One not altogether unexpected consequence of having watched many more movies last year than in most of the last five is that I’m more interested in the Oscar nominations this year than in the recent past. I’m just going to work my way down the Academy’s official list of nominees and comment on what catches my eye.
- Well, right off the bat I’m disappointed that Moonrise Kingdom didn’t get a Best Picture nomination. Of the 2012 releases I saw, it was by far my favorite. Boo, Academy!
- The very first film named on this list is Amour. I don’t think I’ve even ever heard of Amour! I see there’s it also got a nomination in the Best Actress category, for an actress of whom I’ve never heard.
- Hmm, Les Misérables is listed out of alphabetical order. It should be listed after Life of Pi and Lincoln, not before. I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to articles.
- Seeing Zero Dark Thirty at the bottom of the list of Best Picture nominees makes me wonder if this is the first year that list has literally ranged from A to Z. (ETA: No. In 1970, Anne of the Thousand Days and Z both received Best Picture nominations.)
- I haven’t seen any of these Best Picture nominees. I know I will be seeing Lincoln before too very long, because I know it’ll be playing at UW-Madison’s Union South. Some the others may too, and others may end up at the bargain house, and if the scheduling works out I may go see them. I probably won’t be seeing Life of Pi or Les Misérables even if they’re shown for free at the Union, because I have that little interest in seeing them.
- All of the Best Supporting Actor nominees are previous winners. Way to spread it around, Academy.
- Quvenzhané Wallis, now that’s a great name. The other Best Actress nominees should be ashamed of themselves for not having names as interesting as that.
- I think I’ve only seen Best Actor nominee Bradley Cooper in two movies and I hated his character in both of them, so sometimes I catch myself thinking, Oh, Bradley Cooper, I don’t like him, before remembering it’s Sack and Phil I hate, not him.
- And with Best Animated Feature I finally find a nominated film I’ve seen! Two of them, actually: Paranorman and Wreck-It Ralph. Of the two, I’d give the nod to the latter.
- Four of the five nominees in Documentary Feature have TBD where a name should be. Documentary Feature is given to the director; how can they not know who directed those films?
- Ah, having reach the Foreign Language Film category, I see Amour is … Austrian? OK, that’s not the country I would’ve guessed.
- Five Best Original Song nominees! I can’t remember the last time that happened. (ETA: More recently than I thought: 2010.
- I’m not sure I approve of the phrase, “Oscar nominee Seth MacFarlane.” I guess it’s better than “Oscar winner Ghost,” but still. Incidentally, how did he get tapped to announce the nominees this year? Was he elected President of the Academy when I wasn’t paying attention?
- Oh, here’s another one I’ve seen: Best Short Film (Animated) nominee Paperman, which played before Wreck-It Ralph. It’s cute!
- And finally, here’s Moonrise Kingdom, in the Original Screenplay category! Well deserved, but I predict it will lose.
- It seems crazy to me that a movie based on real, historical events can be nominated as an Original Screenplay. Just because Zero Dark Thirty isn’t adapted from or based on one specific source (as, for example, Argo was) doesn’t make it original. (And while we’re on the subject, it’s equally crazy that includes characters created elsewhere but is otherwise wholly original, like previous nominees Toy Story 3 or Before Sunset, should be automatically placed in the Adapted Screenplay category. None of this year’s Adapted Screenplay nominees were affected by that rule, but that doesn’t make it less crazy.)
So, bottom line is, I’ve seen four of the Oscar-nominated films. A 33% increase from last year!