God, I love Oscar nomination morning. It’s like Christmas, but I wake up earlier and I can share my presents with the world.

BUT TILDA!!!!!! FASSY!!!!! BROOKS!!!!! There is also a lot of sadness today too. We must be respectful in our joy over GARY!!!! and  all of the other people that muscled their way in for a nomination.

The Biggest Winners: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Moneyball, War Horse

The Biggest Losers: Drive, The Help, Tilda and Fassy.

Without further ado, here are the 2012 nominations.

Best Picture:

  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Moneyball
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse
How I Did: 8/9 – I missed Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Even looking at the nominees, I’m still shocked it’s in. But the love in the nomination room for Von Sydow and this film was there and that was very clear. I am also so happy for The Tree of Life getting here like I knew it should and feared it wouldn’t.



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

How I Did: 5/5 – Thank God for predictability. I wonder how far away Bennett Miller and David Fincher were. They were clearly right in there.

Best Actor:

  • Demian Bichir – A Better Life
  • George Clooney – The Descendants
  • Jean Dujardin – The Artist
  • Gary Oldman – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  • Brad Pitt – Moneyball
How I did: 3/5 – I guess the two most vulnerable did drop. But there are many things going on here. J. Edgar got completely snubbed which means I don’t have to see it. Tinker Tailor and Gary showed strength, but signifying nothing, and the Academy is really opening them up to worthy performances with not one but two foreign nominees. Bravo! (Sorry Fassmember! You should’ve been there!)


Best Actress:

  • 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
How I Did: 4/5 – Tilda!!! That skank  actress Rooney Mara snuck in and took a spot from our girl. I guess it really does show the strength of Dragon Tattoo and being last.

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn
  • Jonah Hill – Moneyball
  • Nick Nolte – Warrior
  • Christopher Plummer – Beginners
  • Max von Sydow – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
How I Did: 4/5 – Poor Albert Brooks. I actually don’t feel as bad for Albert Brooks than as I do for those who wanted Albert Brooks to get nominated. It really did seem like he had it. It was never guaranteed, but nor was Jonah Hill! And for all of the 6th spot sneaker nomination Max von Sydow is not the best choice.


Best Supporting Actress:

  • Bérénice Bejo – The Artist
  • Jessica Chastain – The Help
  • Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
  • Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
  • Octavia Spencer – The Help
How I Did: 4/5 – Color me shocked. I didn’t think Melissa could do it. And poor Shailene got Andrew Garfielded which is officially the term for being a young supporting thespian in a wordy heady Best Picture contending drama that got several nominations, but was doled a telling snub at the SAG awards which led to ultimate rejection. I am just thrilled that Jessica Chastain did not get locked out. She deserved it. This and Bichir are both strong testments to looking at SAG for future years.

Best Original Screenplay:

  • The Artist
  • Bridesmaids
  • Margin Call
  • Midnight in Paris
  • A Separation
How I Did: 3/5 – Margin Call really had a lot of heat, but that was in November. I’m surprised to have seen it bounce back. This does confirm my one problem with my own line up that it was too happy and they threw out my comedies for not one, but two dramas. Gotta love that sadness.


Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • The Descendants
  • Hugo
  • The Ides of March
  • Moneyball
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
How I Did: 4/5 – Maybe a year from now someone will be able to explain to me why The Ides of March is getting any awards attention at all. But I guess if it were to be nominated somewhere, it would be the prestigious play adaptation aspect of it with the Clooney celebrity to boot. This is one category that shows The Help’s weakness. If it had a shot at Best Picture, it needed this. Sorry ladies… and Tate.


Best Art Direction:

  • The Artist
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Midnight in Paris
  • War Horse
How I Did: 3/5 – I’m sure there is some lovely story about exterior art direction in War Horse, but this just gives the tiniest pushes to Midnight in Paris. I guess it could have gotten lots of below the line nominations, but none were really expected. I wonder if it will beat The Artist in Original Screenplay. Look for clues elsewhere in the nominees to predict winners. And the snub for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is officially my most egregious snub of the day. It is just appalling.


Best Cinematography:

  • The Artist
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse
How I Did: 4/5 – While I correctly guessed the love for digital helmer Jeff Cronenweth, I didn’t expect the ultra traditional Janusz Kaminski to sneak in for War Horse. I guess that was a nomination for Most Cinematography.
How I Did: 4/5 –


Best Costume Design:

  • Anonymous
  • The Artist
  • Hugo
  • Jane Eyre
  • W.E.
How I Did: 3/5 – I predicted the surprise Anonymous nomination in the wrong spot! Damn! But I did get W.E. and that makes me glad. The costume designers have yet again showed that they are clearly paying attention to the craft in a way only  a costumer designer can and are doing their honest best to nominate the best costume design of the year. A commendable branch.


Best Film Editing:

  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • Moneyball
How I Did: 4/5 – You win some, you lose some. The Descendants did get that nomination they so desperately wanted/needed, but at the expensive of… something undeserving? All I know is Moneyball is a true surprise and the editing there is heartfelt and tender at best. The editing brach has taken their first step in making up for the Inception snub last year…


Best Makeup:

  • Albert Nobbs
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • The Iron Lady
How I Did: 2/3 – Glenn Close’s nose.


Best Original Score:

  • Ludovic Bource – The Artist
  • Alberto Iglesias – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
  • Howard Shore – Hugo
  • John Williams – The Adventures of Tintin
  • John Williams – War Horse
How I Did: 4/5 – They love John Williams and hate Dario Marianelli. What else is new? However, the Alberto Iglesias nomination for Tinker Tailor is a moody surprise stand out.


Best Original Song:

  • “Man or Muppet” – The Muppets
  • “Real in Rio” – Rio
How I Did: 1/2 –  I would not be surprised if this category did not exist next year. This is clearly a stand from the song branch that the field is too weak. And “Real in Rio”? Wow.


Best Sound Mixing:

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • Moneyball
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • War Horse
How I Did: 2/5 – Damn it War Horse! All of my Pirates always nominated nonsense caused me to take it out at the last second. Look at how strong Moneyball is! The strength in weird pockets like this and Editing should translate to wins elsewhere… in either Actor or Adapted Screenplay or both. It’s a spoiler lying in wait for sure. This is also where The Artist really missed out on what Moneyball picked up. I don’t think it shows great weakness for The Artist, just its first not-perfect performance.


Best Sound Editing:

  • Drive
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Hugo
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • War Horse
How I Did: 2/5 – So I had Hugo in the wrong place. Oops. This is also the first year in a three or four without an animated feature and really only one visual effects heavy film – two staples of the category. I honestly think that’s a shift in the branch to recognize more realistic challenges in their field like in Drive and War Horse where a lot of those sounds don’t sound made up, but are painstakingly made as real as possible. Good job, Sound Editors!


Best Visual Effects:

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Real Steel
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
How I Did: 4/5 – REAL FUCKING STEEL! Over THE TREE OF LIFE?!?!?! This is my most infuriating snub of the day. I said it was something else, but really?!? I can’t believe it. ARGH! I wonder if the name will ever officially be changed to Best Computer Visual Effects.


Best Animated Feature:

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

How I Did: 2/5 – And proud of it. The Animator’s branch knew it was a shitty year and stuck out on a limb for the arthouse guy… twice. I’m not sure the right other films made it in, and it is definitely a comment on motion capture, but the animators have stood strong.

Best Documentary Feature:

  • Hell and Back Again
  • If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
  • Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
  • Pina
  • Undefeated
How I Did: 3/5 – Here is one of those inside baseball times where the Joe Schmo viewer at home can’t see Harvey Weinstein shoving Undefeated down everyone’s throats. But it worked. He is the best at what he does.

Best Foreign Feature:

  • Bullhead
  • Footnote
  • In Darkness
  • Monsieur Lazhar
  • A Separation
How I Did: 3/5 – Besides the fact that Footnote is the weirdest nominee here, there is nothing too surprising. I am sad that Pina didn’t make super bizarre trivia history. It was so close…


Best Animated Short Film:

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


Best Documentary Short Film:

  • 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


Best Live-Action Short Film:

  • Pentecost
  • Raju
  • The Shore
  • Time Freak
  • Tuba Atlantic

I guess overall, this was a year of many quiet surprises. Nothing ever really came out of left field, but the status quo was never really upheld. I went 72 out of 104 or about 69%. So I passed, but barely. How do I even call myself an Oscar predictor? However, I’m glad that many of my missteps were from assuming predictability and stodgy attitudes from the Academy, which I will never do again. They really spread the love this year, with many films as individual nominees and a few of the choices were almost inspired. Moneyball as the 3rd place nomination count holder? Just shocking. And with the snub of Shailene Woodley, it is officially the end of the chances for The Descendants. The Oscar goes to The Artist and I’m as pleased as punch. What is exciting is that since Bridesmaids stumbled ever so slightly, that Supporting Actress race is still hot, which means 3 of the 4 acting races are still up in the air, as are director, and both screenplay races. This season is not over yet.


11 – Hugo

10 – The Artist

6 – Moneyball

War Horse

5 – The Descendants

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

4 – The Help

3 – Albert Nobbs

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Midnight in Paris

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The Tree of Life

2 – Bridesmaids

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

The Iron Lady

My Week with Marilyn

A Separation

1 – The Adventures of Tintin



A Better Life


The Ides of March

Jane Eyre

Kung Fu Panda 2

Margin Call

The Muppets

Puss in Boots


Real Steel

Rise of the Planet of the Apes



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