Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

20 February 2012

2012's Nominees: Part 6 of 10

Margin Call
1 Nomination
  • Original Screenplay: J.C. Chandor
Director: Chandor
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Zachary Quinto, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Demi Moore, Simon Baker, Stanley Tucci, Penn Badgley.

I really liked this movie! It's also about a bunch of genuinely terrible human beings. A fascinating paradox: in a movie where I genuinely thought nearly all of the people depicted in the film were despicable, I liked a lot of them. Margin Call is a movie about the financial crisis and one (out of many) of the situations that brought about this crisis. And yet... this movie is gripping and interesting; the characters are fascinating, and though the plot is completely predictableMargin Call (unlike a movie like Fair Gamebreathes new life into its historical subject and makes for riveting cinema. The screenplay, by director Chandor, is an absolute marvel. A fully deserved nomination.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #22 out of 66

1 Nomination
  • Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer (The Last Station)
Director: Mike Mills
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Mélanie Laurent, Plummer, Goran Visnjic, Mary Page Keller, Lou Taylor Pucci.

This movie was not my favorite. I've written about the movie here, so I won't go into that now; I'd rather just talk about Christopher Plummer. Plummer is, as you might recall, amazing in 1965's classic The Sound of Music, and if you've ever seen this musical onstage, it is obvious how absolutely essential Plummer's performance is to that film. He is astounding in that movie. Plummer has, however, only been nominated for the Oscar one other time (very recently for the underwhelming The Last Station). This is after being very notably passed over in 1999 and again in 2001. All that to say: Plummer's win is long overdue, and his performance is excellent, so everyone is delighted to be able to honor him this year.
Will Win: Supporting Actor
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #42 out of 66

1 Nomination
  • Supporting Actor: Nick Nolte (Affliction, The Prince of Tides)
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Cast: Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nolte, Jennifer Morrison, Frank Grillo, Kevin Dunn.

I really liked this movie, too! Some of these choices this year are excellent. To begin with Nolte, he is absolutely superb in this movie. He is broken and sad and penitent and ugly. It is a performance awash in self-pity, and I found it brave and completely endearing. I think this is one of my favorite performances of the year. He is so good! O'Connor's direction of this movie is ludicrous, and the script is filled with clichés, but none of that really seemed to matter as I watched this film. The fighting is exciting, Tom Hardy and his acting partners are all excellent, and the sentiments behind the brother-brother and father-son relationships all kept me deeply affected.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #24 out of 66

The Adventures of Tintin
1 Nomination
  • Original Score: John Williams (War Horse, Munich, Memoirs of a Geisha, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Catch Me If You Can, Artificial Intelligence: A.I., Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Patriot, Angela's Ashes, Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, Sleepers, Nixon, Sabrina, Schindler's List, JFK, Home Alone, Born on the Fourth of July, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Accidental Tourist, Empire of the Sun, The Witches of Eastwick, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The River, Return of the Jedi, E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, Superman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws, The Towering Inferno, Tom Sawyer, Cinderella Liberty, Images, The Poseidon Adventure, Fiddler on the Roof, The Reivers, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Valley of the Dolls)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig.

So. Much. Fun. I've talked about this film already here, and at the time I mentioned how delightful Williams's score is, so I don't need to go into that, but what I will go into is how this movie got totally snubbed by the animation branch. I don't care what criteria they are using or what the animation branch has against motion capture, but they cannot seriously believe that any single movie that was nominated for the so-called Best Animated Feature award is better than The Adventures of Tintin, Because that is a joke. Tintin is impeccably directed. The editing, the sound effects, the score, the screenplay, and the cinematography are all superb, and the only reason Tintin isn't nominated for Best Animated Feature is because of politics. And I know, I know, that the Oscars are about politics a lot of the time. I understand that, but Tintin's exclusion is simply indefensible. One nomination is simply not enough for this fantastic film. They should be ashamed of themselves.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: N/A
My Rating#18 out of 66


  1. Oh my goodness, you defended The Spielberg! (Remember when you poked fun at me for doing so?) I of course agree with your diatribe agains the Academy here (though I disagree with one thing -- I think I may have liked Chico & Rita a tiny bit better).

    And wouldn't we always rather just talk about Christopher Plummer? I know I would.

    Yay, Grandpa!

  2. Also, I really loved The Last Station, if you recall. I'm not sure why no one else did.

    1. I am not sure why I didn't like it either. I remember it being homophobic at one point, and I also remember that it couldn't decide whose side I ought to be on in the fight over who was going to inherit what... or maybe it was the fight over inheritance that I didn't like. I can't really remember. I remember the performances being great.