Hugo Dominates; Tree of Life, Extremely Loud Shock 2012 Oscar Nominations

Give the Academy some credit: They made awards season fun for a little bit longer. At least my mind was blown this morning as AMPAS president Tom Sherak and Jennifer Lawrence announced The Tree of Life, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Demián Bichir and a few other shocks among the 2012 Oscar nominations.

We'll have more commentary and feedback on these throughout the day, but let it suffice to say Albert Brooks is not feeling so hot this morning.

The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree Of Life
War Horse

Woody Allen Midnight in Paris
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Demián Bechir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Nick Nolte, Warrior

Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Asghar Farhadi, A Separation
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids

Stan Chervin, Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian, Moneyball
George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon, The Ides of March
John Logan, Hugo
Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants

A Cat in Paris
Chico and Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots

Bullhead, Belgium
Footnote, Israel
In Darkness, Poland
Monsieur Lazhar, Canada
A Separation, Iran

Laurence Bennett, Robert Gould, The Artist
Stuart Craig, Stephanie McMillan, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo, Hugo
Rick Carter, Lee Sandales, War Horse

Guillaume Schiffman, The Artist
Jeff Cronenweth, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Robert Richardson, Hugo
Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life
Janusz Kaminski, War Horse

Mark Bridges, The Artist
Michael O'Connor, Jane Eyre
Sandy Powell, Hugo
Lisy Christl, Anonymous
Arianne Phillips, W.E.

Michel Hazanavicius and Anne-Sophie Bion, The Artist
Kevin Tent, The Descendants
Thelma Schoonmaker, Hugo
Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Christopher Tellefsen, Moneyball

Albert Nobbs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
The Iron Lady

John Williams, The Adventures of Tintin
Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Howard Shore, Hugo
Alberto Iglesias, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John Williams, War Horse

"Man or Muppet," The Muppets
"Real in Rio," Rio

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
God is the Bigger Elvis
Incident in New Baghdad
Saving Face
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

The Shore
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life

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  • Charles says:

    No Fassbender? Jonah Hill over Albert Brooks? And I'll lay off EL&IC because that's just too easy...

  • Artist-hating Charles says:

    What do you mean by "Hugo Owns" in the title, S.T.?

    Really glad to see Gary Oldman get nominated, btw, even though I wasn't crazy about Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy overall.

  • Megan says:

    I'm really, really surprised Michael Fassbender was completely snubbed. Isn't the Academy getting tired of George Clooney phoning it in yet?

  • Dimo says:

    Oscar clearly has no love for motion capture, be it live action, or animation. And can we finally put this all this Drive shit to rest? Get over it people.

  • AS says:

    I'm done with predicting nominees. These noms are all pathetic. I can't believe with the exception of Best Actress, Dragon Tattoo got totally shut out from every major category. Not even Original Score!!!!!!! But that laughably bad score from War Horse did!!!!!

    I'm also totally disgusted that Fassbender got snubbed. And you mean to tell me that you've got Jonah Hill but no Albert Brooks!!! I'm coughing up so much vomit I can't even type. There's not one great film nominated in the bunch. All I can say is next year, Tarantino or P.T. Anderson better sweep or I'm done with the "Oscars."

    • Charles says:

      I don't understand Albert Brooks getting snubbed over Jonah Hill's non-performance. Drive was a bit overrated, but Brooks' turn was the real deal.

    • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

      I'm done this year! Let's all quit at once. Fuck this fucking bullshit.

      The Fassbender/Brooks snubs are one thing, but you really nailed it with GWTDT's score snub. I mean, could there be any more obvious, capricious vacuum of taste? These guys WON the Oscar last year, and then came back with a more challenging, dynamic score opposite paint-by-numbers War Horse garbage and borrowed music in The Artist, and... yeah.

      Whatever. WHATEVER.

    • Artist-hating Charles says:

      When I hear people complain about this or that nomination, I always say, "Oh man, if you think those are bad, wait till you see who ends up winning the awards!"

      As far as GWTDT, I think its nomination chances were hurt because it was a remake of a hugely popular foreign film. Scorsese's The Departed didn't have the same problem, because even though Infernal Affairs was a better movie than the Swedish GWTDT, it was nowhere near as popular.

    • AS says:

      Oh yeah, and what about Buck?

      • AS says:

        And I totally forgot about The Skin I Live In.

      • Charles says:

        I should add to my earlier comments that, when considering whether to nominate GWTDT, Academy voters who had seen the original (and I'm guessing many had) probably thought Fincher's remake was too similar to merit a nod. That's how I would have felt in their position.

  • Charles says:

    The Academy was being "edgy" this year by nominating Mara and McCarthy.

  • Jennifer says:

    Agreed Fassbender was a huge snub. And Mulligan, too, for that matter. Although it's easy to see how the older Academy voters wouldn't exactly be into a depressing, artsy look into a sex addict's life.

  • MartiniShark says:

    Grizzled & washed-up Nick Nolte plays grizzled & washed-up: nominated. Albert Brooks who delivered a surprisingly nuanced role: not so much.

    It's odd how "Tinker Tailor. . ." has been snubbed by most awards and gets a few
    here for the big one. Oldman is way overdue for recognition.

    And how bad was "Cars 2" that Animation gets 5 noms and no Pixar?

  • GLAM says:

    Best Original Song? Two nominees and this stupid category is still in the live show while the Lifetime awards are not?

    • Ac says:

      I was wondering about this too, why only two?

      • The Cantankerist says:

        And I'm wondering, why any? I mean, I love Bret McKenzie, but if "Man Or Muppet" wins an Academy Award in a category in which "The Rainbow Connection" missed out, I'm gonna cry.

        It was a very ordinary year for original songs in film, McKenzie's work aside. The Academy have deliberately changed the rules to limit the number of nominees - perhaps with an eye to the telecast - but this year it might have been better to have none at all.

  • MartiniShark says:

    As bad as the Academy can be (IS) I am at least glad they didn't fall for the ballyhooed "J. Edgar". That was such cynical trophy-baiting they could not even open up the truncated MAKEUP category to make room for it.

  • The Cantankerist says:

    Thought Brooks was better in "Out Of Sight" than he was in "Drive".

    There was Theron talk, there was Oswalt talk... and then there was... silence. Bad luck, Young Adult.

  • Soupy says:

    I was shocked that Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt weren't nominated for "Young Adult", both brilliant dark comedy performances and the screenplay by Diablo Cody was snubbed. I thought it was better than Juno but darker, and maybe that hurt it.

    • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

      I couldn't agree more, but I think what ultimately hurt it was Paramount going all out to campaign on Hugo's behalf and leaving Young Adult for dead.

  • bob says:

    Once again the Academy demonstrates how incredibly out of touch they are. Tree of Life, Hugo, War Horse... Are you kidding me? Utter waste of time with this.

  • The Winchester says:

    First off: Who let The Daldry in here? The only conceivable explanation is that people really enjoyed that joke and wanted to keep it going.

    Second: Isn't part of the fun of prediction these strange surprises? Oscar bloggers have been going on for months now about what's going to be nominated, and it just becomes the same words over and over again. I like the surprise. Sure, they may be bad choices, but at least the conversation changes a bit.

    We have to remember that the Academy is not some hive minded conferring body. It's thousands of individual craft folk that vote what they believe, usually based on the films they've seen. Statements like "The Academy has lost it's mind" or "What is the Academy thinking" are pointless. These are merely the collected tallies, not some grand overarching conspiracy.

    As one who was underwhelmed by both Dragon Tattoo and Shame, I'm not missing them in this discussion at all but happy to embrace Tree of Life and Demian Bachir into the fold. Sure, I'll miss Win Win, Young Adult and Drive not being recognized, but as I've mentioned before, it only makes the movies that much cooler that they weren't nominated. (Though the score ineligibility for Drive baffles me when the sonic rape of Artist will be rewarded.)

    Finally, knowing that it's between Sergio Mendes and one of the Flight of the Conchords for Best Song EASILY makes it the most interesting and coolest nominee out of all.

    I'm finished.

    • AS says:

      Kim Novak was spotted defecating in a sink earlier this morning.

    • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

      Isn't part of the fun of prediction these strange surprises? [...] Sure, they may be bad choices, but at least the conversation changes a bit.

      The conversation has not changed. Some of the proper nouns have changed, but in the end we are left with the same favorites anointed by the same parties and imminently recognized by the same taste-deficient fogeys that have made this "race" a busted measurement of film culture's pulse and sophistication for years now. I don't even know why I bothered. I'm mostly pissed with myself, honestly, for wasting my time again. When will I learn?

      • Capote99 says:

        Wow, that's kind of dramatic, isn't it? The Academy Awards have always been a little nutso (perhaps not as nutso as the Globes), but I'm with The Winchester: that's what makes them so entertaining! And hey, I really liked "Moneyball" and "The Artist."

      • The Winchester says:

        Don't beat yourself up, ST. You get caught up in the moment. We're passionate about movies, and that's why we're all here doing this.

        At the very least, it's not like you're Wells squirting Scope in your eye at a Starbucks upon the shocking (and inevitable) discovery that King's Speech won over Facebook Movie.

    • MartiniShark says:

      I'm agreeing with the bulk of this statement. What is interesting/revealing is that for all the scorn tossed at general movie audiences for not having taste here the Academy body of voters reveals itself to be scant better.

      "Anonymous" is on this list. "Transformers" has multiple nods. Hell, scant may in fact be overstatement.

    • j'accuse! says:

      +1. But seriously, I love the idea of the Academy hive mind. They're like the Borg, looking to assimilate new talent into their glittery old timey glamour machine. Until they roll the in memoriam footage and you're sent off into that great Brown Derby booth in the sky.

      And Stu, don't beat yourself up too much. Shit happens.

  • Play-D'oh says:

    Please correct: Janet McTeer is in "Albert Nobbs" not "The Descendants"

  • Patrick Hallstein says:

    I really think there's more on the line right now. America is being defined as a land of the 1 % genetically fit, eternal, and the mongrel and forever vulnerable to relapse. If you're passed up for a nomination I think it can amount to an assessment of you as a person -- whether you fit or destabalize the firmament of court. The Australian made it in last year, but he at the end fit himself into expected form; monkeys charging rage and gaining mass support, served pretty much to define what must be kept outside the gates. The extreme emotion is good -- because you wear what must be denied in yourself -- but to be kept out of view; unseen, unacknowledged.

  • Brian says:

    Does this mean we have to take Hugo as a serious contender or is it another Babel situation? Tons of nominations but no awards.

    • KevyB says:

      Yes. Though they'll probably give it to Martin Scorsese, because even when he directs B+ movies, everybody has to act like they are the best things EVER. Remember that the DREADFUL Gangs of New York was in serious contention, and that The Departed - with it's atrocious third act - won Best Picture, Director and Screenplay!

  • Trace says:

    I stopped getting emotionally involved in these things after A) reading Armond White's essays on the Oscars, and B) seeing a Chris Nolan movie get nominated for...really anything. It was a good day.

  • Trace says:

    Hey, and Sarah Palin's nominated for an Oscar!

  • Jeff says:

    I greatly enjoyed your Oscar Watch through the season, Stu. I'll miss those bouncing heads! The Michael Fassbender omission is a travesty.

  • Yojimbo says:

    I refused to see Hugo* and Drive because of the font they used on the UK posters. Why can't the Academy use a similar rigorous selection process?

    *Though Queen Thelma deserves all of the awards, don't get me wrong.

  • blizzard bound says:

    Brad Pitt did way more interesting work in The Tree of Life than Moneyball. I'm not a big fan of his, but I like him better when he plays dark characters.

    And Moneyball in general was not that great a movie! It was okay, but not great by any means. I am distressed by its nomination for Best Picture. It's like people can't see the difference between the subject of a movie and the movie itself. And Jonah Hill? Who basically just SAT there through the whole movie? Sigh.

    And as long as I am ranting, will some close confidante of Brad Pitt please tell him to stop acting only with his mouth? In Tree of Life it was the jutting lower jaw (at least that was slightly different from the usual), but If I see him push his tongue into his cheek one more time, I might throw up.

  • j'accuse! says:

    Brad Pitt did way more interesting work in The Tree of Life than Moneyball.

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