OSCARS 2012: The Super Bowl of the Film Lovers Set

Announcements leave us torn between crying kudos and "C'mon, man."

The Oscars have been announced! 

Aaah, yes. The Oscars. They are, for those of us who are movie lovers, our version of the Super Bowl. Finding out who is nominated is a bit like hearing about which teams will play. So perhaps you heard the "Yippee" holler from Cinema Siren's general direction when mid-grey horses Janet McTeer and Gary Oldman both made the cut! GO TEAM!  

But, in the great new tradition of the ESPN sports announcers, there were also a bunch of "c'mon, man!" moments.  

There are some surprises and snubs, as always, but Cinema Siren for one was shouting "Huzzah" for Gary Oldman (for the first time ever!) as best actor for his great work on Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy! He is joined by one of the biggest surprises in the announcements, the nom for Demian Bichir, who starred in A Better Life.  

Presenting, the biggest bummers and bravos. 



By far my opinion of the biggest snub is Tintin for best animated feature.  

Now THAT'S a "c'mon, man!"

The experimentation—the expansion of tools and opportunity in the world of animation that resulted from this film alone are reason for its inclusion. Kung Fu Panda 2? Lovely, but certainly not deserving of bumping the flawed but historic feature by the Jackson/Spielberg partnership.

Michael Fassbender, the method actor hottie heating up the screens and moving to the top of the A list. I'll throw a more highfalutin "kind sirs, surely you jest" out there, knowing his stunning and fearless work in Shame will get him even more securely placed in the Hollywood hierarchy. As I watched A Dangerous Method I kept thinking, who knew Carl Jung was so smoking' hot? That's Hollywood revisionist history I can get behind. 

What happened to my man Albert Brooks for Drive? Critics and fans alike raved about his creepy mob boss portrayal, but no supporting actor love.

And what of Ben Kingsley for Hugo, which got more nominations than any other movie? Do they think these films are made in an actor-free vacuum? 

And I would be remiss if I didn't point out the epic failure of the Academy in recognizing the filmmakers and actors involved with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Alan Rickman flew completely under their radar. (I guess that's the risk wizards take.) There is some small measure of vindication in Stuart Craig being nominated in production design.  

Both Carey Mulligan and Ryan Gosling got left on the cutting room floor. Both actors played characters much praised this year, both in more than one movie.  Here's hoping their times will come and soon.

Tilda Swinton from We Need to Talk About Kevin got bumped in the Best Actress category for Rooney Mara, who did an amazing job and owned her movie, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Since it is highly likely Viola Davis or Meryl Streep will win, the nomination will only serve to increase expectation and awareness of her value as an upcoming star.

She did say her nomination was a real surprise and that she was humbled. "There were so many women who weren't on the list who were incredible. It's been a really amazing year for women in film, I think," she said.

Coriolanus. Snubbed completely and utterly. I don't even know what to say. I'll say see it anyway. Ralph Fiennes directed and starred, featuring Brian Cox, Gerald Butler, the mind-blowing Vanessa Redgrave and the ubiquitous but great Jessica Chastain, this is a mighty Fiennes directorial debut. What is it with great Shakespearean actors and their directorial prowess?

Someone please explain why only two songs made the Best Original Song list, without the inclusion of several great tunes used in films this year, including Madonna's Masterpiece from W.E. Also someone please explain why John Williams is twice nominated and the groundbreaking scoring by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross has been ignored. Are we to understand awarding them with one Oscar for The Social Network is statement enough of Hollywood's willingness to break outside the soundtrack box? 


Hugo leads the list with 12 nominations. Huzzah! Obviously nostalgia is a theme appreciated by the voters this year, since three of the most celebrated movies relate to the good old days of old Hollywood, or old Paris.

As I said right at the beginning, it is thrilling that Gary Oldman's talent is being recognized and his work for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy has been nominated. 

"This afternoon in Berlin I have learned that I was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Actor," he said in a statement. "You may have heard this before, but it has never been truer than it is for me today. It is extremely humbling, gratifying and delightful to have your work recognized by the Academy, and to join the celebrated ranks of previous nominees and colleagues. Amazing."

And Janet McTeer, another Siren favorite, had this to say about the reaction she shared with best actress nom Glenn Close, "We just giggled like mad, that our film, that took so long to get out the door, was getting recognized. The delay of gratification makes it more charming. It's a small film with big heart, and we didn't have a ton of money. Now hopefully more people will go and see it."

The crowd pleaser The Artist is second only to Hugo in nominations, and its 10 nominations include Best Actor and Supporting Actress as well as Director, Best Picture, and Best Score.  

As to the score nomination, there was some controversy about eligibility, since there is a long sequence where Bernard Herrmann's Vertigo score is used—Kim Novak, one of the stars of the Hitchcock classic, had placed a full page trade ad expressing her ire at its use. Since 80 percent of the music was original, it was accepted, as that is the required percentage. 

About her reaction, writer-director-editor Michel Hazanavicius wrote: “The Artist was made as a love letter to cinema, and grew out of my (and all of my cast and crew’s) admiration and respect for movies throughout history. It was inspired by the work of Hitchcock, Lang, Ford, Lubitsch, Murnau and Wilder. I love Bernard Herrmann and his music has been used in many different films and I’m very pleased to have it in mine. I respect Kim Novak greatly and I’m sorry to hear she disagrees.” 

In the best supporting actor category, Nick Nolte got recognized for Warrior and Max Von Sydow for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which fared far better this Oscar season than anyone (but me, as I was a fan) expected. 

Of course it is most likely Christopher Plummer will win for his work in Beginners.

"It's a shot in the arm for a young kid of 82 to receive an Academy Award nomination this morning," Plummer said in a statement. 

Midnight In Paris got some attention, which is a testament to the appreciation of Woody Allen fans both long term and new, who, like the Siren, must be edified to know he can still pull a real charmer off from time to time.  

Moneyball was a bit of a surprise, in terms of specific nominations; there were audible gasps when Jonah Hill was announced as a nominee for best supporting actor. 

The Tree of Life, if anyone has seen it out there, is certainly representative of the power of artistic vision to get a movie made. Terrence Malick's poetic visual journey isn't for everyone, but clearly enough Academy voters saw its beauty to nominate both him as director and the film as Best Picture. 

Said producer Sarah Green, “My profound thanks to the Academy—I could not be more proud to be part of the team that brought The Tree of Life into the world.  I know firsthand that it's a movie that changes lives, because it changed mine, and I have heard directly from so many people of the profound effect the film has had on them. I hope that this nomination will encourage anyone who has not yet experienced The Tree of Life to do so and encounter for themselves Terry's (Terrance Malick's) unique and powerful vision and the transcendent work of Chivo (Emmanuel Lubezki, director of photography) and the rest of the team.”


Have a look at the list of Oscar nominations below. Tell the Siren, who do you movie lovers see as a major hit or miss? Who do you think is missing or should have been left off this list? Will there be movies you see now that you wouldn't have before?

Join me and my Patch cohorts as we comment in real time during the telecast. Because while many of you have football to look forward to, I'm shining up my tiara and picking out my jewels for February 24th.   

Of all days of the year, it is when a Cinema Siren must look her best.

Gloves are essential!


This year's Oscar nominees: 

Best Picture
The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Midnight in Paris
The Help
War Horse
The Tree of Life

Best Actor
Demian Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Best Actress
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Best Director
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Best Original Screenplay
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
JC Chandor, Margin Call
Asghar Farhadi, A Separation
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, Bridesmaids

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxton, Jim Rash, The Descendants
John Logan, Hugo
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, The Ides of March
Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian, Moneyball
Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughn, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Best Animated Feature
A Cat In Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Bullhead (Belgium)
Footnote (Israel)
In Darkness (Poland)
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
A Separation (Iran)

Original Score
The Adventures of Tintin, John Williams
The Artist, Ludovic Bource
Hugo, Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Alberto Iglesias
War Horse, John Williams

Best Original Song
"Man or Muppet," The Muppets; Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
"Real in Rio," Rio; Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown, Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Best Achievement in Art Direction
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Midnight in Paris
War Horse

Best Achievement in Cinematography
The Artist
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Best Achievement in Costume Design
The Artist
Jane Eyre

Best Documentary Feature
Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Best Documentary Short Subject
The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement?
God Is the Bigger Elvis
Incident in New Baghdad
Saving Face
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Best Achievement in Film Editing
The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Best Achievement in Makeup
Albert Nobbs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Iron Lady

Best Animated Short Film
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life

Best Live Action Short Film
The Shore
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Leslie Combemale January 27, 2012 at 03:07 PM
I had said in the middle of watching "Tree of Life" that it's like watching a Very Very beautiful snail crawling across a wide path.


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