Most of the things I’m going to talk about here are not original ideas (meaning that though they are my opinions, I’m not the first and only person to voice these comments).  I try my best to be original, but alas, others might not be more original, but they are QUICKER with getting their opinions out there.  I’m digressing…here are my thoughts on the 84th Oscar nominations announced on Tuesday, January 24th and to be presented on Sunday, February 26th
I was ECSTATIC about Demian Bichir in A Better Life getting a Best Actor nomination and even though a lot of people wanted poor Leonardo DiCaprio to get a nod for J. Edgar, watch both A Better Life and J. Edgar and I dare you to tell me that Leo was robbed! (Be prepared with your pillow for J. Edgar!)
No Young Adult nominations, especially none for potential Best Actress Charlize Theron.  This one, I disagree with…I think Charlize deserved a nod here for this tough, honest performance about life after high school. 
I also disagree with no David Fincher nomination for Best Director for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Instead, Terrance Mallick for The Tree of Life gets the nomination.  Really?  Has the Academy seen The Tree of Life?  Can they explain it to me?  Yes, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is not a perfect film, but it is highly stylized and exceptionally shot.  The Tree of Life is just exceptionally dull, confusing and BLAH. 
No Best Supporting Actress nomination for Shailene Woodley from The Descendents…rather Janet McTeer got a nod for Albert Nobbs.  Haven’t see Nobbs yet, but I think Shailene Woodley doesn’t have much to be upset about.  She’s young and has a full career as an exceptional actress ahead of her.  She’ll get a nomination one day. 
No Drive nominations, including nothing for much-talked-about Best Supporting Actor candidate Albert Brooks.  Instead, in this category, the Academy honored Jonah Hill from Moneyball and Max von Sydow from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  I haven’t seen Drive or Extremely Loud so I cannot speak about those, but I did see Moneyball and I fail to see what is the big deal about Jonah Hill’s performance.  Brad Pitt, I understand, but Hill is just so-so.  Any actor could have played this part.  There is nothing exceptional in that performance. 
Lastly, I have a MAJOR bone to pick with only ONE nomination for The Ides of March for Adapted Screenplay — notably missing is a Best Picture nod.  The BRILLIANT (sarcasm) Academy decided to give Best Picture nods to instead to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and My FAV (sarcasm) The Tree of LifeThe Ides of March is a strong film.  It is a thriller, a drama, a political statement, a moral dilemma, and a statement of the current political situation in this country.  It is not dull and confusing and mind-boggling, ala The Tree of Life.  Again, I have yet to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close so I cannot speak of that one, but NO IDES OF MARCH is a travesty.  The Academy was very proud of themselves when they announced in 2011 that there would not be a set number of Best Picture nominations…that the amount of Best Picture noms would be based on percentage of votes.  Well, there must be a VERY LARGE percentage of the Academy sniffing glue! 

OK – enough of me complaining.  Here are the MAJOR categories with who I think is going to win IN BOLD and who I would love to see win IN RED.  Where there is a just a RED pick, that means what I want to win and what I think will win are one in the same!

BEST PICTURE
‘The Artist’
‘The Descendants’
‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’
‘The Help’
‘Hugo’
‘Midnight in Paris’
‘Moneyball’
‘The Tree of Life’
‘War Horse’

BEST DIRECTOR
Woody Allen, ‘Midnight in Paris’
Michel Hazanavicius, ‘The Artist’
Terrence Malick, ‘The Tree of Life’
Alexander Payne, ‘The Descendants’
Martin Scorsese, ‘Hugo’

BEST ACTOR
Demian Bichir, ‘A Better Life’
George Clooney, ‘The Descendants’
Jean Dujardin, ‘The Artist’
Gary Oldman, ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’
Brad Pitt, ‘Moneyball’

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 & 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
‘Midnight in Paris’
‘Margin Call’
‘A Separation’
‘The Artist’
‘Bridesmaids’

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
‘The Descendants’
‘Hugo’
‘The Ides of March’
‘Moneyball’
‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’
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Best motion picture – Drama
The Descendants
The Help
Hugo
The Ides of March
Moneyball
War Horse

Best performance by an actress in a motion picture – Drama
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Best performance by an actor in a motion picture – Drama
George Clooney, The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Best animated feature film
The Adventures of Tintin
Arthur Christmas
Cars 2
Puss in Boots
Rango

Best foreign language film
The Flowers of War (China)
In the Land of Blood and Honey (USA)
The Kid with a Bike (Belgium)
A Separation (Iran)
The Skin I like In (Spain)

Best Director- Motion Picture
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
George Clooney, The Ides of March
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Best original song – Motion Picture
“Hello Hello” – Gnomeo & Juliet
“The Keeper” – Machine Gun Preacher
“Lay Your Head Down” – Albert Nobbs
“The Living Proof”- The Help
“Masterpiece” – W.E.

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
50/50
The Artist
Bridesmaids
Midnight in Paris
My Week with Marilyn

Best performance by an actress in a motion picture – Comedy or Musical
Jodie Foster, Carnage
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
Kate Winslet, Carnage

Best performance by an actor in a motion picture – Comedy or Musical
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Brendan Gleeson, The Guard
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50
Ryan Gosling, Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris

Best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a motion picture
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a motion picture
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Albert Brooks, Drive 
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best screenplay – Motion Picture
Midnight in Paris
The Ides of March
The Artist
The Descendents
Moneyball

Best original score – Motion Picture
The Artist
W.E.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
War Horse

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Well, the show was OK — not great, but not awful. All in all, I would say that James Franco will NEVER be asked back — though Anne Hathaway might, since she seemed excited to be there. Franco seemed to be back in NYC in school rather than on one of the greatest stages in the world. I have been to the Kodak Theater in Hollywood myself and even took a tour. We were able, on the tour, to stand on the stage and look out to the seats like Franco and Hathaway did on Sunday night. No, the Kodak was not all glitzed and glammed up like it was Sunday, but I still felt that it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Also, I have held an Oscar — not at the Kodak but at the Shops at North Bridge on Michigan Avenue. The lavish mall, where the Nordstroms is, holds an annual venue where people can come and get their picture taken with an actual Oscar statue. They also ha

ve photos from some of the previous ceremonies and other information on the awards. It’s like a mini-Academy Awards museum for filmies around the Chicagoland area! It was a blast. So, even though I probably will never hold an Oscar up on the stage of the Kodak Theater, I can at least say I have been there, done that…though in two different cities and two different years!

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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced their winners on February 13th!  

ACADEMY FELLOWSHIP
CHRISTOPHER LEE

OUTSTANDING BRITISH CONTRIBUTION TO CINEMA
THE HARRY POTTER FILMS

BEST FILM
THE KING’S SPEECH Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin

BLACK SWAN Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver, Scott Franklin
INCEPTION Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan
THE SOCIAL NETWORK Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Céan Chaffin
TRUE GRIT Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
THE KING’S SPEECH Tom Hooper, David Seidler, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin

127 HOURS Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, Christian Colson, John Smithson
ANOTHER YEAR Mike Leigh, Georgina Lowe
FOUR LIONS Chris Morris, Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, Mark Herbert, Derrin Schlesinger
MADE IN DAGENHAM Nigel Cole, William Ivory, Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley
                                                                                                               
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
FOUR LIONS Chris Morris (Director/Writer)

THE ARBOR Clio Barnard (Director), Tracy O’Riordan (Producer)
EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP Banksy (Director), Jaimie D’Cruz (Producer)
MONSTERS Gareth Edwards (Director/Writer)
SKELETONS Nick Whitfield (Director/Writer)
DIRECTOR
THE SOCIAL NETWORK David Fincher

127 HOURS Danny Boyle
BLACK SWAN Darren Aronofsky
INCEPTION Christopher Nolan
THE KING’S SPEECH Tom Hooper
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
THE KING’S SPEECH David Seidler

BLACK SWAN Mark Heyman, Andrés Heinz, John McLaughlin
THE FIGHTER Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson
INCEPTION Christopher Nolan
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
THE SOCIAL NETWORK Aaron Sorkin

127 HOURS Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO Rasmus Heisterberg, Nikolaj Arcel
TOY STORY 3 Michael Arndt
TRUE GRIT Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO Søren Stærmose, Niels Arden Oplev

BIUTIFUL Alejandro González Iñárritu, Jon Kilik, Fernando Bovaira
I AM LOVE Luca Guadagnino, Francesco Melzi D’Eril, Marco Morabito, Massimiliano Violante
OF GODS AND MEN Xavier Beauvois, Pascal Caucheteux, Etienne Comar
THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES Mariela Besuievsky, Juan José Campanella
ANIMATED FILM
TOY STORY 3 Lee Unkrich

DESPICABLE ME Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois
LEADING ACTOR
COLIN FIRTH The King’s Speech

JAVIER BARDEM Biutiful
JEFF BRIDGES True Grit
JESSE EISENBERG The Social Network
JAMES FRANCO 127 Hours
LEADING ACTRESS
NATALIE PORTMAN Black Swan

ANNETTE BENING The Kids Are All Right
JULIANNE MOORE The Kids Are All Right
NOOMI RAPACE The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
HAILEE STEINFELD True Grit
SUPPORTING ACTOR
GEOFFREY RUSH The King’s Speech

CHRISTIAN BALE The Fighter
ANDREW GARFIELD The Social Network
PETE POSTLETHWAITE The Town
MARK RUFFALO The Kids Are All Right
SUPPORTING ACTRESS
HELENA BONHAM CARTER The King’s Speech

AMY ADAMS The Fighter
BARBARA HERSHEY Black Swan
LESLEY MANVILLE Another Year
MIRANDA RICHARDSON Made in Dagenham
ORIGINAL MUSIC
THE KING’S SPEECH Alexandre Desplat

127 HOURS AR Rahman
ALICE IN WONDERLAND Danny Elfman
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON John Powell
INCEPTION Hans Zimmer
CINEMATOGRAPHY
TRUE GRIT Roger Deakins

127 HOURS Anthony Dod Mantle, Enrique Chediak
BLACK SWAN Matthew Libatique
INCEPTION Wally Pfister
THE KING’S SPEECH Danny Cohen
EDITING
THE SOCIAL NETWORK Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter

127 HOURS Jon Harris
BLACK SWAN Andrew Weisblum
INCEPTION Lee Smith
THE KING’S SPEECH Tariq Anwar
PRODUCTION DESIGN
INCEPTION Guy Hendrix Dyas, Larry Dias, Doug Mowat

ALICE IN WONDERLAND Robert Stromberg, Karen O’Hara
BLACK SWAN Thérèse DePrez, Tora Peterson
THE KING’S SPEECH Eve Stewart, Judy Farr
TRUE GRIT Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh
COSTUME DESIGN
ALICE IN WONDERLAND Colleen Atwood

BLACK SWAN Amy Westcott
THE KING’S SPEECH Jenny Beavan
MADE IN DAGENHAM Louise Stjernsward
TRUE GRIT Mary Zophres
SOUND
INCEPTION Richard King, Lora Hirschberg, Gary A Rizzo, Ed Novick

127 HOURS Glenn Freemantle, Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke, Steven C Laneri, Douglas Cameron
BLACK SWAN Ken Ishii, Craig Henighan, Dominick Tavella
THE KING’S SPEECH John Midgley, Lee Walpole, Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen
TRUE GRIT Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff, Peter F Kurland, Douglas Axtell
SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
INCEPTION Chris Corbould, Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Peter Bebb

ALICE IN WONDERLAND Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Sean Phillips, Carey Villegas
BLACK SWAN Dan Schrecker, Henrik Fett, Michael Capton, William ‘Brad’ Kalinoski
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1 Tim Burke, John Richardson, Nicolas Aithadi, Christian Manz
TOY STORY 3 Guido Quaroni, Michael Fong, David Ryu
MAKE UP; HAIR
ALICE IN WONDERLAND Valli O’Reilly, Paul Gooch

BLACK SWAN Judy Chin, Geordie Sheffer
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1 Amanda Knight, Lisa Tomblin, Nick Dudman
THE KING’S SPEECH Frances Hannon
MADE IN DAGENHAM Lizzie Yianni Georgiou
SHORT ANIMATION
THE EAGLEMAN STAG Michael Please

MATTER FISHER David Prosser
THURSDAY Matthias Hoegg
SHORT FILM
UNTIL THE RIVER RUNS RED Paul Wright, Poss Kondeatis

CONNECT Samuel Abrahams, Beau Gordon
LIN Piers Thompson, Simon Hessel
RITE Michael Pearce, Ross McKenzie, Paul Welsh
TURNING Karni Arieli, Saul Freed, Alison Sterling, Kat Armour-Brown
THE ORANGE WEDNESDAYS RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)
TOM HARDY

GEMMA ARTERTON
ANDREW GARFIELD
AARON JOHNSON

EMMA STON

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