Steve’s Initial Reactions to the Oscar Nominations

Today’s a big day for us movie fanatics. The Oscar nominations have been announced. We rejoice when the movies and performances that touched us in a special way this past year are recognized with a nomination. We lament when they are snubbed. We scratch our heads and wonder how that received a nomination. Should we  even care what the Academy says? Should there even be awards for movies? Is art meant to be a competition? Woody Allen doesn’t think so, but I bet he’s at least a little bit pleased that Midnight in Paris was nominated for best picture and that he was nominated for best director. I know they made me happy. Here are few other random reactions.

Best Picture

I’ve seen 5 of the 9 nominated films. Of those, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, and Midnight in Paris hold the top three spots in my rankings for the year, so I’m obviously glad to see them here. I’m especially pleased that The Tree of Life was nominated. Yes, it’s self-indulgent at times and the creation stuff should have been much shorter, but it is a deep and rich film that demands multiple viewings. I enjoyed it much more the second time and will definitely watch it over and over through the years. I thought that Hugo was quite good, but not great. Maybe it was that despicable 3D that ruined it for me. The Help is way overrated, but it’s no surprise it was nominated. The Descendants comes to Bozeman on Friday, so I’ll be seeing that soon. I hope The Artist makes it here before the Oscars, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m skeptical about that one. It seems a bit slight, but I’ll withhold judgement until I see it. At least it looks worthy of seeing in a theatre. On the other hand, War Horse came to town, but I didn’t bother going to see it. I’ll wait for it on DVD. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close? Really? A 46 at Metacritic? I have a feeling it was nominated for the wrong reasons. I’m so, so, so glad that Bridesmaids wasn’t nominated!

Acting Categories

I’m simply delighted that Rooney Mara was nominated for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I have some issues with the film overall, but I thought she was fabulous! Glad to see Brad Pitt nominated for Moneyball, he was great in it, but he was even better in Tree of Life. I think the aforementioned self-indulgence by director Terrance Malik cost Pitt here. Get the DVD and just watch Pitt’s scenes. You’ll see the best acting performance of the year! I’m definitely not a Jonah Hill fan, but I thought he was also brilliant in Moneyball, so glad to see him nominated. Haven’t yet seen Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy but I was pleased to see Gary Oldman get a nom. I’ve been a fan of his since Sid and Nancy. Jessica Chastain had such an incredible year that she had to be nominated for something! Her performance was one of the things I liked about The Help, but, like Pitt, she should have been nominated for Tree of Life. (Haven’t seen Taking Shelter yet). There was much that I loathed about Bridesmaids but I did like Melissa McCarthy. I haven’t seen Drive yet (next week on Netflix), but I’m intrigued by the many comments about it being snubbed, especially Albert Brooks for supporting actor. I would have loved to have seen Elle Fanning nominated for supporting actress in Super 8. That movie failed in many ways, but she was fabulous! Take a look at the scene where her character is giving her first try at acting in the zombie movie the boys are filming. Fabulous! Fabulous! Fabulous!

Animated

Rango is not just my favorite animated movie of the year, it’s one of my favorites over all, so I was pissed when The Adventures of Tin Tin stole the Golden Globe! It won’t steal the Oscar. It wasn’t even nominated!! A shout out to my co-blogger Bill who just posted a reflection wondering whether it even made sense to do Tin Tin as an animated film. Was he anticipating the Oscar snub?

Biggest Disappointment

Speaking of snubs, I can’t believe that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross weren’t nominated for Original Score for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’m a big Nine Inch Nails fan, but beyond that I thought their music was perfect. I can think of few movies where the music so powerfully enhanced the action on the screen. Their music made you feel the tension. Shame on you, Academy! This was your biggest mistake of the year. I have a feeling they see Reznor and Ross as outsiders and didn’t want to give them the chance of winning an Oscar two years in a row.

That’s it for now. Check back for more Oscar musings (and predictions) as  I see more of the films and as the day draws closer. Until then, happy viewing!

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