You might have heard that the Academy Award nominations were announced.

As usual, I’m a day late and a dollar short. It’s all part of my charm, no?

I think this link will show you my full list of picks in 24 categories. But if it doesn’t, it will take you to the New York Times 2012 Oscar Ballot, where you should definitely register, make your own picks, and join my pool! To keep this post from being even longer (and even more boring?) than it already is, I’m just going to focus on the big six here.

Best Picture

The Artist (Thomas Langmann, Producer)
The Descendants (Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers)
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Scott Rudin, Producer)
The Help (Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers)
Hugo (Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers)
Midnight in Paris (Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers)
Moneyball (Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers)
The Tree of Life (Nominees to be determined)
War Horse (Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers)

I’m going with The Artist. To be fair, I’ve only seen two of the movies nominated for Best Picture (The Help and Midnight in Paris). I liked them both (a lot!), but I don’t think either one has the chops to win the Academy’s grand prize. I hope to see a few more of the films before Feb. 26 and maybe I’ll change my mind – I certainly reserve the right to do so. But based on its Golden Globe win, a fair amount of buzz, the novelty of a “silent” film and the subject matter – Hollywood loves movies about Hollywood – I think The Artist could very well take it.

Directing

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

Again, I’m not really qualified to make a judgement here. I’ve only seen one of the films in this category. That said, The Tree of Life is supposedly a wonder to behold. Any film that had theaters putting up a notice that you would NOT get a refund if you chose to walk out after the first 20 minutes has to be something special. The Tree of Life won the Palme d’Or, but I don’t think it will win Best Picture, so Best Directing will be the (still totally awesome) consolation prize.

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)

Honestly, this pick is more about who I want to win and not who will win. Viola Davis is awesome and she deserves an Oscar. Of course Meryl Streep is also awesome, but the woman’s got a set of Oscar bookends already. Glen Close has a long career without ever having won an Oscar, so she could get it. Michelle Williams has also been nominated a few times, but has yet to win. I think either Close or Williams could take it and it would be more for their entire body of work than just these nominated performances. The Academy seems to work that way at times. Any way you look at it, this is a close race. Except I have no idea what Rooney Mara is even doing in this category, so if she wins I’ll be shocked.

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)

Demián Bichir is not a popular choice, I know. From the buzz, Clooney seems to have this locked up. And I love George Clooney, but he’s always just playing George Clooney to me. Clooney didn’t win for Up in the Air, so he could easily win for this. Again, not a fair pick as I haven’t seen Clooney’s film or any of the other films in this category. I just think it is harder to act without words. Mimes don’t get enough respect?

Actress In A Supporting Role

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

Octavia Spencer rocked this role. She won the Golden Globe. Jessica Chastain’s in the same film and not as good as Spencer. No one knows who the hell Bérénice Bejo and Janet McTeer are. Melissa McCarthy’s character shat in a sink. This category is as close to a lock as it gets, in my opinion.

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 & Incredibly Close)

I haven’t seen any of these films. I adore Max von Sydow, but I’ll puke if the exploitative (IMO) 9/11 movie wins any awards. I love Kenneth Branagh, so he gets my vote.

Snubs (My Favorite “Unofficial” Category)

  • There were only two nominees for original song. The Academy ignored all of the Golden Globe nominees for Best Original Song. Where’s the love for Mary J. Blige, Hollywood? Has the Academy still not forgiven Madonna for Swept Away? I don’t get this one.
  • Michael Fassbender got no love for Shame. Penis envy, perhaps?
  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross got shut out in Original Score for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
  • I think Tate Taylor should have gotten an Adapted Screenplay nomination for The Help. The movie was better than the book, and that’s thanks to Tate Taylor.
  • The Adventures of Tintin did NOT get nominated for Animated Film, but Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in Boots did? Really? Now these are three movies I did see – if it’s animated or for children, there’s a much better chance I’ve seen it – and the nominated films were both cute. But they were not anything groundbreaking or new, especially considering they were a sequel and a spin-off, respectively. Tintin did motion capture right, possibly for the first time. That should be recognized.
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