This could potentially be one of my biggest rants in the blog, so I will do my best to keep it at a decent length and not abuse on the readers patience.
After watching the list of nominees for the 2012 Oscar ceremony, I almost collapsed after a major struggle to avoid an outburst of rage. I don't even know where to start... So many people left out and so many favored in order to have their name among Hollywood's cream of the crop.
The selection proved that the Academy has a very poor criterion, one that is badly applied.
Moneyball (2011) and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011), although both being good films, are highly overrated!
The baseball themed movie feels like you've seen it many times before. No big surprises and no big elements that make the movie completely worth it. To have actors nominated just baffles me! It's not like having an average movie and then have a lead actor/actress just nailing a brilliant performance. That is not the case with Moneyball. We've seen a better Brad Pitt and even though we can't say the same for Jonah Hill - who was surprisingly good - it's still not enough to gain a nomination. I could easily pick someone else to take that spot... but the one that comes up to mind in a flash is Albert Brooks for his secondary role in the movie Drive (2011). In fact, the Nicolas Winding Refn movie failed to get nominations in some of the big categories as it should have. This was a big surprise in my opinion. At least it should get some recognition in directing, best movie and best supporting actor, but all failed to happen.
Loads more fell short into the Academy's choices...
Shame (2011) was cut of any nominations when it was almost mandatory that (at least) Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender should have a bigger role. Especially the last one! I mean... going back to Brad Pitt... How does he keep his spot when going against a performance like Fassbender's? The Irish actor did enough to win that little golden statue and I assume most people who saw Shame will agree with me on this one. Its a tough act to follow (Fassbender's I mean), leaving me even more impatient to see The Descendants (2011), just to clear off my mind ether George Clooney justifies all the praise.
In the "Best Lead Actress" category, it shocks me not to see Tilda Swinton for her role in We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011). I must admit that not having seen most of the actresses awarded with a nomination, it's hard to make a clear and justifiable judgment, however, I wouldn't hesitate to exchange Rooney Mara for Swinton. Honestly, I think that nomination alone - regardless of the existent opposition - just seems wrong from the beginning. Noomi Rapace, who portrayed Lisbath Salander's role in the Swedish version of Stieg Larsson's novels, is way better than Mara, in every single way... but even though her role was acclaimed by audiences and critics worldwide, it was still not good enough to grab a nomination! So why now? What has Mara done better then Rapace that earns her that nomination?
And what about 50/50 (2011)? I predicted both a nomination for Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Best Original Screenplay, but neither of them followed through. I can live with the first (mostly due to the competition), but Will Reiser deserved something to be on his way...
Senna (2010), the documentary made by Asif Kapadia, was mysteriously left out. This was made aware when lists with potential candidates where being made, so there is no point complaining about it like I was surprised by its absence. I just couldn't write this without sort of a "side note" just stating "How the hell could they do this?".
For the Animated and Foreign categories, there is no love for The Adventures of Tintin (2011) and La Piel Que Habito - The Skin That I Live In (2011) respectively.
Regarding the first, it just seems silly to me not considering such a wonderful production like Tintin among some pretty average animated movies. I mean... Being almost visually perfect (the best I've seen yet) only takes you so far... I can agree to that! But even thought it's not an instant classic like some of Pixar's recent features, it is still more than good enough to be among the nominees.
In the "Best Foreign Language Film of the Year" category, we have definitely, one of the biggest surprises/injustices.
How is La Piel Que Habito not in the list? I remember some people going mad over Volver back in 2006. A good movie, but not more than that... opposite to Almodovar's last project. Fresh, risky and so well conducted, it just made the Academy look like it was acting a bit prude this year... not letting some of the most daring, dark and twisted assembled works get the credit they deserve!
On the other hand there were a few nice surprises...
Nick Nolte was rewarded for his outstanding role in Warrior (2011). It would feel like one of the biggest injustices if he didn't made the list! It was in my belief this would be a duel between Nolte and Albert Brooks, but the Academy made sure that wasn't happening! Nevertheless, it's great seeing Nolte's work recognized. Hopefully, he will be back on track with this one!
Also as a surprise was Bridesmaids (2011)!
I simply loved that movie... and I thought others would as well, but curiously enough, the last conversations I've been having with people about the groundbreaking "chick flick" comedy, just brought to my attention other different reactions to what I expected!
A lot of people didn't enjoy as much as I imagined they would... thus making this nomination sound absolutely ridiculous. I can relate with that to certain extent, but i'll admit, it does feel good to see such a "silly" (term not used in a denorrogative way) comedy have that kind of feedback from an instituition that most of the times just neglects the comedy genre entirely (unless it has a pseudo intelectual/witty side to it).
Having said all this, even though we might have one or two nice surprises (beyond the obvious choices), there is just not way this compensates for the heavyweight absences in this year's Oscar nominations.
Mark my words: This will go down as one of the most controversial and incoherent lists of all time! Almost like they decided to give "hardcore quality" a break.
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