2012 Oscar Nominations Have Been Announced

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Ethan Gach

I write about comics, video games and American politics. I fear death above all things. Just below that is waking up in the morning to go to work. You can follow me on Twitter at @ethangach or at my blog, gamingvulture.tumblr.com. And though my opinions aren’t for hire, my virtue is.

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22 Responses

  1. Avatar Zach
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    says:

    ‘Deeply conventional’ is what the Academy does best.

    I realize that it’s impossible to ignore the commercial spectacle that the ceremony provides, but I think we would have a far healthier outlook on cinema if the Academy stopped trying to be something for everyone. Instead of worrying about being innovative or responsive to the tastes of critics or the general public, it can indulge in validating the same tropes year after year. It can celebrate a particular set of values, while the Golden Globes then becomes free to celebrate another set, and so on.Report

  2. Avatar Mark Thompson
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    says:

    Blech.  I very much want to see the Descendants; Hugo is a bit intriguing, and I liked Midnight in Paris far more than I thought I would, but the rest have struck me throughout the year as remarkably unimaginative, blatant attempts to get an Oscar that do little more than look at what has won in the past and then try to check off the boxes.  I had no desire to see them, and still don’t.  Frankly, some of these are so blatant, they reach the point of self-parody – so far as I can tell, “War Horse” could have been a movie from the portfolio of Ben Stiller’s character in Tropic Thunder.

    And while Midnight in Paris was surprisingly enjoyable because of its quirkiness, there’s nothing else about that movie that I found remarkable – the performances were good, not great, the script was interesting, but not prone to either belly laughs or tears; I’d give it a B+, a good movie but not one I’d want to see considered amongst the best of the year.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Mark Thompson
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      says:

      I thought Corey Stoll was particularly excellent.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpLEKjPud_k

      How he manages to keep quirky and serious together without losing either really was amazing.  It would have been too easy to fall over into one or other other.Report

    • Avatar Ethan Gach in reply to Mark Thompson
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      says:

      I very much agree about the Oscar-chasing genre many of them fall into.  It’s like a bunch of people set out to make “the best picture,” as oppose to just making a movie that they wanted to make.

      For that reason, Hugo and The Artist are perfect Oscare fodder: nostalgic, historical, and about the industry itself.

      The only thing that trumps period piece is bio-pic.  The only thing that trumps bio-pic is a film about film.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Mark Thompson
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      says:

      Don’t want to poison the well, but I reluctantly allowed myself to be dragged to The Descendants because of the reviews it was getting despite knowing within 10 seconds of the beginning of the trailer that I’d either hate it or find it crushingly boring, and, well, let’s just say that it turns out that I know myself a bit after all.  But I’m in the minority, so your odds are plenty good regardless.Report

  3. Avatar Burt Likko
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    says:

    As has been par for the course over the last decade or so, I’ve only seen one of the Best Picture nominees (Hugo) and while I liked it very much, I have to pretty much abstain from opining as a result of my ignorance.Report

  4. Avatar North
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    says:

    Generally conventional etc etc… though I’ll note that Meryl Streep probably deserves to have her name carved into every Oscar for best Lead actress from now on for her performance in Iron Lady.Report

  5. Avatar Plinko
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    says:

    I think this is the first time I’ve not seen a single movie with a nomination, major or otherwise.Report

  6. Avatar Kyle Cupp
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    says:

    Children and general business have prevented me from seeing any movies in the theater this past year.  So which of these should I see and which should I avoid?Report

    • Avatar Ryan Bonneville in reply to Kyle Cupp
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      says:

      I’ve seen 3.5 of the Best Picture nominees. As Mark notes above, Midnight in Paris is better than you think it is but not nearly as good as the Academy thinks it is. The Help is also better than it should be, but it’s not even close to a good movie. Moneyball is excellent. Tree of Life is one of the most infuriatingly pretentious movies I’ve ever watched half of. It’s just… incredibly bad.

      I intend to see The Descendants and My Week With Marilyn. Otherwise, I’ll watch the others if I see them in passing. Nothing else here really excites me.Report

    • Avatar Ryan Bonneville in reply to Kyle Cupp
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      says:

      Oh wait. Bridesmaids. Watch that. It’s hilarious, deserved a Best Picture nomination, and features Melissa McCarthy in a role that should win her an Oscar but almost certainly won’t.Report

  7. Avatar Fnord
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    says:

    I’ve heard that Best Picture is very much about Hollywood politics; that the actual best movies of the year turn up in Best (Original and Adapted) Screenplay.I haven’t seen “War Horse” or “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, so I can’t vouch for their quality or lack thereof, but those seem to be the ones people are complaining about in Best Picture, and I’ll note neither is nominated in a Writing category.Report

  8. Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto
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    says:

    I don’t really care about most of this list, but I sure hope Man or Muppet wins the best original song category.Report

  9. Avatar Michael Drew
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    says:

    Nominating Oldman means they saw Tinker Tailor.  With that in mind, I look at the Best Picture list and all I can say to myself is, “Extrememly Loud and Incredibly Close?  Really, Academy? …Really?Report

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