Now that we've had a little time for the Academy Awards nominations to sink in, how about we take a closer look at some of the few surprises and oversights in the mix and see if we can't make sense of it? Make no mistake, there will be no rationalizing the lack of Albert Brooks in these nominations, but perhaps the much-deserved inclusion of Gary Oldman will make it go down easier. Honestly, though, what the fuck with Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close?
Best Picture: Alright, Academy, what is Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close doing here? I know how much you guys like Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks--America's 7th and 4th favorite actors, respectively--but did the precocious, saccharine sentimentality of the whole thing not make you throw up at least a little? Speculating that this might be the best film is like pondering if frosting is the best food. Sure, I'd scrape a sugary flower off a birthday cake when I was 8, but as an adult, who can tolerate that much carefully constructed sweetness? Now I know pizza is clearly the best food.
On that opposite end of things, also a tad surprising to see Tree of Life in the Best Picture mix. Sure, Terrence Malick is acclaimed as all get-out--but that adoration comes largely from critics, and more and more it seems the Academy's tastes have broadened to better agree with People's Choice Awards nominations. Really, I guess I'm just surprised the aging Oscar voters were able to stay awake through something so long and with so few musical numbers to jostle them.
Best Actress: I was beginning to question if anyone would remember or care about Glenn Close's anticipated then shrugged off turn as Mr. Doubtfire. Turns out they did.
Best Actor: Gary Oldman gets HIS FIRST Academy Award nomination. Gary Oldman had been nominated for a Razzie for Worst Screen Couple and an Emmy for doing a guest spot on Friends, but had somehow never been recognized by the Oscars. I'm glad that's finally fixed, because that was pretty dumb. This is Gary Oldman we're talking about, not Tom Selleck.
Also, with Demián Bechir taking Michael Fassbender's presumptive nomination, George Clooney can throw away all his "big dick" gags. Shame, too, because he had this great bit involving Fassbender not needing a bat when he plays baseball...
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy's nomination isn't so unexpected, but at the same time, giving such esteem to the role of a shockingly-crude overweight woman is only going to encourage Martin Lawrence.
Best Supporting Actor: As pretty much everyone, including the man himself, has been saying, where the eff is Albert Brooks? Yeah, fine, Max Von Sydow was great at writing on his hands in your favorite movie, Academy, but did you see that Drive? How many people does Brooks have to awesomely stab and/or slice to get a fucking statue?
Best Animated Film Feature: Chico and Rita, A Cat in Paris, and two Dreamworks sequels make it in over Cars 2. Pixar, this is the sign it's time to retire Larry the Cable Guy's voice.
Best Original Screenplay: Not that it's necessarily undeserving, but I'm a little surprised to see Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig's Bridesmaids screenplay nominated. Isn't it hard to read the script under so many layers of improv, just as it's hard to discern a specific meal within a sink full of explosive diarrhea?
Best Original Song: Wasn't something from Elton John's gnome movie and/or Madonna's thing supposed to be here?
Best Visual Effects: Transformers 3 versus Real Steel. Rendering giant CGI robots is now the visual effects equivalent of playing retarded.
Any other thoughts?