Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nine Movies Nominated for Oscar, Only Five Directors? With Criticism.

Actress Jennifer Lawrence
Nominations for the 84th Academy Awards were announced yesterday (Tuesday, January 24) by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak and 2010 Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence.

Martin Scorsese's Hugo in 3-D received the most nominations, 11, and Scorsese received a director nod. The Artist, a black and white silent movie about movies, scored 10. However, Hugo received no best actor or actress nominations, and that could hamper it's chances for best picture because the Screen Actors Guild is the largest voting block in the Academy.

The Artist's Jean Dujardin was nominated for best actor, and Bérénice Bejo for best supporting actress. Director Michel Hazanavicius joined Scorsese with an achievement in directing nomination.

J. Edger did not receive a best motion picture nod, nor did Leonardo DiCaprio who portrayed the former FBI Director. Now, that qualifies as a snub.

On the other hand, actress Meryl Streep, who portrays former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, received her 17th Oscar nomination, keeping her lead as the actress who has received the most Oscar nominations to date, but The Iron Lady received only one other nomination, achievement in makeup.

The closest rival for Streep is probably Glenn Close lead actress in Albert Nobbs, who is also nominated for best actress.
The award for best achievement in makeup also may come down to a dual between the makeup artists for The Iron Lady: Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland, and the makeup artists for Albert Nobbs: Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle.

In the weeks between now and the Oscar telecast, I shall have more to say about each category nominations. But, for now, here are all the nominees:

  Best motion picture of the year with director, if nominated: ** 

    The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius
    The Descendants, Alexander Payne
     Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
     The Help

     Hugo, Martin Scorsese
     Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen

     The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick
     War Horse

     ** It seems unfair to me that nine motion pictures were nominated for best motion picture and only five directors were nominated for achievement in directing. I think they should have been even, because it has been my experience after tabulating this for many years, that if the director is not nominated the motion picture does not win the category. We shall see how it goes this year. I could be wrong, but I think that here is the list from which the winner will come: The Artist, The Descendants, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, The Tree of Life. It pains me that the other movies nominated in the category may not win because the directors could not be nominated.

Performance by an 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, Moneyball

Performance by an actor in a supporting role:
    Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
    Jonah Hill, Moneyball
    Nick Nolte, Warrior
    Christopher Plummer, Beginners
    Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Performance by an 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

Performance by an actress in a supporting role:

    Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
    Jessica Chastain, The Help
    Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
    Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
    Octavia Spencer, The Help

Achievement in directing:
    The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius
    The Descendants, Alexander Payne
    Hugo, Martin Scorsese
    Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen
    The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick

Achievement in cinematography:
    The Artist,  Guillaume Schiffman
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Jeff Cronenweth
    Hugo,  Robert Richardson
    The Tree of Life, Emmanuel Lubezki
    War Horse, Janusz Kaminski

Achievement in 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;
    Hugo, Thelma Schoonmaker;
    Moneyball, Christopher Tellefsen.

Achievement in visual effects:
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
    Real Steel
    Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    Transformers: Dark of the Moon 

Adapted screenplay with credited writers:
    The Descendants, Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash;
    Hugo, John Logan;
    The Ides of March,  George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon;
    Moneyball, Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Story by Stan Chervin;
    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan.

Original screenplay with credited writer(s):
    The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius;
    Bridesmaids, Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig;
    Margin Call,  J.C. Chandor;
    Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen;
    A Separation, Asghar Farhadi.
Best animated feature film of the year:
      A Cat in Paris (Une vie de chat), Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, France;
     Chico and Rita, Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal and Tono Errando, Spain;
     Kung Fu Panda 2, Jennifer Yuh;
     Puss in Boots, Chris Miller;
    Rango, Gore Verbinski.

Best foreign language film of the year with (original title), country, director, W=writer, (also, known for):
    Bullhead (Rundskop), Belgium, Michael R. Roskam, W;
    Footnote (Hearat Shulayim), Israel, Joseph Cedar, W, (Beaufort, 07);

    In Darkness, Poland, Agnieszka Holland (Europa Europa, 90, and Three Colors: Blue, 93);
    Monsieur Lazhar, Canada, Philippe Falardeau, W;
    A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin ), Iran, Asghar Farhadi, W, (About Elly, 09). 
Best documentary feature with director(s):
    Hell and Back Again, Danfung Dennis;
    If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Marshall Curry, Sam Cullman;
    Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky;
    Pina (Sundance Selects), Wim Wenders, a "Sundance Select";
    Undefeated, Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score) with composer:
    The Adventures of Tintin, John Williams
    The Artist, Ludovic Bource
    Hugo, Howard Shore
    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Alberto Iglesias
    War Horse, John Williams

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song): ****
    “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets, Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie;
    “Real in Rio” from Rio, Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown, Lyric by Siedah Garrett.

     **** There were 39 original songs submitted to the Academy this year for Oscar consideration, and they only nominated two?
See the submissions and listen to some here. I shall soon have a link on the right sidebar for these Oscar-worthy submissions.

Achievement in 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;
    Hugo, 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

Achievement in costume design:
    Anonymous, Lisy Christl
    The Artist, Mark Bridges
    Hugo, Sandy Powell
    Jane Eyre, Michael O'Connor
    W.E., Arianne Phillips

Achievement in makeup:
    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.

Achievement in sound editing:
    Drive, Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Ren Klyce
    Hugo, Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
    Transformers: Dark of the Moon,  Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
    War Horse, Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Achievement in sound mixing:
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson;
    Hugo, Tom Fleischman and John Midgley;
    Moneyball, 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.

Best live action short film with director(s) and country, if known:
    Pentecost, Peter McDonald and Eimear O'Kane, Ireland;
    Raju, Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren, Germany;    The Shore, Terry George and Oorlagh George;
    Time Freak, Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey, USA;
    Tuba Atlantic,  Hallvar Witzø, Norway.

Best animated short film:
    Dimanche/Sunday (National Film Board of Canada);
    The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (Moonbot Studios);
    La Luna (Walt Disney / Pixar Animation);
    A Morning Stroll (Studio AKA);
    Wild Life (National Film Board of Canada).

Best documentary short subject with director(s):
    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.

    *** Junge is Dutch. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is Pakisrani. She and I are members of the Facebook Group, "Pakistani Feminist Group."

Jennifer Lawrence, who was nominated last year for an Academy Award for her lead performance in Winter’s Bone, announced with Sherak the nominees in 10 of the 24 Award categories at a 5:38 a.m. PT, live news conference attended by more than 400 international media representatives. Lists of nominations in all categories were then distributed to the media in attendance and online via the official Academy Awards website,

Academy members from each of the guild branches vote to determine the nominees in their respective categories – actors nominate actors, film editors nominate film editors, etc. However, in the Animated Feature Film and Foreign Language Film categories, nominations are selected by vote of multi-branch screening committees. All voting members are eligible to select the Best Picture nominees.

Nominations ballots were mailed to the 5,783 voting members in late December and were returned directly to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the international accounting firm, for tabulation.

Official screenings of all motion pictures with one or more nominations will begin for members this weekend at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Members may vote in all the nominated categories, although in five of them – Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject and Foreign Language Film – members may vote only if they have seen all of the nominated films in those categories.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood and Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 4 p.m. PT, and 7
p.m. ET. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.

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