Oscar 2012 Nominations: The Good, the Bad and the WTF

All right, now that the nominations are announced, it’s time to pick ’em all apart 😀 You can view the full nominations here (thanks to Red Georges at AM).

The Good:

  • First off, I’m thrilled to see both Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis getting nominated for The Help! Now I’d be even more thrilled if Davis will take home the statuette instead of Streep.
  • Bérénice Bejo up for Best Supporting Actress, yay! Her performance is as equally compelling as Dujardin, so I’m glad she wasn’t left out. I’m equally stoked for Jessica Chastain getting recognized for her compelling supporting role in The Help.
  • Gary Oldman and Nick Nolte getting a nod, yes! It’s about darn time for Mr. Oldman! As I said on this post, the thespian has never gotten a single nomination, atrocious if y’ask me. So I’m glad he got recognized for his turn in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. It’s also nice to see veteran actors like Max Von Sydow and Christopher Plummer getting acting nods.
  • Nice to see such an international mix on the Best Actor list… Mexican Demian Bichir, French Jean Dujardin and English Gary Oldman against two American heartthrobs (well to some anyway, not moi) Pitt and Clooney.
  • Legendary composer John Williams breaking Alfred Newman’s record for the most Oscar-nominated composer/conductor ever (45 times) by not one but TWO nominations for War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin!
  • Even though The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is so not my cup of tea, I’ve read enough about Rooney Mara‘s dedication to the role that I’m glad she got a nod.
  • Glad to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes amongst Best Visual Effects nominees… but the good is outweighed by the not-so-good,

    which brings me to…

The Bad

  • Well let’s start with the one snub that I shouldn’t be surprised about but yet I’m still disappointed with… As I mentioned on my review, I really think Andy Serkis deserves a nomination, darn it!
  • So The Academy loves Scorsese more this year than Spielberg, eh? No, I was NOT going to suggest Spielberg for Best Director for War Horse, but seriously, The Adventures of Tintin deserves to be amongst the Best Animated Feature before Rango does! As a huge fan of the comics, I had trepidation how Spielberg could translate than to screen but I think he did a great job. It captured the adventurous spirit of Herge’s story and it was wholly entertaining from start to finish. I think Rango is fine but too uneven to be Oscar-worthy!
  • Last but not least, I was really hoping to see 50/50 to be singled out in the Best Original Screenplay category. The beauty of this cancer-themed comedy is in Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance AND the brilliant writing, it strikes the perfect balance between whimsy and poignancy, not a mean feat considering the dismal subject matter. Ok so I have yet to see three out of the five nominees in this category but is Margin Call REALLY better than 50/50‘s script??  Those who’ve seen both, perhaps you can enlighten me…


As is customary every year, the bigger news come Oscar nominations time is always, who gets snubbed? There are just a couple biggie I could think of right of the bat…

  • The snubs of the Michaels… both Michael Fassbender and Michael Shannon are absent from the nominees. Say what?? Granted I have not seen Shame or Take Shelter yet but even from the trailer and reviews, it seemed that either one of them would garner a nod? I’d be happy to see either one instead of Pitt who’s curiously nominated for Moneyball instead of Tree of Life [shrugs]
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close up for Best Picture?? I have not read a single review praising it and it’s only got a paltry 48% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m not saying the critics should always agree with Academy voters but still, it’s a real head-scratcher this one.
  • I had just seen Ides of March over the weekend and I was pretty sure either Paul Giamatti or Philip Seymour Hoffman (who pretty much stole the scenes from the lead actors) would be nominated, but NO, they’d rather give that to Jonah Hill instead. Maybe I’m being harsh, those who’ve seen Moneyball thinks he’s worthy of a nomination over these two. No?
  • What’s with just the two nominations for Best Song??? Is the qualifying system so bonkers this year that a whole bunch of great songs just aren’t eligible?

This list would’ve been a lot longer had I seen more films released in 2011, but anyway, these are my two cents. At least some folks still have their sense of humor intact. Movieline captured Patton Oswalt’s (Young Adult) tweets from this morning about organizing an Academy’s snubculture party with fellow snub-ees (ok I just invented a new word) Albert Brooks, etc.

Ahah, I think I’d rather attend that party than the Oscar luncheon any day!

So what’s your picks of ‘biggest snubs’ and which nominations make you go jump for joy?

51 thoughts on “Oscar 2012 Nominations: The Good, the Bad and the WTF

  1. No Fassy, no watchy 🙂 Not that I would watch anyways but it would have made it interesting.

    I guess the Academy felt they had a bunch to choose from and were spoiled for choice.

    Patton Oswalt’s are gold!

    Now they just need Billy Crystal to knock it out the park!

    1. Ahah, that’s catchy 🙂 I’d watch the Oscars as Billy Crystal’s hosting, he’s funny. Too bad about Fassy but hey, there’s always next year and the next. He’s a talented so I’m sure we haven’t seen the best of him yet.

      1. Of course. I just wanted to say that because it rhymed (rhyming mood 😉 ).
        For a minute I had forgot that Crystal was convinced (i.e. paid a boatload) to come back to host the show.

  2. Wow I didn’t notice Margin Call managed to make it ahead of 50/50. What a joke! Also very surprising not to see Tintin for Best Animated when a bunch of little-talked about animations managed to make the cut. Totally agree that it was better than Rango.

    Can’t believe Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close managed to get an Oscar nod. That’s about as ridiculous as Burlesque, The Tourist and RED getting Golden Globes nods last year.

    And yea, no Ryan Gosling, no Michael Shannon, no Michael Fassbender is shocking!

    1. Yeah, I didn’t see that coming. Now I have to see Margin Call soon just to see how good the script is! I think Tintin wasn’t eligible for whatever reason, it’s so bogus!!

      Ahah yeah, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is kind of like The Tourist up for a Golden Globe last year, so very true!

      I think Oswalt, Gosling and the two Michaels should host a party during Oscar time, I’m sure more people would rather join that one! 😀

  3. Ted S.

    Since I don’t care for the Oscars, I’m not surprise that some talented actors got snub, granted I haven’t seen many of the films you mentioned so I can’t agree or disagree with the Oscar voters.

    I think realized the Oscars is a joke when Crash won best picture back in 2005, I just stopped caring after that. How can such a bad film won best picture? I have no clue, but that’s Hollywood for you.

    1. Ahah, you REALLY hate Crash don’t you? Hey Ted, you should do a post on that btw, a list of why you hate Crash or any other film you prefer 🙂

  4. Thanks for Sharing the Oswalt tweets. It would be interesting to see if Brooks replied to any of them!

    And to your first point, I think both Spencer and Davis will be taking home gold this year.

  5. I have to agree with Ted. I can’t take the Oscars seriously after seeing how terrible Crash was. Still can’t believe that was even nominated for Best Picture.

    I think you nailed most of the snubs, Ruth. Shame, Drive and 50/50 all came home pretty much empty-handed, and those were three of my favorite films from last year. Really disappointed that there was no love for Fassbender, Gosling or even Elizabeth Olsen either. Too bad…

  6. I haven’t seen Adventures of Tintin, but i personally loved Rango. And yeah, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close getting nominated seem like a wtf to me.

    And i actually managed to see the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in theaters because my mom knew me and my dad watched the original swedish movies so she gave us money for it. It didn’t top the original for me, but Rooney definitely gives a standout performance in it.

    1. I like Rango overall, but I do think that Tintin is a far superior film. Maybe the Academy voters just aren’t familiar w/ Tintin that they just don’t get it? [shrugs]

      I read a couple of things on Rooney Mara and I was really impressed by her dedication, I mean she really transformed herself the way Christian Bale did for The Machinist & The Fighter.

  7. Personally I don’t really follow the Oscars, but there are some surprises. Have not seen Tin Tin, but I was already sure that Rango was going to have a big chance.

    1. Ever since I started blogging, I pay more attention to these award shows, against my better judgment, ahah. Well since Tintin is not in the noms, I think Rango is the frontrunner out of the list.

  8. Matt Stewart

    I am a big follower of the s, not that I always agree with them (Crash? COME ON!) but still, I like celebrating movies and the Academy certainly does a good job of that! Plus, Hugo is my favorite film of the year and it got 11 nominations, so that’s enough for me 😀

    Thanks for sharing the Oswalt tweets, hilarious!!!!

    1. Yeah I’m all for celebrating movies too, Matt, though more often than not, the powers that be don’t give us enough reasons to do so.

      That’s cool that you are rooting for Hugo, even though I’m rooting for The Artist, I won’t be kicking and screaming if Hugo ends up winning Best Picture.

  9. It is very disappointing to see Drive subbed for the major awards. It was one of the best films of the year for me.

    Although I haven’t seen Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – who has? – I’ve heard it is the worst reviewed film to be put up for Best Picture. Besides, it has an “incredibly” bad title!

    It was great to see Gary Oldman get the nomination. I hope he wins.

    1. Yeah, the title for that ELaIC is terrible isn’t it? Way too long and kind of a head-scratcher. Fingers crossed about Oldman, it’s way overdue!

  10. It seems that everyone is disappointed with this year’s Oscar. Since I haven’t seen most of the movies, still waiting for the dvd here, I can”t complain much. But I though Gosling would be nominated since everyone claimed he was really good in Drive.

    I haven’t yet seen 50/50 but I do like Margin Call.

    Tintin and Serkis not nominated is indeed really strange.

    1. Ha..ha.. hey, no need to poke jab at Gerry, Markus, I’ve reconciled myself w/ actors who aren’t too great at accent work, so long as they can convey/capture the ‘essence’ of the roles he plays. That said, it always helps if they are good w/ accents like Hardy.

  11. Blame the presence of ‘Loud’ in the Best Picture field on the new voting system, which is perhaps more complicated than it needs to be but what it comes down to is that your film absolutely, positively needs to be ranked first on the ballot to have a legitimate shot at getting in. ‘Loud’ is, by all indications, the kind of overly sentimental movie that appeals to the Academy more often than not, and whaddya know, they fell for it.

    1. I don’t know who invents this new voting system but what the hell? It’s just weird that there are only two songs and Tintin isn’t eligible and all that. Yep, the over-sentimental stuff seems to be the key to getting a nod, as War Horse falls under that as well.

  12. PrairieGirl

    Since I haven’t seen any of the films mentioned, except for a portion of Rango, I’ll go with you totally on everything, Flixy. BTW, I rented Rango and quit watching it 1/3 of the way through. That doesn’t happen to me very often, but I am not a fan of that movie at all.

    1. I don’t think you’d do that w/ Tintin… I feel that even if you didn’t grow up reading the comics, it’s still an enjoyable adventure to watch. Yeah, Rango does get a bit weird towards the end, it started out kinda fun though.

  13. Throw stones at me, but I freakin love Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close!
    People have been so cynical about the film because first it’s by Daldry who made The Reader which many people deemed robbing Dark Knight’s spot and second it touches 9/11, a very sensitive subject that God knows when the wound is healed.

    1. Ahah well I won’t throw stones at you 🙂 It certainly could’ve merited the nom, and that’s cool that you enjoyed it. I didn’t know about The Reader robbing Dark Knight’s spot… that seems like an odd statement to make. I saw it and it was good, not sure if it’s Oscar worthy apart from Winslet’s performance.

  14. Great post. Agree with you on Oldman finally getting a nod. TinTin although should be in the running, but so should Rango. As an animation TinTin was brilliant, but not WOW!! Again haven’t seen a bunch of movies so cannot comment on others

    1. Hi Raghav, I think Tintin wasn’t eligible for whatever reason so I don’t know if their lack of nomination was because of its quality. I do think it’s at least equal if not better than Rango.

  15. I am so glad to see Gary Oldman get a nomination this year. A very long-overdue recognition. I have yet to see The Tree of Life, but it seems more appropriate for Pitt to get a nomination for that film as opposed to Moneyball; which was fantastic. In fact, Jonah Hill’s role in that movie was big, yet small. Not enough for an Oscar nod compared to the work of Giamatti and Seymour-Hoffman.

    1. Hi Raul, yes indeed about Gary. He’s got stiff competition this year though from Dujardin. Glad you agree about Giamatti & Hoffman in that they deserve a nod this year, ah well maybe they couldn’t decide between the two of them 🙂

  16. Der, I responded in the wrong post. Here’s what I said.

    I do feel the need to defend Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Moneyball. I thought it was a really good movie, and they were both very good in it. That said, I’m majorly disappointed in Fassbender’s lack of a nomination, not so much because I’m a fan (I am) or because I think his performance is awesome (haven’t seen the movie, but I’m sure it is) but mostly because I was hoping that the Academy would show some bravery in rewarding his performance and the movie, given that it released with the NC-17 rating and was still a critical success. Not taking anything away from the other performers (I’m very excited about Gary Oldman), but yeah, really disappointed.

    Otherwise I think the Best Picture nominees are really kind of weird (particularly the inclusion of Extremely Loud, which has gotten no other love, really), but I’m cool with it because I am confident that The Artist will pull out a win.

    1. Hi Sam, sorry took me a while to respond. Moneyball just doesn’t appeal to me, not for the story or for the cast, but that’s good that you enjoyed it and think it deserved the noms. I can’t imagine Pitt giving a more compelling than Fassbender though, but that’s just a gut feeling as I haven’t seen either. I’d think that if they REALLY want to nominate Pitt, they’d go with his performance in Tree of Life which I think is noteworthy.

      I wish I could be confident that The Artist would win but the Academy loves Scorsese so I fear that Hugo would pull an upset.

  17. Three cheers for Mr Oldman! I really hope he picks it up but we’ll have to wait and see. I’m very pleased that Rise of the Planet of the Apes is nominated for Visual Effects, and that Mara has a nom. I doubt she’ll win but it’s great that she’s been recognised.

    I’m confused as to why there are only two Best Song noms as well! Why is that?!

  18. Jonah Hill in Moneyball was worthy of a nomination, just not over Albert Brooks in Drive. I think Jonah was a lock from the beginning anyways. I didn’t care for Ides of March, so I’m glad it got blanked out.

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  20. I personally love that Nick Nolte is one of the nominees for Best Supporting Actor, although Plummer could win anyway. I love Bridesmaids, but I’m surprised that it would get a nomination for screenplay. I agree with 50/50, it should’ve been nominated

  21. My biggest frustration was seeing 50/50 left out entirely. I really thought it would at least get Best Original Screenplay. I haven’t seen Margin Call, so I can’t comment on that, but ahhh . . . makes me mad!

    As for Jonah Hill getting a nod over Giamatti and Seymour Hoffman – I saw both Ides and Moneyball, and I’m actually happy for Hill getting the nom. As for over the other two? Well, difficult to say. I’d have a hard time comparing because they’re such different roles. I loved both of them in Ides and would agree that they both were scene stealers throughout. I will admit that it’s a “snub” that I never thought of. Now I don’t know what to think! Ha!

  22. Good stuff Ruth! I definitely agree on Nolte’s inclusion being a great surprise, as well as Oldman’s. I am happy to see “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” nominated for something, especially after I thought a surprisingly well-done prequel.

    On the other hand, I need to have my say on this matter because I disagree with you on some of your comments.
    I will start by saying that, not having seen some of the nominees puts you (and me) at a disadvantage when judging who received the coveted recognition and who did not. As far as critical acclaim goes, there are obvious negative surprises, like the overlooked performance of Fassbender in “Shame” or the talked-about take of Michael Shannon in “Take Shelter”. However, we must remember that there are only 5 spots in the acting category and that, despite the snubs, all of the nominees, even the lesser known performances, like that of the always great Max Von Sydow, are deserved nominees. On that note, I have to agree with some of the comments you received in defense of Brad Pitt in Moneyball. His take on the Oakland A’s former general manager is, in my modest opinion, the most nuanced and compelling performance of his career. For all of the artistic merits of “The Tree of Life”, Brad Pitt’s performance is, by no means, what makes Terrence Malick’s film work on so many levels. On the other hand, I can’t picture “Moneyball” being as good as it was without Brad Pitt playing that role.

    As for the rest, I invite you to read my post reviewing the Academy Awards, otherwise this comment will get a bit too long.


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