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81st Academy Awards¨ Press Kit Images

(click image above for the total list of nominees)

The annual orgy of whining and complaining about who the Academy (hahahahahaha) of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences have nominated for their annual awards ceremony commenced this morning shortly after (and likely even during) the announcements by hosts Seth McFarlane and Emma Stone (who looked kind of dumpy – I know it was 5:30 a.m. in LA, but you’re a professional, Emma). Here are my quick thoughts on how things shook out…because that’s precisely what you need in your life, more pontificating by me about what’s right and wrong, good and bad.

Here we go!

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Kathryn Bigelow pointing out Academy members who passed her over in today's nominations.

Kathryn Bigelow pointing out Academy members who passed her over in today’s nominations.

That Kathryn Bigelow was not nominated for Best Director for Zero Dark Thirty seems absolutely criminal to me. Without a doubt, this has been one of the most highly anticipated films of the last year and even since the announcement it was going into production. Bigelow is the only woman to ever win an Oscar for Best Director (for The Hurt Locker in 2008). Hollywood has long been viewed as misogynistic (which it is) and this doesn’t help. While I haven’t seen the film yet (it opens here tomorrow), I can’t help but to think she was deserving. I may well change my mind after seeing the film. In the same category, I just can’t believe that Paul Thomas Anderson was passed over for The Master. I think it’s the best film of the year and is deserving of any and all accolades. PTA is the most interesting director working. When he makes a film, you can be guaranteed it’s one worth watching. I know that The Master isn’t typical Academy fare (meaning it’s really good), but I have to think the members of the Academy who voted on this simply didn’t see it, which is pretty typical. Oh well. They missed out. The thing is, when people talk about the movies from this year 10 years from now, they will be talking about The Master, not the completely overrated Lincoln. They will be talking about Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance, but that’s it with regards to Lincoln.

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Johnny Greenwood‘s score for The Master being overlooked is unreal. The same thing happened to him with his score for There Will Be Blood. Do we really have to have the same 5-7 composers nominated every fucking year? Is there a rule that John Williams, Thomas Newman, Howard Shore and Alexandre Desplat have to be nominated every damn year? Who are they, Edith Head? Boo.

I think the most egregious error on the part of the Academy was passing over Ben Richardson‘s cinematography in Beasts of the Southern Wild. They were very kind to that film in most regards, but its cinematography was its most valuable asset. In my mind, it was the finest shot film of the year. Like last year when Emmanuel Lubezki was passed over for the award for his work on The Tree of Life, but at least he got a nomination. What a joke. I also think that Mihai Malamaire‘s work on The Master should have been recognized. As a non-white participant, I guess this should be expected. SIGH.

Surprises

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I made an entire movie with this haircut and you can’t even get me one nomination?

Micahel Haneke and his film Amour getting five nominations is big, but Les Miserables director Tom Hooper and Argo director Ben Affleck getting passed over might bigger. Completely shocked by both, but not as much as Bigelow‘s snub. Jacki Weaver and Bradley Cooper (come on – really?) getting nominations and Silver Linings Playbook getting eight nominations in total was pretty surprising for a relatively conventional film with a terrible pat Hollywood ending. Editing? Why the hell would it get nominated for editing? Benh Zeitlin‘s nomination for director, Quvenzhané Wallis’ nomination for Best Actress (the youngest nominee ever at age 9 and gives a much stronger performance than former child winners Tatum O’Neal and Anna Paquin) and Beasts of the Southern Wild‘s Best Picture nomination were very pleasant surprises. One of my top 5 films of the year and deserving of all accolades. Bravo to the Academy for recognizing a smaller film. I think most people are/will be surprised by Joaquin Phoenix‘s nomination for Best Actor in The Master. This slot (or Cooper‘s) seemed destined for Ben Affleck in Argo. Good on Phoenix. He was pretty damn solid.

I will mention this – Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won 11 Oscars when that trilogy was completed, but Christopher Nolan‘s epic Dark Knight trilogy’s final film gets zero. Interesting. Not that I think Dark Knight Rises was some incredible film, but as it goes, the trilogy is some of the best filmmaking in its genre ever produced. Just saying.

I’m sure I’ll have more to bitch about after I digest this more. Initial reactions are always fun to hold onto.

Meanwhile- Vote below!: