Alas, the 11th-hour Oscar campaign for Uggie, the dog from “The Artist,” fell short Tuesday (Jan. 24).
OK, so that’s not really a surprise. But as is pretty much always the case with the Academy Awards, we’re left scratching our heads at a few of the people left out of the nominations and happily surprised at a few others. (The full list of nominees is here.)
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.” Warner Bros. pushed hard to get a best picture nomination for the final installment of the franchise, but it didn’t happen. The academy nominated nine movies for best picture this year under its new rules — so let the conspiracy theories that “Deathly Hallows Part 2″ was the 10th take root.
Michael Fassbender. We’re not overly surprised that the usually staid academy didn’t recognize Fassbender’s work in “Shame,” given its frank depiction of sexuality and NC-17 rating. But we also figured his Golden Globe nomination and slew of critics’ awards might propel him into the Oscar field. Nope.
“The Adventures of Tintin.” The Steven Spielberg-directed, Peter Jackson-produced animated hit was shut out of the best animated feature race and scored only one nomination elsewhere, for John Williams’ score.
Ryan Gosling. Tumblr’s favorite son didn’t score a nomination for any of the three high-profile (and well-received) roles he played last year in “Drive,” “The Ides of March” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” And while we’re at it, we’d like to note that Gosling’s “Drive” co-star Albert Brooks also got snubbed.
The screenplays for “50/50,” “Win Win” and “Young Adult.” According to the Writers Guild of America, those were three of the best original screenplays of the year. None of them, however, cracked the field for a nomination. (Side note: We really wish “Win Win” had gotten a little more play in general this awards season. It was one of the better movies we saw in 2011.)
Madonna and Elton John. Only two songs (from “The Muppets” and “Rio”) were nominated for best original song, meaning there won’t be a repeat of the Golden Globes snipe-off between these two titans of pop music. We’d like to imagine that they’ll be sitting on opposite ends of a very long couch at an Oscar party on Feb. 26, casting dirty looks at each other all night.
Gary Oldman. “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” has flown under the radar this awards season (at least in this country), but we’re gratified to see Oldman get a nod for his excellent performance. Ditto for the screenplay nod to Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan for expertly paring down John Le Carre’s massive spy novel.
Demian Bichir. The star of the little-seen “A Better Life” followed up his SAG Award nomination with an Oscar nod — and probably moved the film up a lot of Netflix queues as a result.
“Chico & Rita” and “A Cat in Paris.” Unless you’re a serious animation aficionado, we’re guessing you haven’t heard of either of these nominees for best animated feature. Both had extremely limited runs to qualify for the awards (“Chico & Rita” is getting another limited release next month).
“Oscar nominee Jonah Hill.” It’s not that he doesn’t deserve his nomination for “Moneyball.” It’s just sort of hard to get used to thinking of the guy from “Superbad” and “Knocked Up” in that way.
What surprised you about Tuesday’s nominations?