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The Academy gets a case of Teh Dumbs.

25 January 2012

For the first time in recorded history I have seen exactly ZERO of the current nominees for Best Picture at the Oscars.

Even more shocking to me is that this pattern continues to Best Director category, and onwards to the Best Actor (and Supporting) and even Best Actress nominations for the Oscars this year. In fact, of the “Major” categories, I’ve seen one single nominee – for Best Supporting actress and Original Screenplay – Bridesmaids. Does that seem right?

Either I am losing touch with my Cinephile heart, or this year’s nominations are idiotic. I submit the following as proof of the latter: King Fu Panda 2 is nominated in the Best Animated Feature category – Tin Tin is nowhere to be found.

Has the entire Academy taken Crazy Pills?

As an annual attendee of what is considered one of the most important pre-Oscar Film events each year, the Toronto International Film Festival, I honestly thought that I’d be on the cutting-edge of good cinema each year. At the 2011 Oscars I fared very well – having seen plenty of Academy-nom’d movies, and even more excitingly, several winning ones (including Best Foreign Film – which is basically the Holy Grail of Festival-goers ambitions). I saw several really fine films at TIFF in 2011, and while yes, many of the attendees are reflected in the nominations as they stand, I am generally baffled by the exclusion of others in favour of the ones listed.


Where’s Shame? Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan’s performances were heartbreakingly profound – and they should have been recognized for them. I’m not even going to mention the brilliant Directorial choices of Steven McQueen. What an awful oversight.

I hate Kirsten Dunst, have ever since Interview with the Vampire, but Hollywood loves her, and I’m honestly surprised she didn’t get mention with her genuinely decent role in Melancholia. Lars von Treir deserves some recognition for his work too, saying nothing of the absolutely wonderful Art Direction and Cinematography on the film.

Poor, unfortunate, Elizabeth Olsen, she really should have gotten a mention for Martha Marcy May Marlene. Similarly to Dunst she obviously put her heart and soul into the role this movie would not be nearly as poetic and haunting as it was with her pitch-perfect acting. This is one of those breakout roles that usually the Academy eats up – but instead this year they have decided to ignore it.

Finally, I offer Tilda Swinton in We Need to Talk About Kevin. Her performance was so raw and real, certainly it deserves a mention among her peers? Did nobody see this film besides myself, Angelina and Allison? As compared to The Iron Lady, does Meryl Streep *really* need another nomination for a role that was not nearly as emotionally deep as Tilda’s in Kevin? I don’t hate Maryl Streep – but stop it – STOP IT! STOP NOMINATING HER FOR EVERY SINGLE THING!

How about the male performances of the season? Ryan Gosling blew up at TIFF in Ides of March & Drive and yet the only noms those films get are for Adapted Screenplay and Sound Editing, respectively. What the What? I’ve already mentioned Fassbender, but seriously it’s worth mentioning again. Fassbender was robbed.

This brings me to the largest gripe I have about this year’s nominations. There have been numerous articles recently (such as this well-written on in the Toronto Star from last week) regarding the option to include Mo-Cap performances into the Acting categories. Although I haven’t seen, nor am I convinced that Andy Serkis deserves a nom for his particular performance in, Rise of the Planet of the Apes – the fact is that these actors are working just as hard, are just as talented and bring just as much to each role they take on as traditional roles. I suppose I was hoping that they’d give him a trophy in honour of his innovation in the field, and a decade-late nod for Gollum in the LOTR Trilogy (as the Academy does have a tradition of pulling moves like this). But there you have it, the CGI crew gets a nom and Serkis is ignored. My only resolution on this topic is that they have two years to change their mind and give him a nom (and ideally a win) for Gollum in the upcoming Hobbit films. We will have to wait and see.

I suppose I’m pleased with the attention given to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and how Harry Potter 7 (pt 2) has been given a few nods as the last hurrah for the franchise. I didn’t dislike Bridesmaids at all – and consider it one of the funniest films of 2011 – but it’s more suited for an MTV Movie Award than an Oscar. Maybe that makes me elitist – but I rather think the point of this entire rant is to proove that I’m not. The ‘Blockbusters’ are great, and some are definitely award-worthy, but never at the expensive of so many talented performers and filmmakers that are in the indepentan

I’m seriously considering not even watching the ceremonies this year – and hoping for a better in 2012. How disappointing.

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