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Shocks Abound As Oscar Noms Are Announced; 'Hugo' Leads With Eleven, 'Tree Of Life' Gets Picture & Director Nods

by Oliver Lyttelton
January 24, 2012 8:58 AM
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Oscars 2012 Hugo Tree Of Life

It's Oscar nomination morning! You know, like Christmas morning, if you spent most of the rest of Christmas Day bitching that you didn't like your presents. And if your presents were chosen by a group of elderly sound mixers. And if an entire industry developed around guessing what you were going to get. And if, deep down, you didn't really care about Christmas.

Anyway, the announcement of the nominations for the 84th Academy Awards were finally made at 5.30 L.A. time. And, boy, were their some shocks in store. The headliners were as expected: "Hugo" leads the field thanks to a brace of technical nods, with eleven, with "The Artist" just behind with ten. But behind that, a gap, with "Moneyball" taking six nods, alongside "War Horse," which many had written off, which got the same number, including Best Picture. The main category had two big other surprises -- "The Tree of Life," which also managed a nomination for director Terrence Malick, and the poorly received "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," which becomes the worst-reviewed film to gain a Best Picture nomination (according to Rotten Tomatoes).

Otherwise, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" missed out on the big prizes, other than an unexpected Best Actress nomination for Rooney Mara, and "Bridesmaids" failed to make the leap too, although got Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (for Melissa McCarthy) nods as a consolation. There were a number of acting category surprises as well -- Gary Oldman and Demian Bichir got in in place of Michael Fassbender and Leonardo DiCaprio, while Tilda Swinton couldn't convert her critical love to a nomination either.

"A Separation" snuck into the mainstream categories with a Best Screenplay nomination, Albert Brooks missed out in supporting, animation proved a big shock, with two little-known independent features getting in, and plenty more eyebrow-raisers (not least the Academy highlighting Jessica Chastain's nomination for "The Help" with a picture from "The Tree of Life." It's given the awards season a much-needed shot in the arm, at least for the next twenty-four hours, and we're thankful for that, even if there's the typical number of disappointments in among the pleasant surprises. Stay tuned for more Oscar coverage throughout the day.

Best Picture
"The Artist"
"The Descendants"
"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"
"The Help"
"Midnight In Paris"
"The Tree of Life"
"War Horse"

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius - "The Artist"
Alexander Payne - "The Descendants"
Martin Scorsese - "Hugo"
Woody Allen - "Midnight In Paris"
Terrence Malick - "The Tree Of Life"

Best Actor
Demian Bichir - "A Better Life"
Jean Dujardin - "The Artist"
George Clooney - "The Descendants"
Brad Pitt - "Moneyball"
Gary Oldman - "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"

Best Actress
Glenn Close - "Albert Nobbs"
Viola Davis - "The Help"
Rooney Mara - "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo"
Meryl Streep - "The Iron Lady"
Michelle Williams - "My Week With Marilyn"

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh - "My Week With Marilyn"
Jonah Hill - "Moneyball"
Nick Nolte - "Warrior"
Christopher Plummer - "Beginners"
Max Von Sydow - "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"

Best Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo - "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain - "The Help"
Melissa McCarthy - "Bridesmaids"
Janet McTeer - "Albert Nobbs"
Octavia Spencer - "The Help"

Best Original Screenplay
Michel Hazanavicius - "The Artist"
Kristin Wiig & Annie Mumulo - "Bridesmaids"
J.C. Chandor - "Margin Call"
Woody Allen - "Midnight in Paris"
Asghar Farhadi - "A Separation"

Best Adapted Screenplay
Jim Rash, Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne - "The Descendants"
John Logan - "Hugo"
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon - "The Ides Of March"
Steve Zaillian & Aaron Sorkin - "Moneyball"
Peter Straughan & Bridget O'Connor - "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"

Best Foreign Language Film
"A Separation"
"In Darkness"
"Monsieur Lazhar"

Best Animation
"A Cat In Paris"
"Chico & Rita"
"Kung Fu Panda 2"
"Puss In Boots"

Best Documentary
"Hell And Back Again"
"If A Tree Falls: A Story Of The Earth Liberation Front"
"Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory"

Best Cinematography
Guillaume Shiffman - "The Artist"
Jeff Cronenweth - "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo"
Robert Richardson - "Hugo"
Emmanuel Lubezki - "The Tree of Life"
Janusz Kaminski - "War Horse"

Best Editing
Anne-Sophie Bion & Michel Hazavanicius - "The Artist"
Kevin Tent - "The Descendants"
Kirk Baxter & Angus Wall - "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo"
Thelma Schoonmaker - "Hugo"
Christopher Tellefsen - "Moneyball"

Best Art Direction
Laurence Bennett - "The Artist"
Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan - "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2"
Dante Ferretti, Dorothee Baussan, Francesca Lo Schiavo - "Hugo"
"Midnight In Paris"
Rick Carter - "War Horse"

Best Costume Design
Lisy Christl - "Anonymous"
Mark Bridges - "The Artist"
Sandy Powell - "Hugo"
Michael O'Connor - "Jane Eyre"
Arianne Philips - "W.E."

Best Makeup
"Albert Nobbs"
"Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2"
"The Iron Lady"

Best Score
Ludovic Bource - "The Artist"
Alberto Iglesias - "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Howard Shore - "Hugo"
John Williams - "The Adventures Of Tintin"
John williams - "War Horse"

Best Original Song
"Man Or Muppet" - "The Muppets"
"Real In Rio" - "Rio"

Best Sound Editing
"The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo""
"Transformers: The Dark Of The Moon"
"War Horse"

Best Sound Mixing
"The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo"
"Transformers: The Dark of The Moon"
"War Horse"

Best Visual Effects
"Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2"
"Real Steel"
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
"Transformers: The Dark of the Moon"

Best Live-Action Short
"The Shore"
"Time Freak"
"Tuba Atlantic"

Best Animated Short
"The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr. Morris Lessmore"
"La Luna"
"A Morning Stroll"
"Wild Life"

Best Documentary Short
"The Barber Of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement"
"God Is The Bigger Elvis"
"Incident In New Baghdad"
"Saving Face"
"The Tsunami & The Cherry Blossom"

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  • çelebi | January 26, 2012 9:55 AMReply


  • ben | January 25, 2012 3:40 AMReply

    Tilda Swinton, Albert Brooks. best original 50/50 . Johnny Depp for hugo’s producer .his name is as producer in list and movie’s website.

  • light | January 25, 2012 3:38 AMReply

    Tilda Swinton, Albert Brooks. best Screenplay - Steve Zaillian“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,best original 50/50 ,take shelter . Project Nim (documentary ) are out . it’s silly ides of march is nominated for screenplay? (Because of Clooney?) pitt is producer of moneyball ,so where is Johnny Depp for hugo’s producer .his name and company are as producer in list and movie’s website.

  • the Director | January 25, 2012 12:17 AMReply

    Well I'll just say that while I agree with MOST nominations, there are some unpleasants surprises....
    1) Tilda Swinton did NOT get a nomination...
    2) The Skin I Live In (Almodovar) in also not here....
    3) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close??
    4) No Best Picture for The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo...

    BUT, I must agree with Fassbender being left out (before any critisisim I'l say that I LOVED Michael's performance in Shame) because of the nature of his role. What do I mean? He's a sex addict...and while some people may find both the role and the performance of the actor, some others will completley hate the role despite the actor' performance....for some, he's a survivor learning to live without his addiction, for others, he's just a pervert.....and I think that's why Fassbender wasn't nominated....JUST-AN-OPINION.....

    Pd: after 25 years, Gary Oldman's much deserved Nomination is finally here!!! Loved that!!! Also, love Damian Bichir's nomination, one of our best actors!!!

  • uhoh | January 24, 2012 11:08 PMReply

    Rooney Mara? Yikes...

  • Shoshanna | January 31, 2012 9:47 PM

    .... over Tilda and Charlize. Glenn Close is another one of those "Yikes" nominees. That whole category (with an exception of Davis), to be honest, is quite embarrassing. Williams' was leagues better in Blue Valentine and should have gotten the same amount of attention she has been receiving for MWWM. Swinton and Theron gave 2 of the greatest performances of the year and they were both snubbed... for tackling dark, complex characters. The Academy hates challenges. Fluffiness prevails!

  • Dumbfounded | January 24, 2012 10:26 PMReply

    what...? girl with the dragon tattoo isnt even nominated? that movie was next to flawless and had more balls than anything else on that list..... i hate the oscars.

  • Nik Grape | January 24, 2012 2:11 PMReply

    Hmm. I'm not freaking out over the Brooks omission. He was great, but nothing award worthy. I'm extremely happy about Gary Oldman but definitely the biggest snub is Michael Fassbender. His was the best male performance and he didn't even get a nom?! Retarded. No Tilda Swinton is also a big shame, she was by far the best thing about the dry and cold We Need to Talk about Kevin. Also as much love Tinker got, no nomination for Art Direction is a huge miss, probably right next to Fassbender. Other than that, the love Terry Malick got (take that Plummer!!), Gary Oldman, Rooney Marra, no Bridesmaids of Picture but there was Screenplay ... all make me pretty happy. Definitely watching the Oscars. I still don't give a shit about Extremely Loud but I'll watch it for Max von Sydow cause he's a legend.

  • justin | January 24, 2012 9:07 PM

    I completely agree with you. Brooks was good as that character but i never thought worthy of an oscar nod after seeing 'drive.' Drive however, should have been nominated for best picture and especially best director. Big fail by the academy on that one. Extremely pleased with Oldman's nomination. Bout time he recieved something from the academy. I hope he wins. And I hope Nolte wins for his epic performance in Warrior.

  • Nik Grape | January 24, 2012 2:16 PM

    Oh and great to see love for Nolte's turn in Warrior. He was much better than Plummer but it's Plummer's year unfortunately.

  • Allie | January 24, 2012 12:51 PMReply

    Where were Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia), Albert Brooks (Drive), Michael Fassbender (Shame) and Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)'s nominations? And really - was Melissa McCarthy that good in Bridesmaids? I thought Kirsten Wiig stole the show and even Rose Byrne did a better job. Bridesmaids was hilarious but it wasn't down to McCarthy's performance.

  • Cloudy with a chance of Beefaroni | January 24, 2012 12:21 PMReply

    In what world is Gary Oldman being nominated for one of the most acclaimed performances of the year a shock over DiCaprio for one of his least appreciated performances in a critically panned movie? I never heard anyone say they expected DiCaprio to get nominated for J. Edgar of all movies. Oldman on the other hand has been at the top of pretty much every list.

  • Jake | January 24, 2012 12:08 PMReply

    Too much love for Fassbender in SHAME. That movie was terrible

  • Fred | January 24, 2012 5:33 PM

    Ever think that if there's "too much love" for him/it, maybe you're the only one who thought it was terrible?

  • Mr Anonymous | January 24, 2012 11:43 AMReply

    Glaring omissions (in various categories).

    No Fassbender
    No DiCaprio
    No Theron.
    No Swinton.
    No Shailene Woodley
    No Shame
    No Drive
    No We Need To Talk About Kevin
    No 50/50
    No The Adventures of Tin Tin
    No Elton John

    WTF ?!

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    Max Von Sydow
    Rooney Mara

  • AKRON | January 31, 2012 9:42 PM

    JoJo you clearly missed the entire point of Young Adult if you felt like the shrill, annoying harpy characteristics of Mavis weren't necessary or a misstep on Theron's part. She should have been nominated, no doubt. She was leagues better than the rest of the best actress nominees. Woodley had one good scene in The Descendants, which is in itself a mediocre film at best (especially for Payne). I think the Young Adult and Shame snubs are the biggest ones. Rooney Mara was good, not great and Noomi Rapace deserved that nomination so much more than her. EL&IC is an embarrassment all around.

  • JoJo | January 24, 2012 11:53 AM

    Theron was a shrill, annoying harpy in Young Adult. I really don't understand the love for her in that role at all. Glad to see that she wasn't nominated.

    Agree with you that Woodley getting left out was disappointing, especially when half of the cast of The Help was nominated. Blah.

  • Cinematic_high | January 24, 2012 11:22 AMReply

    Am I the only one who thinks Brad Pitt is nominated for the wrong movie? Moneyball was great and all, but his role in the tree of life is the best of his career (so far)!!!! I'm torn between Best Supporting Actress....ok no I'm not...Melissa better fucking take it! Gary Oldman better win for Tinker cause his performance is far better than the other nominees....I better stop now before I throw my phone at the wall cause these nominations are fucking pathetic! So many great films and perfromances snubbed! Margin Call should of received more than a fucking best screenplay nod!

  • Mihkel | January 24, 2012 10:34 AMReply

    Best Picture – unfortunately haven't seen most of them yet, but from what I have seen, then it really depends whether they go niche or somewhat mainstream. Either "The Tree of Life" and "The Artist" for first or "Hugo" and "The Descendants" for the other. Definately the fresh breeze last year was "The Artist", "The Tree of Life" was 'just' simple rewritten, while "Hugo" is plain excellent and "The Descendants" an allround quality piece of filmmaking.
    One thing for sure, whether you like it or not, we are going to see films like "The Tree of Life" pop out like mushrooms after the rain in the coming years, and for that it should be recognized as a leading light.

    One thing more...
    Best Original Screenplay – "Bridesmaids"? Nothing original about it in my honest opinion.

  • ben | January 24, 2012 10:20 AMReply

    Michael Fassbender ,Albert Brooks and Tilda Swinton deserved's should be ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY 50/50, Bridesmaids, Midnight in Paris, Win Win, and artist or beginner or take shelter .it's not fair ides of march ?????
    did you hear Depp name for producer's hugo ?

  • 79 | January 24, 2012 10:12 AMReply

    Charlize Theron and Tilda Swinton were ROBBED! WOW. Over friggin' Glenn Close and Rooney Mara?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!! And no love for Fassbender or Shannon.

  • Stupid Horse | January 24, 2012 9:53 AMReply

    OMG NO FASSBENDER OR GOSLING OR REFN? academy is such a bunch of stupid horses.

    Carry the Playlist Torch Jessica Chastain! You've had an amazzing year!

  • Mark Esposito | January 24, 2012 9:41 AMReply

    Yes, there were some glaring omissions. Michael Fassbender was the best actor of the year and Albert Brooks and Tilda Swinton both deserved nominations. And then there was The Tree of Life, the biggest piece of artistic bilge in recent memory, and it gets nominated for best picture? Over Drive? Shame? Incendes? And Terence Malick for best director, for showing how NOT to direct a film?

  • WILL | January 24, 2012 2:08 PM

    I thought Tree of Life was one of the best-directed films of all time. But then again, Malick's movies have always been polarizing.

  • President Bale | January 24, 2012 10:26 AM

    Incendies was nominated last year for Best Foreign Language Film...

  • padre | January 24, 2012 9:36 AMReply

    Ho Ho Ho! I knew it! Yesssss. With both "The Tree of Life" AND "Moneyball" up for Best Pic, it is in the bag! KING PITT ALL THE WAY! Everybody else can stay home. They'll just be there to smile awkwardly and clap as he shoves that trophy IN THEIR FACE! All hail the King!

  • Michael | January 24, 2012 3:56 PM

    Perhaps you should skip the telecast. Pitt hasn't got a chance for MONEYBALL. If he'd been nominated for THE TREE OF LIFE however...

  • Mike | January 24, 2012 9:29 AMReply

    Only 2 best song nominees?

    and no Project Nim?

  • Brian | January 24, 2012 9:27 AMReply

    Elderly Sound Mixers? F**k off.

  • Nadia | January 24, 2012 9:16 AMReply

    congratulations to Asghar Farhadi ....." A Separation " nominated for 2 categories and it's awesome

    Thanks Mr.Farhadi, u make us(Iranian) proud

  • Noah R. | January 24, 2012 9:12 AMReply

    The fact that Gary Oldman has finally been nominated for something after 25 years of genius should make us all happy. There are plenty of reasons to complain (No Brooks, no Swinton, no Fassbender) but what's the point? We can't change it.

  • Cinematic_high | January 24, 2012 11:25 AM

    We bumrushing our way into the Oscar voting process next year! :p

  • caro | January 24, 2012 9:39 AM

    totally agree!!

    (but Kung Fu Panda 2?)

  • Vance | January 24, 2012 9:07 AMReply

    Extremely Loud, huh? Oh boy, that's embarassing. Apparently the Academy didn't like Drive or Shame either. Yikes.

  • nicole | January 24, 2012 9:06 AMReply

    the academy is extremely stupid and incredibly wrong this year

  • Evan | January 24, 2012 9:06 AMReply

    This is the year I finally don't watch the Oscars. No Fassbender, Brooks, Woodley, or Swinton. Really. Fassbender gave the performance of the year. One of the biggest snubs in a long time.

  • Erik | January 24, 2012 9:06 AMReply


  • Driver | January 24, 2012 9:29 AM

    I mean, Matthias Schoenaerts. Pfff.. totally baffled I guess.

  • Driver | January 24, 2012 9:27 AM

    And may I add: Woooohoooo Bullhead! Watch Michael Schoenaerts, mark my words!

  • Anuar | January 24, 2012 9:05 AMReply

    No best cinematography?

  • Anuar | January 24, 2012 9:10 AM

    Nevermind, found it.

    Guillaume Schiffman, "The Artist"
    Jeff Cronenweth, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
    Robert Richardson, "Hugo"
    Emmanuel Lubezki, "The Tree of Life"
    Janusz Kaminski, "War Horse"

    Tree Of Life a lock for this?

  • W1 | January 24, 2012 9:04 AMReply

    Jonah Hill over Albert Brooks? No Michael Fassbender or Tilda Swinton? Extremely Loud for Best Pictures? Seriously?

  • Lori | January 24, 2012 10:13 AM

    No Rooney Mara does not deserve to be there. Beyond the fact that her performance was nothing spectacular, she is such a dour presence. Ugh, she needs to go away.

  • Alexi | January 24, 2012 9:22 AM

    To be honest, would rather have Rooney Mara than Tilda Swinton, so not complaining.

  • Wash | January 24, 2012 9:04 AMReply

    Good for Commissioner Gordon!

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