Tuesday, January 24, 2012

OSCAR 2011: My Reaction to the Academy Nods

Consider this your epic good-news-bad-news session, because a lot of people are salting their wounds with small nuggets of good tidings in this morning's Oscar nominations. We'll start from the bottom and work our way up to a crescendo of violence and anger, as per usual. As far as the shorts categories go, the only thing worth mentioning is that "La Luna", Pixar's latest short and sole nomination this year. It's nice to see that they haven't completely lost touch with their heart. However, I have no idea what got into the Doc branch's heads. I haven't even heard of most of them, and while I heard good things about "Pina", what dingus' gave the pass to "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory"?

The Animated Feature nods embellished what I wouldn't have much of a problem catching up with, like films such as "Chico and Rita" and "A Cat in Paris". "The Adventures of Tintin" was the biggest surprise omission, as the Academy clearly doesn't consider it animation, nor should they. And I'd just like to give them a hand for not nominating "Cars 2". They could have gone wrong a great deal there, but they steered clear of that bullet. Unfortunately they also took a detour straight into a bomb. Nothing greater to report beyond "A Separation" in Foreign Language, as most worth mentioning were already discounted last week with the shortlist of nine.

"The Tree of Life" was shockingly, and sadly, shut out of Visual Effects, which is too bad because if there's anything I'd give the film, it's that it was profoundly pretty. Instead it was dispensed in favor of "Real Steel" and "Hugo". Sound Mixing and Sound Editing, as per usual, were practically duplicates, this difference being that "Moneyball" got an in for Mixing where "Drive" had Editing. Either way, there's no reason for "War Horse" or "Hugo" to be here at all. I'm shocked and saddened to see "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" snubbed here, and it's not the sort of film you'd think would need to be  here, but it absolutely does. I think it represents what "Avatar" represented for a number of people, and it should have made more of an impact.

But in the Original Song category, they majorly screwed up their game. They just seemed so aimless in their decisions, and were only able to put together two nominations for "Real in Rio" and "Man or Muppet", so they clearly only voted up the songs that obviously belonged to their films. While I'm glad that they chose the right song from "The Muppets", they had four songs that deserved to be in, and only one of them was. That's not even to mention "The Star-Spangled Man" from "Captain America", and countless others. This was simply a massive disappointment and a blind spot. And the Original Score category couldn't be more inert. They throw in doubles for John Williams, and an unnecessary in for "Hugo", but shut out "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", "Drive", and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2", which is a shame.

I couldn't recall the makeup nods if I wanted to, because none of them matter. Film Editing too might as well be thrown out altogether with the way that the Academy is treating it. Looking at films like "Hugo", "Moneyball", and "The Artist", you would never say any of them had the most skillful cutting together. Costume Design typically went to the most pretty little costumes from England times. Cinematography seemed rather dull too, with "The Tree of Life" sadly still being the main one in the race, and even sadder is that I'd say it deserves it. Moving up to Art Direction, they are all pretty, I guess, but I couldn't forgive them for outcasting "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" from a category that it most definitely deserved.

It was a total loss for the British spy drama, as it pulled out nods in Adapted Screenplay and one for Gary Oldman in Best Actor, making it his career first. But even though it was such an exemplary year for Original Screenplays, you wouldn't know it from what's nominated. "Bridesmaids" and "Margin Call" muck up all the good will earned by the inclusion of "A Separation". And we all know what to gripe about in the acting categories. No nods for Albert Brooks in "Drive", Tilda Swinton in "We Need to Talk About Kevin", or Michael Fassbender in "Shame". It's not their lack of inclusion, but what is instead in its place that makes it so annoying an exercise.

Tying things off at the top were the Best Picture nominations, most of which I just plain hate. How can you blame me? With so many films that I just was not impressed by making their inclusions, it just felt like they spitting in the faces of those of us who care about solid cinema. This is the point where these feelings of disappointment climax and collect to being the utter molasses they really are. "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" certainly doesn't help matters in the slightest. This was just the unmitigated failure that leaves the worst taste in our mouth at the end of it. So that's my thoughts. They will dry, but for now, it hurts.

1 comment:

  1. Surprised that Paradise Lost 3 got in, especially since the first 2 were inelegible since they were tv movies.

    No idea why you think the Academy shouldn't consider motion capture animation, but at least that snub means that Rango is the clear winner.

    Definitely agree with you on editing and costume, am still not a big fan of Tree of Life's cinematagraphy (it came of as to been there done that).

    I was surprised with Margin Call, have yet to see it and I wonder if its any good.

    Gosh there's so many things to gripe about with in the acting categories, and geesh only 3 or 4 of the BP nominees are films I actually like!