Hollywood has the same problem with the Oscars that the Republicans are having with their primaries. They can’t seem to agree on a candidate with a broad appeal to the base. All nine Oscar finalists were, like Mitt Romney, good enough to be nominated. But none of them appealed to average multiplex moviegoers, just as it’s said Romney doesn’t appeal to the GOP base. — Roger Ebert

The Oscar Article: A Case of Habit

I honestly considered not doing an Oscar predictions column this year. There are several reasons why:

1) As I previously mentioned here, I was not very inspired by this year’s nominations. They left a lot to be desired, and I am afraid I have grown weary of the entire Oscar process.

2) Unlike years past, I have just been too busy to keep up with the films, and have missed a few too many in order for me to be truly comfortable with my picks. 

All of that being said, this is a film blog, and I should recognize the Oscars and say a few things about them. I will be specific about why I pick the way I do and what I have not seen, so that my picks make sense. Last year I scored an impressive 9 out 10 (missing only on Editing). This year I can’t even make educated picks in both Actress categories due to lack of knowledge.

Like last year, I will not choose a Foreign Film because I have not seen most of them (although it seems very likely that A Separation is going to win). I don’t see myself faring as well this year, but we will see how I grade out on Monday morning.

Best Picture: 

Will Win: The Artist - This film has picked up so much steam over the last month I really do not see any other film pulling off the upset.

Should Win: Moneyball - I’m guessing everyone reading this just released a collective groan. But no other film on this list is as COMPLETE a film as Moneyball. For the record, I have not seen The Help or Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, and so I cannot judge those two films, but aside from that, the only other film on the list worthy of consideration is The Tree of Life, and it has too many flaws to qualify (I still think it is a fantastic piece of cinema). But Moneyball is a complete film with very few flaws. I recently viewed it for the second time and enjoyed it even more then the first time.

*Side Note: My #1 film of the year, Steve McQueen’s ‘Shame’, was of course, not nominated.*

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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

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