Hey there everybody. The 2012 Academy Award nominations were announced today.
Just in case you didn’t know.
And considering every film blogger is gonna be leaping on this story like a steroid-enraged frog, I’m just gonna leave a few quick thoughts on the nominations in general.
Now why don’t you be a dear and press “Continue Reading.”
Now, dear reader, I try not to take awards shows too seriously. Ultimately, they don’t decide what movies I like. I do. They’re just a fun way of showing support to some of the best movies of each year.
So with that in mind, I’m going to keep this as bile-free as possible.
Oh and here’s the full list if you haven’t seen it yet: http://oscar.go.com/nominees
As a general rule, the Oscars are very conservative. A quick check online shows that major sites like The Guardian and The Hollywood Reporter are all noting the average age of an Oscar voter is fifty-seven.
So normally you’re going to get a whole bunch of uplifting grand stories of underdogs that end happily and cater to the award show crowd. I’m ok with that. I’ve come to expect it. And usually there are enough interesting choices or well-deserved nominations to counterbalance everything.
But this year in particular feels like the Academy’s unwillingness to nominate films outside their comfort zone is a huge hindrance.
Just look at the Best Picture nominees. Outside of The Tree of Life and The Descendants, everything else on the list is big, exciting, fairly family-oriented and designed to make audiences stand up and cheer. The Descendants is the only film that’s even rated R. Granted, I’m not saying that R ratings automatically imply a higher quality movie (that’s insane), but the overabundance of appropriate-for-all-ages films shows the clear bias here against anything risque.
And I’m not even saying that being big and positive and uplifting is a bad thing. It’s not. The Artist is sweet and funny and has an ending that left me with a big goofy grin on my face. It’s one of my favorite movies of the year. But a great film isn’t always a happy one.
That same bias falls into the acting categories too- just look at two of the biggest snubs of the year. Michael Fassbender was not nominated for Shame, in which he played a warped, hopeless sex addict. Albert Brooks also got a fairly substantial handful of nothing for playing a cold-blooded killer in Drive.
These were two of the best roles of the year. They were also two of the nastiest, both in the characters themselves and in the actions these characters take. And they were both given zero recognition by the Academy. This is especially heinous considering that Brooks has won nearly every award under the sun for Drive and has been courting the awards circuit like crazy this season. But hey, at least “Oscar Nominee Jonah Hill” is a real-life thing now.
The Best Animated Picture contenders look interesting. There are a couple films there that went totally below my radar in that category. So that’s certainly neat.
Overall, though, I find myself more dissapointed than usual this year. And so I address my parting words to Oscar himself, who I assume is a real person and runs the Oscars every year.
Please try better next year. For all of us.