Nom Nom Nom

Some random musings about this morning’s Oscar nominations:

  • A lot of people are upset that Hailee Steinfeld was nominated for Best Supporting Actress when she’s the lead character in True Grit.  To me, this is just the studio playing the game.  Best Actress this year is Natalie Portman and Everyone Else; why not campaign for Steinfeld in a category she actually has a shot at winning?  Besides, the Academy has long shuffled teen and child actors into the supporting categories, even if they’re lead characters.  It’s the kids’ table at Thanksgiving.
  • I’m a Pixar fanboy, and while I really liked Toy Story 3, I just don’t think it’s Best Picture quality.  Hell, I don’t even think it deserves the Best Animated Feature award over How to Train Your Dragon.  But it’s riding the love for the series overall, and the spectacular junkyard sequence and the turn-on-the-waterworks finale have blinded a lot of people to the fact that for large parts of its running time, it’s rehashing a good bit of the previous two films (which makes its screenplay nomination a little baffling as well).
  • Speaking of Animated Feature, I’m a little surprised we only got three nominees this year.  I thought for sure Disney would have moved heaven and earth to get Tangled a nomination (one I think it honestly deserved; it’s a delightful film), and I figured something like Despicable Me or Megamind would have been able to muster up enough support to give us the full field.  Then again, Toy Story 3 wins this going away, so at least there’ll only be two losers instead of four.
  • How a film as intricately put together as Inception can’t get nominations for its editing and its directing I just don’t know.  I’m not as big a worshiper of the film as some, but its level of craftsmanship is undeniable, and without a hell of hand at the wheel, the whole thing would collapse under the weight of the concept.  And the way the multiple dream levels are handled during the finale, without ever making things muddled or unclear, is really a testament to Nolan and editor Lee Smith.  They deserved nominations.
  • I’m totally thrilled about John Powell getting a nomination for How to Dragon Your Dragon‘s score.  It’s easily one of my favorites since Howard Shore’s work on the Lord of the Rings films, and it’s just flat-out exhilarating.  A lot of the love seems to be going to Hans Zimmer and Trent Reznor, but I’m really hoping Powell gets his due here.
  • I think a meteor would have to strike Hollywood between now and the ceremony for Colin Firth not to win Best Actor.  And this isn’t simply a case of “Play someone with an impediment, win the Oscar.”  There’s a lot more to Firth’s performance than just pulling off a convincing stutter.  His stammering is a mask for a lot of personal pain, and you see him working through that every time he tries to speak.  And even in his triumphant moment, you see that struggle.  It’s definitely an award-worthy performance.
  • We’ve got ten Best Picture nominees again, but does anyone honestly think there’s more than three that have an actual shot at winning?  Under the old system, I bet we’d have seen The Social Network, The King’s Speech, Black Swan, True Grit and The Fighter as the nominees (based on the Best Director nominations), with really the first three as the big guns.  It’s nice that some mainstream films are getting nominations now, but with ten spots, really, how could they not?  They’ve diluted the category for the sake of getting people to watch.
  • Every nomination for Alice in Wonderland is a reminder of how much I hated that goddamn movie.

Now comes a month of speculation, most of it over how long and tedious the ceremony will be.

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    One Response to Nom Nom Nom

    1. Michael says:

      Great post! Agreed with everything not related to How to Train Your Dragon, because I haven’t seen it.

      The new expanded list of Best Pictures is a joke. Ten is, IMNSHO, too many. It’s a large number used to create some sort of tension on behalf of the viewers, but it doesn’t work. While the actual voting for the Golden Globes is also a joke, I really wish the Academy would adapt the categories the GGs use, in order to recognize truly outstanding performances in films traditionally overlooked by the Academy or overshadowed by serious/message films.

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