Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oscars 2012: Hugo beats The Artist in nominations, sci-fi and fantasy again sink to sound and visual categories

NOMINATIONS for the 2012 Oscars have been unveiled - and they include some big surprises.

But predictably - and perhaps with justification in some instances - the sci-fi and fantasy films were either excluded or relegated to the sound and visual categories.

In a recent poll I asked Geek Files readers which of the nine films under consideration for a visual effects nomination should make it to the final five. 

Your top choice was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, followed by Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and - tied in fourth place - Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Captain America: The First Avenger and X-Men: First Class, and then Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Hugo and Real Steel.

The Academy chose to put forward Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Hugo, Real Steel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. 

Of course, I'm disappointed that the undoubted finesse and character focus of the X-Men revamp didn't get a mention somewhere but not entirely surprised, as superhero films are usually shunned; even The Dark Knight was nominated only for sound editing and Heath Ledger's supporting actor performance, though it did win both.

The final Potter film also earned nods in make-up and art direction while Michael Bay's third Transformers action film was also named in the sound mixing and sound editing categories. 

Spielberg's computer-animated, motion-capture film The Adventures of Tintin earned just a nomination for original score.

Martin Scorsese's Hugo - his first animated feature and his first film in 3D - leads the way this year with 11 nominations, one more than the hotly-tipped, highly-acclaimed The Artist with 10.

The other films in the best picture list are The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life and War Horse.

Spielberg failed to earn a nod for War Horse in the director category, which instead homed in on Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Martin Scorsese (Hugo), Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris) and Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life) as the contenders.

The actors vying for the famous trophy are Demian Bichir (A Better Life), George Clooney (The Descendants), Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Brad Pitt (Moneyball). It was a welcome acknowledgement for Oldman, who has at last earned his first Oscar nomination, but a snub for Michael Fassbender who was expected to be up for his role as a sex addict in Shame.

Nominated for best actress are Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs), Viola Davis (The Help), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) and Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn). No sign of Tilda Swinton, who was expected to earn a nod for We Need To Talk About Kevin.

The nominations for the 84th Academy Awards were announced in Beverly Hills by actress Jennifer Lawrence and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak.
The awards will be presented on February 26 in a ceremony hosted by Billy Crystal.

Here's the full list:

Academy Awards 2012 nominations

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

Best actor
Demian Bichir - A Better Life
George Clooney - The Descendants
Jean Dujardin - 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

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

Supporting actress
Berenice Bejo - The Artist
Jessica Chastain - The Help
Melissa McCarthy - Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer - Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer - The Help

Adapted screenplay
The Descendants
The Ides of March
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Original screenplay
The Artist
Margin Call
Midnight In Paris
A Separation

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

Animated feature film
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots

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

The Artist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Costume design
The Artist
Jane Eyre

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

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

Film editing
The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Foreign language film
Bullhead (Belgium)
Footnote (Israel)
In Darkness (Poland)
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
A Separation (Iran)

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

Music (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

Music (Original Song)
Man or Muppet (The Muppets)
Real in Rio (Rio)

Short film (animated)
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life

Short film (live action)
The Shore
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic

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

Sound mixing
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

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