Oscar nominations offer no surprises
Silent-era throwback film The Artist and Martin Scorsese’s Hugo led the pack of Oscar nominees on Tuesday, including nods in the best film category, in the race for the world’s top movie honours.
Hugo, Scorsese’s 3D film exploring the magic of moviemaking, earned the most nominations with 11 overall, including one for him in the director category.The Artist, which has swept through the awards season this year taking many pre-Oscar honours, had 10 nominations in total.
The two easily outdistanced other top nominees including baseball movie Moneyball, with six nods, and Steven Spielberg’s World War I tale War Horse, also with six nominations.
Joining those four films in the race for best movie are family drama The Descendants, civil rights movie The Help, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, and 9/11 movie Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.
Although it had 11 nominations, the nods for Hugo came largely from relatively minor categories such as art direction and costume design. The 10 nods for The Artist, by contrast, were in a wide-range of groups including best supporting actress for Berenice Bejo and director for Michel Hazanavicius.
Best actress nominees were led by Meryl Streep portraying former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, Glenn Close in a gender-bending role in Albert Nobbs, Viola Davis for The Help, Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn.
The best actor race sets up an intriguing match between friends George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Clooney was nominated for his role as a father trying to keep his family together in a time of crisis in The Descendants, and Pitt in his turn as a numbers-crunching baseball executive in Moneyball.
But the pair of Hollywood A-listers face stiff competition from Frenchman Jean Dujardin playing a fading silent picture star redeemed by love in The Artist, as well as Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Demian Bichir in A Better Life.
“I don’t see a trend at all this year. You never want to see anyone left out but it [diversity] does make for great conversation,” said Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The Artist has been a Hollywood darling this awards season winning best film honors from critics groups and taking the Golden Globe award for best film musical or comedy. In the best picture race, it may face its stiffest competition from The Descendants, which was named the Golden Globe best film drama winner and also has been a critical hit.
“Filming The Artist in Los Angeles was a dream come true, and to receive this recognition today is far beyond what I ever imagined,” Hazanavicius said in a statement.
With so many nominees among best picture contenders, clues in the race come from the best director category because in the Oscar’s 83 previous awards there has been a strong correlation between the best director and best film winners.
Some of the top categories:
- War Horse
Tree of Life
Midnight in Paris
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
- Demian Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
- 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
- Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
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, Alfred Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help
- A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Foreign language film
- Bullhead, Belgium
In Darkness, Poland
Monsieur Lazhar, Canada
A Separation, Iran
- Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
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