If only five Best Picture nominees were allowed, which of this morning’s nine nominees would be included? Not The Help — be honest. Not Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close — due respect. Probably not War Horse or The Tree of Life. It’s delightful, of course, that The Tree of Life has been nominated but I’m stunned that 5% of the membership gave #1 votes to the other three. These moves are worthy and commendable in their own way, but they’re #3 or #4 picks.

This morning’s biggest “holy moley” is the Academy’s blowoff of the great Albert Brooks for Best Supporting Actor in Drive and the somewhat surprising inclusion of Max Von Sydow for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close in the same category. I’ve detected respectful appreciation among Oscar seers for Von Sydow’s performance but little in the way of serious passion.

Cheers to A Better Life‘s Demian Bichir for landing a Best Actor nomination. He did it all by himself. It was almost entirely the performance, I mean, and not the promotion, which was minimal.

Tom Sherak pronounced Michel Hazanavicius as “Michel Azzanavasheetos.” Theory: He’s been taking prounciation lessons from Deadline‘s Pete Hammond.

Cheers to the Moneyball team for landing nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Brad Pitt), Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Steve Zallian, Aaron Sorkin). But it’s bordering on criminal that the Academy failed to nominate Mychael Danna‘s delicate, tingly and profoundly spiritual Moneyball score while nominating John Williams‘ overbearing, “this is how you’re supposed to feel” War Horse music.

Why didn’t they give a Best Sound Editing or Best Sound Mixing to The Artist? Seriously…why not? It has nice music on the soundtrack and the film is so likable and the dog is so cute.

What is the biggest lie in terms of reactions of the nominees? “I was sleeping…my agent/manager woke me up with the good news.”

I have to catch an 8:30 am screening of The Surrogate so I’m outta here. Sasha Stone and I will do an Oscar Poker podcast later this morning.

I didn’t have time to re-code everything so here are the nominations taken directly from Awards Daily:

Best Picture

“The Artist” Thomas Langmann, Producer

“The Descendants” Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers

“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” Scott Rudin, Producer

“The Help” Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers

“Hugo” Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers

“Midnight in Paris” Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers

“Moneyball” Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers

“The Tree of Life” Nominees to be determined

“War Horse” Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Best Directing

“The Artist” Michel Hazanavicius

“The Descendants” Alexander Payne

“Hugo” Martin Scorsese

“Midnight in Paris” Woody Allen

“The Tree of Life” Terrence Malick

Best Actor

Demian Bichir in “A Better Life”

George Clooney in “The Descendants”

Jean Dujardin in “The Artist”

Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”

Best Actress

Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs”

Viola Davis in “The Help”

Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady”

Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn”

Best Supporting Actor

Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn”

Jonah Hill in “Moneyball”

Nick Nolte in “Warrior”

Christopher Plummer in “Beginners”

Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Best Supporting Actress

Berenice Bejo in “The Artist”

Jessica Chastain in “The Help”

Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”

Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs”

Octavia Spencer in “The Help”

Best Animated Feature

“A Cat in Paris” Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli

“Chico & Rita” Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal

“Kung Fu Panda 2? Jennifer Yuh Nelson

“Puss in Boots” Chris Miller

“Rango” Gore Verbinski

Best Art Direction

“The Artist”

Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”

Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan


Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo

“Midnight in Paris”

Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil

“War Horse”

Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

Best Cinematography

“The Artist” Guillaume Schiffman

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Jeff Cronenweth

“Hugo” Robert Richardson

“The Tree of Life” Emmanuel Lubezki

“War Horse” Janusz Kaminski

Best Costume Design

“Anonymous” Lisy Christl

“The Artist” Mark Bridges

“Hugo” Sandy Powell

“Jane Eyre” Michael O’Connor

“W.E.” Arianne Phillips

Best Documentary (Feature)

“Hell and Back Again”

Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner

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

Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman

“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”

Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs


Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel


TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

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

Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin

“God Is the Bigger Elvis”

Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson

“Incident in New Baghdad”

James Spione

“Saving Face”

Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom”

Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

Best Film Editing

“The Artist” Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius

“The Descendants” Kevin Tent

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall

“Hugo” Thelma Schoonmaker

“Moneyball” Christopher Tellefsen

Best Foreign Language Film

“Bullhead” Belgium

“Footnote” Israel

“In Darkness” Poland

“Monsieur Lazhar” Canada

“A Separation” Iran

Best Makeup

“Albert Nobbs”

Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2?

Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng

“The Iron Lady”

Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

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 Lyric by Bret McKenzie

“Real in Rio” from “Rio” Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Best Short Film (Animated)

“Dimanche/Sunday” Patrick Doyon

“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg

“La Luna” Enrico Casarosa

“A Morning Stroll” Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe

“Wild Life” Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

Best Short Film (Live Action)

“Pentecost” Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane

“Raju” Max Z√§hle and Stefan Gieren

“The Shore” Terry George and Oorlagh George

“Time Freak” Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey

“Tuba Atlantic” Hallvar Witz√∏

Best Sound Editing

“Drive” Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Ren Klyce

“Hugo” Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl

“War Horse” Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Best Sound Mixing

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson


Tom Fleischman and John Midgley


Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin

“War Horse”

Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

Best Visual Effects

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2?

Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson


Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning

“Real Steel”

Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

Best Adapted Screenplay

“The Descendants” Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash

“Hugo” Screenplay by John Logan

“The Ides of March” Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon

“Moneyball” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin Story by Stan Chervin

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

Best Original Screenplay

“The Artist” Written by Michel Hazanavicius

“Bridesmaids” Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig

“Margin Call” Written by J.C. Chandor

“Midnight in Paris” Written by Woody Allen

“A Separation” Written by Asghar Farhadi