The Academy Award nominations were just released this week. I’m not going to copy-paste the whole list onto my blog. Even without the technical awards it’s still pretty long. Just go here to see it.
Back? Okay, now let’s talk about what I think. (We could talk about what you think, but that’s what comments sections are for.)
It seems to me that the people who vote on the Oscars (that is, everyone in the film business) have very short memories. Not only do they focus on movies that have only come out in the last two months or so, they tend to have a couple of films on the brain and they’ll nominate those films for every single award it can possibly qualify for just so they don’t have to think of anything else.
If a film gets nominated for best picture, chances are it’s also nominated for everything else as well: screenplay, cinematography, costumes, etc. etc. I’m not opposed to recognizing good work, but other films can excel in one area even if they’re not worthy of best picture. I think they only get away with it because 95% of people watching the awards don’t even know what sound editing or art direction involves anyway.
The rules are that nominations should be decided upon by the people in the same field, so people with experience should pick the best films, right? Theoretically. In reality they vote for their friends, people they owe favors to, etc. And they don’t even have to have seen the movie.
I’ve seen some movies, and this is what I think of their choices:
Here I am, as me, again.
Jesse Eisenberg for best actor? What? Did he get this nod because Facebook is popular? Because The Social Network
is a good movie? Or because his character is ever so slightly different from the same awkward loser he’s played in every one of his other movies? I suppose his nomination doesn’t matter that much, given that Colin Firth is a shoo-in. If he doesn’t win, I will burn down the Academy (not really).
Geoffrey Rush as best supporting actor? I love Geoffrey Rush, and The King’s Speech was fabulous, but though his role in it was important, it wasn’t anything special. It’s the same old Geoffrey Rush as always. Give it to Christian Bale. That guy is scary dedicated. Look how much weight he lost (again). He’s practically unrecognizable.
Give Ben Affleck some props already. The Academy seems to think that since he won a writing award like twenty years ago and in the meantime has acted in some terrible films, that no one needs to acknowledge that he’s an awesome director. But he is. What did David Fincher do to The Social Network that was so great? Its success is all in the writing. And stop nominating everything Joel and Ethan Cohen do. Their movies aren’t even original and they’re not that great. Give it to Darren Aronofsky. That bird feather crap is disturbing.
Barney’s Version for makeup?? Because they made that one guy look old? That’s not cutting edge at all. Everyone does that. What about Lord Voldemort’s face? That’s Ralph Fiennes under there!
Good music choices, except for The Social Network, which was generic at best. But Tron Legacy was awesome too. Does it not count because of the old Tron or something?
Toy Story 3 should never have been nominated for best picture. As much as I love animation and seeing it recognized, it wasn’t even the best in the series! Given that it’s the only animated feature also nominated for best picture, it’s pretty much guaranteed to win best animated feature, which is a shame, because How to Train Your Dragon was way better.
The King’s Speech for sound mixing? What sounds other than dialogue did that movie have? (Dennis?)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
So totally awesome!!
for special effects? What was so special about it? The animated sequence? That’s not even special effects. That’s a short in the middle of another movie. Tron Legacy
should definitely have gotten a nod here. Its only competition should be Inception
, which was also visually amazing.
How the hell does Toy Story 3 qualify as an “adapted” screenplay? Every screenplay is adapted from an idea. Do they ALL qualify now? The King’s Speech should be in this category because it’s adapted from history and memoirs. It’s hard to say who should win here, but 127 Hours, The Social Network, and Winter’s Bone are all deserving.
Christopher Nolan should get knocked off his pedestal. Seriously though, everyone thinks this guy is God’s gift to screenwriting. Probably he does too. How could he not, with such ridiculous amounts of praise being heaped upon him? Sure, Batman Begins rocks, but The Dark Knight was too long and structureless and Inception had huge consistency issues. Give him an MTV award for “coolness” and give the screenplay award to The King’s Speech or The Kids Are All Right.
Anyway, that’s how I feel. Want to weigh in?