As with every Oscar nominations event for the Academy Awards there are shocks and surprises, and 2012 was no different. The theme of the morning if there could be said to have been any was the over 5,7oo voting members of the Academy snubbing certain directors while nominating their starts, or nominating a film while seemingly ignoring their performers.
It can easily be said that in each of the voting categories, one contender who was thought to be a likely nominee if not a shoe-in was omitted in favour of a surprise choice. So what do the categories look like? (click the film & actors names to access their IMDB profiles)
The Tree of Life (2011): Nominees to be determined
From where I stand this will be a shootout between ‘The Artist’ (which in my opinion will win this category), ‘The Help’ (because of its subject matter), and ‘The Descendants’ (because of the quality of the film).
The surprise here was the inclusion of ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’ which was effectively savaged by critics and the omission of David Fincher’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ which I thought was excellent.
In my opinion, this category housed the biggest surprises. While many people thought that Michael Fassbender’ s performance as a sex addict in ‘Shame’ would see him on the list, if not the podium come awards time, he was ignored by the academy in favour of Demian Bichir (in a performance few people saw). Leonardo DiCaprio (J Edgar) was also left off the list.
Another surprise nominee was Gary Oldman, who while excellent in ‘Tinker Tailor’, played a character that usually doesn’t lend itself to Oscar nods.
The award will likely go to either George Clooney or Jean Dujarin (with Clooney my pick).
This category found no room for Tilda Swinton or Charlize Theron and will be all about Meryl Streep come the day of the Oscars as she is a clear lock-in. Personally I preferred Rooney Mara’s performance but she is very unlikely to win. This Oscar nomination is Meryl Streep’s 17th.
The winner of this category is much harder to pick. The reason for this is that the directing in all of these films (like the films themselves) are excellent.
I personally felt that David Fincher’s direction for ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ had earned him a spot on this list and Steven Spielberg (Warhorse) and Clint Eastwood (J Edgar) were also omitted as a nominees, though in this case I am in complete agreement with the Academy voters.
If I was a betting man I’d choose between Scorsese, Payne and Allen- with Woody Allen getting my nod but really it’s too close to call.
Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) was a surprise nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category which also saw Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), who was in my mind a possible winner in this category, left off the list.
Jonah Hill (Moneyball) was seen by many as a surprise addition to the Best Supporting Actors category, but in my mind not as much as Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) who barely had any screen-time in ‘Extremely Loud’.