There were some pleasant surprises this year as the Acadamy Award nominations were announced to us by future Oscar host Seth Macfarlane and Emma Stone in a very short but funny presentation. I will begin by mentioning some of the pleasant surprises, because there were also some negative ones as some major directors were ignored.
First of all I must say that I´m excited for all the love that Beasts of the Southern Wild received after being nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Actress in a Leading Role, and Best Adapted Screenplay. This was one of my top three films of the year (although I have to admit I still have to see five of the nine nominated films for 2012 since most of these films haven´t come out here in Ecuador yet). The other favorite of mine was Life of Pi which also received a lot of love from Acamdey voters by getting 11 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography. This film blew my mind visually and it deserves all the technical awards. The film with most nominations was Steven Spielbergh´s Lincoln which received 12 nominations including all the big awards. Daniel Day Lewis gave one of the best performances of the year and I think he will win this category easily although he has some competition in Joaquin Pheonix (The Master) and Hugh Jackman (Les Mis). I´m glad Denzel Washington received some love for his work in Flight, although I don´t think he has a chance here. However, I loved his work in that film. The small independent film, Silver Linings Playbook received a lot of love from the Academy as well receiving 8 nominations including all the important ones (director, actor, actress, and picture). I haven´t had a chance to see this film yet, but it looks good. The German film, Amour received much love as well as it will be competing for Best Picture and Best Director. It received 5 nominations. Les Miserables got 8 nominations, although it didn´t receive a Best Director nod which was a surprise for many. Finally, there´s Django Unchained, that received 5 Acadamy Awards including Best Picture although there was no love for Quentin Tarantino in the Best Director department.
The negative surprises from today´s nominations came from the lack of love for Argo and Zero Dark Thirty which seemed like Lincoln´s main rivals in this year´s Oscars. They both received Best Picture nods, but neither Bigelow nor Affleck received director nominations for there work in these highly critically acclaimed films. Not having a Best Director nomination usually means they won´t end up contending for Best Picture. Argo did recieve 7 nominations however and Zero Dark Thirty ended up with only five when many were predicting each one of these films would get at least 10. I was sad that there was no love for Moonrise Kingdom although it did recieve a nomination for Original Screenplay for Wes Anderson. I was hoping it would recieve a Best Picture nod considering it was one of his best films in quite some time. My favorite film of the year, The Dark Knight Rises, received no love whatsoever, and I was hoping it would at least get a couple nods for vissuals. There were a couple of smaller performances I wished would get recognized like Richard Gere´s work in Arbitrage (his best work to date) and Jack Black in Bernie, but I knew they were long shots.
Well those were my reactions to this year´s nominations. I look forward to watching the Oscars on February 24 to see who ends up with the big prize at the end. I still have several films to watch before I can make my predictions but this looks like it will be a very tight race between Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, Amour, and Beasts of the Southern Wild. I Think Lincoln has the big edge for now. In case you missed the nominations this morning, here is a video.