2012 Oscar Nomination Reactions

The Oscar nominations announcement is always a blur and it’s usually not until the ride to work when some of the shockers start to sink in.  We learned or were reaffirmed that the Academy will nominate those physical/transformation roles (Rooney Mara, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close).  We also learned that the Academy loves George Clooney, Stephen Daldry and Max von Sydow.  Here are some of my immediate reactions to the 2012 Oscar Nominees.
Best Picture
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is the obvious “sore thumb” on this list.  Judging by how the graphic screen was setup during the announcements, I was sure that, after announcing the first Best Picture nominee, there would be 8 nominees in total.  It just fit the screen.  However, after they called out 8 films they replaced the top-middle graphic square with another title; one none other than Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  It’s as if they planned it that way to shock us.  The film carried a good amount of buzz during the early awards season, but the negative reviews quickly poured out upon its release.  The film only gets a Best Picture and Supporting Actor nomination.  No Adapted Screenplay.  No Score.  No lead actor or actress nominations.  It doesn’t belong here.
Director
I predicted every nomination in this category correctly.  Terrence Malick for The Tree of Life is the stand-out here, but it’s a well-earned nomination.
Actor
Demian Bichir for A Better Life bumps Leonardo DiCaprio.  That’s fine with me, although I would’ve thought Michael Shannon or Michael Fassbender would’ve been included, instead.
Actress
Tilda Swinton gets bumped for Rooney Mara.  So many assumed Tilda was a lock, but Mara’s performance was physical and demanding.
Supporting Actor
Albert Brooks in Drive dominated the precursor awards, but gets cut for Max von Sydow in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, who didn’t win a single precursor award.  The Academy is just jumping at its chance to nominate this legendary actor. 
Supporting Actress
Janet McTeer in Albert Nobbs squeezes in over Shailene Woodley.  It could’ve gone either way, though Woodley gave a great performance in The Descendants.
Adapted Screenplay
The Ides of March is a shocker.  It was a highly-anticipated film, which turned out to be only decent with some really good acting.  George Clooney earns the nomination here for the script, which just goes to show that the Academy loves George Clooney.

Original Screenplay
Margin Call is the surprise nominee in this bunch and I think it’s well-deserved.  I predicted this as an outside shot only to be shocked when it got called.  Diablo Cody’s Young Adult gets the boot.
Original Score
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s score, by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, was one of the best of the year and one that was an absolute lock on every Oscar Fanatic’s prediction chart.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 had the best score of the year, though its exclusion isn’t that shocking.  Howard Shore for Hugo gets in and John Williams gets 2 nominations in this category with the inclusion of The Adventures of Tintin, which is sort of a head-scratcher.
Cinematography
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which had some of the best camera work of the year, gets left off for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or War Horse….whichever you want to say.  Personally, I could’ve done without War Horse on this list, i’m fine with either one.  YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT!  I DON’T LIKE LOOKING UP AT THE CHARACTERS THE WHOLE MOVIE.  WHAT A BEAUTIFUL RED SUNSET….AS THE SUN SET ON THE FILM, but really I thought there was some nicely shot scenes.
Film Editing
Moneyball gets in over Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.  It’s essential that a Best Picture nominee get a Film Editing nomination so it makes sense.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has the best editing of the year, but it’s not nominated for a Best Picture.  It will be interesting to see how this category pans out.
Sound Editing
Train Wreck.  The train wreck in Super 8 earns the film a nomination if not a win.  Hugo is included here, which really makes me think it could make a huge push to contend with The Artist for Best Picture.
Sound Mixing
Super 8 is left out of this category as well, but Moneyball, a Best Picture nominee, is included.  Hugo and War Horse are Best Picture nominees with both sound nominations.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is nominated for both sounds, but not Best Picture.
Art Direction
This category continues with its tradition of not nominating a film nominated in the “Contemporary” category of the Art Directors Guild (except for Black Swan in 2010).  Midnight in Paris is the odd selection here, but I think I would put it in “Period” due to its non-fictional, yet fantastical flashbacks.  Very interesting choice.
Costume Design
Nothing really surprising, though it could be argued that there were films left out.  Jane Eyre’s inclusion shows that the Academy really loves adapted and period pieces when it comes to costume.
Make-up
Harry Potter is a much-deserved nomination with the finale of that wonderful series.  We also see that the Academy likes to reward those transformational performances with Albert Nobbs and The Iron Lady.
Visual Effects
Real Steel’s inclusion is sort of baffling to me, but it’s not all that surprising.  I guess the Academy needed more robots fighting each other.
Animation
This might be the first time Pixar didn’t even get nominated.  Also, the highly touted and appreciated The Adventures of Tintin gets the cold shoulder.  In their stead are 2 obscure films called A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita.
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