Year in Review: Ups and Downs of the Oscar Nominations

14 Jan

Rant. Rave. Review. 2012When I got up to watch the nominations for this year’s 85th Academy Awards (the Oscars), two things really shook me from my early morning stupor:

1. Seth MacFarlane is going to be a hilarious Oscar host (he announced the nominations).

2. In this amazing year in film, there were quite a few number of surprises in what many people considered to be “locks.”

Below are my particularly stronger positive and negative reactions to the nominations. Below that is the full list of nominated films. Form your own opinions and get your predictions ready for the ceremony on Sunday, February 24th!


Benh Zeitlin made his way in to the Best Director race with Beasts of the Southern Wild, blazing the path for future first-time indie film directors.

Biggest Downer:

Ben Affleck received the ultimate snub in the directing category even though he deserves as many awards as he can get for directing the intense thriller, Argo (thank you Critics Choice Awards and the Golden Globes).


Argo is no longer considered a frontrunner in the Best Picture race since the majority of past Picture winners have won Best Director as well, let alone have been nominated in the first place.


Voters realized how bad the direction was in Les Miserables and didn’t nominate Tom Hooper for Director.


Skyfall didn’t get a sneak attack nomination for Best Picture.


Looper got snubbed for Original Screenplay.


Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) beat out John Hawkes (The Sessions) for a Best Actor nomination.


Christoph Waltz got the Django Unchained Supporting Actor nomination over Leonardo DiCaprio for playing his EXACT same character from Inglorious Basterds.


Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike, Bernie, Killer Joe) got left out of Supporting Actor race. Lets just assume the votes were split between his three great roles.


The GOOD performances in Les Miserables (Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway) were recognized OVER the GREAT performances from Les Miserables (Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks).


The Dark Knight Rises was left off every category (including technicals) because it was the most overrated movie of 2012 and was a complete narrative and technical mess.


The Master and Moonrise Kingdom were snubbed in all technical awards despite the top quality filmmaking of directors Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson.


The Austrian produced, French film, Amour is officially the most overrated film being recognized at the Oscars (Best Director – Michael Haneke, Best Actress – Emmanuelle Riva, Best Original Screenplay, Best Picture and Best Foreign Film).

The 85th Academy Awards

Best Motion Picture


Beasts of the Southern Wild

Django Unchained
Les Misérables
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty 

Achievement in Directing

Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Michael Haneke, Amour

Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Denzel Washington, Flight
Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin, Argo
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams, The Master
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
Sally Field, Lincoln

Best Animated Feature Film

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

Original Screenplay

Amour, Michael Haneke
Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino
, John Gatins
Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal

Adapted Screenplay

Argo, Chris Terrio
Beasts of the Southern Wild
, Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin
Life of Pi, David Magee
Lincoln, Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell

Best Foreign-Language Film

A Royal Affair (Denmark)
No (Chile)
War Witch (Canada)
Kontiki (Norway)

Original Score

Anna Karenina, Dario Marianelli
Argo, Alexandre Desplat
Life of Pi, Mychael Danna
Lincoln, John Williams
Skyfall, Thomas Newman

Original Song

“Before My Time,” J. Ralph; Chasing Ice
“Everybody Needs a Best Friend,” Walter Murphy and Seth McFarlane; Ted
“Pi’s Lullaby,” Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayashri; Life of Pi
“Skyfall,” Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth; Skyfall
“Suddenly,” Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boulil; Les Misérables 

Achievement in Production Direction

Anna Karenina
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Misérables
Life of Pi

Achievement in Cinematography

Anna Karenina, Seamus McGarvey
Django Unchained, Robert Richardson
Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda
Lincoln, Janusz Kaminski
Skyfall, Roger Deakins

Achievement in Costume Design

Anna Karenina, Jacqueline Durran
Les Misérables, Paco Delgado
Lincoln, Joanna Johnston
Mirror Mirror, Eiko Ishioka
Snow White and the Huntsman, Colleen Atwood

Best Documentary Feature

5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for a Sugar Man

Best Documentary Short Subject

Kings Point
Mondays at Racine
Open Heart

Achievement in Film Editing

Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Achievement in Makeup & Hairstyling

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Misérables

Best Animated Short Film

Adam and Dog
Fresh Guacamole
Head Over Heels
Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”

Best Live-Action Short Film

Buzkashi Boys
Death of a Shadow

Achievement in Sound Editing

Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty

Achievement in Sound Mixing

Les Misérables
Life of Pi

Achievement in Visual Effects

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
Marvel’s The Avengers
Snow White and the Huntsman


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