Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Jennifer Lawrence announces 2012 Oscar Nominees
The 2012 Oscar nominations were announced bright and early this morning with the help of The Hunger Games Star Jennifer Lawrence and the surprises just wouldn't quit! Martin Scorcese came out on-top with an impressive eleven nominations, including Best Picture. Many also were surprised to see the sudden presence of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, which has been a non-presence much of Awards Season, only to pop-up finally for the coveted prize - a brilliant campaign by Warner Bros. to shape perceptions with as late a release as possible. Nonetheless, The Artist which has swept Best Picture awards coast to coast leading up to this, receives a stellar ten nominations. It is without a question the one to beat, although other Nominees The Descendants, Midnight in Paris, War Horse, Moneyball, The Tree of Life and The Help might have something to say about this.

Everyone is talking about some surprising omissions, namely both Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan for their mesmerizing work in Shame Elizabeth Olsen who is astoundingly good in Martha Marcy May Marlene also was nowhere to be found either and some are saying that Fox Searchlight which handled distribution for both Films in the U.S., had tapped-out its resources campaigning for its Prize Horse, The Descendants. Also, The Adventures of Tintin, widely considered a contender for Animated Feature Film at one point was overlooked altogether this year.

There were some real pleasant surprises to be had this morning, especially for Actor in a Supporting Role with Jonah Hill (Moneyball), Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn), Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close) and Nick Nolte (Warrior) all popping-up based on their powerful performances, to join category favourite, Christopher Plummer (Beginners).  Despite Warrior failing to garner critical and commercial success, it is thrilling that Nolte gets his due recognition as an alcoholic Father on-the-mend, hoping to repair his relationships with his two Sons.

Actress in a Supporting Role pits Co-stars and first-time Nominees Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer up against one another.  Hilarious TV Actress Melissa McCarthy had many cheering with the announcement of her nomination for Bridesmaids. French-Argentinian Actress Bérénice Bejo who is phenomenal in her non-speaking role in The Artist, also surfaces in this hotly-contested category.

Mexican Actor Demián Bichir who largely has been absent in talks much of this Awards Season, surfaces now shockingly for Actor in a Leading Role with A Better Life, while after many years, the brilliant Gary Oldman finally gets his first-ever nomination for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. George Clooney and Jean Dujardin are considered widely to be neck-in-neck in this category, with the former's Buddy Brad Pitt also in-contention for Moneyball.  No Fassbender, I'll say it again.

Although Critics had their own opinions about The Iron Lady, none could deny Meryl Streep's outstanding performance as Margaret Thatcher and now she is touted as the one to beat for Actress in a Leading Role.  Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn) and Viola Davis (The Help), however are not far behind and many are pleased that the Dark Horse in this category, Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) gets a nod after some doubt. This likely will be Streep's third Oscar win in her celebrated career which now includes 17 nominations.

This year's Oscars certainly won't lack any Star Power and even though Angelina Jolie's In the Land of Blood and Honey didn't get a Foreign Language Film nomination, she almost certainly will be there to support her Husband Pitt.  Madonna even has reason to attend the Oscars this year with her W.E. getting a nomination for Costume Design.  Lisa Tant, Editor at Flare Magazine was pleased about this, Tweeting me "W.E. Costumes = Excellent!".  Although I personally am surprised that The Muppets has failed to garner the recognition it should have received, it is fantastic news that it will have a presence in the category of Music (Original Song) with Man or a Muppet.

From a Canadian standpoint, our Friends at Alliance Films are absolutely thrilled to have their Films receive a whipping 20 nominations. Canada also has an entry for Foreign Language Film in Monsieur Lazhar, which only recently was named one of Canada's Top Ten.

For a complete list of Nominees, click here.

Watch The Oscars, February 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM EST on ABC and CTV.

(Photo credit: Getty Images)