I’m a movie fan so I allow myself to get a little excited for Oscar season. I think the odds of an Oscar going to the most deserving film in a particular year are only slightly better than the odds I’ll ever have the chance to win one. I just enjoy getting wound up by how stupid the mysterious members of the Motion Picture academy can be.
Let me highlight a few of the WTF moments from this year’s nominations.
This year, the academy made a big deal out of the fact they were changing the rules for Best Picture nominations (again). No longer would ten films automatically be nominated. Rather, a minimum of five and a maximum of ten films would be nominated for best picture. I’m not going to explain how the new rules work because honestly – who the fuck cares?
So with these radical rule changes, this year there were nine movies nominated for Best picture. Vive le difference!
Yet, even with nine films in the running for best picture, they didn’t manage to nominate Bridesmaids.
So let’s see….they managed to nominate Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close because it has something to do with 9/11 and they are legally obligated to nominate sappy movies about people dealing with pain and loss in the wake of the single greatest tragedy of our generation.
But they can’t nominate the best comedy of the year and one of the few films this year where every major character is a female.
I rail on the Academy’s problems with comedy every now and again. Ask any actor, writer, director or producer what is harder to do – great comedy or great drama – they will all answer great comedy. Yet when a great comedy film presents itself, they all ignore it when it comes to Oscar season.
I can’t speak to the quality of most of the films on the list as I’ve only seen two of them. The two I’ve seen (Hugo and The Artist) I really enjoyed. I don’t imagine I’ll have a deep and abiding love for all the others that will convince me there wasn’t room for a bawdy, clever comedy that was more successful than all of them.
I hope I’m not the first person to ask this question:
Is there such a shortage of good roles for women that Meryl Streep is automatically nominated for every film she makes?
Look, I think that Streep is a good actress. She isn’t the only one, is she? This year she is nominated for a film that is, by most accounts, pretty mediocre. But she does such a great job of pretending to be Margaret Thatcher that we can forgive the fact the movie isn’t very good.
Inevitably this category is filled with performances from obscure films that nobody has seen (Glen Close in Albert Nobbs) because mainstream films don’t provide actresses with roles that require – you know – acting.
Again, I note that there were several female roles in Bridesmaids and exactly one of them was nominated for an Oscar.
I’ll harp on the whole Bridemaids thing fairly frequently because what the fuck?
Also, can I note that Rooney Mara gets a nomination for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo while Noomi Rapace was ignored for her performances in 2009 because she didn’t perform them in English. Stay classy Academy!
Also, is it a rule that anyone who plays Lisbeth Salander has to have a weird name? Is that a thing?
Best Foreign Language Film
This category is just stupid.
I think they should have nominated Bridesmaids in this category because clearly the academy doesn’t understand comedy. Or women.
I hear A Separation is the best of this lot. That means there is no way it’ll win.
Best Animated Feature
OK, so we have Puss in Boots but no Adventures of Tintin. Give them points for realizing that Cars II may have been a Pixar film but that didn’t mean it was good enough to be nominated.
There are also two movies nobody has heard of on the list (A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita). Who wants to bet there are both better than anything the Hollywood animation machine has produced in the last twelve months?
Best Original Song
Two songs are nominated in this category. Two.
This has long been the most pointless category the Oscars have ever created but this year brings pointlessness to a new level.
When they announce the award, they should just announce it as “the song from The Muppets that is going to win and another random song we picked so it wouldn’t look like we were just handing the award to the Muppet song.”
All right, we have Albert Nobbs, The Iron Lady and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II.
The artists in Albert Nobbs made Glen Close look like a man. The artists in The Iron Lady made Meryl Streep look like Margaret Thatcher. The artists in Harry Potter made Ralph Finnes look like a fucking snake man.
They don’t have a chance.
Best Original Screenplay
Hey look – they nominated Bridesmaids! Given the film is in the same category with The Artist and Woody Allen, I imagine we won’t be able to say “Oscar Winner Kristen Wiig” any time soon.
Here’s the thing – somewhere between The Peoples Choice Awards (hey – at least they nominated Bridesmaids) and The Oscars is the sweet spot of movie awards. Free from the pretense of “artists” recognizing “art” and “audiences” recognizing “crap” (they gave the 2011 Best Picture award to fucking Twilight), there is an award show just waiting to be born.
Perhaps we should call it “The People With Taste Choice Award.”
Voters would be given a preliminary quiz in which they had to pick the best movie between two options. Say Twilight and Casablanca. Anyone who picks Twilight is disqualified. We’d let them think their vote counted but it’d go in the trash bin.
I like this idea. All we need to do is get Johnny Depp on board and we can’t fail!
Or because Rooney Mara did a better job than Noomi Rapace.
Or because the Swedish version of The Millenium Trilogy was a TV miniseries recut as films, and thus ineligible.
Better job? Don’t agree. Different – not better.
If a recut version of a foreign TV series is not eligible, that must be a new rule since they nominated Das Boot.
Hm, good point re: DAS BOOT. I remember the outcry when THE LAST SEDUCTION couldn’t get nominated because it premiered on TV first.
I think everything about the English-language remake of TGWTDT was better. Acting, cinematography, pacing…an this is from someone who loved the Swedish version.
It could be that if a film is released theatrically in America, it doesn’t matter how it was originally released in a foreign country.
I definitely like the remake a lot. There were some story decisions near the end that turned me off a little bit. I think Stellan Skarsgaard is much better in his role than the Swedish Counterpart and was actually pretty impressed with Daniel Craig. Rooney Mara was terrific but I also loved Noomi Rapace so I can’t say I think one was better than the other.