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Oscars 2012: Biggest Snubs and Surprises!

January 24, 2012

Well, I did pretty well on my fearless Oscar predictions, going at least four for five in every category—and seven out of nine for Best Picture—except best supporting actor, where old-timers Max Von Sydow (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) and Nick Nolte (Warrior) surprised me. One of them was silent and the other was indecipherable. Plus, I nailed all five Best Actress nominees…if you know what I mean. A few names shocked me, though, for reasons good and bad.

No love for Leo! DiCaprio has been overlooked before, in Best Picture winners Titanic and The Departed. (Yet he got a nomination for 2007’s Blood Diamond—go figure). But even critics who found flaws in Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar lauded DiCaprio’s impressive performance. Instead, he lost out to the much lesser known Damien Bechir of A Better Life. Leo’s onscreen lover, Armie Hammer, also got passed over, despite earning a SAG nomination. When the prosthetics-heavy J. Edgar didn’t even make the shortlist for potential makeup nominees, it should’ve been a clue that nobody from the film was going to be among the Academy’s most wanted.

Drive, They Didn’t Say. My favorite film of 2011 received only one nomination, for best sound editing. It was probably too dark and weird to make the Best Picture or Director list, but everyone expected Golden Globe nominee and critics’ fave Albert Brooks to earn a nod for his scary good work as gangster Bernie Rose. And silencing Cliff Martinez’s hauntingly hypnotic score in favor of Ludovic Bource’s recycled soundtrack to The Artist leaves me speechless.

The Tree of Life and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close—WTF? The Academy loves directors Terrence Malick and Stephen Daldry, but I thought they’d agree with me that these are extremely flawed and incredibly clumsy movies. I’m still trying to cut through Tree‘s tangled imagery, and EL&IC was my pick for the year’s worst movie (tied with Tom Hanks’ Larry Crowne). It deserves Razzies, not Oscars.

Here Come the Bridesmaids! I thought the summer smash’s feminine high jinks might be too broad, but Melissa McCarthy edged out fellow TV star Shailene Woodley of The Descendants in the best supporting actress field, and Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo earned a best original screenplay slot. The film couldn’t crack the best picture race, but that’s still a strong showing for such a balls-out comedy.

I Spy nominations! Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is the anti-Bridesmaids—subtle, quiet and thus seemingly easy to overlook. I couldn’t be happier that Gary Oldman earned his first-ever nomination(!) as the inaccurately named Smiley, and that the film also received recognition for its brilliantly concise adapted screenplay and Alberto Iglesias’ unsettling score. The most ironic part of Oldman’s inclusion in the Best Actor ranks: Shame‘s Michael Fassbender came up short.

What surprised you most about this year’s Oscar nominees? Anybody shocked that A Dangerous Method‘s Freud—aka Viggo Mortensen—came close, but no cigar?

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  1. I think besides EL&IC, my biggest surprise was that Golden Globe winner The Adventures of Tintin didn’t even get a Best Animated Feature nomination! Tell me where’s the fairness in that? Kung Fu Panda 2 was in no way a better movie (not to mention an “Oscar-esque” one) as The Adventures of Tintin!

    • bruceafretts permalink

      I was wondering about that too—was it eligible for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars? It won the Golden Globe, but I wasn’t sure if all the motion-capture work disqualified it. If not, that’s quite a dis to Spielberg. At least War Horse got a Best Picture nom.

  2. Honestly, at this point I think it’s pretty well established that the Oscars are going to overlook handfuls of artists who truly deserve recognition each and every year. Not only that, but it’s also an exceedingly subjective discussion in the first place. The snubs are obviously here like Swinton, Fassbender, Brooks, and even Serkis to an extent, but it’s the Oscars and I will always watch them.

    • bruceafretts permalink

      I was glad Swinton was passed over and that We Need to Talk About Kevin was completely ignored. And I don’t think Serkis had a shot because voters don’t consider motion-capture to be acting that can be judged against flesh-and-blood performances, fairly or not.

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