Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oscar Nominees: Best Picture

My predictions: 7/9, picking “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” instead of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” and “The Tree of Life”
My ballot: Come back next week!
The nominees: The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse

I have conflicting reactions to the randomization of the live announcement of the nominees in this category. The first is that it was silly to do it out of alphabetical order since they comically shuffled around at the end to be rearranged correctly. The second is that it saved the best surprise for last, including “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” with an otherwise generally expected list. I’m so thrilled that the film got recognized, and it’s definitely my favorite on this list after “The Artist.” I’m less enthused about the inclusion of “The Tree of Life,” the kind of film that should have missed out here and remained honored only for its directorial merit and its cinematography. Having nine nominees in this race is mostly annoying for its historical implications, and I do wonder what they’ll do next year. I’m honestly surprised that “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” didn’t make it when star Rooney Mara did, and I’m perplexed that “The Help” did when it was ignored everywhere except the acting categories. Otherwise, “Midnight in Paris,” “The Descendants,” “Moneyball,” and “War Horse” fared well, with four, five, six, and six nominations, respectively. The nominations leaders are “The Artist” (with ten) and “Hugo” (with eleven), interestingly both shortlisted but snubbed for Best Makeup, essentially the only other category for which they could have been nominated. This is a decent list, generally, though only a few of the films here make my top twenty-five. Come back next week for the start of the 5th Annual AFT Awards, my own picks for the best of the year, and look for reviews and coverage as I catch up on all the films I’m missing. Leave your thoughts on the nominations in the comments!

My current bet to win: “The Artist”

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