Category: “academy awards”


The Artist

My initial gut reaction(s):
Margin Call deserved more than just best screenplay nom. I would even give it cinematography. But, unlike War Horse, it happens in an office building.

I think there has been a mistake: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is on the list of best pics in 2011, but not Tinker Tailor Solder Spy or The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, OR Margin Call for that matter.

I am very glad that The Artist is. I was worried for a while that there would be some strange problem with its international producers and financiers. Apparently the Academy doesn’t think so.

Holy crap Octavia Spencer got an Oscar nomination – way to go! (I knew her when).

Holy crap the fat kid from Superbad got an Oscar nomination! (Sorry, I just couldn’t stop myself). Way to go Jonah Hill!

I love the list for Animated Feature. Relieved to have relief from Pixar and well, I loved every movie that is on the list and my own list might have been identical.

Oh golly, the Best Original Song category is a little bleak this year – no “My Heart Will On” stuff happening in ‘011 apparently. Expect to see Muppets all over the place.

And why do the same five movies show up in so many categories? Were there really only twenty Academy-qualifying films in 2011 in all categories? And does John Williams really need two f%$*ing nominations in the same category for both Tin Tin and War Horse? Come old boys, your wires are showing. Where is the nomination for Ernst Reijseger’s amazing score for Cave of Forgotten Dreams?

Anyway my fave for best pic is The Artist and The Tree of Life, both among the best of the past decade so I’ll take either, or both. Please keep both Spielberg and Scorsese out of this set, voters, please.

Also where are Bill Cunningham’s New York, Melancholia, Incendies, Heartbeats, The Skin I Live In?

The list is far too homogeneous.

Alright enough of me, here’s the list:


The Artist
Thomas Langmann, Producer

The Descendants
Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor,

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Scott Rudin, Producer

The Help
Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and
Michael Barnathan, Producers

Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers

Midnight in Paris
Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers

Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt,

The Tree of Life
Nominees to be determined

War Horse
Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy,

Actor in a Leading Role

Demián Bichir
A Better Life

George Clooney
The Descendants

Jean Dujardin
The Artist

Gary Oldman
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Brad Pitt

Actor in a Supporting Role

Kenneth Branagh
My Week with Marilyn

Jonah Hill

Nick Nolte

Christopher Plummer

Max Von Sydow
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Actress in a Leading Role

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

Actress in a Supporting Role

Bérénice Bejo
The Artist

Jessica Chastain
The Help

Melissa Mccarthy

Janet McTeer
Albert Nobbs

Octavia Spencer
The Help

Animated Feature Film

A Cat in Paris
Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli

Chico & Rita
Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal

Kung Fu Panda 2
Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Puss in Boots
Chris Miller

Gore Verbinski

Art Direction

The Artist
Production Design: Laurence Bennett
Set Decoration: Robert Gould

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Production Design: Stuart Craig
Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan

Production Design: Dante Ferretti
Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo

Midnight in Paris
Production Design: Anne Seibel
Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil

War Horse
Production Design: Rick Carter
Set Decoration: Lee Sandales


The Artist
Guillaume Schiffman

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Jeff Cronenweth

Robert Richardson

The Tree of Life
Emmanuel Lubezki

War Horse
Janusz Kaminski

Costume Design

Lisy Christl

The Artist
Mark Bridges

Sandy Powell

Jane Eyre
Michael o’Connor

Arianne Phillips


The Artist
Michel Hazanavicius

The Descendants
Alexander Payne

Martin Scorsese

Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen

The Tree of Life
Terrence Malick

Documentary Feature

Hell and Back Again
Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky

Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel

TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas

Documentary Short Subject

The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin

God is the Bigger Elvis
Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson

Incident in New Baghdad
James Spione

Saving Face
Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

Film Editing

The Artist
Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius

The Descendants
Kevin Tent

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall

Thelma Schoonmaker

Christopher Tellefsen

Foreign Language Film



In Darkness

Monsieur Lazhar

A Separation

Iranian film - A Separation nominated for best foreign language film 2012

Asghar Farhadi's film - A Separation nominated for best foreign language film 2012


Albert Nobbs
Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin

The Iron Lady
Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Music (Original Score)

The Adventures of Tintin
John Williams

The Artist
Ludovic Bource

Howard Shore

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Alberto Iglesias

War Horse
John Williams

Music (Original Song)

Man or Muppet
The Muppets
Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie

Real in Rio
Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown
Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Short Film (Animated)

Patrick Doyon

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg

La Luna
Enrico Casarosa

A Morning Stroll
Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe

Wild Life
Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

Short Film (Live Action)

Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane

Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren

The Shore
Terry George and Oorlagh George

Time Freak
Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey

Tuba Atlantic
Hallvar Witzø

Sound Editing

Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Ren Klyce

Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl

War Horse
Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Sound Mixing

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson

Tom Fleischman and John Midgley

Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin

War Horse
Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

Visual Effects

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson

Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning

Real Steel
Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Descendants
Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash

Screenplay by John Logan

The Ides of March
Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon

Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin
Story by Stan Chervin

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

Writing (Original Screenplay)

The Artist
Written by Michel Hazanavicius

Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig

Margin Call
Written by J.C. Chandor

Midnight in Paris
Written by Woody Allen

A Separation
Written by Asghar Farhadi

There two ways I can chime in on the 2011 list of nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards: one is to express my shock and awe at those who were omitted from the list and the other is to hedge bets on who AMPAS will actually vote for. I’m going to do both, so when I pick a winner, it’s not necessarily my first choice, but where I am betting the award will go.

It was another great year for film. Anyone who think some years are stronger than others, just isn’t getting exposed to enough of the good stuff. Dozens if not hundreds of great new works were released and viewed at festivals around the world. Oscar time just aggregates the buzziest among them.

So here is the list of noms, along with my comments from the cheap seats:

oscar 2011 statue - 83rd Academy Awards

Actor in a Leading Role

Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”
James Franco in “127 Hours”

Ryan Gosling (snubbed for Blue Valentine).

Too tough to call this one.  Have to see how the night goes.  Bridges got his last year.  Eisenberg did well, but Hollywood won’t go for it.  James Franco is a wild card.  Bardem did his work in a foreign film (again).  It will likely sweep and go to Firth.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone”
Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech”

Go John Hawkes!  Nice one buddy 🙂 He is great as “Teardrop” in Winter’s Bone.

Christian Bale was so good in The Fighter.  

Geoffrey Rush will get this one though. No hard feelings there.

Actress in a Leading Role

Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone”
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

All amazing women, giving amazing performances.  Damn Jennifer Lawrence is so amazingly understated in Winter’s Bone. MIchelle Williams stellar (as always) in Blue Valentine. Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman – there is a reason they have been in this position so often before. Natalie’s ballet was amazing, her performance was amazing and we need to push her through to a deserved Oscar, even just to acknowledge the span and scope of her work which has nearly always been dead on (Amidala wasn’t really her fault). But if Jennifer Lawrence (the big underdog here) takes it, I will not feel let down.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech”
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

Adams again?  Leo Again?  Love them both (they are both a degree of separation and they both did amazing work in the Fighter, Amy especially) but are there only five supporting actresses working in Hollywood?

Animated Feature Film

L-illusionniste - The Illusionist poster
“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich

“How to Train” for story…

But “The Illusionist” because it’s Tati, it’s magic, it’s beautiful beyond repair, and because it’s the kind of thing that doesn’t happen twice.

Art Direction

  • “Alice in Wonderland” – Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” – Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
  • “Inception” – Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
  • “The King’s Speech” – Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
  • “True Grit” – Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh


  • “Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
  • “Inception” Wally Pfister
  • “The King’s Speech” Danny Cohen
  • “The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth
  • “True Grit” Roger Deakins

The good old boys comprise this list (Conrad Hall R.I.P.)  – will be happy when any one of these luminaries wins.  They are all Senseis.  If I had to choose, I’d give it to Cronenweth Jr. for the crazy low light style he pulled off in Social Network.  It made Gordon Willis seem like a softie.  But God bless, Roger Deakins.  He is Obi Wan.

Costume Design

  • “Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
  • “I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
  • “The King’s Speech” Jenny Beavan
  • “The Tempest” Sandy Powell
  • “True Grit” Mary Zophres


  • “Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky
  • “The Fighter” David O. Russell
  • “The King’s Speech” Tom Hooper
  • “The Social Network” David Fincher
  • “True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Nolan is conspicuously absent from this list. Oscars don’t take Science Fiction or Fantasy seriously (LOTR being the exception).  Remember Avatar?  District 9? What about Blade Runner? 2001: A Space Odyssey? Only Science Fiction films nominated for best pic in these genres in the history of Oscar before this were A Clockwork Orange (1971), Star Wars (1977) and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982).

That aside (as I do have a personal bias towards those genres):

Man this is a tough one to call.  Really really tough.  I am not touching this one.  They are all deserving.  For once. (Except 1999: Director:
SAM MENDES for “American Beauty”, Spike Jonze for “Being John Malkovich”, Lasse Hallstrom for “The Cider House Rules”, Michael Mann for “The Insider”, M. Night Shyamalan for “The Sixth Sense”)

Documentary (Feature)

  • “Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz
  • “Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
  • “Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
  • “Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
  • “Waste Land” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Don’t get me wrong – I really liked Exit through the Gift Shop.  I idolize Banksy.  Mr. Brainwash is a tool.  But this film isn’t one of the best docs of the year.

A couple missing from this list:
“Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow” – Sophie Fiennes
“Cave of Forgotten Dreams” – Werner Herzog

“Darkness of the Edge of Town” – Thom Zimny
“Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie” – Sturla Gunnarsson

Documentary (Short Subject)

  • “Killing in the Name” Nominees to be determined
  • “Poster Girl” Nominees to be determined
  • “Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
  • “Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
  • “The Warriors of Qiugang” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

Film Editing

  • “Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum
  • “The Fighter” Pamela Martin
  • “The King’s Speech” Tariq Anwar
  • “127 Hours” Jon Harris
  • “The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

Foreign Language Film

Gaspar Noé enter-the-void-poster

  • “Biutiful” Mexico
  • “Dogtooth” Greece
  • “In a Better World” Denmark
  • “Incendies” Canada
  • “Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria

Where is Gaspar Noé’s “Enter The Void” – a work of staggering ambition and cinematic brilliance and audacity. Likely, because it premiered at Cannes over a year ago, it has fallen in between the cracks, considered a 2009 release, thus losing any opportunity for award consideration. Which is a shame, because this is truly a masterpiece.


  • “Barney’s Version” Adrien Morot
  • “The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
  • “The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

The Wolfman.

Music (Original Score)

  • “How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell
  • “Inception” Hans Zimmer
  • “The King’s Speech” Alexandre Desplat
  • “127 Hours” A.R. Rahman
  • “The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

They totally missed Daft Punk for TRON. But go Trent!

Music (Original Song)

  • “Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
  • “I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
  • “If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
  • “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3″ Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

I’m over Randy Newman being nominated for Toy Story songs.  Please stop.

Best Picture

  • “Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
  • “The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
  • “Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
  • “The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
  • “The King’s Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
  • “127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
  • “The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
  • “Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
  • “True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
  • “Winter’s Bone” Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

What is with these huge lists of best picture noms recently?  Just commit.  This is just politics and diplomacy.  Why the fuck is Toy Story on this list? I’d be fine with any of the others, but I really loved Black Swan. Not decided yet though.

Short Film (Animated)

  • “Day & Night” Teddy Newton
  • “The Gruffalo” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
  • “Let’s Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe
  • “The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
  • “Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois

Short Film (Live Action)

  • “The Confession” Tanel Toom
  • “The Crush” Michael Creagh
  • “God of Love” Luke Matheny
  • “Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt
  • “Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Sound Editing

  • “Inception” Richard King
  • “Toy Story 3” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
  • “Tron: Legacy” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
  • “True Grit” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
  • “Unstoppable” Mark P. Stoeckinger

Unstoppable or Inception.  I am going with Inception.  Sympathy trophy.

Sound Mixing

  • “Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
  • “The King’s Speech” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
  • “Salt” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
  • “The Social Network” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
  • “True Grit” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

See above.


Visual Effects

  • “Alice in Wonderland” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
  • “Hereafter” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojansky and Joe Farrell
  • “Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
  • “Iron Man 2” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

First of all, Social Network got wickedly snubbed for its perfectly executed face transplant wherein using actors Armie Hammer & Josh Pence, Josh’s face was transferred over Armie’s throughout the film without ever once feeling like that weird crawly plastic looking business they did with Jeff Bridges in TRON. That said, from the list of delegates, Inception deserves this one, (see above).

social network twins

Was The Social Network robbed of a nomination for best VFX?

PS. TRON > Iron Man 2.
PPS. – Enter the Void?

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • “127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
  • “The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
  • “Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
  • “True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
  • “Winter’s Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Love me some Cormac, but, creative liberties aside (or perhaps because of them) I’d give this one to Sorkin.  I remember walking out of this yawn-fest and thinking, at least Sorkin did his job right.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • “Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh
  • “The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
  • “Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan
  • “The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
  • “The King’s Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler

Would be nice if Mike Leigh got it for his amazing work.  I’m going with The King’s Speech if I had to put money down.

Also, not sure where something like Michael Winterbottom’s “The Trip” could be nominated. Even though it’s a UK picture, it is technically not “Foreign Language,” and Oscar NEVER acknowledges comedy. At least not the kind that doesn’t feature Jack Nicholson or directed by James L. Brooks. But The Trip should have been squeezed into this list somehow.

What did YOU think of this year’s nominations? What were your favorite films in 2010? Please post a comment and let me know!