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Oscar Nominations: Scorsese’s Hugo Leads a Field Full of Surprise Inclusions and Omissions

Posted on the 24 January 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
Oscar nominations: Scorsese’s Hugo leads a field full of surprise inclusions and omissions

A still from the movie version of Hugo.

Martin Scorsese’s 3D film Hugo has a best 11 Oscar nominations. Michel Hazanavicius’s awards season favorite The Artistcollected a next best ten nominations. The awards will be dished out on February 26.

Bennett Miller’s baseball movie Moneyball took six nominations, ahead of Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, which amassed a somewhat disappointing five nods from the Academy.

Battling it out for best film prize are The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life and War Horse.

If ‘The Artist’ were to win on Feb. 26, it would be the first black-and-white silent film to earn a best picture Oscar since ‘Wings’ took home the prize at the first annual Academy Awards in 1929”, noted Variety.

So many surprises. Catherine Shoard of The Guardian expressed surprise at many of the nominations, especially that Hugo had bested The Artist. “There were surprises in all categories. A Better Life’s Demián Bichir was included in the best actor list, possibly at the expense of Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Fassbender (although Gary Oldman did make the cut) … Nick Nolte and Max von Sydow were more surprise nods in the supporting actor field.” “Even the animation list was full of unexpected treats, including acclaim for A Cat in Paris, Chico & Rita alongside Kung Fu Panda 2 and Rango”, said Shoard.

Hugo becomes just the fourth film released in 3-D to score a best picture nomination, following in the footsteps of Avatar (2009), Up(2009), and Toy Story 3 (2010), and could become the first to win”, observed Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter.

Hugo in the box seat. Marc Graser and Christy Grosz of Variety noted that “nearly two-thirds of the time the film that leads in nominations ends up winning best picture, the most recent example being last year: ’The Kings Speech’ had a leading 12 noms that resulted in four statuettes, including the big prize of best picture.” That said, Grazer acknowledged that The Artist has already demonstrated its popularity with awards season voters: “’The Artist,’ which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, adds 10 Oscar noms to the Producers Guild of America best picture award it earned last weekend, best comedy/musical at the Golden Globes, and more than a dozen critics groups’ awards over the last two months.”

Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), with her best actress nomination, extends her record for most nominations by an actor or actress with her seventeenth.

Nine best film nominees, huh? Brian Moylan of Gawker suggested that the “biggest shock was that with the Academy’s new impossible to understand nominating system we have nine Best Picture nominees.” He reminded that, “traditionally five films were tapped but for the past two years the list expanded to 10. This was the first year the new system, which allows anywhere from five to 10 nominations was used and it seems the new math favors lots of nominees. The category was initial opened up to include more blockbusters and fan favorites which gooses the ratings for the awards show broadcast. Instead, we just added room for movies like Tree of Life, War Horse, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Sure, they all did well but they’re no Harry Potter.”

Nicolas Winding Refn’s film Drive earned just one nomination, for sound editing. Oscar hopefuls J. Edgar, Shame and Young Adult received no nominations.

The announcement of the nominations kicked up a Twitterstorm. British critics lamented the omission of their personal favourites and the inclusion of films they considered over-rated. “EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE on the Best Picture shortlist is Extremely Wrong And Incredibly Stupid”, tweeted Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph. “Shame was always going to be a tough sell to the OAP contingent in the academy but did the best picture list have to be so safe?” asked Wendy Ide of The Times (£). “I nearly walked out of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close last night and it’s up for an Oscar. And not Tinker, Tailor. Are they barking?” wondered The TimesKate Muir.

Read the full list of nominations here

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