In the first year where the number of Best Picture nominees could have varied from five to ten, nine films received the necessary 5% of the vote to make the cut. Least expected among them was Stephen Daldry's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which received more negative reviews than positive ones and, after being anticipated for much of 2011 as being a potential awards darling, had vanished from the discussion in recent weeks. As expected, Hugo and The Artist led the pack, earning 11 and 10 nominations, respectively.
With its editing and screenplay nominations, signs point very clearly to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo being the film that would have been the tenth Best Picture nominee, had the category not been revised again. The Adventures of Tintin, the recent winner of the Golden Globes' Animated Feature award, was perceived as the most serious competition to Rango, but it failed to get a nomination over two acclaimed DreamWorks movies and two obscure international ones (quite likely, its motion capture methods are to blame).
Disney's Touchstone Pictures branch, which almost never received any recognition in its first 25 years of existence, landed two Best Picture nominations (The Help and War Horse), both out of the first of its 5-year distribution partnership with Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Pictures (a separate entity from similarly-named animation unit).
The R-rated comedy Bridesmaids picked up two Oscar nominations, the first received by a Judd Apatow production. It was the rare comedy nominated for screenplay, with critical favorites 50/50 and Win Win missing the cut. Gary Oldman's nomination is his first in thirty notable years of acting. The Academy shunned some of the more offbeat, independent work that had done well in critics awards, including Michael Fassbender in the NC-17 sex addiction drama Shame, Tilda Swinton in We Need to Talk About Kevin, and Albert Brooks in Drive, favoring instead the latest output of previous nominees, such as Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris), Martin Scorsese (Hugo), Steven Spielberg (War Horse), Alexander Payne (The Descendants), and the reclusive Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life). Some newcomers were admitted, however, including Demián Bichir, who pulled a Richard Jenkins with his largely unseen but formidable performance in A Better Life, which had the benefit of being one of the season's first screeners sent to Academy members.
And a happy birthday to Academy member and 1950s Oscar winner Ernest Borgnine, who turned 95 today and continues to work regularly.
Most nominations by films:
The Artist, 10
War Horse, 6
The Descendants, 5
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 5
The Help, 4
Midnight in Paris, 4
The Tree of Life, 3
Albert Nobbs, 3
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, 3
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, 3
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, 3
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, 2
My Week with Marilyn, 2
A Separation, 2
The Iron Lady, 2
Watch the Oscar Nomination Announcement Live:
2012 Oscar Nominee Predictions (predicted winners in bold): - posted five hours before the Academy Award nominations were announced.
Obviously, these are what I expected to be nominated/win, not what I wanted to, although I suppose there's a little bit of the latter in some of the bottom selections. I left out most categories about which I am clueless, but did try my luck at a few of those.
Predicted Best Picture (6 predicted nominees):
The Artist The Descendants Hugo The Help Midnight in Paris War Horse
if 7 nominees: The Tree of Life if 8 nominees: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo if 9 nominees: Moneyball if 10 nominees: Drive
Predicted Best Director:
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist Martin Scorsese, Hugo Alexander Payne, The Descendants Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Predicted Best Original Screenplay:
Midnight in Paris The Artist Bridesmaids 50/50 Win/Win
Predicted Best Adapted Screenplay:
The Descendants The Help Hugo Moneyball The Ides of March
Predicted Best Animated Feature:
Rango The Adventures of Tintin Puss in Boots Chico & Rita if five nominees: Arthur Christmas
Predicted Best Foreign Language Film:
Predicted Best Documentary Feature:
Paradise Lost 3 Pina Project Nim Bill Cunningham New York Buck
Predicted Best Original Song:
"Life's a Happy Song" from The Muppets "The Living Proof" from The Help "Lay Your Head Down" from Albert Nobbs "Man or Muppet" from The Muppets "Think You Can Wait" from Win Win
Predicted Best Actor:
George Clooney, The Descendants Jean Dujardin, The Artist Brad Pitt, Moneyball Michael Fassbender, Shame Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
Predicted Best Actress:
Viola Davis, The Help Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Predicted Best Supporting Actor:
Christopher Plummer, Beginners Albert Brooks, Drive Jonah Hill, Moneyball Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn Nick Nolte, Warrior (but it should be Ben Kingsley, Hugo)
Predicted Best Supporting Actress:
Octavia Spencer, The Help Bérénice Bejo, The Artist Jessica Chastain, The Help Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids Shaileen Woodley, The Descendants
Predicted Best Cinematography:
Hugo The Artist The Tree of Life War Horse The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Predicted Best Editing:
The Artist Hugo The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo The Descendants Contagion
Predicted Best Visual Effects:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Hugo
Predicted Best Costume Design:
The Artist Hugo Jane Eyre My Week with Marilyn The Help
Predicted Best Makeup:
The Iron Lady Hugo Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2