On Tuesday (24th January) the nominations for the Oscars 2012, the 84th Academy Awards, were announced by Tom Sherak (the current AMPAS – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – president) and actress Jennifer Lawrence. As is the norm with the Oscar nominees, there was an instantaneous eruption of outrage from facets of the movie world. Journalists worldwide bemoaned the lack of apparent ‘substance’ to the awards for a variety of reasons, but the simple truth is that AMPAS is only one voice, one collective of opinions, it just happens to be the most powerful and important of its kind.
While Oscar outrage may seem all too commonplace, it is a necessary component of the awards season. Winning a golden statue can have far reaching implications for films, filmmakers and actors, but if the dissenting voice is particularly loud then snubs can also end up having a similar effect, though not on the same scale as the former. For example, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy may receive some extra warmth from BAFTA because of its lack of recognition at the Oscars (bar Gary Oldman who received a surprise nod, though arguably that may have more to do with AMPAS trying to play catchup having never recognised the mercurial actor before).
Here’s a link to the full list of nominations: http://oscar.go.com/nominees
So, who were the surprise names on the list and who were the biggest omissions? Some of our contributors weigh in below…
Josh Franks thinks it is, “Great to see Gary Oldman finally getting nominated, criminal to see Drive being completely shunned. And shocking to see Fassbender ignored too!”
Felix Taylor states that, “It was all pretty much as I had expected, apart from the distinct lack of nominations for We Need To Talk About Kevin; I was certain that Tilda Swinton would be nominated for Best Actress, and maybe even win it, but sadly she seems to have been overlooked. However, actresses like Rooney Mara for her performance in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo definitely deserve the recognition and I was also pleased to see so many nominations for Hugo – one of the best films of the year.”
Alastair Mccloskey takes a different view on Hugo, “Once again however they appear all too happy to backslap the old boys and allow an intrinsic sense of theatrical sentimentality to guide their nominations. This attitude is best witnessed with Hugo, which has mystifyingly found itself with 10 nominations. Scorcese’s attempt at Film 101 was, at times, visually captivating but inherently problematic as a whole.”
Zachary Fox also ways in on Hugo, “I love the pomp and self-congratulaing pizzazz of the Oscars and it’s nice to see so much support for Hugo, a very clear message that children’s films needn’t just be squeaky singing animated beasties.”
He also thinks, “The best-supporting Actor nod for Nick Nolte as the drunkard father in Warrior is a nice touch too, even if he does stand as much chance of winning as I do.”
Tuhin Chowdhury stokes the Hugo debate, “Hugo is overrated and didn’t expect it to gain one oscar nomination, so I was surprised when I kept seeing it pop up in every category.”
Jack Singleton says he is, “Slightly disappointed with the lack of Michael Fassbender and the prevalence of ‘oscar bait’ Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Also Transformers: Dark of the Moon should never be associated with the Oscars.”
Alastair Mccloskey agrees, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has been widely recognised by the Academy members. We live in a terrifying world.”
Kat Dixon says, “I know this has been talked about a lot but I’m still horrified by the documentary feature category omitting Senna. One of the finest, most engaging films this year and not a peep from the Oscars. Shameful.”
Thomas Mackay puts in his two cents about the animation category, “When I see the unoriginal and supremely average Kung Fu Panda 2 being honoured alongside such critically acclaimed works as The Artist and War Horse I really feel the need to question the relevance of a category dedicated to animated films, especially considering that films such as Wall-e and Up have demonstrated an emotional poignancy capable of contending with many live action hits.”
Edward Haynes also has some thoughts on the animation Oscar, “It’s also great to see Chico and Rita acknowledged with a nomination in the best-animated feature film category. Pixar’s absence in the category is notable and reflects on what has been an unusually quiet year for the studio.”
One common factor is the love for The Artist, which seems to be universal.
Edward Haynes says, “Congratulations to The Artist for being nominated for not only Best Picture, but also picking up 8 other nominations including the best actor nod for Jean Dujardin. It is a remarkable achievement for the film, being the first French made film in memory to be nominated for a best picture and also being the first silent film to be nominated for best picture in 83 years, with the last silent film to win the award being Wings in 1928. It deserves its critical acclaim and I wouldn’t be surprised if it won best picture, and Jean Dujardin is my favourite to win Best Actor in a Leading Role.”
Zachary Fox is also predicting a prolific night for The Artist, “Let’s all sit back, relax and watch The Artist and The Descendants clean up. Like they have done at every awards ceremony.”
Tuhin follows suit, “Hopefully [The Artist] can win [all of the awards] as it was probably the best of the year.”
What are your thoughts on the Oscar nominations this year? Let us know by commenting below.
Tom is a budding film reviewer, hell bent on providing informed opinions on the latest movie releases to those who need them, whether they like it or not.