Oscar nominations reaction.

24Jan12

Well I won’t fake surprise, but it is a little shocking just how long and heinous the list of omissions is. Fassbender got snubbed for Shame, and presumably for similar conservative reasons Drive failed to pick up any heat. The former is the main scandal, but the latter’s not much better. Reznor and Ross, winners last year, were ignored for their Dragon Tattoo score. Fincher was similarly forgotten, as was Herzog for Into the Abyss. I’m yet to see J. Edgar, but DiCaprio’s absence is surely another oddity.

The flip-side is the wonderful news that Mara got recognition alongside Streep & co, and The Tree of Life turned out not to be too artsy, with the film up for Best Picture and Malick rightfully vying for the directing award. The cinematography and editing choices seem spot on.

The joke inclusion was surely Kenneth Branagh for his turn in My Week With Marilyn. But otherwise, ignoring the inevitable over-presence of The Help, this isn’t too bad. It’s particularly great to see Hugo picking up a heap of nominations.

Patterson comments:

Everyone always talks about Hollywood escapism, but this collection of nominees is positively evasionist. The flights to the past are backed up like air traffic over LaGuardia. In addition to Hugo (preserved in the amber of the 1930s), The Artist (sealed in a Hoover-era vacuum), we here find War Horse (where Spielberg trots back to World War I) and Midnight in Paris (where Woody Allen enters a Lost Generation wormhole), not to mention The Help (which, really, I’d rather not have to mention).

Williams agrees:

the 2011 contenders seem more like a big fuzzy blanket of sweetness and nostalgia. “Hugo,” “The Artist” and “Midnight In Paris” are all, literally, about men stuck in the creative past. They’re all lovely movies. The word we keep hearing is “homages.” But when the most transgressive things on nomination day are a nod for the dude from “Superbad” and a best song nomination for one of the “Flight of the Conchords” guys, it’s a great year for the Oscars, all right. As long as that year is 1925.

And Muir assures (£) us the inclusion of Extremely Loudly and Incredibly Close is insane:

take it from me, it’s a pile of 9/11 schmaltz that becomes a special form of torture two hours in. But it does contain Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, easy bait for Oscar voters.

I could easily have ended up much angrier about this. The only person I grant an unequivocal moral licence to beat up any and every Academy member he comes across is Michael Fassbender.

Full list of nominees here.

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