Tuesday, January 24, 2012

For Your Consideration: 84th Academy Awards Nominations

At the crack of dawn this morning in Beverly Hills, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak and 2010 Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence announced the nominees for the 84th Academy Awards. Putting an end to months of speculation for many film aficionados and movie buffs alike.  Having correctly predicted 71% of the nominees myself, I was pretty pleased with the vast majority of the Academy's selections this year. Considering that there were several films that I knowingly disregarded (i.e. The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, Midnight in Paris) out of self-denial for them being actual contenders, I am very pleased with that statistic. There really weren't any true surprises to the final list of nominees; however, many an argument can be made about the various omissions. In terms of the number of nominations, Martin Scorsese's Hugo led the pack, scoring 11 nominations including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. Close behind with 10 nominations was Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist. The mass recognition of these two films came as no surprise, since both films have long been considered front runners in several categories since the Oscar race began to take shape last Fall. In all, the Academy recognized 9 films for Best Picture of the year.

The "Big Five" Awards (8)
Best Picture, Director, Leading Actor, Leading Actress & Screenplay (Adapted or Original)
Supporting Actor & Supporting Actress subsequently fall under this classification as well. Think of it like the NCAA's Big 10, which ironically has 12 schools in its conference.

Best Picture Nominees:
  1. The Artist -- Thomas Langmann, Producer
  2. The Descendants -- Jim Burke, Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, Producers
  3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close -- Scott Rudin, Producer
  4. The Help -- Brunson Green, Chris Columbus & Michael Barnathan, Producers
  5. Hugo -- Graham King & Martin Scorsese, Producers
  6. Midnight in Paris -- Letty Aronson & Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
  7. Moneyball -- Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz & Brad Pitt, Producers
  8. The Tree of Life -- Nominees to be determined
  9. War Horse -- Steven Spielberg & Kathleen Kennedy, Producers
Best Director Nominees:
  1. Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris 
  2. Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
  3. Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
  4. Alexander Payne, The Descendants
  5. Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Best Actor Nominees:
  1. Demián Bichir, A Better Life
  2. George Clooney, The Descendants
  3. Jean Dujardin, The Artist
  4. Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  5. Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Best Actress Nominees:
  1. Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
  2. Viola Davis, The Help
  3. Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo
  4. Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
  5. Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
Best Supporting Actor Nominees:
  1. Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
  2. Jonah Hill, Moneyball
  3. Nick Nolte, Warrior
  4. Christopher Plummer, Beginners
  5. Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Best Supporting Actress Nominees:
  1. Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
  2. Jessica Chastain, The Help
  3. Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
  4. Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
  5. Octavia Spencer, The Help
Best Adapted Screenplay Nominees:
  1. The Descendants -- Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
  2. Hugo -- Screenplay by John Logan
  3. The Ides of March -- Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
  4. Moneyball -- Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin; Story by Stan Chervin
  5. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy -- Screenplay by Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan
Best Original Screenplay Nominees:
  1. The Artist -- Written by Michel Hazanavicius
  2. Bridesmaids -- Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
  3. Margin Call -- Written by J.C. Chandor
  4. Midnight in Paris -- Written by Woody Allen
  5. A Separation -- Written by Asghar Farhadi
The "Artistic" Awards (5)
Art Direction, Costume Design, Makeup, Original Score & Original Song

Best Art Direction Nominess:
  1. The Artist -- Production Design by Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration by Robert Gould
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 -- Production Design by Stuart Craig; Set Decoration by Stephenie McMillan
  3. Hugo -- Production Design by Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration by Francesca Lo Schiavo
  4. Midnight in Paris -- Production Design by Anne Seibel; Set Decoration by Hélène Dubreuil
  5. War Horse -- Production Design by Rick Carter; Set Decoration by Lee Sandales
Best Costume Design Nominees:
  1. Anonymous -- Lisy Christl
  2. The Artist -- Mark Bridges
  3. Hugo -- Sandy Powell
  4. Jane Eyre -- Michael O'Connor
  5. W.E. -- Arianne Phillips
Best Makeup Nominess:
  1. Albert Nobbs -- Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston & Matthew W. Mungle
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 -- Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight & Lisa Tomblin
  3. The Iron Lady -- Mark Coulier & J. Roy Helland
Best Original Score Nominees:
  1. The Adventures of Tintin -- John Williams
  2. The Artist -- Ludovic Bource
  3. Hugo -- Howard Shore
  4. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy -- Alberto Iglesias
  5. War Horse -- John Williams
Best Original Song Nominees:
  1. "Man or Muppet" from The Muppets -- Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
  2. "Real in Rio" from Rio -- Music by Sergio Mendes & Carlinhos Brown; Lyric by Siedah Garrett
The "Special Film" Awards (6)
Animated Feature, Animated Short, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Foreign Language Film & Live Action Short

Best Animated Feature Film Nominees:
  1. A Cat in Paris -- Directed by Alain Gagnol & Jean-Loup Felicioli
  2. Chico & Rita -- Directed by Fernando Trueba & Javier Mariscal
  3. Kung Fu Panda 2 -- Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson
  4. Puss in Boots -- Directed by Chris Miller
  5. Rango -- Directed by Gore Verbinski
Best Animated Short Film Nominees:
  1. Dimanche/Sunday -- Directed by Patrick Doyon
  2. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore -- Directed by William Joyce & Brandon Oldenburg
  3. La Luna -- Directed by Enrico Casarosa
  4. A Morning Stroll -- Directed by Grant Orchard & Sue Goffe
  5. Wild Life -- Directed by Amanda Forbis & Wendy Tilby
Best Documentary Feature Nominees:
  1. Hell and Back Again -- Directed by Danfung Dennis & Mike Lerner
  2. If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front -- Directed by Marshall Curry & Sam Cullman
  3. Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory -- Directed by Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky
  4. Pina -- Directed by Wim Wenders & Gian-Piero Ringel
  5. Undefeated -- Directed by TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay & Richard Middlemas
Best Documentary Short Nominees:
  1. The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement -- Directed by Robin Fryday & Gail Dolgin
  2. God Is the Bigger Elvis -- Directed by Rebecca Cammisa & Julie Anderson
  3. Incident in New Baghdad -- Directed by James Spione
  4. Saving Face -- Directed by Daniel Junge & Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
  5. The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom -- Directed by Lucy Walker & Kira Carstensen
Best Foreign Language Film Nominees:
  1. Bullhead (Belgium) -- Directed by Michael R. Roskam
  2. Footnote (Israel) -- Directed by Joseph Cedar
  3. In Darkness (Poland) -- Directed by Agnieszka Holland
  4. Monsieur Lazhar (Canada) -- Directed by Philippe Falardeau
  5. A Separation (Iran) -- Directed by Asghar Farhadi
Best Live Action Short Nominees:
  1. Pentecost -- Directed by Peter McDonald & Eimear O'Kane
  2. Raju -- Directed by Max Zähle & Stefan Gieren
  3. The Shore -- Directed by Terry George & Oorlagh George
  4. Time Freak -- Directed by Andrew Bowler & Gigi Causey
  5. Tuba Atlantic -- Directed by Hallvar Witzø
The "Technical" Awards (5)
Cinematography, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing & Visual Effects

Best Cinematography Nominees:
  1. The Artist -- Guillaume Schiffman
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- Jeff Cronenweth
  3. Hugo -- Robert Richardson
  4. The Tree of Life -- Emmanuel Lubezki
  5. War Horse -- Janusz Kaminski
Best Film Editing Nominees:
  1. The Artist -- Anne-Sophie Bion & Michel Hazanavicius
  2. The Descendants -- Kevin Tent
  3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- Kirk Baxter & Angus Wall
  4. Hugo -- Thelma Schoonmaker
  5. Moneyball -- Christopher Tellefsen
Best Sound Editing Nominees:
  1. Drive -- Lon Bender & Victor Ray Ennis
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- Ren Klyce
  3. Hugo -- Philip Stockton & Eugene Gearty
  4. Transformers: Dark of the Moon -- Ethan Van der Ryn & Erik Aadahl
  5. War Horse -- Richard Hymns & Gary Rydstrom
Best Sound Mixing Nominees:
  1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce & Bo Persson
  2. Hugo -- Tom Fleischman & John Midgley
  3. Moneyball -- Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco & Ed Novick
  4. Transformers: Dark of the Moon -- Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush & Peter J. Devlin
  5. War Horse -- Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson & Stuart Wilson
Best Visual Effects Nominees:
  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 -- Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler & John Richardson
  2. Hugo -- Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman & Alex Henning
  3. Real Steel -- Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor & Swen Gillberg
  4. Rise of the Planet of the Apes -- Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White & Daniel Barrett
  5. Transformers: Dark of the Moon -- Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler & John Frazier
What films were nominated that surprised you? Who wasn't nominated that should have been? If you were the sole person compiling the nominations, what films would make your Best Pictures list? Give me your take on this year's line-up of Oscar nominees..