January 25, 2012

the 84th academy awards nominations

Yesterday was the day that movie and award show lovers alike were waiting for: the 84th Academy Award nominations were announced! I haven't seen all the movies and/or performances that were nominated (a list of 2011 movies I saw and my ratings of them can be found here), but I still had plenty of thoughts on the nominations as I read through them:

Source: imdb.com via Kelly on Pinterest

Why was Moneyball nominated for so many awards?
Don't get me wrong, I saw Moneyball and thoroughly enjoyed it. The acting was certainly of a high quality and the story was compelling (at least if you enjoy baseball, sports movies, underdog stories, or any combination of the three). However, I did not leave the theater thinking, "WOW, Brad Pitt's acting in Moneyball was just AMAZING! Jonah Hill, he was just UNBELIEVABLE! Overall, that picture was OUTSTANDING!" In fact, if I was texting someone my opinion of the movie right after seeing it, I would not have written any adjectives in all-caps. Like I said, I did like Moneyball, and I do think Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill are great actors. I am just incredibly surprised Moneyball is being nominated for as many awards as it is. (As for film editing, I don't know much about that to know if Moneyball deserves it, and the same for sound mixing, but I'm guessing it probably does since there were a great deal of baseball-games-in-action scenes).

Source: imdb.com via Kelly on Pinterest

Cars 2 wasn't nominated for Best Animated Feature.
I have no opinion on whether or not Cars 2 is a good film; I haven't seen it yet. I just found it very interesting that this was the first Pixar movie in what seems like forever that wasn't nominated for the big award.

Source: imdb.com via Kelly on Pinterest

I apparently need to watch The Help again, because my memory must not be serving me well.
I LOVED The Help and think it deserves all the awards it can get (well, clearly, since I'm using all-caps to declare my adoration for it). I am beyond thrilled that Viola Davis is nominated and so is Octavia Spencer (in photo above). While I felt like the entire cast was fantastic and worked together beautifully, I did not expect anyone else to be nominated for an acting award. I'm surprised Jessica Chastain (in photo above) keeps getting nominated as well, over stellar performances by Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, and Sissy Spacek (who's role was much too small to be nominated, but still well done). I also didn't expect Emma Stone to be nominated for Best Actress or necessarily think she deserved a nomination over the actual nominees, but I do think she deserves as much recognition for her performance in that film as Jessica Chastain does for hers.

Source: imdb.com via Kelly on Pinterest

There are some serious sins of omission here.
How did Jonah Hill receive a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Moneyball over the great Alan Rickman (photo above) in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II? And if Jonah Hill's performance was deemed Oscar-worthy, how in the world was Joseph Gordon-Levitt's performance in 50/50 not Oscar-worthy? How was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II not nominated for Best Picture when it was highly praised by critics and audiences alike, whereas a film like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has gotten lackluster reviews? Harry Potter should have, at the very least, been nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay in addition to the nominations it did receive. I was also greatly disappointed Super 8 was not nominated for a single Oscar, even though visual effects, film editing, sound mixing, etc., (though I don't know much about those categories to rate their quality) greatly contributed to the overall impressiveness of the movie.

Source: imdb.com via Kelly on Pinterest

The Academy did a decent job this year of recognizing comedy that deserves its attention.
I am mega-pleased that Melissa McCarthy was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Bridesmaids (pictured above). Believe me, I love everything about that movie, but Melissa McCarthy definitely stole the show. Whether or not she deserves an Oscar over Octavia Spencer in The Help is yet to be seen. I guess it will boil down to whether the Academy wants to give this year's honors to an outstanding comedic performance or to an outstanding dramatic performance. That being said, I'm also psyched Bridesmaids was nominated for Best Original Screenplay. Lastly, I love that "Man or Muppet" (from The Muppets, of course!) was nominated for Best Original Song. The Muppets was quite possibly the best family, hands-down feel-good movie I saw all year (if not in the past few years) and it deserves some recognition. And recognition in the form of my favorite song from it, all the better! Plus, Jason Segel possibly performing it at the Oscars...with MUPPETS? Yes please!!

Which nominations do you support? What were your sins of omissions?

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1 comment:

Kaylyn said...

Well you already know some of my opinions, but here they go!
Best Picture:
The rule is 5-10 pictures can be nominated. So why nominate 9 when so many amazing films came out last year (and yes, I feel like more than normal did)? And like you said, why nominate one that is receiving mixed to negative reviews from critics and viewers alike? So you can get the stars to show up at your awards show? Take out Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and use the last two Best Picture slots on two of the following: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, 50/50, or Drive (though admittedly I didn't see this one, it has universal acclaim and everyone I talked to was certain Gosling would get an Oscar nom for it). 50/50 was one of the most beautiful, telling stories I've seen in a long time, and the delicate balance of comedy and drama gave it such a real life feel that should have been recognized. Even The Muppets should've gotten more of a shot, IMO.
Acting categories:
I didn't see The Help (yet) but all I kept hearing from people who did see it was, "Viola Davis! Octavia Spencer! Viola Davis! Octavia Spencer!" I didn't even know Jessica Chastain was in it, and I was surprised to hear that ANYONE other than Davis and Spencer were nominated from the film. All I can figure is that Chastain's work in other acclaimed films this year (The Tree of Life, Take Shelter) helped her get a nomination. No Ryan Gosling for Drive OR The Ides of March? That guy worked his little acting ass off this year, and FOR WHAT?! :) As for Jonah Hill, I was VERY surprised to see his nomination. Just because someone proves themselves versatile does not mean their performance was outstanding.
Best Original Song:
Two songs? Really? There were some great songs, and the biggest gaping hole I see is Chris Cornell's "The Keeper" not getting a nod. Great tune.
Best Original Score:
Don't follow this category necessarily, but I was surprised to see Trent Reznor's work on "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" wasn't nominated after he put together such an amazing score for The Social Network. Plus, the score has been acclaimed as well.

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