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The 2012 Oscar nominations were announced this morning. Albert Brooks, Steven Spielberg and a lot of other expected nominees were snubbed. There were surprises in other categories, though: Demián Bichir as Best Actor for A Better Life, Rooney Mara as Best Actress for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Melissa McCarthy as Best Supporting Actress for Bridesmaids and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close as Best Picture. The thread is open; dive in, folks.

Best Picture:
The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Best Actor:
Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujarin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

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

Best Supporting Actor:
Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Supporting Actress:
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

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

Best Foreign Language Film:
Bullhead (Belgium)
Footnote (Israel)
In Darkness (Poland)
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
A Separation (Iran)

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants
John Logan, Hugo
George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon, The Ides of March
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin, Moneyball
Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Best Original Screenplay:
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Asghar Farhadi, A Separation

Best Animated Feature Film:
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots

Best Art Direction:
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Midnight in Paris
War Horse

Best Cinematography:
The Artist
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Best Sound Mixing:
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

Best Sound Editing:
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

Best Original Score:
The Adventures of Tintin, John Williams
The Artist, Ludovic Bource
Hugo, Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Alberto Iglesias
War Horse, John Williams

Best Original Song:
“Man or Muppet” from The Muppets, Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio” from Rio, Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown and Siedah Garrett.

Best Costume:
The Artist
Jane Eyre

Best Documentary Feature:
Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Best Documentary (short subject):
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 Film Editing:
The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Best Makeup:
Albert Nobbs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
The Iron Lady

Best Animated Short Film:
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life

Best Live Action Short Film:
The Shore
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic

Best Visual Effects:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

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What happened to Harry Potter? How could it not be a best picture? Who didn't go see it? Who didn't buy the DVD? How can a top box office grossing film not be nominated? Clearly "The People" voted for it with what counts their wallet!

Joe H.

Extremely Loud and Increibly Close has to be one of the stupidest decisions ever. Who the heck were the voters? Sentimental grandmothers?

I could think of several films that should have been nominated over Loud, namely the absurdly underrated Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Drive, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and 50/50 to name a few. The Oscars can be so stupid sometimes.

Steven Santos

I found these nominees dreadful, as if the Academy members were folding their arms and reasserting a certain conservative viewpoint to celebrate, romanticize and get all nostalgic for the past. Not just cinema history ("Hugo", "The Artist"), but a time when things were "different" and "less complicated" ("The Tree of Life", "The Help", "War Horse", maybe even throw "Extremely Loud" into that mix). Now, I believe Billy Crystal is the perfect host for this show, which will now even seem more self-congratulatory than ever before.

Outside of the nominations for "The Descendants" and "A Separation", as well as the acting noms for Oldman, Nolte and Plummer, these nominees are a pretty uninspired bunch.

Jason Haggstrom

I would have liked to see the Academy stray from convention enough to nom KUNG FU PANDA 2 in the Art Direction category. That is one strikingly beautiful movie. Sticking with live action films for some of these categories just doesn't make sense anymore since CGI is so prevalent as to make many films (and their sets) at least partially "animated."


When I get pissed of at the Oscar nominations (which is every year) I make up my own list. It just makes for better conversation.

Here are this year's picks.

The Tree of Life
A Separation
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (Part 2)
Take Shelter
Certified Copy
Mysteries of Lisbon
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life)
Martin Scorsese (Hugo)
Raul Ruiz (Mysteries of Lisbon)
Patricio Guzmán (Nostalgia for the Light)
Abbas Kiarostami (Certified Copy)

Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene)
Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia)
Adepero Oduye (Pariah)
Juliette Binoche (Certified Copy)
Yun Jung-hee (Poetry)

Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)
Gary Oldman (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Michael Fassbender (Shame)
George Clooney (The Descendants)

Patton Oswalt (Young Adult)
Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
Viggo Mortensen (A Dangerous Method)
Albert Brooks (Drive)
Brad Pitt (The Tree of Life)

Marion Cotillard (Midnight in Paris)
Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life)
Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)
Jennifer Ehle (Contagion)
Leila Hatami (A Separation)

Asghar Farhadi (A Separation)
Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids)
Kenneth Lonergan (Margaret)
Andrew Haigh (Weekend)
Joe Cornish (Attack the Block)

Steve Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin (Moneyball)
Jonathan Raymond (Meek’s Cutoff)
Miranda July (The Future)
Carlos Saboga (Mysteries of Lisbon)
Christopher Hampton (A Dangerous Method)

A Separation
A Brighter Summer Day
Le Havre
Mysteries of Lisbon
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
House of Pleasures
Miss Bala
The Kid With the Bike

The Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Nostalgia for the Light
The Interpreters
We Were Here

Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life)
Robert Richardson (Hugo)
Hoyte Van Hoytema (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
Jeff Cronenweth (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo)
Lech Majewski, Adam Sikora (The Mill and the Cross)

Roger Ebert

The biggest snub of them all…

Jason Bellamy

Yeah, the biggest surprises aren't the "snubs" — I expect those (and some of the "snubs" aren't snubs in my book, like Brooks in DRIVE, for instance):

* A BETTER LIFE is waaaaay under the radar. And, no, I haven't seen it. Bichir's nom might be entirely deserved. But I can't think of a more buzz-free nomination, in terms of both the performance itself and the film it's in. That said, it does point toward the unwhitening of the Oscars in recent years, so it's a trend that way.

* EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE seems like one of two things: 1) voters predicting before seeing (when are these nomination "votes" or whatever due anyway?) or 2) Hollywood saying, ala Will Ferrell's famous Dodge Stratus bit: "It has Tom Hanks, "Sandy" Bullock and a tear-jerking story dealing with 9/11; you will NOT talk to EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE that way! Max von Sydow can do 100 push-ups!"

Matt Zoller Seitz

And wow, DRIVE got the shaft, pun intended. Just one nomination. Just goes to show you how little a Cannes prize'll get you in these parts.

Matt Zoller Seitz

Has anybody here seen A BETTER LIFE? I was surprised to see Demain Bichir's name in there as there did not seem to be any real expectation of him as a contender in that category. How is he? Does he stand a chance against the others? Could there be an upset along the lines of Adrien Brody winning for THE PIANO in 2003 or Daniel Day-Lewis beating Morgan Freeman and Tom Cruise in 1990?


I'm glad to see TREE OF LIFE and Gary Oldman get some love, but overall what an extremely boring and conventional list of nominees.

Jonathan Pacheco

I was a tad surprised at Rooney Mara's nomination. I figured the Academy would go for the almost-always worthy Tilda Swinton, albeit for a "lesser" film of hers. While some see Mara's performance as one-note, I felt it she (and Fincher) gave us just the right amount of what we needed to know and see. She trusted her director and dove into the role, and I couldn't be happier for her nomination.

That said, I do wonder if it's more of a consolation prize thrown Fincher's way. "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" didn't get a Best Picture nor a Best Director nomination, and perhaps the Academy is trying to show some respect for one of their recent favorite directors with Mara's nomination. That, or she's the "hot, up-and-coming talent" nominee, a la Jennifer Lawrence in "Winter's Bone." Or I might be over-thinking it.

Matt Zoller Seitz

I'm somewhat surprised to see EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE nominated as Best Picture considering that it got weak to hostile reviews and isn't exactly a big hit. Does anybody out there know anyone who really, really liked it?

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