The Oscars: And The Nominees Are…
The Oscar Nominations where announced today with Martin Scorsese’s Hugo leading the way with 11 nominations and Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist coming in second with 10 nominations.
Two big potential stories that could emerge from the 84th Academy Awards on February 26th is Martin Scorsese’s Hugo could become the first ever 3D film to win best picture or the French film, The Artist could be become the first silent movie to win best picture since Wings in 1928.
In a previous blog entry (The Oscars: Niminations Predictions) I predicted the nominations for the Oscars, and to be modest I wasn’t that far off. I tried to second guess the Academy, but like they always do, the Academy threw in a few curve balls no one was expecting.
Firstly, this year saw the Academy announce that the Best Picture category could be anywhere between 5 to 10 nominees long. I predicted 8, they announced 9. The one I wasn’t expecting to be announced was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I think this caught a few people off guard. I personally haven’t seen the film, but I am aware it did receive mixed reviews. With that being said, Sandra Bullock does star in it and its common knowledge she has a lot of persuasive power in Hollywood. I can’t see it being a potential winner but it’s a shame such films like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or The Ides Of March where snubbed in favour of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
It should be quite a tight race for the Best Picture gong this year. The favourites will be Hugo and The Artist (above), but if pushed right in the media leading up to February 26th, The Descendants might be a dark horse. I don’t personally think it is the best film of the year but stranger things have happened at the Oscars.
Terrence Malick deservingly got a nomination for Best Director for his surreal film, The Tree Of Life. I had a feeling Spielberg was going to get the nod for his first world war film, War Horse. I thought the temptation of having three of the biggest named directors (Scorsese, Allen and Spielberg) all nominated would of be too much for the Academy to resist, but I believe they went in the right direction with Malick. This is a close category, but you’d have to be a brave person to bet against Scorsese picking up his second Oscar. I’m a firm believer they are trying to make it up to Scorsese for the years they snubbed him the honour for his truly great films Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and GoodFellas.
The best actor category is wide open this year. George Clooney (The Descendants, above) is the early favourite with bookmakers but will have some stiff opposition with Brad Pitt (Moneyball), Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Demian Bichir (A Better Life) all up for Best Actor. The latter was a curve ball. Didn’t see it coming, nor have I watched the film, so again am in the dark on that one. But am sure this will be a close one to call, but I would personally like to see Jean Dujardin win, although Moneyball has to be one of Brad Pitt’s best performances.
I was a little disappointed to not see Tilda Swinton be nominated for Best Actress, but the Best Actress nominees where predictable. Meryl Streep and Viola Davis will be favourites going in, with Michelle Williams as an outsider. I’ve got a sneaky feeling Glenn Close may have a good chance. The Academy have a history of having a soft spot for the period drama.
In other categories, I was made up to see Jonah Hill (above, right) receive a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in Moneyball. Definitely deserved and looking at the other nominees, may well have a chance. Although people might well be cheering for Nick Nolte in this category as he earned a nomination for his performance in Warrior completing a full rehabilitated return to Hollywood after his arrest for DUI in 2002. Another one I thought was thoroughly deserved was Melissa McCarthy’s nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category for her portrayal of Megan in Bridesmaids. Without doubt the best comedy of the year, but McCarthy does face strong competition. It’s another small victory for the comedy genre at the Oscars. Hopefully one day they will honour comedy the way it deserves to be honoured.
The Best Documentary category was the big surprise for me. Couldn’t believe Senna didn’t get a nomination, nor did The Interrupters or Project Nim. Have a feeling that Senna failed to receive a nomination because it was a documentary about a sportsman unknown to the American people who was huge in a sport America don’t follow. Paradise Lost 3 was nominated and may well be the favourite and eventual winner.
All in all, the majority of the nominations where expected with a few curve balls thrown in to keep people guessing and keep people from claiming the Academy is too safe. I believe there are only three ways its going to go. One, Hugo will pick up everything. Two, The Artist will pick up everything or three, and probably most likely, they will spread the awards across a few films keeping everyone happy. I hate it when they do that.
For a full list of all the nominations, go to the Academy Awards official website;
“KEITH REYNOLDS CAN’T MAKE IT TONIGHT”
Directed by Felix Massie
The Oscars: Nomination Predictions
Tomorrow morning (24th January 2012) the nominations for the 84th Academy Awards are announced. Here are my predictions for the four main categories, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress.
This year will see a major shakeup in the Best Picture category. The Academy have announced that depending on how number one votes a film receives on the voters ballot paper, anywhere from five to ten films can be nominated. Which obviously makes it’s very hard to predict, but in my opinion I think they will at least nominate eight films.
Anyway, here’s my predictions…
- The Artist
- The Descendants
- Midnight In Paris
- The Help
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
- The Ides Of March
Other Possible Nominees; The Tree Of Life, Drive, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, War Horse and Bridesmaids
- Martin Scorsese (Hugo)
- Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
- Alexander Payne (The Descendants)
- Woody Allen (Midnight In Paris)
- Steven Spielberg (War Horse)
- George Clooney (The Descendants)
- Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
- Michael Fassbender (Shame)
- Brad Pitt (Moneyball)
- Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
- Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
- Tilda Swinton (We Need To Talk About Kevin)
- Viola Davis (The Help)
- Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn)
- Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs)
Directed by Christopher Guinness
Written and Directed by Matt Kazman
My Top 10 Favourite Documentaries
Just like my Top 10 Favourite films post, this my favourite documentaries that I have watched over and over. They have inspired me and given me a passion for this medium. I love documentaries, sometimes I love documentaries more than a good film. The documentaries I love are the ones that reveal a story, whether it’s shocking or not, these are stories that we wouldn’t have any chance of hearing. Stories that may of simply passed us by or we where too young to remember them, I do believe a lot the films in my list fall into that category.
Directed by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman
“Catfish” treads the line between real life drama and exploitation, which may sit uneasy for some viewers, but it’s timing fits perfectly with todays’s digital revolution. It’s authenticity has always been questioned since it’s release, whether you believe its fraud or genuine, you can’t escape it’s mysterious and gripping subject matter.
Directed by Andrew Jarecki
What I took away from this documentary was that first impressions can’t always best trusted and the truth rests with each person telling their story. Director Andrew Jarecki certainly does that with this film. You hear every member of the families opinion. The film leaves you to decide who is guilty and who isn’t. To put it polity, the Freidmans are quite a bizarre family.
Directed by Seth Gordon
I have always had an opinion of gamers that has been made cemented into place with this film. This film stands as a piece of evidence to me. I have no problem with gamers, let me just clear that up. I just find it fascinating how people can be so transfixed and obsessed with what is simply a computer generated image, I just don’t get it. But then again they could say the same for me being obsessed with films, fair point. It’s a totally different world, universe even, but it so interesting to see adults do battle over an arcade Donkey Kong game, and make it put to be life or death. Brilliant.
Directed by Henry Alex Rubin & Dana Adam Shapiro
An entertaining and gripping documentary that shows being confined to a wheelchair doesn’t mean the fun has to end. These guys are brutal. Follows the USA Rugby wheelchair team on their quest to beat their biggest rivals, Canada, to Olympic gold.
Directed Asif Kapadia
Film featured at number 1 in my Top 10 Documentary Films of 2011 and it throughly deserves its place in this list. It truly is a moving story of one of the most dominating drivers in Formula One. A true inspiration and sporting icon who’s life was sadly taken in a tragic accident in May 1994.
Directed by Kevin MacDonald
Frightening. Viscous. Cold. You feel every single fall, stumbled and bone crack. If Tarantino was to make a documentary, this would be it. How he made it back? I’ll never know. Sheer determination and a stubbornness not to die alone was probably his main motivation.
Directed by Errol Morris
One of the best movies of the 80’s. The film concerns the November 28th 1976 murder of Police officer Robert W. Wood. This documentary does what is widely considered a big “no no” in this film medium, reconstructions. Morris reenacted every single second of the murder of the police officer in great detail. Brilliantly executed film.
Directed by Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky
HBO produced, this film isn’t for the faint hearted. I wasn’t quite expecting the images at the beginning of the film, quite disturbing. In my honest opinion, I don’t think the three teenagers done the crime, a lot of evidence seems to be missing and the evidence they present is very speculative. Don’t take my word, be your own judge.
Directed by Michael Moore
I get that Michael Moore isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I bet you those people have watched his films, and where completely engaged in them, if that’s the case, Moore has done his job hasn’t he? In this film he deals with the Columbine school massacre and America’s gun culture. It’s a must see just for the ending. It was my favourite documentary until 2008.
Directed by James Marsh
This film is why “Bowling For Columbine” isn’t number 1. The Oscar winning “Man On Wire,’ follows the story of tight rope walker, Philippe Petit, who on August 4th 1974 walked a tight rope between the north and south towers of the World Trade Center. The film details how Petit and his team of followers painstakingly organised and snuck up all 110 floors of the towers without anyone batting an eyelid. The images of him walking across are phenomenal yet gut wrenching. Philippe Petit is a character filmmakers dream of, compelling, funny, charming, yet completely mad.
Other documentaries that didn’t quite make my list, but I highly recommend; Roger & Me • Bus 174 • Fahrenheit 9/11 • Exit Through The Gift Shop • Inside Job • Biggie & Tupac • Kurt & Courtney • Sicko • Jesus Camp • Gasland • March Of The Penguins • Dogtown and Z-Boys • Food, Inc. • Super Size Me • Hoop Dreams • Grizzly Man