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Post by Admin on Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:58 am

http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/2012/01/oscars-2012-snubs-ryan-gosling-harry-potter-and-surprises-gary-oldman-jonah-hill.html

Oscars 2012: Snubs (Ryan Gosling, 'Harry Potter') and surprises (Gary Oldman, Jonah Hill)

By Rick Porter



January 24, 2012 10:19 AM ET
Follow @Zap2itRick on TwitterTwitter
oscars-2012-snubs-surprises.jpgAlas, the 11th-hour Oscar campaign for Uggie, the dog from "The Artist," fell short Tuesday (Jan. 24).

OK, so that's not really a surprise. But as is pretty much always the case with the Academy Awards, we're left scratching our heads at a few of the people left out of the nominations and happily surprised at a few others. (The full list of nominees is here.)

Snubs

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2." Warner Bros. pushed hard to get a best picture nomination for the final installment of the franchise, but it didn't happen. The academy nominated nine movies for best picture this year under its new rules -- so let the conspiracy theories that "Deathly Hallows Part 2" was the 10th take root.

Michael Fassbender. We're not overly surprised that the usually staid academy didn't recognize Fassbender's work in "Shame," given its frank depiction of sexuality and NC-17 rating. But we also figured his Golden Globe nomination and slew of critics' awards might propel him into the Oscar field. Nope.

"The Adventures of Tintin." The Steven Spielberg-directed, Peter Jackson-produced animated hit was shut out of the best animated feature race and scored only one nomination elsewhere, for John Williams' score.

Ryan Gosling. Tumblr's favorite son didn't score a nomination for any of the three high-profile (and well-received) roles he played last year in "Drive," "The Ides of March" and "Crazy, Stupid, Love." And while we're at it, we'd like to note that Gosling's "Drive" co-star Albert Brooks also got snubbed.

The screenplays for "50/50," "Win Win" and "Young Adult." According to the Writers Guild of America, those were three of the best original screenplays of the year. None of them, however, cracked the field for a nomination. (Side note: We really wish "Win Win" had gotten a little more play in general this awards season. It was one of the better movies we saw in 2011.)

Madonna and Elton John. Only two songs (from "The Muppets" and "Rio") were nominated for best original song, meaning there won't be a repeat of the Golden Globes snipe-off between these two titans of pop music. We'd like to imagine that they'll be sitting on opposite ends of a very long couch at an Oscar party on Feb. 26, casting dirty looks at each other all night.

Surprises

Gary Oldman. "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" has flown under the radar this awards season (at least in this country), but we're gratified to see Oldman get a nod for his excellent performance. Ditto for the screenplay nod to Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan for expertly paring down John Le Carre's massive spy novel.

Demian Bichir. The star of the little-seen "A Better Life" followed up his SAG Award nomination with an Oscar nod -- and probably moved the film up a lot of Netflix queues as a result.

"Chico & Rita" and "A Cat in Paris." Unless you're a serious animation aficionado, we're guessing you haven't heard of either of these nominees for best animated feature. Both had extremely limited runs to qualify for the awards ("Chico & Rita" is getting another limited release next month).

"Oscar nominee Jonah Hill." It's not that he doesn't deserve his nomination for "Moneyball." It's just sort of hard to get used to thinking of the guy from "Superbad" and "Knocked Up" in that way.

What surprised you about Tuesday's nominations?
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Post by Admin on Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:00 am

http://popwatch.ew.com/2012/01/24/oscar-snubs-2/

Jan 24 2012 09:38 AM ET


Oscar snubs Michael Fassbender, Leonardo DiCaprio, 'Tintin': Which omission hurts the most?
by Aly Semigran
Categories: Awards, Festivals & Events, Everyone's a Critic, HeadScratcher, Hollywood, Movies, Oscars, Ryan Gosling, Things That Are Sad

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SHAME

Image Credit: Golden Globes

Shame, indeed. Despite being one of the biggest breakout stars of 2011, thanks to his mesmerizing performance as a sex addict in the harrowing drama Shame, Michael Fassbender was surprisingly not called among the nominees for this year’s Academy Awards. Long considered a shoo-in for a Best Actor nominee, Fassbender was edged out by first-time nominee Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and dark horse nominee Demián Bichir for A Better Life. (EW’s Dave Karger hoped Oscar voters would take notice, and it seems like they most certainly did.)

But Fassbender wasn’t the only shocking snub in the Best Actor category. Ryan Gosling was a triple threat in 2011 with his acclaimed turns in Drive, The Ides of March, and Crazy Stupid Love. (Though the latter would have been in the Best Supporting Actor race.) Between breaking up street fights, being a good sport about your, uh, supporting actor, and of course, turning in great performances, fans of Gosling and Fassbender are no doubt wondering this morning, ‘Jeez, what’s a guy have to do to get an Oscar nomination?!’

Joining Fassbender and Gosling in the notable snubs in the acting races are Golden Globe and SAG nominee Leonardo DiCaprio for J. Edgar (Best Actor), Gosling’s Drive costar Albert Brooks (Best Supporting Actor), and We Need to Talk About Kevin‘s Tilda Swinton, who lost her spot in the Best Actress race to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo‘s Rooney Mara.

As if awards show perennials like DiCaprio and Swinton getting left out weren’t surprising enough, there were plenty of other baffling snubs in other categories. A Golden Globe nominee, Will Reiser’s equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking autobiographical 50/50 was omitted from the Best Original Screenplay race. Hollywood legend and three-time Oscar winner Steven Spielberg was snubbed from the Best Director category for War Horse. While The Adventures of Tintin won the Globes’ Best Animated Feature trophy, it was no match for out-of-left-field choices like A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita. And lest we remind Harry Potter fans, the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 was left out of all of the major categories.

Oscars 2012: Get the latest news, photos, and more

But tell me PopWatchers, which snub shocked you the most? Fassbender? Gosling? Brooks? Swinton? Share in the comments section below!
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Post by Admin on Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:02 am

http://www.suntimes.com/news/roeper/10205319-452/academys-biggest-snubs-start-with-albert-brooks-and-michael-fassbender.html

Academy’s biggest snubs? Start with Albert Brooks and Michael Fassbender

By RICHARD ROEPER rroeper@suntimes.com January 24, 2012 10:32AM

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Updated: January 24, 2012 4:19PM


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is nothing if not obtuse.

Amazing, but these guys still think the best way to announce the Oscar nominations is to hold a press conference at 5:30 a.m. Pacific time in order to get maximum coverage from the morning chat shows.

But, hey, they spice it up by bringing in a formerly nominated actress to help read the nominees in rapid-fire fashion. Breathtaking television!

So, as usual, the nominations were announced in a press conference that was underwhelming, un-dramatic — and was punctuated by a few unprofessional so-called journalists whooping it up when their favorites were announced. Who were those clowns who let loose when “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” was given an undeserving nod as one nine “Best Picture” nominees?

And the nominees aren’t . . . ,

Let’s start with the biggest snubs. After making nearly every other organization’s final five (and winning the Chicago Film Critics award), Albert Brooks wasn’t even get nominated for his brilliant work as a movie producer turned cold-blooded villain in “Drive.” Well, at least Brooks won’t have to sit there and smile grimly when Christopher Plummer’s name is announced.

Equally shocking was the absence of Michael Fassbender’s name for “Best Actor” for “Shame.” Not to demean Demian Bichir’s fine work in “A Better Life,” but raise your hand if you’ve seen Demian Bichir’s fine work in “A Better Life.” (Not that popularity should translate to awards, of course.)

I like Jonah Hill, but I’m not sure his work in “Moneyball” was more impressive than Ben Kingsley in “Hugo.” And how about that Melissa McCarthy getting a “Best Supporting Actress” nod for “Bridesmaids?” I’m thinking that’s the first time an actress was nominated for a performance that called for her to, um, relieve herself in a sink. But I’ll have to re-check Dame Judi Dench’s body of work.

Every half-decade or so, there’s a “Best Actress” performance that you know will resonate for generations. Meryl Streep in “Sophie’s Choice,” Kathy Bates in “Misery,” Hilary Swank in “Million Dollar Baby,” Halle Berry in “Monster’s Ball.”

Other “Best Actress” wins are more indicative of a performer’s overall popularity and a showcase role, e.g., Julia Roberts in “Erin Brockovich” or last year’s win for Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side.”

I thought the best performance by any actress in a lead role this year was Tilda Swinton in “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” As the mother of a son who seems destined to become a sociopath from the cradle, Swinton does searing, shattering work. It’s a difficult film to sit through as we anticipate the inevitable, but anyone who sees “We Need to Talk About Kevin” (opening this Friday in Chicago) won’t soon forget Swinton’s work.

Yet Swinton wasn’t even nominated. I have no idea how so many industry professionals could omit her name from the ballot.

But it was great to see Rooney Mara recognized for her star-making performance in “The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo,” and, of course, Academy favorites such as George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Woody Allen were deserving of their nods.

As for “Best Picture,” don’t even get me started on the convoluted process that led to nine nominees. I wasn’t surprised the Academy didn’t recognize such cutting edge films as “Drive” and “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” but “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” was a bit of a shocker.

And how can there be only two nominees for “Best Song?” Nobody else was singing in 2011?

The 84th Academy Awards will be Feb. 26. As we speak, Billy Crystal and his writers are figuring out ways to incorporate “War Horse,” “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” and “The Help” into an opening number.

I’ll have all my predictions in the coming weeks, but this much you can bank on. There will be some moments of great drama and inspiration, and a 90-minute stretch in which we’ll be bored out of our friggin’ minds.
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Post by Admin on Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:59 pm

http://www.thehollywoodnews.com/2012/01/25/2012s-oscar-snubs/

2012′s Oscar Snubs

I’ve been reading and re-reading the list of the 2012 Oscar nominees and try as I might, still can’t see Tilda Swinton’s name in the Best Actress category. Swinton’s portrayal of the damaged mother of a murderous child in WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN garnered critical acclaim, though not enough to impress the Academy. With notable nominations for HUGO, THE ARTIST, and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, it seems 2012′s Oscars will be much lighter fare.

Other notable absences include Michael Fassbender’s role as a sex addict in SHAME, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination in 2011. Ryan Gosling’s getaway driver in DRIVE also failed to impress, and director Nicolas Winding Refn lost out on a Best Director nod despite winning the prize at Cannes last year. YOUNG ADULT stars Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt are also missing from the list, with writer Diablo Cody absent from the Original Screenplay category.

Albert Brooks — who missed out on a nomination for his role as gangster Bernie Rose — jokingly took to Twitter to announce: ‘I got ROBBED. I don’t mean the Oscars, I mean literally. My pants and shoes have been stolen’. YOUNG ADULT’s Oswalt swiftly invited him to an exclusive fantasy party for 2012′s snubbed actors…
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Post by Admin on Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:59 pm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/jan/25/oscar-nominations-2012-snubbed-actors

Oscar nominations 2012: the fallout begins

Academy criticised for overlooking performances by Michael Fassbender, Tilda Swinton and Albert Brooks

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Ben Child
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 25 January 2012 08.26 EST
Article history

Michael Fassbender, Tilda Swinton and Albert Brooks
Snubbed … Michael Fassbender, Tilda Swinton and Albert Brooks overlooked for Oscars 2012. Photograph: David Fisher/Danny Martindale/Danny Moloshok/Rex Features/WireImage/Reuters

Less than 24 hours after this year's Oscars nominations were announced by actor Jennifer Lawrence in Los Angeles, an extended round of soul-searching, navel-gazing and outright angst surrounded notable absentees such as We Need to Talk About Kevin, Drive and Tintin.

The recriminations began almost as soon as Lawrence stepped off stage at the Samuel Goldwyn theatre in Beverly Hills. Drive's Albert Brooks, seen as a frontrunner for the best supporting actor gong, took to Twitter to berate the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences following his surprise omission from the nominations, writing: "And to the Academy: You don't like me. You really don't like me." He added: "Looking forward to the State of the Union tonight. Hope the new Axis of Evil includes Hollywood."

Meanwhile, Michael Fassbender's snub in the best actor category for Shame was flagged up by BBCFilm2012, and Tilda Swinton's best actress omission for We Need to Talk About Kevin also raised more than a few eyebrows. Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers tweeted: "Oscar snubs Albert Brooks/Drive. Ditto Fassbender for Shame, Shannon for Take Shelter & Swinton for Kevin. A new definition for ignorance."

Young Adult's Patton Oswalt was clearly hoping for a best supporting actor nod after picking up plaudits from critics in the run up to Tuesday's announcement. He tweeted: "Join me for a drink at The Drawing Room, @AlbertBrooks? Me and [Andy] Serkis have been here since 6am."

Twentieth Century Fox had mounted an expensive but ultimately fruitless campaign for Serkis to be rewarded with a best supporting actor nod for his motion-capture turn as Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Another film that relied heavily on the technology was Tintin, which failed to pick up expected nominations for best animation and best visual effects.

"The visual effects branch didn't recognise it, because they thought it was animation, and the animation branch didn't recognise it because it was using performance capture and visual effects techniques," said Joe Letteri of New Zealand firm Weta Digital, which worked on the Steven Spielberg film. "That was a really big oversight."

But there were also positives. Moneyball's best supporting actor nominee Jonah Hill said his awards success had convinced him to shift his career emphasis from comic acting to more dramatic fare. "I came out in comedies when I was first introduced to people, and very few people, like Tom Hanks and Robin Williams, have been able to transition," he said. "To have this kind of recognition – it means I should do more dramas. I don't know if there could be a bigger sign."

Meanwhile, producers of multi-nominated films such as The Artist and Hugo were hoping to capitalise on their newfound renown with an expanded presence in cinemas. The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius's black and white tribute to the silent era, may benefit most from its 10 nominations since it has not yet played in a large number of cinemas. Surprise best film nominee, the post-9/11 drama Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, and Alexander Payne's The Descendants may also improve their box office dramatically following worldwide exposure.

Martin Scorsese's 3D fantasy Hugo, which took the highest number of nominations (11), is also set to expand at US theatres. "I'm hoping that more people will perk up and discover the film," said producer Graham King. "We came out at a very competitive time, and I'm really hoping Hugo will grow again." Industry site Box Office Mojo signalled the potential for Oscar-nominated films to benefit from their newfound recognition when it tweeted: "Out of the nine Best Picture nominees, The Help is the only one that has so far made over $100m."
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Post by Admin on Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:00 pm

http://www.empireonline.com/features/2012-oscar-injustices/p2

The 2012 Oscar Injustices
The nominees who should-have-been at the 84th Academy Awards


Movie: Shame

The man behind the year’s big ‘Ooooh-matron’ moments, Michael Fassbender was extremely unlucky not to pick up an Oscar nomination for Shame. His performance as Brandon Sullivan, a character whose fractured sexual psyche leads him into some of the most intense movie moments since, well, Hunger, was the kind that normally has the Academy in raptures (see also: Midnight Cowboy and Last Tango In Paris). Sadly not this time. Possibly he's too young for the Academy, which has a terrible record when it comes to awarding lead actors under 40, or possibly he hasn't quite broken through in the US yet. Still, if he keeps producing work of this standard, and maybe keeps at least some of his clothes on next time so the male voters don't get an inferiority complex, he should take home the prize in the near future.
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Post by Admin on Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:23 pm

http://thescorecardreview.com/articles/tsr-blog-articles/2012/01/25/tsr-blog-nick-allen-reacts-to-oscar-nominees-old-is-gold/27287

TSR Blog: Nick Allen Reacts to Oscar Nominees – Old is Gold

January 25, 2012 9:58 am
Nick Allen
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Internet, before this Oscar nominations rant explodes into a tirade of curmudgeon grumbles, let me start off by offering a shiny, non-copyrighted mantra, free of charge, that best describes this race: “Old is gold.”

I’ll leave precise predictions on this year’s awards to a later date, but let’s talk about the nominations themselves. There’s a lot to cover, (I’ll miss a few things), but first let’s look at how Oscar likes to look back, with its directors and what it considers be the year’s top films.

And for your guide, please refer to this list of nominees, which features all of our reviews of the nominated films.

I. “Best Director” and “Best Picture”

Especially when looking at the “Best Director” category as a more concise picture of this year’s race, this Oscar year is a veteran’s hall of filmmakers. With an exception of Hazanavicius (more on him in a second), the works of previously nominated (if not awarded) “auteurs” dominate this list. Some directors have plenty of gold behind them, such as Martin Scorsese and especially Woody Allen. Terrence Malick has been nominated for “Best Director” before, and Alexander Payne was nominated for Sideways, but didn’t win. (He lost to Clint Eastwood that year, who is now completely MIA from this nomination list).

There are three movies with direct nostalgia for the older days of art, and two of them come from the “vets” – Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and Scorsese’s Hugo.

The only fresh nominee to “Best Director” is Michel Hazanavicius, who is able to sneak into this vet’s club by being an “old soul” with his film The Artist. Nominated ten times, The Artist plays into nearly the same heart-strings of those who gave great kudos to Hugo, but does so with an even more unique touch. (How Beginners doesn’t win more of the “old soul” vote is beyond me.)

Though they are not recognized by the “Best Director” category, two other filmmakers are given a shot at “Best Picture”, (a shot they will undoubtedly lose): Steven Spielberg for War Horse, and Stephen Daldry for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

We all know how much the academy loves Spielberg, but Daldry has been personally nominated three times – and hasn’t won. Whoever the hell is out there voting for snoozefests like The Reader and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, you need to step your game up. Or better yet, apologize for voting for this movie up to “Best Picture.”

In terms of “old,” every “Best Picture” nominee explores its stories with earlier time settings, with an exception of one – The Descendants. Even “current” movies like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Moneyball distance themselves from 2012 by at least four or five years.

Perhaps its a coincidence, or there really is some screenwriting science to it – Oscar prefers to look back, then look ahead.

SNUBS: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I don’t want it to be on this list, (it could be Fincher’s least interesting movie of all), but the film’s nominations for Best Editing, Best Actress, and even Best Cinematography have me thinking this one could have snuck into the top of the race if it had more mojo.

And yes, Drive. Nicolas Winding Refn is more than deserving of a “Best Director” nod, and more so than, dare I say, Woody Allen. Refn was able to make the most groan-worthy pitch into a fresh roaring beast. He proves the vitality of Hollywood’s storytelling abilities, and the importance of a director’s vision to every nook and cranny of a film.

II. Acting categories

On top of the general sense of competition, this year’s acting categories receive a delicious boost by featuring a large amount of performers who have been nominated, but have never won. Under this list you’ll find Brad Pitt, Nick Nolte, Christopher Plummer, Max von Sydow, Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Williams, Viola Davis, Glenn Close, and Janet McTeer. Not only will this year’s voting take into account an actor’s performance, but their overall impression on academy members as a whole. Will the same people who gave Nolte his two Oscar nominations before push him towards a victory with Warrior? What about Glenn Close and her history of having five nominations?

Of course, there are also new faces in this race, some of whose presence is exciting, if not already triumphant. For example, it’s certainly a victory for the Judd Apatow Hollywood Family Tree with Jonah Hill’s nomination for Moneyball, as he reminds us of the potential for those who start off in goofy comedies (a la Tom Hanks). Perhaps this will boost people towards accepting actors like Seth Rogen when they try more projects like 50/50.

Look, even Gary Oldman is getting a nomination for finally being quiet after shouting for two decades!

I don’t understand or agree with Rooney Mara’s nomination for Dragon Tattoo. There was never a point in which she made me completely forget Noomi Rapace, the original Listbeth Salander from the Swedish films. And in fact, there was hardly a point in which director David Fincher had me forget the Swedish version too. Do academy members make up for “Best Picture” snubs by throwing actor accolades around?

Or, Bridesmaids got its revenge against those who wrote it off as a “female Hangover” by earning Melissa McCarthy a nomination for “Best Supporting Actress,” reminding viewers that it’s possible for a comedy with “pooping in the sink” jokes to have some merit.

As 2012 has been the Year of the Chastain, (since she was in every movie except The Smurfs) it’s not surprising she got an Oscar nomination. It’s just surprising that it’s for The Help over The Tree of Life, especially since Terrence Malick’s movie has “Best Director” and “Best Picture” going for it, but not even a single performance. And because her work is much more significant in Malick’s movie as the mother to the film’s spirit, as opposed to being a woman whose ditziness (and tight dress) make her endearing.

My favorite surprise is Demian Bechir’s nomination for A Better Life, which gives more credit to non-hyped movies still catching the academy’s eye. (Let’s be honest, have you even heard of it? I gave it a 4/10 back in July.) Bechir has little chance of winning, but this nomination is a victory nonetheless. It’s this type of unexpected recognition that makes Oscar season more exciting.

Of course, with all of this talk of newcomers, there are two previous award winners who have a strong chance of taking the top categories and shutting down the previously nominated pity party, Meryl Streep and George Clooney, veterans of the Oscar gambit for sure. Streep could very likely punch Michelle Williams’ impersonation of Marilyn Monroe right in the face, and George Clooney could kick away Brad Pitt’s cane, while also telling the guy from The Artist (Jean Dujardin) to shut up. Streep and Clooney – just two a**holes.

And lest we not forget my incredibly original motto, “old is gold” – especially for the “Best Supporting Actor” nominees. Everyone except for Jonah Hill is over the age of fifty, and the two oldest candidates, who carry heavy “veteran” presence appearing in numerous lauded films throughout their entire careers, are both 82.

SNUBS: As we have probably figured out already, this movie year has been populated with more notable performances than in the past few years, but that doesn’t give the academy an excuse to miss over some top-notch turns. For example, Charlize Theron Young Adult. It’s a challenging performance, and Theron plays it like a queen. (Just watch her last interaction with Patton Oswalt’s on-screen sister – magnificent stuff). If Oscar voters were really so wrapped up in Rooney Mara’s f**ked up character, why not choose a performance that really challenges American audiences, instead of gives them more of the same, but with no subtitles? Overall, the academy really didn’t gel with the film from Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody, but maybe that’s because it’s about being 35, and not 55 or 82.

The distaste towards the villain seems to have taken effect in supporting actor as well – where is Albert Brooks for Drive? How do academy members vote for performances like Heath Ledger’s Joker or Javier Bardem’s Anton Chigurh without at least throwing a bone towards the year’s best villain?

Those who seemed to love Shame are probably up in arms on Michael Fassbender not getting a nomination for showing his penis and acting shifty, and I feel they might be on to something. It’s certainly an – excuse me – ballsy performance. And if not for Fassbender, why not Carey Mulligan’s performance?

And lest we forget, Shailene Woodley in The Descendants seemed to be a straight-shot for a nomination, but somehow that changed over The Help-themed slumber parties at academy member households.

III. Screenplay Categories

“Best Original Screenplay” and “Best Adapted Screenplay” might be the least stressful section of all the Oscar categories, but my teeth still slightly gnash in confusion when certain movies are taken into account (you can read about them in the more organized “Snubs” section below).

“Adapted Screenplay” has little surprise in my book aside from The Ides of March, which is a perfect place for that movie. It doesn’t deserve to win, but it deserves to be acknowledged (at least, if you’re going to already ignore Philip Seymour Hoffman’s and Paul Giamatti’s performances).

The category with a bit more color is “Original Screenplay.” While Bridesmaids may not seem the same type of film to get similar recognition to a Woody Allen script, the more surprising inclusion is JC Chandor for Margin Call. Like Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo for Bridesmaids, Margin Call is Chandor’s first script. On top of this, a screenplay for a highly-praised foreign film (I haven’t seen it yet) A Separation has been thrown into the ring, making Hazanavicius’ likely victory a tad more questionable.

SNUBS: As far as recognizing independent first-time scripts go, Margin Call isn’t the one I’d put at the top of the pile. Where is 50/50, which even the hacks at the Golden Globe sought to recognize? Or Martha Marcy May Marlene?

In general, I’m surprised Beginners hasn’t caught more steam with voters. If you’re looking at it from an incredibly shallow perspective, what components is it missing? It has cancer, homosexuality, death, parents, and it’s all based on a very true story. Please tell me the subtitled dog didn’t have anything to do with this.

It would have been nice to see Win Win pop into the category of “Best Original Screenplay,” but I suppose that’s the fate you face when releasing your movie in March.

Also, insert here more grumbles about Young Adult not being included.

IV. Other Categories

Animated Feature: How do you nominate the abysmal Puss in Boots and not The Adventures of Tintin? Show me one sequence you find to be impressive in Puss and I’ll show you triple that in Tintin. The script may not be the best, but it’s certainly more involving than a Shrek spin-off.

Best Cinematography: Where’s The Descendants? Take out Dragon Tattoo, replace it with the gorgeous yet humbling depiction of Hawaii captured in Payne’s movie, and call it a day. David Fincher cinematographer Cronenweth deserves kudos for better work, which I’m sure isn’t too far down the line. (If he wasn’t up against Inception last year, he should have won it then.)

Best Original Score: The fanboys and girls who keep voting John Williams need to step up their game, or just submit to the fact that they will lose again to The Artist. Even with Williams being nominated TWICE in the same category. The biggest surprise here is Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I didn’t think anyone liked the muted jazz score as much as I did.

Best Make Up: Looks like The Iron Lady and Albert Nobbs are going to fight over the award Norbit was once nominated for.

Sound Editing: Okay, yes, the sound in Drive is great. But that’s it? If you’re going for technical kudos, why not give Drive a nudge towards “Best Cinematography”?

Best Visual Effects: Here’s hoping Hugo loses to a summer blockbuster just because. This might be the one category that Harry Potter fans will get to claim their own as their movie franchise disappears from movie calendars forever (until the inevitable remake).

OVERALL

As outsiders to the academy, we can at least be glad that this year’s ceremony holds little guarantees. The same people who voted for Demian Bechir could help flip this movie awards showboat away from the direction of The Artist, and in the direction of something like The Help. Academy members, if you are reading this, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please make sure that doesn’t happen.
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Post by Admin on Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:24 pm

http://www.fusedfilm.com/2012/01/2012-academy-awards-top-10-snubs/

2012 Academy Awards: Top 10 Snubs

By Mike Lee • January 25, 2012 •

Yesterday, the AMPAS announced their nominees for the 2012 Academy Awards. While the announcement was not short of its expected picks or surprises, there were some glaring snubs that cannot go unnoticed. Albert Brooks, Tilda Swinton, and Michael Fassbender were just some of the names that many had predicted to earn nominations. But the AMPAS did not see it that way. So after looking at the complete list of nominees, these are my top ten snubs that the AMPAS made yesterday.


10. Tate Taylor
A relatively small director to say the least, but he did manage to write, adapt, and direct the summer sleeper hit, The Help. The movie received a best picture nomination, plus a three acting nominations. But is exclusion from the DGA’s was an early indication that Taylor wouldn’t be making the cut. But the aforemented reasons should have been enough to get nominated.


9. 50/50
This movie was one of the most beautifully written screenplays of 2011. I can’t imagine why 50/50 got snubbed, The screenplay is loosely based on the life of comedy writer Will Reiser, friend and frequent co-writer of the film’s co-lead, Seth Rogen. Heartfelt and hilarious at the same time, 50/50 was expected to earn a few nominations at best.


8. Steven Spielberg
Directing two well-received movies last December, Steven Spielberg was posied to at least earn a directing nomination for War Horse. However, Speilberg’s technical know-how and knowledge of its branches wasn’t enough to get nominated. Still the movie has a chance to win the Best Picture award, but its going up against the likes of The Artist and Hugo.


7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Perhaps the best installement in the entire movie franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, was the epitome of the perfect summer movie. Powerful performances, great visuals, and a well-adapted screenplay, should have been enough to earn a Best Picture nom.


6. Andy Serkis
Getting nominated for a supporting actor award for his performance in Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a long shot, but the lack of an honorary award is atricous. Fox has been pushing the Academy to recognize him for his work, as should every studio that sees the actor in their projects.


5. David Fincher
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had earned two technical and a film editing nomination, which would lead many to believe that Fincher would be earning a nomination for his directorial work on the movie. Alas he didn’t earn it.


4. Tilda Swinton
Another unjust snub from the Academy. But Swinton should have been a favorite amongst the film community given that she has already won award for her performance in Michael Clayton in 2008. Insiders and Analysts had perdricted she would be nominated for her role in the movie.


3. The Adventures of Tintin
Honestly, the film was the best motion-capture technology had to offer. The crisp, clean, and glistening animation in The Adventures of Tintin had me excited. The amazing one-shot take that took place in Monoco was absolutely beautiful and well thought. But the Academy snubbing The Adventures of Tintin, proves that the Academy is still hesitant about movies that uses the technology.
2. Michael Fassbender

Shame may not have been the most widely distributed movie, attribute that to its NC-17 rating, but Fassbender’s performance did earn rave reviews. Powerful, raw, and clearly focused, Fassbender went beyond the call of what was asked and delivered a stellar performance. So how is it that the Academy ignored him?


1. Albert Brooks
Everyone who saw the movie praised Brooks’ performance in the movie. And rightfully so, the actor delivered a stellar performance and shined above everyone else in the movie. Drive was also a fine movie by itself, but it could not have been great as it is without Brooks’ involvement.

84th Annual Academy Awards will be announced on February 26, and just like is announcement, the show will be filled with met expectations and surprises.
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Post by Admin on Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:27 pm

http://www.newsinfilm.com/2012/01/25/8-movies-the-academy-missed-biggest-shutouts/

8 Movies the Academy Missed: Biggest Shutouts

Published by Jeff Leins on January 25, 2012

Yesterday’s announcement of the 2012 Academy Award nominations sparked the usual chatter. The annual dissection of the lists to find the surprises and snubs, a tradition I enjoy. The Oscar pundits tallying up their correct predictions (while I laugh and count the told-you-so comments). The lofty few who have risen above the awards, proclaiming that “the movies are all that matter,” as if we’ve forgotten. The typically canned reactions from the nominees’ publicists. It’s the Super Bowl of awards shows for people who care about that sort of thing.

I do, for the record, even if that means silly frustration over miniature golden men. Yet every time I attempt to let the Oscars go, someone reminds me that Crash won “Best Picture” in 2006, and I’m back to caring and grumbling about how the Academy got it all wrong again.

“It’s an honor just to be nominated.” You hear that phony answer every year too. But this time I was shocked by how many strong films weren’t honored at all. The Adventures of Tintin managed only one nomination, for John Williams’ score. Drive picked up a measly sound mixing nomination. The final Harry Potter could only apparate into 3 technical categories.

But at least they managed to get something. Here are eight feature films — there were too many docs — that were completely shut out, despite being among the best movies in 2011:

Shame
Shame – Fox Searchlight did the right thing by keeping Steve McQueen’s NC-17 film intact, even if it meant stifling its chances with audiences and awards voters. Sadly, adult nudity and uncomfortable sexual situations meant Michael Fassbender’s raw portrayal of a sex addict on a downward slide was criminally overlooked. So were Carey Mulligan’s devastating supporting performance and McQueen’s brilliant sophomore film.

Pariah
Pariah – Some called it “this year’s Precious,” but that label is reductive and wholly unfair to what is ultimately a much better movie. Dee Rees deserves recognition for her fantastic first film, one that started as an NYU thesis and expanded to feature length under the tutelage of Spike Lee. Adepero Oduye delivers a breakout performance as a lesbian teen challenged by the norms of society and the expectations of her family. At it’s emotional core, this is a powerful movie about being a teenager and finding your own way. Pariah indeed.

Martha Marcy May Marlene
Martha Marcy May Marlene – For months, Elizabeth Olsen, sister of the “Full House” twins, seemed like a lock for the Academy’s “ingenue slot,” the annual anointing of a young emerging actress who doesn’t stand a chance for the Oscar among the usual Streeps and Winslets but still earns a career boost. (Jennifer Lawrence, Carey Mulligan, Anne Hathaway, and Ellen Page were the most recent, going backward.) Rooney Mara edged her out though, by virtue of momentum. Other curious omissions were John Hawkes in supporting and an editing nod for blending the two intense, colliding worlds of an escaped cult follower.

50-50
50/50 – Will Reiser’s personal battle with cancer wasn’t weepy enough, I guess. The Academy likes their death-defying dramas dipped in tragedy and filled with life-affirming journeys, not mainstream jokes about exploiting cancer for sex delivered by Seth Rogen. But Reiser’s screenplay played both sides of the “dramedy” effectively, and squeezed in a sweet romance subplot as a bonus. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was nominated for a Golden Globe, for what that’s worth, but couldn’t break the competitive top five this year.

We Need to Talk about Kevin
We Need to Talk about Kevin – Tilda Swinton was robbed, plain and simple. She gave a truly terrific performance as the mother of a mass murdering teen, but it’s a dark role and her character’s responsibility is deliberately dubious. Too tough to swallow, Hollywood? Lynne Ramsay wrote and directed the hell out of this film too. It’s a shame, since this is a much more moving story of grief and human tragedy than the surprise, saccharine “Best Picture” nominee Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

Young Adult
Young Adult – Jason Reitman has been nominated for directing twice. Diablo Cody won for writing (Juno). Charlize Theron won before. So it came as a shock that all three were shut out of their respective categories, and for a film that was a remarkable improvement over Juno. It must have been Theron’s caustic anti-hero, a role so bitchy and selfish it’s hard to find common ground. (Related: Charlize Theron doesn’t want your sympathy.)

Melancholia
Melancholia – Provocateur Lars von Trier’s Hitler comments may have been more far-reaching than we thought. The May ‘11 outrage overshadowed Kirsten Dunst’s much-deserved “best actress” award at the Cannes Film Festival, so no one thought of her when the ballots were being cast. And Charlotte Gainsbourg is no stranger to being overlooked. Melancholia may be a more mainstream film than von Trier’s usual oeuvre, but it’s also a story about being bipolar, split into two halves, with a looming apocalyptic metaphor, so perhaps it was a bit too bizarre for the Academy? Von Trier at the Oscars could be fun.

Take Shelter
Take Shelter – Another movie about mental illness passed over, in this case Jeff Nichols’ dark horse drama about a man’s apocalyptic nightmares. Michael Shannon has been consistently good lately, but he is excellent here as a father who obsessively builds a storm shelter to protect his family. Several critic associations lavished him with praise. He picked up nominations at the Independent Spirit, Gotham, and Satellite awards. There was just no room in the tight “Best Actor” Oscar race after populist picks like Pitt and Clooney. I expect we’ll see plenty more greatness from Shannon, his co-star Jessica Chastain, and Nichols.

Did I miss any of your favorite Oscar shutouts? Any J. Edgar fans out there?
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Post by Admin on Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:43 pm

http://popwatch.ew.com/2012/01/25/oscars-2012-factoids/

Jan 25 2012 10:58 AM ET

Oscars 2012: Interesting facts about this year's nominees...
by Kate Ward

The 84th Academy Award nominees were announced yesterday, but you’re still perusing the list. And so are we, if only to wonder once again why — why?! – folks like Ryan Gosling and Michael Fassbender were snubbed from the list. Ahem. But we’re getting over that, and instead focusing on this year’s race, which boasts quite a few interesting factoids. How many newbies are in the race? When has a silent film last been nominated? Which two actresses are facing off against one another for the third time? Read on to find out!

Two out of the nine Best Picture nominees this year are comedies: The Artist and Midnight in Paris. But Oscar hasn’t been kind to comedies — the last time a film in the genre has won the trophy was in 1998, with Shakespeare in Love. And before that, in 1989, with Driving Miss Daisy (which, let’s face it, isn’t too much of a comedy as it is). Perhaps Oscar is just overdue on their once-a-decade recognition of the genre?

Mon dieu! What a good year 2012 is for the French at the Oscars! Two out of the three Best Picture nominees are set in France (Hugo and Midnight in Paris), Best Animated Feature nominee A Cat in Paris is from the City of Lights, and The Artist – a film with a heavily French cast and crew — is nominated for nine awards. Strangely enough, one category that doesn’t boast a French twist? Best Foreign Language Film.

The Artist is the first (mostly) silent film in 83 years to be nominated for an Oscar. The last time a silent film has won was way back in 1927/1928, when Wings picked up the first Best Picture statue ever awarded.

However, we’ve seen a black-and-white film like The Artist nominated far more recently — George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck scored a nod back in 2005.

Since 2008, The Weinstein Company has seen at least one film nominated for Best Picture every year: The Reader in 2008, Inglourious Basterds in 2009, The King’s Speech in 2010, and The Artist in 2011. While still with Miramax, prior to cofounding The Weinstein Company in 2005, Bob and Harvey Weinstein saw films nominated almost every year, starting with 1992: The Crying Game (1992), The Piano (1993), Pulp Fiction (1994), Il Postino (1995), Good Will Hunting (1997), Life Is Beautiful (1998), Cider House Rules (1999), Chocolat (2000), In the Bedroom (2001), Chicago (2002), Gangs of New York (2002), The Hours (2002), Finding Neverland (2004), and The Aviator (2004).

Three out of the five Best Actor nominees starred in Best Picture-nominated films (George Clooney for The Descendants, Jean Dujardin for The Artist, and Brad Pitt for Moneyball), whereas only one Best Actress nominee starred in a Best Picture-nominated film (Viola Davis for The Help.)

There are nine first-time nominees in the acting categories. The Best Supporting Actress category is populated with the most newbies (Bérénice Bejo, Jessica Chastain, Melissa McCarthy, and Octavia Spencer), while the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor categories are filled with vets, with only one new nominee each (Rooney Mara and Jonah Hill).

Including this year’s nod for The Iron Lady, Meryl Streep has been nominated a record 17 times over the course of her career, and has won two statues. The actress, however, hasn’t won in 29 years, bagging her last Oscar in 1983 for Sophie’s Choice. Glenn Close, up for Albert Nobbs this year, has been nominated six times and has picked up zero statues. Will either find luck this year? History says the odds aren’t in their favor: The two actresses have competed against each other in the Best Actress category twice before (in 1988 and 1989) — and both have walked home empty-handed.

This year’s Best Director race is full of vets: Only one, Michel Hazanavicius, is a first-time nominee. Compare that to 2011, which boasted three first-time nominees in the category (Darren Aronofsky, David O. Russell, and winner Tom Hooper).

Cars 2 is the first Pixar film to not be nominated for an Oscar since the Best Animated Feature category was introduced in 2001. Quite a hit to the studio’s track record, especially when you consider six out of the eight Pixar films nominated in the past 11 years have won the Oscar.

Kung Fu Panda 2 is the third sequel to be nominated in the Best Animated Feature category. Shrek 2 scored a nod in 2004, while Toy Story 3 bagged the win last year. Puss in Boots is the first spin-off nominee.

Three Best Screenplay nominees have appeared in their own films this year: George Clooney in The Ides of March (Best Adapted Screenplay) and Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids (Best Original Screenplay).

Eat your heart out, Meryl Streep. Including his two nominations this year for The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse, John Williams has been nominated for a whopping 47 Academy Awards over his long career. And though two nominations in one year might seem like a lot, Williams was nominated for three Oscars in 1974 and 1996.
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Post by Admin on Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:02 pm

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2012/01/they_wuz_robbed.html

Roger Ebert's Journal
They wuz robbed
By Roger Ebert on January 26, 2012 5:02 PM

oscar_bandit.jpgOf course, no nominee is really robbed of an Academy Award nomination. It's a gift; not a right. The balloting procedure is conducted honestly and reflects a collective opinion, which was demonstrated this year when the Academy voters had the curiosity to seek out Demian Bichir for best actor for his deeply convincing performance as a Mexican gardener in Los Angeles in "A Better Life." He wasn't on my mental list of possible candidates, but when I heard the name, I thought, "Of course! Good thinking!"

Does it therefore follow that in the best actor category, Bichir "robbed" Michael Shannon of "Take Shelter," Ryan Gosling of "Drive" or Michael Fassbender of "Shame"? It does not, even though those performances were so good. There were no unworthy nominees for best actor. But let me also point out that none of the five nominees was as electrifying as the three who were "robbed." That's not a fault. Their roles weren't of that nature.


In the best actress category, those who were "robbed" included Tilda Swinton in "We Need to Talk About Kevin," Charlize Theron in "Young Adult" and Vera Farmiga in "Higher Ground." Here I will be bold and name two nominees I didn't feel were worthy: Meryl Streep and Glenn Close.

Streep, of course, is a paragon. Her impersonation of Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady" was so uncanny she could have given a speech on the BBC and fooled a lot of people. But it wasn't a very good film and didn't make adequate use of her as a resource. In my review, I used a happy turn of phrase: She was all dressed up with nowhere to go. Nominating Miss Streep seems to have become an annual ritual for the Academy, like bringing on the accountants with their briefcases.


fermiga.jpg


Vera Farmiga not only starred in "Higher Ground," but also directed it. In both tasks she shows complete clarity about what she wants to accomplish. The film follows three stages in a woman's journey through religion: childhood belief, mainstream Protestant, 40ish evangelical. (She plays the third.) The film never says she is making the right or wrong decision, only that what she does seems necessary at the time she does it. In a world where believers and agnostics are polarized and hold simplified ideas about each other, it takes a step back and sees faith as a series of choices that should be freely made. She is intensely human at every stage.

Glenn Close's performance in "Albert Nobbs" was too limited, I think. Her female-to-male transition evoked a character paralyzed with dread of discovery. Except for one lovely scene of brief liberation, there was no range, simply a woman who hopes that by keeping a frozen face and blending into the wallpaper she can pass. Her Albert Nobbs seems monumentally clueless if she believes it's plausible the cute little chambermaid yearns for a sexless marriage running a tobacco shop. Nobbs seems not merely frightened and shy, but lacking a basic working knowledge of the facts of life. That isn't inappropriate for the character, perhaps, but it does little to make the film involving.

In her place I would rather have seen Tilda Swinton's devastating performance as the unwilling mother of a demonic son in "We Need to Talk About Kevin," or Charlize Theron's self-destructive, vulnerable former prom queen in "Young Adult." Yes, her character was as clueless as Albert Nobbs in thinking her high school boyfriend would drop his wife and new baby to marry her. But it's the kind of thinking an alcoholic can drift into.


parron and theron.jpg

a
In the same film, Patton Oswalt's performance as the legendary nerd in Theron's high school class deserved a nomination. So certainly did the work of Albert Brooks in "Drive," as a gnarly old gangster a million miles distant from his previous characters. Both performers were acting. Who were they "robbed" by? I think perhaps by Nick Nolte's work as the father in "Warrior." I wrote in my review that "he embodies, as only Nick Nolte can, the shaggy, weathered heroism of a man who is trying one more time to pull himself together." Yes, but isn't that the role he's been playing routinely? To see him as the great actor he is, look again at his nominated leading performance in Paul Schrader's "Affliction" (1997). In "Warrior," he's typecast.

Here's a question I hate to ask. Why was Max von Sydow nominated for "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"? It was not a great movie, and the role of a young boy's wise old companion was not original nor did it stretch. Does it strike you as ironic that at the age of 82, with 145 IMDb credits since 1949, the iconic actor from so many of Ingmar Bergman's masterpieces should have been nominated for this film? Brooks and Oswalt were taking chances and bringing forth from within themslves characters who were original and new.

As best actor, I would have preferred seeing Ryan Gosling from "Drive" or Michael Fassbender from "Shame." I'll get back to "Drive." I think it goes without saying that Fassbender, playing a tortured, joyless, addicted masturbator, would not be nominated. To some degree, less perhaps in recent years, the Academy seems afraid the public will confuse the behavior of nominated characters with their own characters. They don't want to be seen as sympathizing with masturbators.


chastain tree.jpg


I have one complaint about the supporting actress category: It was not an actress but a film that was robbed. Jessica Chastain had an extraordinary year, but its highlight was the deeply believable mother in "The Tree of Life." Her performance in "The Help" not only had less weight and dimension, but it served a character, the trophy wife, who was marginal compared to the other nominated actresses.

In the same category, the nomination of Melissa McCarthy for "Bridesmaids" was deserved. Her chubby, butch gal pal was an original, a woman whose authenticity stole every scene -- and incidentally, a character we'll remember better than the leads.

Of course, this is all pure personal opinion. Most criticisms of the annual nominees can be translated as, "Here's who I would have nominated." I thought "The Tree of Life" was a masterpiece and was pleased that the Academy agreed. I know it had its puzzled detractors, some of whom reportedly demanded their money back. You know my reservations about "The Help," but it won great popularity and admiration. The best film nominee that puzzles me the most is "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." It attached a 9/11 connection to the implausible story of a young boy wandering all over New York on a wild goose chase, but never mind: Did you meet anyone who really loved it?


brooks and ryan.jpg


The film that should have been named in this category is Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive." Transcending the crime genre, it stars Ryan Gosling as a man who lives primarily to drive. Sometimes he's a movie stunt driver, sometimes he drives getaway for crooks. He seems to have no family, no history and seemingly few emotions. Whatever happened to him drove any personality deep beneath the surface. He is an existential hero, defined entirely by his behavior. Not depending on violence, not buttressed by chase scenes, this film is a personality study. How often do we find the hero of an "action picture" to be this deeply interesting?

I have saved the worst robbery for last, and of course it is the Academy's inexplicable decision to ignore Steve James' and Alex Kotlowitz's "The Interrupters," which I think by consensus was the best documentary of the year. Filmed on dangerous streets, it followed Chicago ex-cons and former gang members who formed CeaseFire, a group of "violence interrupters" who personally interposed to talk street gangs out of deadly shootings.

This is the most discussed non-nomination since 1994, when James' masterpiece "Hoop Dreams" was not nominated. It was later revealed that volunteers of the Academy's documentary branch turned off "Hoop Dreams" after watching it for only 15 minutes. What their reasons were for passing over "The Interrupters" I cannot imagine. Which of the other nominees "stole" the nomination? I have nothing to say against any of them. So, tactfully, I will suggest it was a collective theft by all five.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:25 am

http://scottfeinberg.com/no-%E2%80%9Cshame%E2%80%9D-for-oscars-%E2%80%93-big-snubs

http://www.hollywoodnews.com/2012/01/24/no-%E2%80%9Cshame%E2%80%9D-for-oscars-big-snubs/

Tue, Jan 24 2012
No “Shame” for Oscars – Big Snubs
By: Roger Friedman

HollywoodNews.com: The Oscar nominations are in, and there are lots of movies and actors who got left out. Steve McQueen’s “Shame” was totally snubbed, along with actors Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. Too much sex? The Academy rejected full frontal nudity, that’s for sure. A fascinating film, but depressing–and now set to become a video hit only. Clint Eastwood’s “J Edgar” never caught on at the box office, and now the actors–Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer–are out in the cold as well. “J Edgar” was very well made, but the point of the story was lost–it was not a love story that people wanted to see, but the saga of Hoover’s abuse of power.

Also gone are “Drive”–with Albert Brooks and Ryan Gosling’s terrific work, plus Jason Reitman’s “Young Adult”–simply released at the wrong time. It should have gone to Sundance and worked the festivals. Too edgy for Christmas. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” produced only love for Rooney Mara. And the big shock–that the Academy didn’t want Steven Spielberg’s “Tintin” at all, and chose obscure animated films instead. Wow. Plus, only two nominations for Best Song–that’s going to be a short segment–the songs from “The Help” and “Gnomeo and Juliet” didn’t register at all.

Some congrats–in documentaries to Joe Berlinger’s “Paradise Lost 3″ and to Wim Wender’s “Pina.” And in costumes, it’s nice that “Anonymous” got a nod. Even if the movie was loony, it looked great.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:26 am

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/26/michael-fassbenders-penis_n_1233893.html

Michael Fassbender's Penis Caused Oscar Snub?
Michael Fassbender

First Posted: 01/26/2012 11:25 am Updated: 01/26/2012 11:25 am

Lost in all the hysterics over Albert Brooks's unbelievable snub by the Academy Awards on Tuesday morning was the fact that Michael Fassbender got dinged too! After all, the breakout leading man -- who appeared in four movies in 2011, including "X-Men: First Class," "Jane Eyre" and "A Dangerous Method" -- was expected to earn Oscar plaudits for his bracing work in "Shame," the sex addiction drama from Steve McQueen. Why was Fassbender left off the list, despite a performance that was well-loved by everyone and featured the type of risks (full-frontal nudity) that usually point to Oscar gold? Well, he might have been a victim of his own endowment.

"He's a guy who's unfamiliar to a lot of people and did a movie that's really intimate," an unnamed Academy member told the Los Angeles Times gossip blog, The Ministry. "That was a super-brave performance but ... perhaps it inspired people to fantasize, and not actually vote."

To that end, it seems that all the attention recently focused on Fassbender's Fassmember was a detriment to his campaign.

"Really Michael, honestly, you can play golf like this with your hands behind your back," George Clooney joked about the star's anatomy during his acceptance speech at the Golden Globes earlier this month. Probably not true, George! But it's a trick Fassbender can try to perfect while you're winning Best Actor during the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 26.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:40 pm

http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/blogs/the-travers-take/damn-you-oscar-2012-20120125

Damn You, Oscars 2012!

POSTED: January 25, 5:35 PM ET

Peter Travers has no shortage of material for this special Oscars edition of Damn You, Hollywood! Though the Academy has expanded the Best Picture category from five to as many as ten films (they chose nine), did the crowd-pleasing Bridesmaids make the cut? Nooo! How about Drive, which is Travers' pick for the year's best film, or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? Nope. Suddenly the Academy has cold feet about anything that hints at controversy, he fumes. And they wouldn't know good acting if it hit them in the face.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:49 pm

http://www.avclub.com/articles/have-you-considered-that-michael-fassbenders-penis,68385/

Have you considered that Michael Fassbender's penis may have cost him an Oscar nomination?
by Sean O'Neal January 27, 2012

Inexplicably overlooked in the discussion of which deserving actors failed to receive Oscar nominations and what sort of fun party they might have is this crucial determinant: Did those actors have giant penises? In the cases of Albert Brooks and Tilda Swinton, you have only the rainbow-colored reaches of your imagination, but as for Shame’s Michael Fassbender, well, his penis is both in your face and on the lips of George Clooney. And as this Los Angeles Times article hypothesizes, as with so many of us, it simply became impossible for Academy members to concentrate on the nuances of Fassbender’s performance what with all that dick hanging around there chewing up the scenery, like a shorter, veinier Al Pacino.

Fassbender’s turn as a tormented sex addict “had tongues wagging since last fall, but as awards campaigning chugged along, some of the wagging moved from what was in his performance to what was in his underwear,” says the article in an actual sentence, one that did not cause its writer to take pause and consider the mental image evoked by placing “tongues wagging” so close to “in his underwear.” And a “high-ranking Academy voter” agrees, “Perhaps it inspired people to fantasize, and not actually vote.” Indeed—or perhaps their votes weren’t tabulated because they were returned covered in involuntary wiener doodles. (Now more than ever the Oscars needs that electronic voting system.) Anyway, we look forward to a future of snubbed actors using the old “obviously, my penis is just too big” retort from now on.
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:38 pm

checkthegate:

A Few Quick Thoughts on The 84th Annual Academy Award Nominations:

- I miss the 90’s. Yes, I said it. The 90’s, when the likes of Mike Leigh, Atom Egoyan, John Sayles, Neil Jordan, Peter Weir and so many other brilliant filmmakers were being nominated for Oscars. Back then, the nomination alone was a victory. Today, a nomination is unlikely for the independent artist. The fact is, this year’s nominations of Steven Spielberg (and Warhorse), Woody Allen, Glenn Close, Extremely Loud, & Incredibly Close, and Meryl Streep are a clear-cut-case of safe “Oscar Darling” picks. Meanwhile the work of Michael Fassbender, Tilda Swinton, Albert Brooks, & Steve McQueen (to name a few) went completely unrecognized. I never expected any of them to win, but I am really surprised by their names being left off the ballot.

- About Fassbender: It has been a long time since I have seen such a courageous and emotionally naked performance. His work in Shame is career defining. I am not the only one noticing his talent. Fassbender’s star is rising rapidly. This snub was an obvious result of the Academy shying away from a film about sex addiction. Why bother calling yourselves “The Academy of Arts & Sciences” if you clearly don’t support true artists?

- Surprises: In an attempt to sway towards the more positive side, seeing Malick receive a nomination was nice, but I was much happier with the biggest surprise of all, which was Gary Oldman being nominated for Best Actor. Oldman has been a fantastic actor for so long and it was about time the Academy gave him his due. He won’t win, but his nomination is the victory.

- Lastly, in years past, I have always enjoyed the Oscars on an escapism level and defended it against its detractors. I have to sadly say that this years nominations have me swaying to the other side. I just felt absolutely no inspiration or soul in these nominations. I don’t find myself rooting for anyone. Even a film like The Artist feels so “Harvey Weinstein stamped” that I’m having trouble getting behind it (and it definitely isn’t an underdog).

- CTG
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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:39 pm

eclecticginger:
So the Oscar nominations came out today...

Here’s my two cents on the whole thing. I know it’s silly to actually care about these things because, let’s face it, it’s an award ceremony that’s simply trying to create some form of profit for the film industry; that and I’m just a regular Jane who will probably never set foot on a red carpet, let alone any awards type ceremony lol. But I have to admit, seeing some of the nominees this year, and those whom they missed, made me a bit disappointed. First off, let me just say they totally nailed it by FINALLY nominating Gary Oldman and giving recognition to Nick Nolte for Warrior. I also thought it was great to see Melissa McCarthy nominated, since I absolutely loved her performance in Bridesmaids and I secretly think she stole the show. However, I do feel pretty disappointed that Michael Fassbender (or Carey Mulligan for that matter) were not nominated for Shame, although this was something I was expecting. Shame is not your average popcorn drama, not in the least. I can totally see people giving Mr. McQueen the stink eye for creating a film that is not just film, but actually a piece of art. Both he and Mr. Fassbender are true artists, in my opinion. And the fact of the matter is that not only did McQueen have the bravery to create such a piece, but Fassbender wasn’t afraid to bare everything he has (AND his soul).

But what I think is silly is when I keep reading things like “OMG Fassy was robbed!”. Yes, I think it would have been super cool if he was nominated, but let’s face it. It’s politics. Gary Oldman hasn’t been nominated for a single Oscar until now, and think of how long a career this gentleman has had (and is going to continue to have)! It also reminds me of when James McAvoy wasn’t nominated for his beautiful performance in Atonement, which I feel was a huge mistake on the Academy’s part. Michael Fassbender’s career is only going to go uphill from this. He’s created a character and been apart of a film that I will remember and cherish for years to come, probably something that many of those who are nominated will not have the luxury of doing. And to think, this time last year I had no idea who this Fassbender guy was. How freaking awesome is it that he is where he is today? So I’ll raise my glass to both Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender. These two are creating art that is both exciting and challenging; and I believe will influence future film makers and other artists. I know it has for me, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:41 pm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/jan/29/oscars-2012-critics-nominations-artist

Oscar nominations 2012: what the critics say

Has the Academy chosen wisely? What about the glaring omissions? And who will win? Our panel of experts review the shortlist – and dare to give some predictions

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Comments (13)

Introduction by Jason Solomons
The critics: Philip French, Sally Hawkins, Jason Solomons, Bidisha, and Mariella Frostrup
The Observer, Saturday 28 January 2012
Article history

Billy Crystal
The host this year, Billy Crystal, will give us some old-fashioned vaudeville schtick, but who will win what? Photograph: EPA

Flattery will get you everywhere in Hollywood. So it is that the films leading the nominations haul for this year's Oscars – to be presented on Sunday 26 February – are both love letters to movie making.

Martin Scorsese's Hugo is, essentially, about the need to preserve film history, couched in a kids' adventure that pays homage to George Méliès, the early effects pioneer. Michel Hazanavicius's The Artist is a paean to old Hollywood itself, to the silver screen, to studio moguls and to old-school Beverly Hills glamour. Academy voters in their retirement homes must be lapping it up – art telling old artists their art was important, and still is.

After a few years wringing its hands over Iraq, in documentary and feature form, the Oscars recently touched on the financial crisis and the internet but they have clearly decided – in rewarding The King's Speech over The Social Network last year – that the past is a more comfortable country. Of this year's nine best picture nominees, only three – The Descendants, Moneyball and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – could be said to be set in anything like the present. (I'm not counting the framing devices in The Tree of Life or Midnight in Paris – both are about characters retreating into the past.)

I thought we lived in a futuristic age, the era of 3D, Sony 4K, Imax, digital distribution, iPads and Netflix. But try telling that to the Oscars. Not even Andy Serkis's motion-capture performances in The Adventures of Tintin or Rise of the Planet of the Apes have been recognised, either as feats of modern acting or as game-changing special effects.

Veterans such as Scorsese, Spielberg, Woody Allen and Terrence Malick are back on top. Hell, even "negro" house servants are providing the entertainment – Help us, indeed. There's not a shred of the experimental about the Oscars this year, nothing daring, nothing new, except a counting system that leaves us with nine nominations for best picture, a move that ends up looking like someone's made a clerical mistake.

The Artist and Hugo are both excellent films that I like very much, but I don't think they can compare even with Scorsese's own work in Taxi Driver, Raging Bull or Goodfellas. What these two leading nominees do is, I suppose, remind viewers that character and story are of utmost importance amid any technological advancement, that man is more significant than machine, that time will get the better of us all, and that charm still has a currency in the digital age.

Even the host this year, Billy Crystal, will give us old-fashioned vaudeville schtick. As they tell us year after year, the Oscar show needs to halt declining ratings. Yet what teenager in Nebraska, or even South Central, is going to watch this and cheer on some unknown Frenchies?

What the Oscar nominations evidence is the entrenched lines now drawn in Hollywood between the blockbusters, franchises and multiplex fillers – movies audiences actually go to see – and the "quality" films for adults with a veneer of intelligence; though even here the two most crowd-friendly films involve the Disneyfication of the first world war and the civil rights struggle.

Obviously, the nominations bring good news for Demián Bichir, the unknown actor grouped with the best actors, and Rooney Mara, whose Lisbeth Salander is just the sort of young, internet cyberpunk you'd have thought the Academy fears. Bet she could even hack into the Pricewaterhouse Coopers computers and leak the results.

But wouldn't it be a relief if the blockbusters got better and were able to be considered come Oscar time? That would be Hollywood really waking up to some kind of new cinema. For now, things have got so bad over there that a black-and-white French pastiche by complete unknowns can come in, silently, and steal off the biggest prize, without breaking sweat.
George Clooney in The Descendants George Clooney in The Descendants
Best actor

NOMINATIONS
Demián Bichir – A Better Life
George Clooney – The Descendants
Jean Dujardin – The Artist
Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt – Moneyball

Philip French: For once all five nominated actors (one of them British, one Mexican, one French, two American) give substantial performances in films of some quality. Only the Mexican, Demián Bichir in A Better Life and the Frenchman, Jean Dujardin in The Artist, are unfamiliar faces. The other three – Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), George Clooney (The Descendants), Brad Pitt (Moneyball) – have been considered contenders for years. Pitt has the big advantage of being in a movie about money and baseball.

• Should win: Jean Dujardin. Will win: Brad Pitt.

Sally Hawkins: George Clooney will win. I do love watching him. He has the Midas touch, everything he does turns to gold. But it would be wonderful to see Gary Oldman step up to the podium. Does it get any better than Oldman? He is so special.

• Should win: Tom Hardy for Warrior or Gary Oldman. Will win: George Clooney.

Jason Solomons: Thrilled to see Gary Oldman in here and delighted for Brad because he's great in Moneyball, perfectly cast. But Clooney's been around the Oscar block and he's admirable in The Descendants, reminded me of Jack Lemmon.

• Should win: George Clooney. Will win: George Clooney.

Bidisha: Gary Oldman will win for his dry-skinned performance in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a shadowy film full of underhand men talking about men's things in a manly undertone. Beige macs never looked so mysterious. I'd like Jean Dujardin to win for his turn (and twist, and shimmy, and jazz hands) in The Artist. He can pop his eyes, sigh and glide across a sprung floor in a way that's so Valentino-meets-Beetlejuice.

• Should win: Jean Dujardin. Will win: Gary Oldman.

Mariella Frostrup: I suspect George Clooney will win best actor for The Descendants because they've failed to recognise him for better previous roles like Syriana and Up in the Air. But for me Clooney as a downbeat cuckolded husband is just too great a stretch of the imagination. My choice would be Gary Oldman, who I felt was quietly, powerfully brilliant as George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Ryan Gosling has had a spectacular year with Drive and The Ides of March, which hasn't been recognised in best actor nominations.

• Should win: Gary Oldman. Will win: George Clooney.
Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady
Best actress

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


PF: Five American performers are in contention, three playing Europeans, and only Rooney Mara appearing in a movie generally considered of the first rank, though she's playing a role famously created by a Swede in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The Help, a mediocre tearjerker about racism in the deep south 50 years ago, has a touching performance by Viola Davis. But the real acting competition is between remarkable impersonations of 20th-century icons in second-rate pictures – Michelle Williams's convincing Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn and Meryl Streep's uncanny Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.

• Should win Meryl Streep. Will win Meryl Streep.

SH: From the list, Meryl should and will win. But then she is a goddess and has an ability to transform. But I would have loved to have seen the beautiful Olivia Colman and Tilda Swinton on that list too, and Kirsten Dunst for Melancholia.

• Should win Meryl Streep. Will win Meryl Streep.

JS: Everyone who isn't called Meryl is just turning up for the party. For all her record-breaking nominations, Streep hasn't won much and her Thatcher is a towering achievement. Voters do love Viola Davis and her admirable dignity nearly rescues The Help. Michelle Williams is lovely but frankly she's no Marilyn Monroe.

• Should win Meryl Streep. Will win Meryl Streep.

B: It'll go to Meryl Streep for her pining in a belittling tribute to the niceness of Denis Thatcher. I preferred Michelle Williams for her nuanced My Week with Marilyn. Or Glenn Close as a cross-dressing butler in Albert Nobbs. Women get Oscars for doing something interesting before being brutalised and dying.

• Should win Michelle Williams. Will win Meryl Streep.

MF: The academy loves Meryl Streep and there is a huge mythology in America about Margaret Thatcher. Out of their list I think she best deserves the gong for The Iron Lady. But it will most likely go Viola Davis for The Help, to make up for the lack of black actors who've won an Oscar to date.

• Should win Meryl Streep. Will win Viola Davis.
The Artist is tipped for an Oscar The Artist
Best film:

NOMINATIONS
War Horse, The Artist, Moneyball, The Descendants, The Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris, The Help, Hugo, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

PF: An unusually interesting and varied list of nominees, though they can't be said to touch on any urgent topical interest peculiar to 2011. It is most remarkable of course for featuring Michel Hazanavicius's The Artist, a Franco-Belgian film about the coming of sound to Hollywood, that is both funny and silent, and an American film, Martin Scorsese's Hugo, set in Paris, that is funny and about the silent cinema. Both are likely to take their place as classic films about the cinema itself.

• Should win: The Artist. Will win: The Artist.

SH: The Descendants will get it, but I would love The Tree of Life to win. Because it's Terrence Malick and he is a genius.

• Should win: The Tree of Life. Will win: The Descendants.

JS: Having just nine films is like admitting they couldn't find 10 good enough. Sort this category out – if you're tinkering, allow docs and foreigns in. The Tree of Life is too ethereal to be bound by such earthly matters as a film competition; lovely to see Woody back in but Midnight in Paris isn't even one of his own nine best.

• Should win: The Artist. Will win: The Artist.

B: War Horse. Not since Seabiscuit came out have I been so excited about a film. War Horse features amazing equine method acting – it's as though the old nag really thinks it's going to war and is slowly developing post-traumatic stress disorder! – all coloured in a brown haze from the syrup Spielberg's poured over it. Please, turn those Hollywood horses into Pritt Stick. • Should win: The Artist. Will win: War Horse.

MF: The Artist seems to have been a critical crowd-pleaser, and it has novelty on its side as well as being beautifully realised. My guess is it will beat the other favourite, The Descendants. Forced to choose from the academy's list I would be tempted by Hugo, which showed an altogether more whimsical side to Martin Scorsese. But very importantly I much preferred The Ides of March, which could certainly stand its ground for best picture.

• Should win: Hugo. Will win The Artist.
From Hell and Back Again From Hell and Back Again
Best documentary

NOMINATIONS
Hell and Back Again, If a Tree Falls: a Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, Pina, Undefeated

{PF: All five nominated films touch on current social and political issues – errors in the American criminal justice system, environmentalism, the Afghan war, the underfunding of public education – except for Pina, Wim Wenders's

rather beautiful 3D tribute to the late German avant-garde choreographer Pina Bausch. The war film, Danfung Dennis's harrowing Hell and Back Again, about a badly injured US marine corps sergeant adjusting to stateside life, makes bold use of feature film techniques to take us into the man's experience.

• Should win: Hell and Back Again. Will win: Hell and Back Again.

SH: Pina by Wim Wenders is such a beautiful film about such a unique and beautiful artist, Pina Bausch. I loved it.

• Should win: Pina. Will win: Pina.

JS: As ever, the Academy's choices are baffling. Undefeated seems the wrong Sarah Palin doc (not Nick Broomfield's) and If a Tree Falls is surely too green for Hollywood. Every time I see scenes from Wim Wenders's Pina, I just think, wow.

• Should win: Pina. Will win: Hell and Back Again.

B: It'll probably go to Hell and Back Again, a doc about an American soldier wounded in Afghanistan returning home. Yep, it's hard when you're a dispensable trained macho killing machine and another country's dispensable trained macho killing machine gets the better of you when you fully expected to Show Them, Bigstyle. I'd like some recognition for Pina, Wim Wenders's doc about the pioneering choreographer Pina Bausch. It's exciting, accessible, vital and visually stunning and pays tribute to a woman of genius. Which is why it won't get no Oscar.

• Should win: Pina. Will win: Hell and Back Again.

MF: Hell and Back Again looks the most likely winner. But I loved If a Tree Falls for its original storyline and timely look at what inspires acts of terrorism, whether in the Middle East or middle America.

• Should win: If a Tree Falls. Will win: Hell and Back Again.
A Separation A Separation. Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar
Best foreign film

NOMINATIONS
Bullhead, Footnote, In Darkness, Monsieur Lazhar, A Separation

PF: This patronising, ill-conceived award should be reconsidered or abandoned. Films submitted by 63 countries were assessed by an academy committee on the way to a short list. Some notable directors didn't get their films nominated by their national organisations; most that did didn't get on the short list. The only film of the five put to the vote that I'd heard of is Asghar Farhadi's admirable A Separation, a story of a marital break-up and the desire to get out of Iran. It's a film of considerable merit, much admired here when it opened last summer.

• Should win: A Separation. Will win: A Separation

SH: I'm disappointed not to see Troll Hunter or Pedro Almodóvar's The Skin I Live In nominated. I also liked the look of the Canadian film Monsieur Lazhar.

• Should win: Monsieur Lazhar. Will win: A Separation

JS: Good to see Joseph Cedar's Talmud comedy Footnote in here but even I think it's too Jewish to win. Poland's In Darkness has vote-winning Holocaust credentials (shoah-business, they call it) but A Separation has to be favourite, even just to soothe America and Iran's relationship.

• Should win: A Separation. Will win: In Darkness

B: A Separation should and hopefully will win. Made by Asghar Farhadi, this is a stunning masterpiece about marriage, parenthood, family, gender, class and religion, a triumph of acting, writing and direction, a naturalistic urban thriller and psychodrama and a pitch-perfect paragon of contemporary Iranian cinema. Unforgettable.

• Should win: A Separation. Will win: A Separation

MF: A Separation was really wonderful and in this category I'm hoping the Academy and I concur, unlikely though that is. The wonderful Catalan entry Black Bread should have been included in the shortlist and I'd love to have seen the hilarious Irish film The Guard nominated too. The Guard doesn't stand a chance in hell against the big guys, but it's insulting to define it as English, and in the foreign film category it could wipe out the competition. Brendan Gleeson was mesmerising and so funny.

• Should win: A Separation. Will win: A Separation
Tilda Swinton and Jasper Newell in We Need to Talk About Kevin. We Need to Talk About Kevin
Overlooked

PF: Sad to see no recognition for Kenneth Lonergan's intelligent, thoughtful Margaret, a flawed movie about life in a troubled, divided post-9/11 New York. Completed in 2007, long in post-production, and eventually re-edited by Martin Scorsese, it has excellent performances by Anna Paquin (she shared the London Film Critics' best actress award with Meryl Streep) as a disturbed teenager, Lonergan's wife J Smith-Cameron as her divorced mother, and some splendid writing. It will outlive many other nominees.

SH: Tyrannosaur? Where is it? Paddy Considine for best director? Similarly We Need to Talk about Kevin? It is a masterpiece. Lynne Ramsay is simply remarkable and should be coming home with armfuls of little golden men. But not even a whisper of a nomination?

JS: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy should have been among best films, Tilda Swinton and Kristen Wiig among best actresses, and Michael Fassbender in there for Shame. Ryan Gosling will come again but surely Senna is the best film not to make the starting grid.

B: All the women. We Need to Talk About Kevin? Wuthering Heights? Bridesmaids? New director Angelina Jolie's excellent Bosnian war drama In the Land of Blood and Honey? Dee Rees and her brilliant, cool, powerful film about black-American lesbian life, Pariah? Kelly Reichardt's neo-western, Meek's Cutoff? Oh, and guess what, Madonna's W.E. is a thousand times better than royal borefest The King's Snooze, in which a man spends two hours overcoming a speech impediment while Helena Bonham Carter looks on. W.E. actually has proper roles for women in it – and, sorry haters, Madonna can direct. Oh, and whither Steve McQueen, director of Shame? Hollywood strongly prefers war-haunted horses to black people or women.

MF: I'm disappointed that Senna isn't included in documentary feature and stunned that Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy isn't on the best film list. Clearly the Academy didn't have the stomach for Shame and Michael Fassbender's performance but I think it was brave, honest and a brilliant piece of work that will become a cult classic. It certainly deserved a nod.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:42 pm

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2092428/Les-Miserables-movie-Stars-original-stage-version-encore-join-film-cast.html

Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have shied away from Shame — and I say: Shame on them!

I think Steve McQueen’s movie — starring Michael Fassbender as a sex addict trying to keep his secret from his friends and sister (played by Carey Mulligan) — is one of the best, most provocative movies to hit the screen in a long time.

The films up for Oscars this year are tame by comparison. It’s as though Academy voters are afraid of anything that smacks of danger.
No nomination? Shame starring Michael Fassbender as Brandon and Carey Mulligan as Sissy

No nomination? Shame starring Michael Fassbender as Brandon and Carey Mulligan as Sissy

What’s happened to the organisation that, once upon a time, went for pictures such as Midnight Cowboy?

They also ignored Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive and its star, Ryan Gosling.

And what about the ferocious performance by Tilda Swinton in We Need To Talk About Kevin? Or Charlize Theron in Young Adult? Or Elizabeth Olsen in Martha Marcy Mary Marlene? Or Felicity Jones in Like Crazy?

Then there’s Olivia Colman’s stunning portrait of a middle-class woman whose self-esteem has been beaten out of her in Tyrannosaur?

And to shut out Shailene Woodley, who plays George Clooney’s daughter in The Descendants, which opens in the UK today, is perverse.

Also, I can’t fathom why the Academy ignored Steven Spielberg’s direction of War Horse.

I hate to say it, but I think the voters of the Baftas and the Oscars have become lazy.

Several friends in Los Angeles, who are members, have admitted they skipped watching a lot of movies because they weren’t suitable for ‘family viewing’.

Well, if they can’t attend screenings, they should resign their memberships and let people who have the time, and the dedication, take their place.
It’s just shameful.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:11 pm

http://www.flickfilosopher.com/blog/2012/01/question_of_the_day_did_male_d.html

question of the day: Did male discomfort prevent Michael Fassbender from being nominated for an Oscar for Shame?

I was stunned, as were many Oscar watchers, to see the nominations come and go last week with no mention of Michael Fassbender’s astonishing performance in Shame. If ever there was an Academy Award shoo-in, it seemed to be Fassbender for his candid work in a performance that is uniquely cinematic. So what happened?

I may have hinted at the problem without realizing it in my review of the film:

What is shocking about Shame is the male vulnerability, the male weakness, the abject male misery we see onscreen. Movies simply don’t do this. Movies protect the male ego, even to the point of -- at least in the United States, thanks to the MPAA’s retrograde puritanism -- decreeing that male nudity is much more scandalous and is to be treated much more seriously than female nudity, which may be treated casually. (A p****? Onscreen? Why, men might feel inadequate! Unless said p**** is somehow comically small. That’s okay! Male egos remain intact!) (Warning: Fassbender’s nudity may bruise some male egos.) Male dignity is something that the status quo -- in Hollywood and in the larger culture -- works very hard to maintain in the same way that it does not do for women.

But it didn’t strike me that the nature of Fassbender’s performance as well as the subject matter of the film -- which is more raw about male sexuality than any film I think I’ve seen -- might have made male Academy voters too uncomfortable until I saw this hilarious satirical poster for the film from TheShiznit.co.uk:

satirical Shame poster by TheShiznit.co.uk

(By the way, do click over to TheShiznit.co.uk to see a wide range of very funny similar posters for this year’s Oscar nominees.)

See the quote up top?

“Far more of Michael Fassbender’s p**** that I ever wished to see.” --Men

Is that what Fassbender’s snub is about?

Did male discomfort prevent Michael Fassbender from being nominated for an Oscar for Shame?

What do you think?
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:12 pm

http://www.awardsdaily.com/2012/01/darkness-on-the-edge/

Oscars 2011: Oscar’s Closed System
January 28, 2012 by Sasha Stone in BEST PICTURE, featured, Oscar Fail, Oscar Watch | 199 Comments

There were many different directions the Oscar race for 2011 could have gone but didn’t. They could have honored Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which is better than at least five of the current Best Picture nominees, and the darkest of its long and fruitful series. They could have honored Shame, which is a daring, topical, unique, brilliant and mostly truthful depiction of the modern male, but they didn’t. They could have honored Drive, which is a stylized thriller that illuminates, if nothing else, the vague state of ambivalence of our collective states of being. They could have honored Bridesmaids, which might be a raunchy comedy but it’s one many millions of people actually saw and liked. They could have honored Rise of the Planet of the Apes, or Attack the Block – they might be sci-fi movies but both are saturated with deeper themes than many of the straight-up “serious” dramas we’re now left to chew on. And they could have honored The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, still the best film to come out at the end of the year, with much more substance in ten minutes of it than some of the Best Picture candidates have in their entirety. They could have honored We Need to Talk About Kevin, a film that unearths the inborn evil at the heart of the mass murderer or school shooter, an all too common phenom nobody has yet gotten a handle on, but it exists. But instead, by choosing the nine films announced, Oscar confirms the rumors about him – he likes the “Oscar movie.” He hasn’t changed in 84 years and he’s never going to change.

In 2011, America has a black President. Technology has not only rapidly evolved in its own community, it affects every aspect of our lives. We’ve become more disconnected with next-door neighbors, and yet better connected with global friends than ever before. But only for those who look outward and forward, not inward and backwards. Life around them has changed but too many Academy members are simply too cut off and insulated to know it. That’s why last year’s winner, despite the offerings that really did capture life in 2010, tumbled back to the 1930s, and why this year’s winner will go back even farther. Academy members, sad to say, can’t handle the truth.

And so we try to play along. We scratch our heads at their choices, as they continue to alienate the public with their choices. They’re left, then, to only gaze lovingly at their own falsely idealized image in the mirror as they become a group that honors only those projects that reflect well back on them. That’s a dangerous game to play when you’re supposedly about honoring the best. And this year, there are only four films that can even win Best Picture: The Artist, The Descendants, Midnight in Paris and Hugo. Moneyball would have be another if Bennett Miller had earned a Best Director nomination. Tree of Life couldn’t manage any acting nominations or a writing nomination, so it’s out. The Help has no director nor writer, so forget that one. War Horse has no acting, writing or directing nominations, it’s out. And Extremely Loud has only a corresponding Supporting Actor nomination. Hell, Dragon Tattoo has five Oscar nominations yet no Best Picture, Director Screenplay. Something went terribly wrong this year.

This is an Oscar year that wanted to be about five Best Picture nominees, not nine. How they landed on that number, how they ended up with this scraggly gang of misfits is a mystery. By the public’s standards, by the critics standards, by the movie fans’ standards, this list of nine films doesn’t even come close to representing 2011 in any way. In fact, several other groups have done a better job naming the year’s best because they didn’t use this odd procedure the Academy put in place to honor only passionate number 1 choices. If the Academy had used the 2009, 2010 method for choosing films they would have ended up with a much different list.

Perhaps it’s most telling how few screenplay nominations correspond with Best Picture. In the years with ten nominees for Best Picture we saw much closer correlation with the screenplay nominations. In 2009, 8 out of the 10 were nominated for screenplay. In 2010, 9 out of the ten were. This year only 5 match. And in the years when there were five Best Picture nominees you saw much of what you see now, 4 or sometimes 5 corresponding screenplay nominations. Somehow when they had ten nominees they had a much better array of film choices because they were taking a broader sampling of favorites. Picking passionate number one choices is probably how they got to 5 nominees, and once they expanded it beyond 5, they exposed their weaknesses.

You know you’re heading into a strange Oscar year when the darkest film in the bunch is Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. The Maestro can’t help himself from unearthing the darkness because it is his nature. Martin Scorsese lives there, in that desperate place between creativity and madness and though Hugo is aimed at families and kids its undeniable beauty is in not in when it plays it safe — it’s when it hovers right on the edge. Hugo is about loneliness, isolation, despair, feeling out of place and then finding a purpose. All three of its lead characters, in fact even its fringe characters, ultimately find their own purpose, thanks to John Logan’s great skill and exhaustive desire to complete and flesh out the story.

But other than Hugo, you’re not looking at a lot of darkness here. War Horse wants to go there — it tries, in fact, to go there but it is undone by its own limitations — both those of its director, not wanting to make things too harsh for holiday audiences, and in its source material — it is a youth fiction book after all. And so you have a movie that wants to expose the horrors of World War I but becomes, instead, a story about a miraculous horse and how it manages to overcome all of the horrors mankind throws at it during wartime. (“Can you imagine flying over a war…”) And while that’s an admirable effort, it doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be in the end. And yet, somehow the Academy felt that this story was big enough, complete enough, good enough to call it one of the best pictures of the year.

Likewise, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which had one of the best scripts I’ve ever read by Eric Roth, was so muted and softened, with much of the 9/11 stuff taken out, its darkness (very Hugo-like, this story, on the page) wrung out of it, leaving a moving story for sure but one that feels, like War Horse, unfinished for fear of making it too harsh for audiences. Well, turns out whoever made that decision was right in one regard: had they left the harsher parts in, the Academy, in its current state, wouldn’t have been able to handle it.

Maybe this is the Academy’s way of proving that going with five is better than not going with five. And really, if a slate like this is the result, they’d be right. It’s best with ten but if they hate but if they fear the risky fringes of ten they should drop it back to a more manageable, less revealing number.

Drill down this deep into the Academy’s collective psyche and what do you come up with?

1. It’s About A Boy

Whether they’re young or old, rich or poor, handsome or not (mostly handsome) 8 out of the 9 Best Picture nominees revolve around a central male characters – even the War Horse is male. Even the War Horse’s buddy is male. Sure, they’re all helped along by a female sidekick in some cases, like Bernice Bejo in The Artist, Shailene Woodley in The Descendants, Chloe Moretz in Hugo, but for the most part, women don’t figure in much at all. If there’s any romance, it’s chaste, sexless. Coincidence? Does it just so happen that Academy members embraced these stories about the betterment of mankind? Where the significant women — if they’re present at all — are divorced, in a coma, figments of imagination, or literally silent partners?

You could chalk it up to endless manchild syndrome if these were the fanboy awards, but they’re supposed to be voted on by adults. You could chalk it up to being a mostly male voting body, but you just know many of these choices are by women too. You can chalk it up to the simple star power of those involved here: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks – each of them represents a massive constituency of allies and friendships. But either way? It’s a wee bit awkward to have to mine overly simplistic stories that really belong on the Hallmark channel rather than being named Best Picture of the year. Among them, only Hugo manages to rise above the chokehold of being about just a boy.

2. Next Stop, the Planet With No Sex Allowed

It is fitting that in a year with almost entirely male children, and hot male stars that there would be no sex anywhere in sight. Not a single film in the lineup features even so much as a romantic kiss. Oh maybe there’s a tiny one in The Help. Is there one in Midnight in Paris? I don’t think they ever even kiss in The Artist. There is one great kiss in The Descendants, where George Clooney steals one from Judy Greer in one of the film’s best moments. So absent is sexuality in all of these films that it makes me wonder if there couldn’t be one amalgam of all of them and just have George Clooney and Brad Pitt be lovers. And in Tree of Life we get whispers of thwarted, Freudian sexuality. It’s so bizarre, all of this, that one begins to feel like we’re either stuck in the Nixon era in a time warp or else we’ve landed on a planet where they’ve forsaken sex entirely. There weren’t a lot of films hovering near the Oscar race that did have sex in them — Dragon Tattoo is one, Drive had that one great kiss. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, I think, has some references here and there. But alas, repression took hold when it came to picking passionate number one choices. Doesn’t it make you stop and think sometimes, Who are these people?

3. The Kids Are All White

You don’t want me to discuss this anymore, dear readers, and so I won’t. Even though I’m the only one who seems to care, me a whitey put in the awkward position of having to point out the obvious — the SAG awards, the DGA, the WGA — and except for The Help, the Oscars. For shame, Hollywood, for shame. One bright note: Demian Bichir, wonderful portrayal of a Mexican immigrant — the only other social issue laid bare in the Oscar race — immigrants are being chewed up and tossed around like rag dolls in the GOP debates and so here’s this, the one “f&#! you” to the Republicans the Academy could muster in their current neutered state.

4. Least exciting Oscar year in recent memory

I remember walking over to Steve Pond at a screening and there was Dave Karger, who’d announced very early on that The Artist would take it. I crouched down and talked to Steve about the Best Picture contenders, “If there was just one other better movie,” I said to him. And he said, “I know. If there was just one other.” But there hasn’t been one. And so we’re in this awkward position of having to watch The Artist win again and again, and so this wonderful movie – once a virgin fresh off the bus, feels like it’s been f&%$#& too many times and now has that used up and haggard look about it. It’s no longer our fresh faced sweetie we love — it’s our used up old shoe. The awards race is broken and no one seems ready or able to fix it because it is an industry in and of itself and that industry isn’t going anywhere any time soon. But now, you can feel the air all but completely sucked out of the room. We’re hoping for a last minute rally for Hugo or The Descendants to shake this thing up and call itself the best film of 2011. But The Artist is so good, whether it’s used up or not, that it’s hard to imagine anything topping it. Some of us have to endure. Others of us will simply turn our attention elsewhere.

5. What might have been. Even though it always looked like Harry Potter was never getting near the Kodak, it once seemed like the reason it would be shut out was because other movies were going to be so much better. But then they weren’t. Knowing what we now know about how this race turned out, how it revealed the Academy and the industry to be such a closed system, such an insulated little club, like the ghosts who haunt the Overlook hotel and can only be seen once someone has completely lost their mind, Harry Potter shines more brightly than it ever has as the biggest snub of 2011. I’ll throw in Drive and my favorite film that didn’t get in, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Revisiting Fincher’s body of work as I’ve been doing lately convinces me that he is our modern day Hitchcock — too threatening and cold for Oscar, utterly brilliant, to be shelved and appreciated fully in years to come.

As for Oscars 2011 – it’s mostly a wash. It will end up fairly predictably, with few surprises. The biggest bummer is that there isn’t one more Harry Potter movie coming next because the Academy is going to have a hard time living that one down.
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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:13 pm

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oscarstatueA list of those that should have gotten the nod, but from some reason didn’t

Written By Adam A. Donaldson

This year’s Oscar nominations have to be some of the most surprising and controversial in years; not so much for who made the cut, but rather for who was left out. Here’s a rundown of who should be basking in Oscar’s glory, but will instead have to watch from home – at least this year.

1) Best Actor - Michael Fassbender shame-michael-fassbender

Oh to know what went on in Michael Fassbender’s head on Tuesday morning. Fassbender was in no fewer than five movies in 2011; one cemented his ability as a box office leading man (X-Men: First Class), and three were critically acclaimed with two of those (Shame and A Dangerous Method) winning him serious awards consideration. Everyone thought a slot for Fassbender’s emotional and literally naked role as a sex addict in Shame was a foregone conclusion, but was the performance (not to mention the full frontal nudity) too raw for Academy voters? Who knows?

drive-ryan-gosling2) Best Actor – Ryan Gosling

Like Fassbender, the conventional wisdom was that Canadian Ryan Gosling would become the rave of mainstream Hollywood with an Oscar nomination. One wonders though if Gosling’s own talent did him a disservice by turning in two strong leading performances in both The Ides of March and Drive, thus dividing Academy voters and allowing a wild card candidate snake his spot. One thing’s for sure, if Gosling’s making an enemy’s list, then Demián Bichir will be joining Ryan Reynolds – who scored People’s Sexiest Man of the Year over Gosling last year – on it.

3) Best Actress – Tilda Swintonwe-need-to-talk-about-kevin10

Granted, We Need to Talk About Kevin didn’t garner a lot of pre-release buzz, and technically doesn’t even open in theatres until next month, but coming off it’s festival run, a lot of critics (including this one) were floored by the performance by Tilda Swinton. Plus, Swinton is an indie darling, and is frequently at the forefront for any awards discussion. Those two points considered, it was thought a lock for Swinton to become the dark horse candidate in the Best Actress race, but perhaps in a highly competitive year, no one was able to get to the Kevin screener in time to vote. Plausibly, that’s the only excuse we can think of.

300.stone.emma.lc.1102104) Best Actress – Emma Stone

I guess there was only one spot on the Academy ballot open for a young ingénue in the Best Actress category, and Rooney Mara got it. Emma Stone, meanwhile, is the only cast member amongst The Help’s four leading ladies to not get a nomination, which is odd considering that Stone’s character drives a lot of the plot in the film. Many were of the opinion that Stone was Oscar-worthy last year for her role in Easy A, but she still has a bright future ahead of her, so maybe she’ll get her due a little bit further in the future.

5) Best Supporting Actor – Ben Kingsley and Sacha Baron CohenKingsley-Cohen

Bizarrely, Hugo, as the film leading the Oscar race with 11 total nominations, didn’t receive a single acting nomination. But it really should have, and the chief candidates are Sir Ben Kingsley and Sacha Baron Cohen. Kingsley does beautiful work as cinema pioneer Georges Méliès, who, thanks to the titular hero, rediscovers the power and magic of his own work despite his deep regret and misgivings. Cohen, meanwhile, does a fantastic job of portraying the Station Inspector as a human being, rather than just a kid-hating bully that stalks the platforms and concourses, and the little romantic subplot the Inspector has with Emily Mortimer’s florist was lovely.

albert-brooks-ryan-gosling-drive-image6) Best Supporting Actor – Albert Brooks

Ordinarily, a comedic actor stepping outside his comfort zone and adapting a more dramatic persona, and doing so successfully, is cause for celebration by the Academy. Tell that to Albert Brooks, whose villainous turn in Drive was one of many snubs to that film (including aforementioned leading man, Gosling). It wasn’t just that Brooks was playing the villain, but it’s that he was genuinely menacing. The final confrontation in the restaurant between Gosling and Brooks is an absolute lightening rod of tension, but was it perhaps too intense for Academy voters?

7) Best Animated Feature – The Adventures of TintinThe-Adventures-of-Tintin

The powerhouse team-up of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, both favourites of the Academy, should have secured a spot for their brilliant collaboration on this adaptation of the beloved French comic. But alas, in the highly competitive field of Animated Feature, even name value can’t help you. (See: Pixar’s lack of a nod for Cars 2, their first miss in the 11 year history of the award.) Perhaps there’s an argument that can be made for a Motion Capture Performance award considering Andy Serkis’ snub for his role as the leading rebellious ape in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the notion of which intrigued everyone, though no one really expected it to happen. Still, such work is becoming more common, although the Academy is typically slow to respond to such changes, hence an award for Motion-Capture may be still a few years off.

Anonymous-Roland-Emmerich8) Best Art Direction – Anonymous

Say what you want about Roland Emmerich’s Shakespearacy drama, but the vividness with which he brought 16th century London to life on the screen, and on a total budget that looks like peanuts when stacked against other contenders for the Art Direction Oscar, is truly impressive. Leaving the theatre after Anonymous you feel like checking your shoes for mud, and the detailing is so impressive that you feel like they went back in time to film in London of old. When you spend $200 million on a movie, you expect the best, but to get it on what is, comparatively, a shoe-string, is something special indeed.

9) Best Visual Effects – Sucker Punchsucker-punch-review

Granted, Sucker Punch was raked over the coals but good when it was released last year, but its technical achievements helped saved it to a degree. The effects artists behind Sucker Punch crafted five different, full-realized virtual fantasy realms and several monsters there in, from dragons attacking a medieval castle to a super samurai robot with massive machine gun in feudal Japan. The fantasy in Sucker Punch is staggering for its impressiveness, and won kudos from a lot of fans for bringing it to life, even if the story it was hung on left much to be desired.

hp7 poster10) Best Picture – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Not only was the final Harry Potter one of the most financially successful movies of the year, but it was also one of the best reviewed. So it came as a disappointment to many people when it wasn’t given a Best Picture nod. Naturally, no one expected it to get the same odds as, say, The Artist or Hugo, but it was the learned opinion of many that one of the reasons an up-to-10 slate of Best Picture nominees was created was to honour films, like Harry Potter or The Dark Knight, which were critical and commercial successes, yet may lean more towards the commercial than the critical. It’s worth noting that the highest-rated Oscar telecast in the last 20 years was 1998, the year Titanic was up for a record-tying 14 nominations. Coincidence?

11) Best Song – Everyonemadonna GG

Just two nominations for Best Song out of potential slate that included music from the likes of Mary J. Blige, Elton John and Golden Globe winner Madonna? Of all the surprises coming out of the Oscar nominations, this is perhaps the most confounding. Why only two nominees out of 39 shortlisted candidates? It has to do with Academy rules where the Academy’s 236 musician members (including Eric Clapton and Bryan Adams) screen clips of each song. Each song is given a score from 6 to 10 by each member, and only songs given an overall average rating of 8.25 or more are considered nominees. At the same time, the song in question has to be “a clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition … of both lyric and melody” and must be presented either in the movie itself or as the first song of the credits.

So is it time to reconsider the rules for the Best Song Oscar? One would think so if one of the only other possible Best Song nominees include a tune that Madonna tacked onto the end of W.E. last minute, as she basically admitted at the Globes earlier this month. How about Carey Mulligan’s haunting rendition of “New York, New York” in Shame, or Karen O, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ version of “Immigrant Song,” which fired us into The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with such vigour. If the Academy wants to attract a younger audience, I can think of no better place to start then Best Song, no matter how many times they give an Oscar to Three 6 Mafia.
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Post by Admin on Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:49 am

http://www.deadline.com/2012/02/oscar-qa-mike-fleming-interviews-fox-searchlights-steve-gilula-and-nancy-utley/

DEADLINE: One unexpected award-season turn was Michael Fassbender not getting a Best Actor nomination for Shame. How much of your release strategy hinged on Oscar nomination love?
UTLEY: We released it to an art house audience intensely interested in seeing it, the small group of cinephiles who were following the festival news and the incredible press it got. We scooped up that money early on, and then the idea was, can we cross this over to a broader audience by getting some awards recognition? It’s very disappointing that didn’t happen. We did think that certainly Michael Fassbender, but also Carey Mulligan’s beautiful performance and this incredibly talented director Steve McQueen would have garnered more recognition. Despite our best efforts, the NC-17 rating probably put some voters off to the extent that they didn’t even watch the screener or see it in theaters. Because if you saw it, you would vote for it. Maybe we were a little too optimistic about people being able to overlook the rating, pop in that screener and give it a shot. We never bat 1000 but it’s up to us to take risks and swing for the fences. Sometimes, it works.

DEADLINE: You acquired Shame at Toronto, agreeing not to cut a frame and knowing it would be NC-17. That creates problems for DVD, VOD and TV unless you can cut an R version. Will the film pay off financially for Searchlight?
GILULA: I think it will be on the margins. We don’t have a specific plan to cut the film and that will limit its DVD distribution. But it’s holding in there quite nicely; we passed $3 million in limited release. The film is still playing in a crowded market, in spite of not getting a nomination. I think we will have a satisfactory result, but Nancy’s right. If we had gotten nominations, it would have gotten to a broader audience. But we are proud of this film and what we do in the after markets has not been fully fleshed out yet. It will go to HBO and travel through all the channels. I think there are some retailers that won’t put and X rated, excuse me, an NC-17 rated version up there, but we haven’t spent any time thinking about a cut version. Steve made an incredible film and everything is a piece of it. To chop it up?
UTLEY: It’s kinda baked in, ya know? This may not go down in history as one of our best business decisions but I’m still glad we took the risk. We tried to make it work the best we could.
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Post by Admin on Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:18 am

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/movies/2012/02/oscars-shame.html#comments
February 21, 2012
Oscar’s Shame?
Posted by Richard Brody

It’s decent that the director Steve McQueen is standing up for his lead actor Michael Fassbender’s performance in “Shame,” and, in any case, funny to think of the eye-of-the-needle Oscars as a bastion of artistic integrity (the awards are the way that Hollywood idealizes itself, the ceremony is its greatest advertisement for itself—which is why the broadcast has become dull: everyone’s on their best, most guarded behavior). But McQueen’s complaint, as cited in the Hollywood Reporter, that Fassbender didn’t get nominated for Best Actor for that performance, misses the mark:

In America they’re too scared of sex, that’s why he wasn’t nominated. If you look at the best actor list you’re saying, “Michael Fassbender is not on that list?” It’s kind of crazy. But that’s how it is, it’s an American award, let them have it.

It is an American award (as proven by the nationalistic favoritism that got Demián Bichir, Jean Dujardin, and Gary Oldman nominated), and it rarely goes to performers who flaunt it all on screen, such as Kate Winslet in “The Reader.” But, snark aside, McQueen has a point: full-frontal nudity is, or has become, rare in Hollywood movies (particularly in an expressly sexual context; I’m thinking, for instance, of Jason Segel’s turn in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall). And that’s how it should be (as in the line from “42nd Street” about giving “a performance, not an exhibition”); despite the ostensible openness and honesty that metaphorically comes from baring all, there’s nothing that shuts an actor down like nudity, and, especially, simulating sex. (And when it doesn’t—when an actor opens up to the phenomenon—the personal price of doing so may well be unbearable, catastrophic.)

Michael Fassbender does honorable work in a lost cause; McQueen films plausible moments in the life of a sex addict, and the director and the actor seem to have done their homework. But homework isn’t cinema. McQueen assumes that showing scenes in which unpleasant things happen is enough to make a quasi-tragic drama; Fassbender enacts his part with an impermeable intensity that suggests not a person but an actor at work and that McQueen relies on to do the work that the drama doesn’t.

Does America fear sex? Judging from the level of the Republican debates, there are people in America who disapprove of sexual pleasure for its own sake. And, for that matter, there isn’t a whole lot of pleasure to be found in the sex that McQueen films and that Fassbender enacts in “Shame.” If it were better, it could be the “Lost Weekend” of sex and send viewers home vowing chastity. Imagine that the movie’s sex addict managed to sustain his incipient relationship with his colleague (played by Nicole Beharie)—and then started sneaking around to fulfill his desires. Suddenly there’s a little drama, a question mark, an element of ambiguity. As played, McQueen makes sex itself reproachful, and makes the very act of watching the movie a sort of complicity in contemporary prurience. The shame, ladies and gentlemen, is supposed to be ours. The movie has a sophisticated mechanism; what it hasn’t got is a surprising, original performance.

P.S. Fassbender, on the evidence to date, is one of the most humorless and tightly-clenched actors around, someone next to whom Charlton Heston would seem like a barrel of laughs; I’m not saying Fassbender doesn’t have a cheerful side to his personality, I wouldn’t know, but that’s not the same thing as humor. Mike Fleming, at Deadline New York, reports that Fassbender has just signed up for another laugh riot of a movie: “The Counselor,” to be directed by Ridley Scott based on a script by Cormac McCarthy. According to Fleming, it’s “a film that insiders are describing as ‘No Country For Old Men’ on steroids.”
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Post by Admin on Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:45 am

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/the-actors-actresses-who-should-have-been-nominated-for-oscars-in-2012#

The Actors & Actresses Who Should Have Been Nominated For Oscars In 2012
Features by Oliver Lyttelton | February 24, 2012

The Oscars are so close that we can already smell the fresh-ironed shirts, the mascara wiped away by thwarted nominees, and the post-Governor's Ball vomit, but our preparation coverage continues. Yesterday we picked out the directors, cinematographers and other below-the-line titles that we thought deserved to be sitting in the Kodak Theater on Monday, but somehow missed out.

Below, we've done the same with the thesps: five actors and five actresses who we wish got more traction than they did. Any of your own favorites left out here?

Best Actress - Charlize Theron - "Young Adult"
Given how unsparingly unlikable protagonist Mavis Gary seemed on the page, we weren't surprised when Charlize Theron failed to get much awards attention for her turn in Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody's "Young Adult." But that doesn't take away from the quality of the performance, one that stands with, and arguably even surpasses, her Oscar-winning turn in "Monster." Theron embraces the unsympathetic quality of the character, but crucially, manages to make her a figure of pity, and even empathy, rather than, well, a monster. Furthermore, she also got to be funny, something that (her guest spot on "Arrested Development" aside) she's rarely been allowed to do on screen (unless you count "Aeon Flux" as a comedy). Even though she was left without an Oscar nod this year, we can only hope that she'll end up with more opportunities to display her funny bone in the near future.

Best Actor - Ewan McGregor - "Beginners"
Quite rightly, Christopher Plummer has won most of the praise for his performance in "Beginners," and looks to finally pick up an Oscar on Sunday night; it's one of the few wins that everyone will agree on. But it's a little sad that Plummer's turn has overshadowed his cast members. Melanie Laurent was something of a revelation, proving she's much more than just Shosanna from "Inglourious Basterds," but the true surprise here was Ewan McGregor. The actor has been stuck in substandard fare like "Cassandra's Dream," "Deception" and "Angels and Demons" for too long now, but he got a real showcase as Oliver, the surrogate for director Mike Mills. Dry and soulful as the self-sabotaging romantic, he gives the film an earthiness where some would have let it drift off into quirksville, and his chemistry with both Plummer and Laurent was excellent. He might have been overlooked, but with "The Corrections" and "The Impossible" on the way, things are certainly looking up.

Best Actress - Elizabeth Olsen - "Martha Marcy May Marlene"
The trend apparently was short lived. Last year, Jennifer Lawrence’s arresting turn in the 2011 Sundance hit “Winter’s Bone” launched her and the film out of the indie ghetto and onto the Oscar stage, earning a somewhat rare nomination for an indie. It was a real coup as everyone knew the performance was great, but figured the small film with tiny distribution (Roadside Attractions), couldn’t earn a nomination. Fast forward a year to (once again) the Sundance Film Festival when a much bigger medium-sized studio, Fox Searchlight, buys the oblique and haunting “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” featuring a breakthrough, star-making turn by Elizabeth Olsen. Her performance wins her raves, but Oscar talk around Olsen pretty much zipped shut right around the beginning of the season. Why? Well, it was an incredibly crowded field, and any year Meryl Streep yawns onscreen, she pretty much scores a nomination. But even a lock of a nod doesn't diminish Olsen's turn. Essentially playing two characters, the before and after of a person victimized by a cult -- one naive and open, the other frighten and scarred -- Olsen put in an unforgettable performance this year that deserved to be honored.

Best Supporting Actor - Corey Stoll - "Midnight In Paris"
Ordinarily, when you're playing an iconic writer, you get a whole biopic tailored around you. But the supporting cast of "Midnight in Paris" had no such luck, being given only a handful of scenes to make an impression as the parts. And as well as Tom Hiddleston, Alison Pill, Kathy Bates and Adrien Brody do as the Fitzgeralds, Gertrude Stein and Salvador Dali, it's the relatively unknown Corey Stoll who walks away with the film, as the hard-living Ernest Hemingway. Other actors have come unstuck as Hemingway before (*cough* Chris O'Donnell...) but Stoll, previously best known for theater work and starring on "Law & Order: LA," takes it on with both fists flying, a stubborn, arrogant, quick-tempered firecracker who livens up the entire film, so much so that he's sorely missed after he heads off to warmer climes. Stoll never really got any momentum in the awards season -- he was even neglected by the SAG's Ensemble Award nomination, due to being billed too low down the cast list -- but he certainly ensured that Clive Owen has a tough act to follow when he stars in HBO's "Hemingway and Gelhorn" in a few months.

Best Actress - Tilda Swinton - "We Need To Talk About Kevin"
With SAG and even Globes nods, it seemed like a Best Actress nomination for Tilda Swinton was in the bag this year -- remarkably, it would have been her first in the category, although she won in Supporting for "Michael Clayton." Alas, the film proved too difficult for Academy members, but she still gives a performance for the ages in the film. It's a turn that centers on that trickiest thing for an actor to pull off successfully: ambivalence. Ambivalence to her suburban surroundings, to her lifestyle, to the path that she's ended up on, to motherhood and, most crucially, to her devil-spawn son. Swinton is able to show both the way in which Eva is baffled by how her child has turned out, and the genes that she shares with him, and having her at the center is Lynne Ramsay's greatest advantage in the film. So often cast as asexual, almost otherworldly beings, it's a great reminder that Swinton is capable of playing down-to-earth just as convincingly.

Best Supporting Actor - Albert Brooks - "Drive"
There appeared to be a certain amount of revisionism after Albert Brooks was snubbed by the Academy (having also missed out at the SAGs): people cropping up saying that the performance was overrated, and he didn't deserve a nomination. The hell he didn't: Brooks was terrific in the film. You always get bonus points if you're a comic actor playing against type, but even if Brooks had spent a lifetime playing heavies, it'd still be a remarkable turn. When you first meet Bernie Rose, he's genial and wisecracking, almost like a favorite uncle, but you always sense that something's wrong with him on a very fundamental level. And it becomes increasingly clear that as reasonable as he is, and as much as he seems to want to avoid violence, once it comes, a monster is unleashed; the way Brooks meticulously replaces the knife he's used to kill Bryan Cranston in a terrifying-looking collection is positively chilling. He's a darker mirror of Ryan Gosling's central character, and one of the most memorable villains to come along in a long time. Hopefully Brooks will find another showcase for his dramatic chops soon.

Best Actress - Felicity Jones - "Like Crazy"
Like Olsen, young British ingenue Felicity Jones came out of Sundance a freshly-minted star, with an award under her arm thanks to her performance in Drake Doremus' heartbreaking romance "Like Crazy." But with the film underperforming, Jones never got the traction, which is a shame, because no matter what you might think of the film, she gives a hell of a performance, one that arguably deserves to be in the final five more than some other nominees. Her luminous star quality is instantly recognizable -- she's just inherently watchable, and it's easy to understand why Anton Yelchin's Jacob would cross continents to be with her. But there's a reason that veterans like Warren Beatty and Ralph Fiennes are lining up to work with her next -- she makes a part that could so easily have been a pixie dream girl archetype into a complex, fully-rounded human being. Starting off as a fiercely intelligent young woman who's also more than capable of being entirely immature and silly, she grows and changes in front of our eyes, even as she's never quite able to let Jacob go. That she, along with the rest of the cast, improvised much of the dialogue only makes it more impressive.

Best Actor - Michael Fassbender - "Shame"
It's become something of a tradition for the best performance of the year to get overlooked by the Academy, and that's exactly how we thought of Michael Fassbender as Brandon in "Shame." As good as the work put in by Steve McQueen, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Nicole Beharie and everyone else involved is, the film is nothing without Fassbender, so much so that it's nearly impossible to imagine anyone else anchoring the picture. It might have been impossible to empathize with a sex addict, but Fassbender effortlessly shows his burning, desparate desire to reach a satisfaction that never comes, and his inability to form a normal human relationship is positively heartbreaking. Considering that Brandon's a man of relatively few words, it's all the more impressive. The actor put in several excellent performances in the last year (he easily could have managed a nomination for "Jane Eyre" too), but this is the one that will be remembered as putting him into the big leagues.

Best Actress - Ellen Barkin - "Another Happy Day"
Sam Levinson, the son of the great Barry Levinson (“Diner,” “Good, Morning Vietnam,” “Rain Man”) made a terrific debut film in 2011. It was called “Another Happy Day,” and centered on a deeply dysfunctional family and the troubled matriarch who desperately tries to keep it together. Sadly, despite rave reviews, no one noticed and it didn't seem to break out at the arthouse the way it deserved. Starring an excellent supporting cast of Ellen Burstyn, Ezra Miller, Demi Moore, Thomas Haden Church and Kate Bosworth (the latter three being surprisingly good in the film after many strings of mediocre roles), the woman who anchors it all is Ellen Barkin in what is easily the best performance of her career. In a year that didn’t include a rather average Meryl Streep performance, or perhaps with a better distributor, Barkin would most certainly be spending time basking in the Oscar-nomination glow (she’s never been nominated and, sadly, the way women’s roles go with age, who knows if she’ll ever be afforded such a wonderful opportunity again). As Lynn, the abused and discarded ex-wife of Paul (Church), Barkin is essentially a doormat to everyone around her including her wicked, insolent and drug-addicted son (Miller), the ultra-bitch that is Paul’s new wife (Moore) and her overbearing mother (Burstyn). Lynn tries to tip-toe around and manage her oppressive extended family while trying to coddle her fragile daughter (Bosworth), recovering from a suicide attempt from their callous and ill-tempered relatives. She’s belittled, ill-treated and attacked, but all the while takes on a quiet dignity that makes her situation utterly heartbreaking to witness. If you’ve ever wanted to see how a mother can be neglected and taken for granted, this is the picture, and Barkin imbues this character with a searing humanity and empathy that is just breathtaking to watch.

Best Actor - Woody Harrelson - "Rampart"
If Michael Fassbender’s sex-addicted Brandon Sullivan character in “Shame” is a 8.5 on the functional addict scale, Woody Harrelson’s veteran police officer Dave “Date Rape” Brown is a 3. Sure, it’s hard to compare oranges and apples of addictions. Dave’s are myriad -- sex, women, drugs, pills, and a seemingly wanton desire for self-destruction -- but a tightly-wound Harrelson conveys the alarming toxicity levels of the soul nonetheless. Fassbender not receiving a nomination simply based on the quality scale is an utter travesty, and only a hair behind is Harrelson, if only just because “Rampart” seemed to become even more ignored than the NC-17 film was. And pardon the pun, but that’s a gigantic shame. Harrelson is an armpit and a sewer of a man, a police officer who abuses every notion of upholding the law. Barely functioning at all, he’s been caught on tape beating a man in Los Angeles for a traffic violation and it’s only the beginning of the end for this excruciating portrait of a man experiencing slow-motion disintegration. Harrelson’s been outstanding under the guidance of Oren Moverman (he earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for their last collaboration, “The Messenger”), but here in “Rampart,” he is simply something else -- a crumbling officer that we barely recognize as the congenial Harrelson you may have seen on screen over the years. This is something much more chiseled, vile and deplorable, and Harrelson simply embodies that character down every step of the line.

-- Oliver Lyttelton & RP
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