✓ BEST PICTURE: The Artist
X COSTUME DESIGN: Mark Bridges - The Artist / My pick: Lisy Christl - Anonymous
✓ ORIGINAL SONG: “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets - Bret McKenzie (music & lyrics)
X LEADING ACTOR: Jean Dujardin - The Artist / My pick: George Clooney - The Descendants
✓ DIRECTING: Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
X ANIMATED SHORT FILM: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore - William Joyce & Brandon Oldenburg / My pick: A Morning Stroll - Grant Orchard & Sue Goffe
✓ SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christopher Plummer - Beginners
X DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Undefeated - TJ Marin, Dan Lindsay & Rich Middlemas / My pick: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory - Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky
✓ LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: The Shore - Terry George & Oorlagh George
X LEADING ACTRESS: Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady / My pick: Viola Davis - The Help
✓ DOCUMENTARY SHORT: Saving Face - Daniel Junge & Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
X SOUND EDITING: Philip Stockton & Eugene Gearty - Hugo / My pick: Ren Klyce - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
✓ SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Octavia Spencer - The Help
X FILM EDITING: Kirk Baxter & Angus Wall - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / My pick: Kevin Tent - The Descendants
X SOUND MIXING: Tom Fleischman & John Midgley - Hugo / My pick: David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce & Bo Persson - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
✓ ANIMATED FEATURE: Rango - Gore Verbinski
✓ FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: A Separation - Asghar Farhadi
✓ VISUAL EFFECTS: Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann & Alex Henning - Hugo
✓ ART DIRECTION: Dante Ferretti (production design) & Francesca Lo Schiavo (set decoration) - Hugo
✓ MAKEUP: Mark Coulier & J. Roy Helland - The Iron Lady
✓ ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash - The Descendants
X CINEMATOGRAPHY: Robert Richardson - Hugo / My pick: Emmanuel Lubezki - The Tree of Life
✓ ORIGINAL SCORE: Ludovic Bource - The Artist
✓ ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Woody Allen - Midnight in Paris
So only two films on my best of list received nominations this year (Drive and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy). My worst of list tends to be a pretty good indicator of what gets recognized by the Academy, though.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
- War Horse
Regarding The Tree of Life winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes, Jury Head Robert De Niro said, "It had the size, the importance, the intention, whatever you want to call it, that seemed to fit the prize.” That's pretty much the exact opposite of what'll win the Best Picture Oscar. Comprehensibility and competence are the valued attributes here. If there's an ideological point, then it had better go down easy. Charm helps, too. So what's more charming than the competent and comprehensible The Artist? Hugo doesn't quite fit the bill, but it tries. And, just like its major competitor, The Artist has the added advantage of celebrating American cinema. The Descendants is solidly mediocre, too, and with a cheap social message, but I think people probably perceive it as more of an example of solid writing and acting, not as a "magical" experience (less charm, in other words). Additionally, Harvey Weinstein knows how to win Oscars.
The Eric & Charles DVD Review Show wouldn't be the favorite of spambots everywhere without the magical touch of Eric "Scissorhands" Kench. Above, he can be seen with his American Cinema Editor's award, the Eddie, and presenter Anne V. Coates, editor of Lawrence of Arabia (Kench's favorite film). Although not quite as illustrious as appearing on this blog, Kench breathed the same exalted air as Clint Eastwood for one night. While I wouldn't dismiss the importance of a good leather jacket, Alexander Payne explained the value of the art: "One, editing is the ongoing process of disguising how bad the film really is. Number two, every day we edit, we make the film suck less. And number three, editing is the natural state of man." Here's the Variety article.
My pal Jody and I were killing time before a showing of A Separation in West LA and came across A Video Store Named Desire on Santa Monica (just south of Cinefile). There's something comforting about all those stacks: the individual psychic topography of only the guy at the counter knowing where anything is; commerce resisting easy commercialization; retail that defies commodification. It's a small blow against the totally administered society.