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Nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards

January 24, 2012

Presented by actress Jennifer Lawrence and Academy president Tom Sherak, the nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning.  The nine films competing for the top prize of Best Picture are The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life and War Horse.

Leading the pack with eleven nominations is Hugo, closely followed by The Artist with ten.  There were some surprises throughout the nominees, some more deserving than others.  I’m thrilled to see The Tree of Life honoured with a Best Picture nomination and a Best Director nod for Terrence Malick.  Another nice surprise is seeing the deeply moving Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close crack the field for Best Picture, and get a much deserved Best Supporting Actor nomination for Max von Sydow.  Equally deserved is Nick Nolte’s nomination for Warrior, as well as both Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer from The Help in the running for Best Supporting Actress.

For the most part, the acting categories are all predictably strong, with nominations for Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn), Viola Davis (The Help), George Clooney (The Descendants), Jean Dujardin (The Artist) and Brad Pitt (Moneyball).  But there are also some embarrassing mistakes amongst the nominees, like Janet Mcteer (Alber Nobbs) being nominated for Best Supporting Actress over the far superior Shailene Woodley (The Descendants).  I’m also surprised to see Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin not in the running for Best Animated Film, and am not sure if the “good but not great” War Horse should have gotten six nominations, including one in the otherwise stellar Best Picture category.  I loved both “Man or Muppet” (The Muppets) and “Real in Rio” (Rio) and am glad that they were nominated for Best Original Song, but I’m literally shocked that there were only two nominees.

For the most part, I am happy with many of the nominations in a lot of the major categories, including the outstanding field for Best Director.  But it’s also disappointing to see some very deserving films and performances left off the list, like a complete snub for 50/50 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 being relegated to just three of the technical categories.  The Oscars will be announced live on February 26th at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.  For the ninth time, the telecast will be hosted by the great Billy Crystal.  Please see the complete list of nominees in all 24 categories after the break.

-John C.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

The Artist

The Descendants

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

The Help


Midnight in Paris


The Tree of Life

War Horse

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Demián Bichir for A Better Life

George Clooney for The Descendants

Jean Dujardin for The Artist

Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Brad Pitt for Moneyball

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Glenn Close for Albert Nobbs

Viola Davis for The Help

Rooney Mara for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady

Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Kenneth Branagh for My Week with Marilyn

Jonah Hill for Moneyball

Nick Nolte for Warrior

Christopher Plummer for Beginners

Max von Sydow for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Bérénice Bejo for The Artist

Jessica Chastain for The Help

Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids

Janet McTeer for Albert Nobbs

Octavia Spencer for The Help

Best Achievement in Directing

Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris

Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist

Terrence Malick for The Tree of Life

Alexander Payne for The Descendants

Martin Scorsese for Hugo

Best Screenplay

The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius

Bridesmaids – Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo

Margin Call – J.C. Chandor

Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen

A Separation – Asghar Farhadi

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Descendants – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash

Hugo – John Logan

The Ides of March – George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon

Moneyball – Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

A Cat in Paris

Chico & Rita

Kung Fu Panda 2

Puss in Boots


Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Bullhead (Belgium)

Footnote (Israel)

In Darkness (Poland)

Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)

A Separation (Iran)

Best Achievement in Cinematography

The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


The Tree of Life

War Horse

Best Achievement in Editing

The Artist

The Descendants

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo



Best Achievement in Art Direction

The Artist

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2


Midnight in Paris

War Horse

Best Achievement in Costume Design


The Artist


Jane Eyre


Best Achievement in Makeup

Albert Nobbs

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

The Iron Lady

Best Original Score

The Adventures of Tintin – John Williams

The Artist – Ludovic Bource

Hugo – Howard Shore

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Alberto Iglesias

War Horse – John Williams

Best Original Song

“Man or Muppet” from The Muppets – music and lyrics by Bret McKenzie

“Real in Rio” from Rio – music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown, lyrics by Siedah Garrett

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo



Transformers: Dark of the Moon

War Horse

Best Achievement in Sound Editing


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


Transformers: Dark of the Moon

War Horse

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2


Real Steel

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Best Documentary Feature

Hell and Back Again

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory



Best Documentary Short Subject

The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement

God is the Bigger Elvis

Incident in New Baghdad

Saving Face

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Best Short Film, Animated


The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

La Luna

A Morning Stroll

Wild Life

Best Short Film, Live Action



The Shore

Time Freak

Tuba Atlantic

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