2012 Oscar Nominations Have Been Announced

2012 Oscar Nominations Have Been Announced

I’m sad to say that I haven’t had a chance to see a majority of the films listed here.  Especially over this past year, I’ve taken to spending my money on seeing movies that are absolutely terrible (like, for instance, Real Steel: a movie so ridculous I left the theater with eyes full of tears from laughing so hard).

Controverseys are starting to bubble, but none so far seem to have anyone completely outraged.  Alyssa Rosenberg calls the list “deeply conventional,” noting the abscene of Shame contrasted against the conspicuous presence of War Horse.  Linda Holmes, however, points to one suprise, writing about Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close,

“That’s the nomination you’re going to be hearing about all day, at least from critics, many of whom reacted to the film with near-apoplectic disgust and offense. Interestingly, Extremely Loud was directed by Stephen Daldry, who also directed The Reader, the 2008 film in which Kate Winslet played an illiterate Nazi prison guard — a Best Picture nominee that a fair number of critics also hated. At the same time, it’s genuinely not often that a movie that this many critics hate this much is nominated for Best Picture, even if it does star Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock.”

Russ Fischer highlights the shunning of indie films,

Indie faves got nothing: Michael Fassbender‘s performance in Shame is not recognized, and Martha Marcy May Marlene and Melancholia are both absent any nominations. But indies and challenging films don’t often do well at the Oscars, so no big surprise there.  Drive did score a sound editing nod, but got no love for Albert Brooks in the Best Supporting Actor category. 

Now Drive is one of the films I did see this year and I loved every minute of it.  Indeed, as a long time Albert Brooks fan I’m especially dissappointed he didn’t make it into the running.  His transformation from dry comedy to dark drama is similar to the turn Bill Murray took last decade, and in Drive he delivers a small but wonderfully subtle performance.

Also no Best Actor nominations for either Michael Fassbender or Leonardo diCaprio.  The “Animated Feature Film” category is exceptionally weak, and the category for “Original Song” once again demonstrates its irrelevance.

The entire list of nominations is below. 

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


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

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Demián Bichir in “A Better Life”
  • George Clooney in “The Descendants”
  • Jean Dujardin in “The Artist”
  • Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
  • Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn”
  • Jonah Hill in “Moneyball”
  • Nick Nolte in “Warrior”
  • Christopher Plummer in “Beginners”
  • Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs”
  • Viola Davis in “The Help”
  • Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
  • Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady”
  • Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn”

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist”
  • Jessica Chastain in “The Help”
  • Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”
  • Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs”
  • Octavia Spencer in “The Help”

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • “The Descendants” Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
  • “Hugo” Screenplay by John Logan
  • “The Ides of March” Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
  • “Moneyball” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. Story by Stan Chervin
  • “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • “The Artist” Written by Michel Hazanavicius
  • “Bridesmaids” Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
  • “Margin Call” Written by J.C. Chandor
  • “Midnight in Paris” Written by Woody Allen
  • “A Separation” Written by Asghar Farhadi

Animated Feature Film

  • “A Cat in Paris” Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
  • “Chico & Rita” Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
  • “Kung Fu Panda 2? Jennifer Yuh Nelson
  • “Puss in Boots” Chris Miller
  • “Rango” Gore Verbinski

Art Direction

  • “The Artist” Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2? Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
  • “Hugo” Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
  • “Midnight in Paris” Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil
  • “War Horse” Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

Film Editing

  • “The Artist” Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
  • “The Descendants” Kevin Tent
  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
  • “Hugo” Thelma Schoonmaker
  • “Moneyball” Christopher Tellefsen


  • “The Artist” Guillaume Schiffman
  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Jeff Cronenweth
  • “Hugo” Robert Richardson
  • “The Tree of Life” Emmanuel Lubezki
  • “War Horse” Janusz Kaminski

Costume Design

  • “Anonymous” Lisy Christl
  • “The Artist” Mark Bridges
  • “Hugo” Sandy Powell
  • “Jane Eyre” Michael O’Connor
  • “W.E.” Arianne Phillips

Documentary (Feature)

  • “Hell and Back Again” Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner
  • “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
  • “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
  • “Pina” Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
  • “Undefeated” TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas

Documentary (Short Subject)

  • “The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement” Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
  • “God Is the Bigger Elvis” Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
  • “Incident in New Baghdad”James Spione
  • “Saving Face” Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
  • “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

Foreign Language Film

  • “Bullhead” Belgium
  • “Footnote” Israel
  • “In Darkness” Poland
  • “Monsieur Lazhar” Canada
  • “A Separation” Iran


  • “Albert Nobbs” Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2? Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
  • “The Iron Lady” Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

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” from “The Muppets” Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
  • “Real in Rio” from “Rio” Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Short Film (Animated)

  • “Dimanche/Sunday” Patrick Doyon
  • “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
  • “La Luna” Enrico Casarosa
  • “A Morning Stroll” Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
  • “Wild Life” Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

Short Film (Live Action)

  • “Pentecost” Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane
  • “Raju” Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
  • “The Shore” Terry George and Oorlagh George
  • “Time Freak” Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
  • “Tuba Atlantic” Hallvar Witzø

Sound Editing

  • “Drive” Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Ren Klyce
  • “Hugo” Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
  • “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
  • “War Horse” Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Sound Mixing

  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
  • “Hugo” Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
  • “Moneyball” Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick
  • “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
  • “War Horse” Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

Visual Effects

  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2? Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
  • “Hugo” Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
  • “Real Steel” Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
  • “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
  • “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier
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22 thoughts on “2012 Oscar Nominations Have Been Announced

  1. ‘Deeply conventional’ is what the Academy does best.

    I realize that it’s impossible to ignore the commercial spectacle that the ceremony provides, but I think we would have a far healthier outlook on cinema if the Academy stopped trying to be something for everyone. Instead of worrying about being innovative or responsive to the tastes of critics or the general public, it can indulge in validating the same tropes year after year. It can celebrate a particular set of values, while the Golden Globes then becomes free to celebrate another set, and so on.

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  2. Blech.  I very much want to see the Descendants; Hugo is a bit intriguing, and I liked Midnight in Paris far more than I thought I would, but the rest have struck me throughout the year as remarkably unimaginative, blatant attempts to get an Oscar that do little more than look at what has won in the past and then try to check off the boxes.  I had no desire to see them, and still don’t.  Frankly, some of these are so blatant, they reach the point of self-parody – so far as I can tell, “War Horse” could have been a movie from the portfolio of Ben Stiller’s character in Tropic Thunder.

    And while Midnight in Paris was surprisingly enjoyable because of its quirkiness, there’s nothing else about that movie that I found remarkable – the performances were good, not great, the script was interesting, but not prone to either belly laughs or tears; I’d give it a B+, a good movie but not one I’d want to see considered amongst the best of the year.

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  3. As has been par for the course over the last decade or so, I’ve only seen one of the Best Picture nominees (Hugo) and while I liked it very much, I have to pretty much abstain from opining as a result of my ignorance.

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  4. Generally conventional etc etc… though I’ll note that Meryl Streep probably deserves to have her name carved into every Oscar for best Lead actress from now on for her performance in Iron Lady.

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    • I’ve seen 3.5 of the Best Picture nominees. As Mark notes above, Midnight in Paris is better than you think it is but not nearly as good as the Academy thinks it is. The Help is also better than it should be, but it’s not even close to a good movie. Moneyball is excellent. Tree of Life is one of the most infuriatingly pretentious movies I’ve ever watched half of. It’s just… incredibly bad.

      I intend to see The Descendants and My Week With Marilyn. Otherwise, I’ll watch the others if I see them in passing. Nothing else here really excites me.

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  5. I’ve heard that Best Picture is very much about Hollywood politics; that the actual best movies of the year turn up in Best (Original and Adapted) Screenplay.I haven’t seen “War Horse” or “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, so I can’t vouch for their quality or lack thereof, but those seem to be the ones people are complaining about in Best Picture, and I’ll note neither is nominated in a Writing category.

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  6. Nominating Oldman means they saw Tinker Tailor.  With that in mind, I look at the Best Picture list and all I can say to myself is, “Extrememly Loud and Incredibly Close?  Really, Academy? …Really?

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