Sunday, January 29, 2012

10 Oscar Fails in 2012

Every year, we get a set of Oscar nominations and there's always something to complain about. This year might just be a prime example of that. I did this post at the same time last year, so I figured I could do it again. So here are the snubs in top 10 order, the way I see them...

10. Best Original Score: The Chemical Brothers - Hanna


I may not have been the biggest fan of Hanna, but that score has been on replay on my iPod ever since I bought it in October. It is filled with so many strange sounds that take you to this fantastical place worlds away from here. It really is an out of this world score. Perhaps it is the absence of violins or other orchestral instruments that don't make it an obvious choice, but it was truly the best thing I'd heard since The Social Network's score. And how about 'Container Park'? That song makes me wish I was chasing down some evil people and beating the crap out of them. But then I've got to remember that I'm walking down the main street of Dannevirke.

9. Best Original Screenplay: Mike Mills - Beginners


I must admit, while I liked Beginners, I wasn't the hugest fan of it when I first saw it. Then I bought the DVD and I was completely taken away with it. While the performances at the front are all brilliant (it is so sad that Ewan McGregor is going unnoticed for his work), it is the somewhat personal script by writer/director Mike Mills shines through. It is raw and realistic - in many ways, what The Descendants ultimately failed to do for me. I particularly loved the "this is what .... looks like", and the fractured timeline. Not to mention the dialogue that Arthur got!

8. Best Animated Feature: The Adventures of Tintin


Don't quote me, but I thought that The Adventures of Tintin was all cleared to be eligible for this award. And hey, motion capture is the way of the future, so why wouldn't this be eligible? It may not have been perfect, but it was a bloody fun ride and I'd definitely pick this over Puss in Boots any day. The snub hurts...and it particularly hurts NZ, too. While everyone was crying foul over the more obvious snubs like Fassy, every news program in NZ kept going on about the Tintin snub. It's okay, we in NZ are used to being pushed aside and forgotten...

7. Best Picture: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II


There were many deserving films that missed out on a Best Picture nomination - Drive, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo etc etc etc, but no snub hurts as bad as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II. Say what you will about the series, but there have been some great films that have come out of it and they sure have a huge fanbase. This film was particularly good, becoming the highest grossing film of the year and one of the most critically acclaimed, too. But the reason that this film should have been nominated is the fact that it is literally the end of an era. The Harry Potter films have had their fair share of technical nominations, but this was the last chance it ever had to be nominated for something more. It seems like such a waste and a little offensive that they wouldn't give this last film an award that the series genuinely deserved. Oh well, the Academy are going to regret it in a few years.

6. Best Original Score: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


Sure, they may have won last year and sure, this score isn't as good as The Social Network's, but their just about three hour long score is a beast. Literally. Starting with a cover of 'Immigrant Song' and ending with a brilliant vocal song called 'Is Your Love Strong Enough?', with plenty of dark ambient tones in between, this has the power to be at times either relaxing or terrifying. In some of the songs, I feel like I should be wearing a leather jacket and chasing after an Enya enthusiast, and in others, I feel like walking around like a badass. But just like The Social Network, the soundtrack makes me feel like a total badass when I'm typing. I definitely would have shafted both of the John Williams scores for this one and Hanna. Because with the War Horse one, if I played that whilst walking across a lush green field I wouldn't feel like a badass.

5. Best Actress: Kirsten Dunst - Melancholia


It is a little weird to think that Melancholia didn't get any Oscar recognition (but I think Lars von Trier kinda ruined that for himself), because it did deserve it. Especially deserving was Kirsten Dunst, who delivered my second favourite female performance of the year (the first being Rooney Mara, say what you will, she was amazing) as the depressive Justine who is out to destroy herself and everyone around her. Considering that Dunst went through a similar type of depression not so long ago, you have to praise her for revisiting what was probably a horrible time in her life in crippling fashion. Her performance was absolutely heart-breaking while making me hate her because of her nihilistic views of the world and how she ruins everything. I thought that her Cannes win would have given her some momentum, but alas, a truly great performance is forgotten in favour of mimicry from Meryl Streep.

4. Best Actor: Michael Fassbender - Shame


No, I haven't seen Shame. But I know enough. Michael Fassbender should have been nominated, goddamit. What pisses me off the most about this snub though, is the reason that an Academy voter gave to the LA Times: "He's a guy who's unfamiliar to a lot of people and did a movie that's really intimate. That was a super-brave performance but…perhaps it inspired people to fantasize, and not actually vote." All I have to say is fuck you. That is a bullshit excuse for not voting someone in. You're just too scared to nominate something so explicit and you're jealous because Michael Fassbender's penis is bigger than yours. Assholes.

3. Best Supporting Actor: Alan Rickman - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II


I would have loved to have seen either Ralph Fiennes or Alan Rickman nominated for their brilliant work in the Harry Potter movies, but if we were going for just this one film, Alan Rickman deserved some recognition. He was one of the only actors who found consistency in his character right throughout the series. But it is in this particular film where he is given his time to shine (somewhat briefly, though), and he is absolutely heart-breaking. He is beyond amazing as Severus Snape that it makes me wonder why, in such a weak field, he didn't come forth as a proper competitor. Rickman's voice gives me the chills, too.

2. Best Director: Nicolas Winding Refn - Drive 


Give Refn a few years and a few more films like Drive, and I think he'll emerge as one of the best modern directors. Before Drive I saw Bronson, which I really disliked, but I LOVED his directorial style. With Drive, this is more of a Hollywood film with half of the budget, and he delivers with style. Calm, fresh style. The car chases aren't edited to incomprehensibility, and the really violent scenes are directed in slow-mo so they get under your skin. Add in the hand-picked 80s style soundtrack and you have so much badassery it is criminal. I look forward to what Refn has in store for us...he is awesome.

1. Best Editing: Senna


Okay, so it was never going to happen. And I'm still fuming that it didn't make to the Best Documentary shortlist. But let's look at it this way: the films nominated had a few hours of footage to edit into the story from the screenplay and add a bit of style. And for all we know, they did that well. Senna, however? That had footage from a man's entire LIFE to edit down. What it got edited down to was something pretty close to a normal looking narrative, and it doesn't even use interviews from the present day, just archival footage. It features some of the most phenomenal editing I've ever seen, and it would run rings around any of the other films and their editing released in 2011.

What are your Oscar fails of 2012?

33 comments:

  1. Great list. Agree with each and everyone, though not in the same order. I always did keep hope for the Academy turning around and giving HP the nominations it deserved (Film, Supporting Actor, even Adapted Screenplay), but in the end I only have a Dumbledore quote to say about them "Pity the living, and above all those who live without love." Such an important series, such a small-minded guild.

    Also, I was really pissed about Albert Brooks because I thought that would be one thing they would nominate Drive for, though yes Refn, and even Gosling were the better parts about the film. Shailene Woodley was amazing. I loved Tintin too, so that sucks. The scores for TGWTDT and Hanna were top-notch, but that War Horse cacophony got the nomination. Poor Kiki, I hope she gets another chance soon. Fassy will come back with a force, you see. And oh the day they realise what a gem Ewan McGregor is will be a fantastic day for us all.

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    1. That is an excellent quote for this very moment.

      Yeah, I was pissed about Albert Brooks too, but mainly just all of the non-love for Drive. Practically everyone loved it, so I thought it might have got some love. Alas, that was not the case. Damn, I forgot about Shailene! I read a quote that said "Yes, McCarthy may have stolen the show off a bunch of comedians, but Woodley stole the show off George Clooney." So true. I hope that Kiki gets another chance, she has always been a fantastic actress but her performance in Melancholia was nothing short of phenomenal. Yup, Fassy will come back with a force. And WHY is Ewan McGregor so underrated? His performance in Beginners was perfect.

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  2. I completely agree with your list, especially with your top 5. Drive not being nominated is pretty normal for me by now, but I would have liked for Fassbender to be recognized, even if he won't win- he trully is fantastic in Shame!

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  3. Great list - I'm personally not a fan of Melancholia, but Dunst's performance was fantastic, whatever else I may have thought of it.

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    1. Anyone who thinks that Dunst wasn't fantastic in that movie obviously doesn't have good taste!

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  4. "Drive" has been the epic fails of this years nominations, especially after it made nearly every critics top 10 list. Still this year has been especially noteworthy for what the academy has overlooked, with Ryan Gosling, Joseph Gordan Lewit and Tilda Swindon all missing out on best actor nods.

    Was certainly expecting to see "We Need To Talk About Kevin" and "50/50" on the nomination list aswell, both of which like "Drive" were noticeably missing, yet "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" makes the list??

    The Academy needs to have a rethink, though extremely doubtful that this will happen.

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    1. Don't even get me started on Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. This year's nominations has been Extremely Frustrating and Incredibly Stupid.

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  5. *groan* It bugs me that films like Midnight Cowboy, A Clockwork Orange and Last Tango in Paris got Oscar recognition like forty years ago. What does Shame, a film just as daring as those three, get? Not a damn thing. (Personally, as I told you before, once you see it, you'll fully understand why Alex from "And So It Begins..." and I are so enraged by this idiotic decision.)

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    1. That is a point that I've often thought about. Why are they suddenly acting like scared little kittens?

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    2. And there's the whole Crash/Brokeback Mountain fiasco. (DON'T get me started on that. Still annoys me just thinking about it.)

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  6. totally agree with most of this, especially the score for girl with the dragon tatoo and the direction of Drive.

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  7. I'd agree with most except for the Harry Potter snubs. Deathly Hallows Part 2 was weaker than Part 1. And it's not like DHP2 was a really amazing film to begin with.

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    1. I thought that DH2 was weaker than DH1, but I was searching for more of a 'whole series' nomination.

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  8. Great list! It really shows where each of the academy branches sits in terms of their comfort levels. Nothing too risky. Nothing too commercial. And then the old guard deciding what does and doesn't "count" as animation.

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    1. They shouldn't be sitting anywhere. They should realise what is good and what isn't! And yes, Tintin should have counted as animation.

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  9. Spot on! Some snubs I would have loved to see make the Oscar nominations but in some ways I'm not so surprised these didn't make the cut. Shame was always going to be far to edgy for Mr Oscar's sensibilities (same for Drive) but I'm surprised Beginners didn't get more recognition.

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    1. It makes me sad that Beginners didn't get more recognition :(

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  10. What a great article, I agree with so many of those. The soundtrack category is an embarassment this year, to ignore Skin I Live in, Dragon Tattoo Take Shelter, Moneyball and Hanna to nominate John Williams twice is just insulting to people with taste.
    and that excuse Academy member gave for Fass's snub is stupid - I loved Fass since Inglourious Basterds and I couldn't wait to see him in "Shame", yes, also because he is naked there, but the movie is so bleak, harrowing and depressing the last thing you are encouraged to do is fantasize about anything, much less sex after seeing it.

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    1. The score category is stupid. There were so many great scores, and John Williams didn't compose any of them.

      It is stupid!

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  11. I agree with this list. This year's Oscars are weak.

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    1. They just can't handle Michael Fassbender's penis. If you had seen the film, you would pretty much be obsessed with it as I am. I've become gay for Fassbender.

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  13. Dang it, I REALLY want to see Senna but they're not available to rent yet. And yep, I'm so with you about Tintin, I was so convinced it'd be amongst the noms but this who ineligible ruling stuff is just bogus.

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    1. Seeeeeee it! The ineligibility of Tintin (if that is even the reason it was snubbed) is so stupid. Alas, the have a couple more films to decide that they were wrong.

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  14. The biggest snub for me was Tintin. I was so so so upset about this in particular. Somehow, I wasn't much surprised when they left out Fassbender, although it's a shame indeed. And original score category is a total failure. I also loved Cliff Martinez's score in Contagion and I would rather nominate Alberto Iglesias for The Skin I Live In.

    Funny enough, I was overall satisfied with the nomainations because they didn't leave me absolutely devastated like last year with Chris Nolan director snub.

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