Here are the nominations for the 84th Academy Awards, lightly peppered with my trademark bitter snarkasm...
- “The Artist” Thomas Langmann, Producer- I can't really say if this film is worthy of an Academy Award nomination, something went wrong at the screening and I spent the whole time yelling "Turn it up, I can't hear a damn thing!"
- “The Descendants” Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers- It's got George Clooney, domestic dysfunction, and according to reviews, not much happens, so it's a perfect awards movie.
- “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” Scott Rudin, Producer- I haven't heard of a single person saying that they liked the movie, and people seem to be avoiding it despite having Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, but since it's an overly sincere drama with a mopey kid with dead father issues, the nominations are pretty much guaranteed.
- “The Help” Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers- Hollywood loves a movie where the noble white person helps the noble oppressed black people. So it's to be expected.
- “Hugo” Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers- Many who saw it say it's a magical love letter to cinema. Too bad there weren't that many in North America who saw it.
- “Midnight in Paris” Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers- Woody Allen made a movie that was seen by people outside of New York and Los Angeles, they had to nominate it.
- “Moneyball” Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers- There had been so many problems during development of this movie I think the nomination's simply for getting the damn thing done.
- “The Tree of Life” Nominees to be determined - Nobody knows what the movie was supposed to be about, and it also looks like nobody knows who produced the damn thing.
- “War Horse” Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers- Spielberg is threatening to send the titular horse to the glue factory if he doesn't win.
- “The Artist” Michel Hazanavicius- Token foreigner so the Academy could feel cosmopolitan. He might win if there's a split in the vote.
- “The Descendants” Alexander Payne- Domestic dramas are Academy faves, plus it has the Clooney stamp of approval, so he might have a shot even though hardly anyone actually saw the movie.
- “Hugo” Martin Scorsese- He made a magical love letter to cinema, but the biggest block against him is that he won just a few years ago after years of being shut out. To the Academy's gestalt mass-mind, he's had his turn and there's no drama to be had in giving it to him.
- “Midnight in Paris” Woody Allen- Academy voters like him, but he's unlikely to show up for the ceremony, so he's probably not going to win.
- “The Tree of Life” Terrence Malick- Many academy voters want him to win, but fear that his acceptance speech will start with him thanking the Big Bang, and going on from there. They only have five hours for the show.
Actor in a Leading Role
- Demián Bichir in “A Better Life” - Never heard of him, or the movie. No chance.
- George Clooney in “The Descendants”- The front-runner. An Oscar semi-regular, a past winner, past nominee, who is firmly entrenched in the club playing a dead eyed suburbanite who gets cuckolded.
- Jean Dujardin in “The Artist” - If he wins, he should just walk on stage, mouth a speech, then walk off without making a sound.
- Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” - Brilliant actor in by all accounts a brilliant performance, but a long-shot because he's not exactly "Hollywood's boy," plus the outspoken conservative political stances of his business partner/producer Doug Urbanski may hurt his chances with liberal Academy voters.
- Brad Pitt in “Moneyball” - Despite his popularity in Hollywood, and the film actually being seen by people, there really isn't much "show-stopping" stuff in the role to overcome Clooney.
Actor in a Supporting Role
- Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn” - Long shot.
- Jonah Hill in “Moneyball”- The Academy is going to demand Jonah regain the weight he lost since Moneyball to avoid confusing viewers if he wins.
- Nick Nolte in “Warrior” - A real war horse of an actor, so starved for good roles in features that he's doing TV now with Dustin Hoffman in HBO's Luck.
- Christopher Plummer in “Beginners” - Had a long and respected career, and while it was a barely seen movie, it could come to him as a lifetime achievement sort of deal. But that's only if the Academy has any sense of history.
- Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”- Someone had to be nominated from that movie, so why not give it to the long running, but under-appreciated von Sydow.
Actress in a Leading Role
- Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs” - Sorry Glenn, playing butch only works for Hillary Swank.
- Viola Davis in “The Help” - By all accounts very deserving of the award, so that makes her a long shot.
- Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” -The manic pixie dreamgirl goes punk, and give the Academy a shot at pretending to be "with it."
- Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady”- Won't win because Academy voters will fear that voting for her will be considered a vote for Thatcher herself.
- Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn"- The Academy will see this as a little too blatant an attempt to woo them, and probably reject her.
Actress in a Supporting Role
- Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist”
- Jessica Chastain in “The Help”
- Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”
- Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs”
- Octavia Spencer in “The Help”
Animated Feature Film
- “A Cat in Paris” Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
- “Chico & Rita” Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
- “Kung Fu Panda 2″ Jennifer Yuh Nelson
- “Puss in Boots” Chris Miller
- “Rango” Gore Verbinski
Foreign Language Film
- “Bullhead” Belgium
- “Footnote” Israel
- “In Darkness” Poland
- “Monsieur Lazhar” Canada
- “A Separation” Iran
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
- “The Descendants” Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
- “Hugo” Screenplay by John Logan
- “The Ides of March” Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
- “Moneyball” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. Story by Stan Chervin
- “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan
Writing (Original Screenplay)
- “The Artist” Written by Michel Hazanavicius
- “Bridesmaids” Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
- “Margin Call” Written by J.C. Chandor
- “Midnight in Paris” Written by Woody Allen
- “A Separation” Written by Asghar Farhad
- “The Artist” Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
- “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″ Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
- “Hugo” Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
- “Midnight in Paris” Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil
- “War Horse” Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales
- “The Artist” Guillaume Schiffman
- “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Jeff Cronenweth
- “Hugo” Robert Richardson
- “The Tree of Life” Emmanuel Lubezki
- “War Horse” Janusz Kaminsk
- “Anonymous” Lisy Christl
- “The Artist” Mark Bridges
- “Hugo” Sandy Powell
- “Jane Eyre” Michael O’Connor
- “W.E.” Arianne Phillips
- “Hell and Back Again” Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner
- “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
- “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
- “Pina” Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
- “Undefeated” TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas
Documentary (Short Subject)
- “The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement” Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
- “God Is the Bigger Elvis” Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
- “Incident in New Baghdad”James Spione
- “Saving Face” Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
- “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen
- “The Artist” Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
- “The Descendants” Kevin Tent
- “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
- “Hugo” Thelma Schoonmaker
- “Moneyball” Christopher Tellefsen
- “Albert Nobbs” Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
- “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″ Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
- “The Iron Lady” Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland
Music (Original Score)
- “The Adventures of Tintin” John Williams
- “The Artist” Ludovic Bource
- “Hugo” Howard Shore
- “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Alberto Iglesias
- “War Horse” John Williams
Music (Original Song)
- “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
- “Real in Rio” from “Rio” Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett
Short Film (Animated)
- “Dimanche/Sunday” Patrick Doyon
- “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
- “La Luna” Enrico Casarosa
- “A Morning Stroll” Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
- “Wild Life” Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby
Short Film (Live Action)
- “Pentecost” Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane
- “Raju” Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
- “The Shore” Terry George and Oorlagh George
- “Time Freak” Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
- “Tuba Atlantic” Hallvar Witzø
- “Drive” Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
- “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Ren Klyce
- “Hugo” Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
- “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
- “War Horse” Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom
- “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
- “Hugo” Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
- “Moneyball” Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick
- “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
- “War Horse” Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson
- “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″ Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
- “Hugo” Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
- “Real Steel” Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
- “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
- “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier