Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Annual Oscar Nominations Post, 2012 Edition

You were worried, weren't you?  Afraid that I was so busy and so blogligent and so traveling-around-southeast-Asia that I was not going to post about the Oscar nominations?  Silly you. Never worry your poor little head about such a thing. High on the agenda for night one in Bangkok (see what I did there?) were the Oscar nominations! As we walked back from our first dinner in Thailand, we even saw TVs in bars tuned to the live announcement on CNN. I was so excited for the details, and not too surprised by any of them.

I am happy to note that I have seen four of the nominated films already, because the following stellar (ahem) flicks that graced our Andong, Korea cinema screens managed to score Oscar nods: Moneyball (good), The Help (not good, and sooooooverated), Harry Potter and the Eighth Adaptation of Seven Books, and let's not overlook Real Steel. I love those random categories -- in this case, Visual Effects --  that get a totally empty popcorn movie on the board. The Visual Effects category is particularly full of so-not-Oscar-movies-that-get-Oscar-nominations this year, also including Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, both of which also played in Andong but which I couldn't be bothered at all to go see. However, if Hugo doesn't grab this category -- and I truly have no idea what the chances are, being totally out of the Hugo  loop, other than what I've read in EW -- I'm really thinking Harry Potter Number 7 or 8 or Whatever might get this category, and possibly Art Direction, too, in a kind of cumulative thanks. You know, LOTR style. Not that the HP flicks are as good as the LOTR flicks, but you know what I mean.

OK, onto the acting and the other "big" categories!  You can be worried here about my abysmal percentage of nominees seen, because we flew out of Korea on Christmas Day, just in time to miss everything as we volunteered in Cambodia, cruised the Yangtze, and otherwise made ourselves wholly unable to watch movies for a month. ‘Zounds!  At least I saw Moneyball, though I have no belief whatsoever that Brad or Jonah will win. I have got to see The Artist - that is my must, and not just because of its two acting nominations. Also with two acting nods is Albert Nobbs, which I FINALLY saw a preview for the other day, causing me to ponder why the Academy gets really excited to nominate someone playing someone who's playing the other sex, a la Hilary Swank and stuff, but I will save that for another blog entry.

With a horrifying three acting nominees we have The Help.  Sheesh. I suppose this is as good of a time as any to complain about its Best Picture nomination. UGH! It's this year's The Blind Side, only based on a much worse book. The Help is about the most overrated thing around, when it's not busy being factually incorrect and/or just plain offensive. And just like with Doubt the other year, the world is going gaga over Viola Davis and I don't see it! To be honest, I thought the actress who played the other maid, not Viola's or Octavia's but the one who wants to send her sons to college and gets fired by self-righteous what's-her-name, had some of the most compelling acting. I mean, Viola Davis is fine...but...I just don't get the fuss. Octavia Spencer is apparently the total front runner for Supporting Actress, and I am so utterly bored with foregone conclusions in that category. I realllllllllly want me an upset in that category to liven things up. Enough that I will pull for Melissa McCarthy, even though I didn't see Bridesmaids and have absolutely zero desire to do so, even with it having a "major" nomination.

Before I leave the actresses behind, let me also register my contempt for Rooney Mara's nomination because a.) speaking of massively overrated books, but more importantly b.) there was already a Swedish movie and the U.S. just sucks for having to make its own, and Noomi Rapace was clearly recognized for being awesome in it and is now even making Hollywood movies, so even more reason to be all whatever about Rooney Mara, and by the way does anyone else think its weird how weird and weirdly similar their names are, with lots of the same letters and stuff?

Here was a pleasant surprise: The Tree of Life. Let me just say that I suck for not seeing this (and A Better Life, and maybe some other movies about Life I can't think of now) because they played in Daegu. Not Andong, but Daegu, where we spent many weekends -- sigh. I suck. And The Tree of Life got nominated for Directing, too, which shows it is a real Best Picture nomination, and not one of the extra ones now that we can have more than five. *cough* like The Help *cough*  The Descendants is playing in Thailand and I totally hope to get on that soon, and on the War Horse, too. But I'm thinking The Artist  might win this category, really. Remember this is based on my speculation only, but that's where my money is, today anyway. I will reevaluate that bet when I am more than 2/9 of the way through that category.

I could see Midnight in Paris maybe possibly winning Original Screenplay.

You know who it will totally suck to be on Oscar night? The Original Song loser. There are only TWO nominees in that category this year! That is seriously messed up. The Muppets and Rio. (Yes, both played in Korea. No, I didn't see them.)

Yeah, so basically to sum up, I have seen hardly anything but I liked Moneyball  OK, hated The Help, and will get right on The Descendants, The Artist, War Horse, Beginners, and all the other movies I've been wanting to see for months as I have read about them in EW and yet somehow managed to be anywhere but at a multiplex.

What are your favorites/surprises/snubs?


Megan said...

Have you seen Midnight in Paris? I loved it. It may actually be my favorite of the ones I've seen so far, which is surprising considering how apathetic I am about Luke Wilson. I also loved The Artist and I am pulling for that to get Lead Actor if nothing else. I was not crazy about The Descendants. It just didn't do anything for me emotionally. I think out of everything in that movie, though, the teenage girl got snubbed for a good performance. She deserved a nomination over like, Chastain. I'll be honest, I liked the Help. It isn't Best Picture worthy, and I think there were better acting performances in the other movies, but I enjoyed it for the satisfying emotional ploy it was. I don't care how much praise Bridesmaids gets, I don't know if I'll be able to watch it. My to-do list still includes Hugo and Moneyball at the very least. War Horse doesn't appeal to me, but I'll try to fit it in. Oh, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. That looks good. Glad to see you're still in movie mode, no matter what part of the planet you're on!

Megan said...

Oops. Owen Wilson. Luke Wilson was on my brain thanks to a recent viewing of Idiocracy.

linda said...

Sigh...I'm just so behind, and no, we did not get Midnight in Paris at our little cinema. I need to get on that - and several others, in the next two weeks. This is my weirdest Oscar year in, like, two decades. But I am enthusiastically listening to friends' opinions! Keep 'em coming!