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Oscar nominations will be revealed on the 24th.  As arbitrary as the nominations can sometimes seem, there’s definitely method to their madness.  Over the next week, we’ll dive into the potential nominees in each of the big eight categories.  This time around: Actor.

VIRTUAL LOCK

  • George Clooney, The Descendants
  • Brad Pitt, Moneyball
  • Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Mark Harris had a great quote about these three: “I can’t remember a year in which the top three candidates for best actor coasted into nomination day with less discussion of the specific merits of their acting.”  I won’t argue against the idea that Oscar has a thing for hot young ingenues, but these three are getting nominations because (among other reasons) they are extremely handsome gentlemen.  Pitt and Clooney won’t be on my ballot, but it is hard to get too worked up here.

GOOD BET

  • (none)

LIKELY IN

  • (none)

ON THE BUBBLE

  • Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
  • Michael Fassbender, Shame
  • Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • Michael Shannon, Take Shelter
  • Demian Bichir, A Better Life

All five of these actor have had meaningful precursor nominations and are on at least Oscar pundits’s predictions, so it really seems like anyone’s guess.  DiCaprio seemed liked a sure thing heading into Oscar season, but then people actually saw J. Edgar and realized it wasn’t terribly good.  That said, it has earned about $15 million more at the box office than the other four combined.  Fassbender does go full frontal (albeit not nearly as much as you are expecting).  He also is terrific, but is dealing with a challenging movie that is easy to dismiss as him just having sex all the time.  Storywise, Oldman is the lead character, but honestly I think I’d have moved him down to supporting and argued there’s no lead actor at all.  The film underperformed, and if you hear “spy movie” and expect Oldman to be Bond or Bourne, you’ll be sorely disappointing as his role is all stoicism and measured reactions.  Oldman is also somehow still searching for his first Oscar nomination.  If you have seen Michael Shannon in anything, and haven’t seen this bit, you need to watch him in this sketch.  Shannon is all kinds of awesome and actors apparently love his performances, it may come down to how many people actually watched the film.  I’ve talked about Bichir elsewhere.  What is tough is that other than DiCaprio, none of the actors on this list have particularly showy roles.

DARK HORSES

  • Ryan Gosling, Ides of March
  • Ryan Gosling, Drive
  • Woody Harrelson, Rampart

And Gosling also got a Globe nom for Crazy, Stupid, Love.  Drive is a divisive movie and Ides of March  never really found traction (though it has seen a late surge).  Where Chastain’s supporters have rallied around The Help, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus forming for Gosling.  Pretty much no one saw Rampart, which is a hurdle, even though Harrelson is supposed to be great, and he was nominated for an Oscar for The Messengers, Moverman’s last film.

SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED

  • Brendan Gleeson, The Guard
  • Tom Hardy, Warrior
  • Steve Carell, Crazy, Stupid, Love.
  • Thomas Dekker, Kaboom
  • David Hyde Pierce, The Perfect Host
  • Chris Hemsworth, Thor
  • J.K. Simmons, The Music Never Stopped
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Oscar nominations will be revealed Tuesday January 24th. As we get closer, the Grouches will be sharing some thoughts, hopes, and predictions. You can read thoughts on the so-called “major” categories all over the place, but this time around, we share some out there guesses that just might come true.

John:

My longshot hope is for a Best Picture nod for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I loved the film and it’s been sad to see others’ enthusiasm not quite reach mine. When it was first unveiled and later made tons of money in the UK, it seemed to be on its way to awards recognition. But it has stalled to some extent in the US. I’m really hoping the English contingent of the Academy comes through to give votes to their countrymen. These hopes extend to Gary Oldman’s Best Actor chances.

I’m also holding out hope for an Original Screenplay nod for Contagion, a gripping and chilling film about a worldwide epidemic. The amount of research and attention to detail is apparent throughout the film. It works because it’s so well thought out. You can see events playing out just as they do in the film and that makes it all the more frightening. It’s not a likely choice, but it does have something of a chance and the studio has been campaigning for it.

Jared:

If you believe in the wave theory of nominations (that having one person a front-runner for a nomination makes it more likely others get in, e.g. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Oscar-nominated performance in Crazy Heart), then you can build cases for a variety of dark horses to sneak in.  There’s lots of speculative buzz about Robert Forster from The Descendants (and also Judy Greer).  Why not extend that to Corey Stoll?  Midnight in Paris may end up with a Best Picture nod, and it has an ensemble cast filled with well-regarded actors.  Perhaps voters will focus on Stoll to celebrate the acting in the film.

Jessica Chastain makes me think of two fits here.  Ryan Gosling has had, if not a breakout year then an explosive one.  I could see voters wanting to make sure they notice him (though votes could be split between Drive and Ides of March).  And in that vein, if Chastain’s supporters can’t rally around one role, what about Bryce Dallas Howard?  I’m sure I’m not the only one who wasn’t sure which attractive and over the top member of the cast I was supposed to be looking at.

And one really out there thought: screeners for A Better Life went out super early.  So maybe a bunch of people saw it and it pulls in an original screenplay nod for Eric Eason and Roger L. Simon.

Brian:

Tree of Life sneaks into the Best Picture category, forcing Jared and Adam to sit through that mess of a movie

Ben Kingsley is the surprise nominee in Best Supporting Actor for Hugo.

War Horse gets completely shut out, even John Williams gets ignored. I really don’t want to see it.

Oscar nominations will be revealed on the 24th.  As arbitrary as the nominations can sometimes seem, there’s definitely method to their madness.  Over the next week, we’ll dive into the potential nominees in each of the big eight categories.  This time around: Original Screenplay.

VIRTUAL LOCK

  • Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
  • Michael Hazanavicus, The Artist

Woody has fourteen Oscar noms or wins for writing, and Midnight in Paris is a favorite for a Best Picture nom, so a nomination here is in the bag.  It is incredible to me that the writer of a silent film is such a sure thing for a nomination here.  Don’t get me wrong, The Artist‘s screenplay is in my top five, but I would have thought it would be a bigger hurdle to get people to realize a screenplay is so much more than dialogue.

GOOD BET

  • (none)

LIKELY IN

  • Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids

It is fascinating to me that the first Oscar nomination for the Apatow comedy machine could possibly go to Mumolo and Wiig.  Most pundits have them in, but a few don’t and I can see the reservations.  A female-centric comedy written by film neophytes is a tough sell, to be sure.  The voting writers, however, have much fewer hangups than the rest of the Academy.

ON THE BUBBLE

  • Will Reiser, 50/50
  • Tom McCarthy and Joe Tibani, Win Win
  • JC Chandor, Margin Call
  • Mike Mills, Beginners
  • Diablo Cody, Young Adult
  • Asghar Farhadi, A Separation
  • Terrence Malick, Tree of Life

I’m looking forward to watching 50/50 on Sunday.  Apologies for being crass, but cancer does tend to play with Oscar.  I’m a big fan of The Station Agent, but Tom McCarthy and I haven’t quite gotten along since then.  Still, a nomination here might encourage people to release Oscar fare earlier in the year (and Oscar to look more at the first half of the year).  Margin Call has benefited from a stellar cast and great timing, economy-wise.  I personally thought the script was too slight.  Mike Mills has a huge leg up because with Christopher Plummer a surefire nominee, lots of voters will have seen his film.  Diablo Cody does already have one Oscar to her credit.  I liked her script more than the past three films I mentioned, but it sorta feels like this year all potential Young Adult nominees will finish something like 7th in their categories.  Farhadi’s screenplay is supposed to be simply superb and the film was just named to the longlist for foreign film, though obviously its foreigness is something of a hurdle.  As I keep mentioning, I have no clue what to do with Tree of Life and I don’t believe anyone else does either.

DARK HORSES

  • Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter
  • John Logan, story by James Ward Byrkit, John Logan and Gore Verbinksi, Rango
  • Sean Durkin, Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • Steve McQueen and Abi Morgan, Shame
  • Kenneth Longeran, Margaret

Three of these films feature strong acting performances that in the Oscar conversation, which is a great way to also get in the screenplay conversation, even if I found them all lacking.  A strong Pixar film would be a gimme this year, instead we have Rango around the periphery of the conversation.  Margaret has a fascinating backstory, one that I think writers would be sympathetic to (they’d love to give a big ol’ middle finger to people who mess with their vision and studios who try everything to kill their films), it may just be a question of how many actually saw the film.

SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED

  • Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, Paul
  • John Michael McDonagh, The Guard
  • Michel LeClerc and Baya Kasmi, The Names of Love
  • Dan Fogelman, Crazy, Stupid, Love.
  • Cliff Dorman, Gavin O’Connor, Anthony Tamblakis, Warrior
  • Gregg Araki, Kaboom

Oscar nominations will be revealed Tuesday January 24th. As we get closer, the Grouches will be sharing some thoughts, hopes, and predictions. You can read thoughts on the so-called “major” categories all over the place, but this time around, we share what we think we’ll be most upset about nomination morning.

John: Best Actor will be uninspired

I’m worried that Best Actor is going to turn into a boring slate despite the number of interesting options there are this year. There are three actors in smaller films that I’d love to see nominated, but I fear only one will find a spot: Michael Shannon in Take Shelter, Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Michael Fassbender in Shame. And to make matters worse, the one Oscar bait-type performance I really enjoyed is the one that seems to be sinking: Leonardo DiCaprio in J Edgar. Still, at least a portion of these guys should be in.

Otherwise, it’s a good year for avoiding disappointment. There isn’t much in the way of locks that annoy me. I think The Artist is going to receive outsized love in technical categories since people seem to just love the movie. But I don’t see many picks that look egregious or likely snubs that would hurt me. We’ll reassess if Midnight in Paris misses a Best Picture nod, but I think it’s in. I predict I will be sad at Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy not receiving enough love, but I haven’t been holding out too much hope anyway.

Jared: Original sin

Often the only category with any real oddball picks is Original Screenplay, sometimes even landing on one of my favorite movies.  This year the category seems pretty open.  There are two locks, but you can easily build convincing arguments for why at least eight other films will (not should) be nominated for the last three spots.  I haven’t yet seen all the contenders, so I can’t say for sure what I want to happen, but I’m increasingly worried that Oscar voters are going to end up with the wrong films here.  It shouldn’t be Beginners, Win Win or Take Shelter, in my opinion, even if I can appreciate the spirit of voting an indie in.

I’ll also add one more name to John’s list: Demian Bichir.  There were a lot of strong performances this year that are going be swallowed up by the golden boys of Hollywood.

Finally, I think the system of an undetermined number of Best Picture films will be a bust.  Granted, it will be a little harder to make that call this year given that there’s no The Dark Knight, and it is hard to imagine public outcry over any of the bubble films getting in (or not).

Brian: Andy Serkis Motion-Captured My Heart

There’s somehow the idea that an actor winning an acting Oscar for a motion-capture performance is an inevitability. That somehow, the technology is the future of movies and Andy Serkis will be seen as the pioneer who paved the way for many other performers. I highly doubt that — and if it ever happens, it will be the result of the creation of a new category, throwing motion-capture actors into a ghettoized group much like the animated film is now.

That’s a long winded way of saying that Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘ Andy Serkis getting snubbed for a Best Supporting Actor nomination is my pick for biggest disappointment. He was phenomenal as Caesar, and anyone who’s seen the behind-the-scenes clips can’t deny that what he did was acting. But I know the Academy is just too narrow-minded to understand it.

Oscar nominations will be revealed on the 24th.  As arbitrary as the nominations can sometimes seem, there’s definitely method to their madness.  Over the next week, we’ll dive into the potential nominees in each of the big eight categories.  This time around: Adapted Screenplay.

VIRTUAL LOCK

  • Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian, Story by Stan Chervin, Moneyball
  • Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, and Alexander Payne, The Descendants

I’ve given my thoughts on Moneyball elsewhere, but it is one of the best-reviewed films of the year, somehow.  And as I mentioned, they did do an admirable job figuring out how to turn the book into a film.  If you are suffering from Community withdrawal, you can be happy for Dean Pelton’s seemingly inevitable nomination.  As mentioned, I personally don’t see it.

GOOD BET

  • Tate Taylor, The Help

One path to winning big in Oscar is figuring out how to make a movie that nearly everyone loves while still considering it a “serious” movie.  Taylor got that down pat.

LIKELY IN

  • John Logan, Hugo

Logan has two prior nominations (Gladiator and The Aviator) and also wrote two other movies released this year (Corolianus and Rango).  More importantly, he co-wrote the new Bond movie, Skyfall.  Hugo is beloved, for reasons that elude me, the only reason Logan wouldn’t get the nomination is if people are so distracted by Scorsese and the visuals that they forget about the script.

ON THE BUBBLE

  • Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • Steve Zaillian, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

O’Connor passed away at the age of 49 after finishing the script with Straughan, her husband.  A nomination would be a great story.  I thought Zaillian’s script was a big improvement over both the novel and the Swedish movie, and the film has been making a late awards surge.  How would Oscar voters feel about giving Zaillian two nominations in the category this year?

DARK HORSES

  • George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, The Ides of March
  • Richard Curtis and Lee Hall, War Horse
  • Eric Roth, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Ides of March has found late traction, and you should never count Clooney out, even if the movie didn’t really hit upon release.  War Horse‘s star has been fading fast, while Extremely Loud turned out to be the theoretical Oscar juggernaut that no one wanted to actually see.

SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED

  • Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, The Muppets
  • Ashley Miller, Zach Stenz, Jane Goldman, and Matthew Vaughn, story by Sheldon Turner and Bryan Singer, X-Men: First Class
  • Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, Captain America
  • Adrian Hodges, My Week with Marilyn

Oscar nominations will be revealed on the 24th.  As arbitrary as the nominations can sometimes seem, there’s definitely method to their madness.  Over the next week, we’ll dive into the potential nominees in each of the big eight categories.  This time around: Supporting Actress.

VIRTUAL LOCK

  • Octavia Spencer, The Help

She won the Critics Choice and the Golden Globe, is nominated for the SAG and is playing a lovable character in a film everyone saw and most people quite liked.  At this point, it’d be an upset for Spencer not to win the category, missing out on a nomination would be nuts.

GOOD BET

  • Berenice Bejo, The Artist

The BAFTAs have it right, Bejo is absolutely a lead actress in this film, there’s no way she’s a supporting actress.  That category confusion is the only reason I don’t have her as a lock.  But Harvey Weinstein is a genius and seems to have pretty well herded his sheep into putting her as supporting.

LIKELY IN

  • Jessica Chastain, The Help

I must admit to being a little confused at the likely nominations for The Help.  Don’t get me wrong, the actresses did a fine job, but if the movie were less-liked, I’m skeptical we’d be seeing their names bandied about so often.  Here, Jessica Chastain is getting in because she’s had a killer year and general consensus seems to be that her best route in is through this role.  To be honest, for most of the movie, I wasn’t sure which one was her and which one was Bryce Dallas Howard.

ON THE BUBBLE

  • Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
  • Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
  • Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs

With Oscar you never know what will happen, but the only logical prediction you can make is that five of these six women will get nominations.  Melissa McCarthy has the most buzz and some seem to think she has a shot at winning the award, but I need to see evidence the old guard will vote for a relatively unknown TV actress in a comedy where her claim to fame is poop jokes.  Woodley has the advantage of being a hot young thing in a movie everyone has seen and liked with the precursors to support a vote.  I realize this makes me a terrible Oscar blogger, but I just now realized that Janet McTeer already has a Best Actress Oscar nomination, for a movie called Tumbleweeds (which I’ve never heard of), directed by Gavin O’Connor, who did Warrior.

DARK HORSES

  • Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus
  • Carey Mulligan, Shame
  • Jessica Chastain, Tree of Life
  • Judi Dench, My Week with Marilyn

Redgrave is supposed to be fantastic in Coriolanus, but I think three people have seen the film.  Carey Mulligan gets naked and sings in Shame, so there’s that.  As I mentioned last time, I don’t think anyone really knows what to do with Tree of Life, so it is entirely possible it rides a wave of nominations.  Dench just got a BAFTA nomination, is rightfully beloved by everyone and plays a character with slightly more screen time than her Oscar-winning role in Shakespeare in Love, so I guess you can’t count her out.

SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED

  • Elle Fanning, Super 8 (probably going to end up my favorite supporting actress performance of the year)
  • Marion Cotillard, Midnight in Paris
  • Haley Atwell, Captain America
  • Ellen Page, Super
  • Liana Liberato, Trust
  • Helen Mirren, Arthur
  • Eva Green, Cracks

Oscar nominations will be revealed on the 24th.  As arbitrary as the nominations can sometimes seem, there’s definitely method to their madness.  Over the next week, we’ll dive into the potential nominees in each of the big eight categories.  This time around: Supporting Actor.

VIRTUAL LOCK

  • Christopher Plummer, Beginners

He received nominations from the Golden Globes, SAG, is mentioned on the lists of a great number of critics, plays a character who is dying and who comes out of the closet to his son. And is Christopher Plummer. So yeah, a nomination seems all but sewn up. For awhile now, it sure has seemed like this is going to be Plummer’s year, a chance for his first Oscar win (and second nomination, surely you haven’t already forgotten The Last Station). Although, to be honest, he’s not on my list. Mostly because I didn’t find the character particularly interesting or deep.

GOOD BET

  • Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn

Branagh already has four Oscar nominations under his belt (though he’s still search for his first win) and not only is he playing Hollywood legend Sir Laurence Olivier, but he’s playing Olivier as Olivier struggles to get a movie made. He also has the right precursor nominations. I’m not sure his character has an Oscar scene, necessarily, but he has a decent chunk of screen time. Additionally, with Michelle Williams in the conversation for Best Actress, Branagh will benefit from the fact that voters are that much more likely to have seen the movie. As for me, I think I’d be OK with a nomination here.

LIKELY IN

  • Albert Brooks, Drive

Brooks missed a SAG nomination, which was a little surprising, the only reason I’ve knocked him down to this category. Support for Drive seems to be vociferous, if not quite as broad as hoped for (or at least expected, heading into Oscar season). But Brooks is supposed to really nail it (I haven’t seen the film just yet). He already has one Supporting Actor nomination, for Broadcast News.

ON THE BUBBLE

  • Nick Nolte, Warrior
  • Jonah Hill, Moneyball
  • Ben Kingsley, Hugo
  • Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  • Armie Hammer, J. Edgar
  • Brad Pitt, Tree of Life
  • Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method
  • Patton Oswalt, Young Adult

I’ve seen a ton of guesses as to which two actors will fill out the final two slots in this category, and I’m not sure any two predictions have been the same. Mentioned most often, probably, is Nick Nolte, who received a SAG nomination and is a two-time Oscar nominee. Warrior is a fantastic movie that absolutely deserves Oscar recognition, but it didn’t do very well at the box office, and I can imagine voters dismissing it as (that MMA movie). Also, I wonder if the kudos are for the performance/role or for Nolte appearing to be sane in a movie. Jonah Hill received nods from both the Golden Globes and the SAG. The strike against him is that he’s known as a young, comedic actor. But he’s received near-universal plaudits for this relatively dramatic role in a very well-liked movie. I personally don’t see it, but I clearly saw a different Moneyball than nearly everyone else. Ben Kingsley hasn’t shown up on a lot of lists, it is true, but he makes a lot of sense to me to surprise here. He’s already got one Oscar along with three additional nominations. Hugo is a movie nearly everyone saw and loved, and is headed toward a Best Picture nom. I disliked the movie and have this weird thing about Kingsley, so I’ll stay out of this one. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has been tanking something fierce in terms of Oscar, but perhaps it can muster enough support to rally around Max von Sydow, who has an Oscar nomination to his name. Haven’t seen the movie, but based on my recollection of the book, I’m a little surprised the character is around enough to warrant the buzz.

Speaking of movies tanking with Oscar, J. Edgar couldn’t even get into the Makeup bakeoff with the old age makeup the Academy loves so much. Hammer is dashing, holds his own against DiCaprio, and received a SAG nom, but everyone seems to be trying to do their best to forget this movie ever existed. I thought he was fine, but was kinda curious if anyone would have noticed had he and Ryan McPartlin switched roles. I have absolutely no idea what to do with Tree of Life, awards-wise, and I’ve been debating for months now if I’m actually going to see it. But Brad Pitt has two Oscar noms already and will likely already be getting a third one this year. Viggo received a Golden Globe nomination, but it seems like no one is talking about A Dangerous Method. Probably because it is boring. I know Adam was a big fan of Mortensen in the movie, saying that he was impressed with how much subtle emotion Viggo managed to portray while hiding behind that beard. It is kind of awesome that Patton Oswalt is even in the conversation here. It isn’t just wishful thinking on my part as he already has a BFCA nod. And how great would it be to have three of the nominees to be noted comedic actors. If you saw Big Fan, then you weren’t surprised that Oswalt has dramatic chops. Buzz for the dark comedy Young Adult has been fading, I think it would have helped Oswalt if more people were talking about Theron. It also kinda felt to me like he was missing an Oscar scene.

DARK HORSES

  • Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • George Clooney, Ides of March
  • Corey Stoll, Midnight in Paris
  • Robert Forster, The Descendants
  • The entire cast of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Ides of March
  • Jim Broadbent, The Iron Lady

The undisputed king of motion capture, Serkis has his champions and a BFCA nomination, but it will be very difficult to convince enough voters that he is the one responsible for the performance. Ides of March has been picking up steam lately, and you should never count George Clooney out. Corey Stoll garnered an Independent Spirit nomination for his role and to me may well be the one actual standout of anyone on this entire list whose movie I’ve seen. As with Stoll, Robert Forster’s chances may depend on voters really loving his movie. He also has an Oscar nomination for Jackie Brown.

SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED

  • Don Cheadle, The Guard
  • Michael Fassbender, X-Men: First Class
  • Gary Oldman, Red Riding Hood
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hesher
  • Ben Schwartz, Peep World

Oscar nominations will be revealed Tuesday January 24th. As we get closer, the Grouches will be sharing some thoughts, hopes, and predictions. You can read thoughts on the so-called “major” categories all over the place, but this time around, we share our wishes for nominations in the technical categories.

John: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Oscar Nomination

For me, the technical categories are all about Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I think the film has to be a front runner for Art Direction, so I’m not too worried about it getting a nomination. But it should also get a Costume nomination.

Here is a film that lives so fully in its setting and time period. Think of the detail in every room of MI6, from the library to the isolation meeting rooms. And the costumes just scream 70s. I think in particular of some of the ostentatious garb at the Christmas party, including one suspect’s garish shirt with matching bowtie made of cloth of the exact same garish pattern. A spy film could easily get away with generic costumes but Tinker Tailor always gives you something to look at.

Jared: Sucker Punch My Immortals

I’m not really a visual person, but I’ve been in the tank for everything that appears on screen in  Tarsem Singh’s movies since The Fall.  It would be a big mistake to overlook the art direction and costumes in Immortals just because the movie didn’t really live up to expectations.  I saw the film months ago and I still have a relatively vivid recollection of most of the sets.  The movie had a flair far surpassing the typical sword and sandals film.  It was big and bold and flashy, but in a way that served to the enhance the movie, not overshadow it.

Speaking of disappointing over the top action movies, I’d also like to stump for Sucker Punch.  We can have all sorts of debates over the gender politics and artistic merits of the film.  But speaking on a strictly technical basis, I think it would be very difficult to argue against the film’s images being incredibly evocative.  Indeed, primarily fueling all the talk of the film being Zack Snyder’s wet dream, or whatever, are the stark images of the ladies of the film dressed how they were, in the crazy environments Snyder dreamed up.  Regardless of whether you think the film is misogynistic or empowering, the visuals sure left a lasting memory.

Brian: Loves movies about movies and America

I was going to go with Captain America for Hugo Weaving’s makeup, but I forgot that the Academy hates America, so its not even on the shortlist vetted by the Makeup Branch, meaning there’s no chance it shows up as a nominee. I would have said that the Weaving’s menacing take as Red Skull kept the rollicking “ripped from the comic pages” tone going while also being just incredibly kickass.

Instead I’ll offer two hopes in this post for a technical award I’d love to see — one which will likely happen, the other not so much. This is the first of what will be a series of posts where I talk glowingly of Hugo and the rest of the Grouches ignore or denigrate me for that opinion. Not since Avatar came out has a movie used 3-D so beautifully. The falling snow and the swooping shots through the clocks of the Parisian train station sucked me in from the start and the movie didn’t let go of me until the final credits.

Maybe the art directors for Super 8 just raided the warehoused archives of The Goonies and E.T., but the sets, props, location shots — everything was just perfect at recreating that early ’80s atmosphere. J.J. Abrahms 80%-good-film relied heavily on that nostalgia for both a “simpler” era and childhood nostalgia — so much that he forgot to complete a good story (that’d be the 20% not-so-good part). He owes his art direction team for that.

Here’s try 2. This should work, hopefuly.

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We’ll be starting up our liveblog around 7:30 tonight. The link below should open up the coveritlive app. The link should be active now, but the thing won’t start going until we start it up.

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