Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Reel Opinion: Oscar 2011; The Good, The Bad, & The Glorious

The 84th Annual Academy Award nominations were announced today, with HUGO leading the way with eleven nominations. Hot on its heels is THE ARTIST with ten, and MONEYBALL and WAR HORSE with six apiece.

There is a lot to be excited and pleased about, and a few things to spark some wrath. So here we go…


-2011 is clearly the Year of the Actress, with the Best Actress category being the toughest to pick a clear-cut winner. Outstanding performances by Glenn Close, Meryl Streep, Rooney Mara, Viola Davis and Michelle Williams make this category the Varsity squad of the year.

-THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN, which won Best Animated Feature in the 2011 Golden Globes, did not secure a nomination. It’s refreshing to know that the Academy was able to look past all the visuals and noise and flash and recognize it as the paper-thin film it was. This exclusion is also another exposing of the Globes’ UK slant.

-Sticking with the Best Animated category, CARS 2 became the first Pixar film since forever to not receive a nomination. Totally justified exclusion, and this Blogger thanks the academy for not letting the Pixar name be an automatic vote.


-Outrageous Travesty No. 1 is the Best Picture nomination for the critically drubbed EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE. Review aggregator Rottentomatoes.com reports that 49% of 117 critics have given the film a positive review, with an average rating 5.8 out of 10. The general consensus has been that the film is exploitative; using the tragic events of 9/11 and the mental handicaps of a child as a blatant attempt at sympathy. One has to wonder if the Academy voters even saw the film.

-Outrageous Travesty No. 2 is the exclusion of the beautiful and exquisitely composed MELANCHOLIA; no Best Pic, no Directing, no Best Acting, no Cinematography. Inexcusable.

-Also aggravating are the Best Pic exclusions of critically praised films such as DRIVE, (93%), MY WEEK WITH MARILYN (84%) and WARRIOR (83%). Again; Academy voters, please go see more movies.


-Finally finally FINALLY! The great Gary Oldman receives his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor. His performance in TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY was so damn good they should award him for Best Costume too.

- Score one for the old dudes; films by Steven Spielberg (WAR HORSE) and Martin Scorsese (HUGO) combine for seventeen nominations.

-THE ARTIST did not secure the most nominations, but it got the most important ones; Best Pic, Actor, Director, and Screenplay. If Dr. Emmitt Brown told us in 1985 that a silent film in 2011 would be the favorite to win it all, we would have called him crazy. That makes 2011 a unique year.

What say you?

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