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The 2012 Oscar Nominations Are In – for those that still care

It’s time once again for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to distribute its meaningless awards for what are highly subjective cinematic efforts. This is the 84th time the Oscars have been handed out and it feels like I’ve been around for most of them, which might explain at least part of the awards season ambivalence I’m currently experiencing.

When I came on staff last year over at Planet Fury, I decided Planet Fury (then FanGirlTastic) really needed to cover Hollywood’s awards season. We are an entertainment site, I reasoned, so of course we must report on the motor that keeps the Tinseltown machine moving. (Well, the motor that isn’t money.)

So, cover awards season I did. I covered the Golden Globes, the NY Film Critics’ Circle Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the American Film Institute Awards and a few others I now believe were probably invented by publicists. But I digress. My point is, by the time we finally made it around to the Academy Awards (the only awards that truly matter), I and everyone else in the Planet Fury offices were awarded out.

This year, I resolved to break up with awards season. It’s sad, but we are seeking different things from a relationship. All awards season wants is to pat itself on the back and go on endlessly about how important it is and how it’s still relevant in the digital age despite a splintering, disinterested audience. But all I want is to get lost in the movie magic it trades upon. What once was infatuation is now merely boredom. Hopefully, we’ll meet again someday and reminisce about the good times we had. Though, you know, not too soon.

Oh, who am I fooling. I can’t leave awards season behind completely. I’m always going to be a sucker for the Oscars. They are indeed a sentimental favorite. I’ve been watching them since I was a kid, and I’ll keep watching them until I die (this year, on Feb. 26 at 7/6c — not my death; the Oscar broadcast). So I might as well write about them.

But this year, there will be no in-depth examination through deathless prose, no parsing and positing on the winners and losers of all the various and sundry categories no one cares about. Nope, not this time. All you get is a list of the main contenders. (For a complete list, go HERE.) And I’m not even going to put the film titles in italics per Slammed & Damned style guidelines. Take that, awards season!

Best Picture
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
“The Help”
“Hugo”
“Midnight in Paris”
“Moneyball”
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”

Best Actor
Demian Bichir, “A Better Life”
George Clooney, “The Descendants”
Jean Dujarin, “The Artist”
Gary Oldman, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”

Best Actress
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”

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, “My Week with Marilyn”
Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”
Nick Nolte, “Warrior”
Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
Max von Sydow, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Best Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain, “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer, “The Help”

Best Directing
Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
Alexander Payne, “The Descendants”
Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”
Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”
Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, “The Descendants”
John Logan, “Hugo”
George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon, “The Ides of March”
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin, “Moneyball”
Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan, ”Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

Best Original Screenplay
Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, “Bridesmaids”
J. C. Chandor, “Margin Call”
Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”
Asghar Farhadi, “A Separation”

~Theron Neel

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