When T texted me this morning about the nomination rundown, I said (out loud) to myself, “Oh shit, I forgot about that.” Then I said (also out loud, because I talk to myself), “Can we stop acting like the Globes mean anything so I don’t have to care about this?”
Say what you will about the Oscars—and I do say plenty—at the end of the day, the Academy is trying to nominate and reward excellence in filmmaking. Like any large body politic, there are varying opinions on what qualifies as “excellence”, but the Academy often goes for little movies no one saw over blockbusters that draw ratings because they genuinely feel like ratings shouldn’t matter in the process (well, some of them feel that way). But the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a shadowy organization with almost no transparency, has increasingly become a group driven by the desire to be the biggest party on the block, with the most glittering people in glittering dresses, quality and artistic merit be damned. Case in point: Madonna’s universally derided W.E. received multiple nominations.
There’s no use bemoaning the lack of this or that—the HFPA will always nominate whoever they think will show up on the night and drink and party with them. They’re notoriously easy to lobby and they really don’t care what we think of them or their nominations because they’re getting everything they want out of this transaction. That said, I give them credit that this year’s line up is considerably less insane than last year’s. That’s the benefit of a year in which there is no clear-cut favorite, and the closest thing to a masterpiece (Drive) is highly divisive—it makes for a more open, richer field of nominees. Now, onto the breakdown. You can see the complete list of nominees here.
The Ides of March
Why are there six nominees here and only five everywhere else? I call bullshit! All of these are future Oscar nominees, except for The Ides of March which only on here to get George Clooney to show up.
Midnight in Paris
My Week with Marilyn
50/50! Yay! A well deserved nomination. But why is My Week with Marilyn on here? When was that movie funny? Or is it a musical because Michelle Williams sang at the beginning and danced a little? Also, I love that we live in a world in which we can pretend that Bridesmaids is even half as good as 50/50, or even The Artist. I didn’t super love The Artist, but then, I’m a nostalgia-hating monster with no soul (more on this later).
Best Animated Film
Puss in Boots
The Adventures of Tintin
Rango is my favorite cartoon of the year, and even though the HFPA and the Academy have nothing to do with one another, the Academy’s debate about where to categorize TinTin will be affected by its placement among animated films. And honestly, Spielberg better be crossing his fingers that neither TinTin nor War Horse win any major awards so that he can clean house with Lincoln in 2013.
Best Foreign Language Film
The Flowers of War
In the Land of Blood and Honey
The Kid With a Bike
The Skin I Live In
Angelina Jolie’s In the Land of Blood and Honey irritates some people as it’s an American production, but the key word here is language. No one is ever happy with that category because either you have “language”, which means it only has to be in Not-English, or you say “best foreign film” which opens the door to English-language productions. People bitch either way. They should just call this category what they really want it to be: Best Artsy Fartsy Movie Not In English.
Best Actor in a Drama
George Clooney, The Descendants
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
Upside: The Fassbender! Downside: Leonardo DiCaprio. J. Edgar just wasn’t that good, nor was it his best work. Also, why is The Gos nominated for The Ides of March and not Drive? I thought that the HFPA would be all over Drive.
Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Brendan Gleeson, The Guard
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50
Ryan Gosling, Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris
Again with The Gos nominated for a role that isn’t Driver. Also, he was not the lead in Crazy Stupid Love. I am very happy to see that Brendon Gleeson got singled out for his work on The Guard, though, as he turned in a rather brilliant performance and deserves some credit for that. This will be a crazy handsome red carpet with Clooney, Pitt, The Gos, The Fassbender, JGL and stone cold French Fox Jean Dujardin.
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Albert Brooks, Drive
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method
A blow to Andy Serkis’ “take my ping pong ball suit seriously” campaign as he and Rise of the Planet of the Apes are snubbed. Kenneth Branagh was really fantastic as Laurence Olivier in Marilyn, and I’m glad that Jonah Hill got some notice for Moneyball, but why Albert Brooks? I just didn’t think he was the best part of Drive.
Best Actress in a Drama
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
This is a great line up and it gives some life to Glenn Close’s Oscar hopes. And we get everybody’s newest hate-on, Rooney Mara, in the mix, too. You know she’s going to have to work really hard to stop herself from saying, “This is the realization of everything I deserve.”
Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy
Jodie Foster, Carnage
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
Kate Winslet, Carnage
The Carnage love feels a little out of left field, doesn’t it? And I love that we live in a world in which we can pretend that Kristen Wiig could beat any of these other ladies in an acting competition. Although she does really deserve a writing nod for Bridesmaids and I’m a little surprised she didn’t get that.
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Janet McTeer! Speaking of left field, but that’s a solid nomination. Everyone is talking about Melissa McCarthy’s snub in this category, but having seen all of these performances—they’re all better than she was. Yes, she was funny. Yes, she displayed some balls. No, Melissa McCarthy did not give the best supporting performance of the year.
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
George Clooney, The Ides of March
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
As to be expected.
Best Screenplay for a Motion Picture
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, Kaui Hart Hemmings, The Descendants
Steve Zallian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin, Michael Lewis, Moneyball
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, The Ides of March
As to be expected, though I continue to be surprised that the HFPA ignored Wiig and Annie Mumolo for Bridesmaids. I would definitely trade The Ides of March for a Bridesmaids nomination.
Best Original Score in a Motion Picture
Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Abel Korzeniowski, W.E.
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Howard Shore, Hugo
John Williams, War Horse
W.E.? Are you shitting me? Why not just send Madonna a nice fruit basket and ask her to come?
Best Original Song in a Motion Picture
“Hello Hello,” Gnomeo & Juliet
“The Keeper,” Machine Gun Preacher
“Lay Your Head Down,” Albert Nobbs
“The Living Proof,” The Help
Machine Gun Preacher but not The Muppets? Yeah, okay. And again, W.E.? I’m telling you, a nice fruit basket would be just as effective.