather see Bridesmaids, and the other films mentioned above, not nominated, rather than see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close receive such the honor. With the exception of Max von Sydow, this film should not have come close to the gold.
Yet, the nominations have much to cheer about though! Hugo leads the nominees with 11, followed closely by The Artist with 10. Certain categories have their winner predetermined, but there is definite excitement in this year’s ceremony. The ever important Best Editing category gave nominations to The Artist, The Descendants, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, and Moneyball. The winner in this category usually ends up taking home the grand prize. Considering that The Help got bumped out of the Best Editing and Best Director races, the film will most likely have to settle for acting wins. The nomination for Woody Allen is important, but Midnight in Paris‘s omission from the Best Editing category does not fare well for its Best Picture chances. It seems the Best Picture race is down to Hugo, The Descendants, and The Artist.
Here’s to hoping the awards night is more satisfying than the nominations! Make sure to tune in on Sunday, February 26th!
Check out the full list of nominees here: