As Sarah mentioned in Good Morning News, "The Oscar nominations are out, if anyone cares," which seems about right. All the same, Steve just threw a clipboard at me and informed me that I'm "professionally obligated" to write something about the Oscars, so here's the list of the nominees for Best Picture. Links go to Mercury reviews.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
Steven Spielberg's Battle Pony
The rest of the nominations follow that predictable template, with FilmDrunk editor/occasional Mercury freelancer Vince Mancini correctly pointing out that the "Academy nominates anything marketed as an Oscar movie." So Hugo's big, and The Descendants, and Battle Pony, and even Extremely Loud, the latter nomination being one that everyone seems bewildered by because, you know, Oscar-baiting aside, everyone kind of agrees that the movie is fucking terrible.
In other not-that-surprising-but-still-kind-of-disappointing news, Drive and Shame and 50/50 were more or less ignored (sorry, awesome Albert Brooks), Fox failed in their campaign to get Andy Serkis nominated for his motion-capture performance as a homicidal monkey, and a Shrek spinoff was nominated for Best Animated Film.
The only real surprises, I'd say, are that Jonah Hill and Melissa McCarthy got nods for Moneyball and Bridesmaids—both of which are deserved—and that apparently the Best Original Song category still exists, though only two songs—one from Muppets and one from Rio—even made the cut. Because I guess the show needs musical performances? That is the only conceivable reason.
So there's that. I'll shut up now, since I already had my say about the movies I thought deserved the most attention this year.
(Also worth reading: The New Yorker's rundown of the nominations and assorted links, mostly because David Denby calls The Tree of Life “insufferable” and Richard Brody calls Battle Pony "a pile of clichés.”)
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