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It is old news by now, but I wanted to point out a couple new sets of nominations for genre movies.  Here are the Saturn Awards nominees, given out annually to action, fantasy, horror, and science fiction films.  Like any list, it is maybe a little uneven.  But it is hard to argue too much with Captain America: The First AvengerX-Men: First ClassThe MuppetsContagion, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol all receiving noms for best film in their respective categories. Let’s go category by category.


  • The Adjustment Bureau
  • Captain America: First Avenger
  • Limitless
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • X-Men: First Class

Hard to argue too much with this category.  I’d listen to the argument that it compares favorably to Best Picture at the Oscars.  I would have slotted Paul ahead of Limitless, and I’m a little surprised Source Code isn’t in here.  My list would have included Transfer and Another Earth.


  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Immortals
  • Midnight in Paris
  • The Muppets
  • Thor

First off, Muppets are real.  I’m just amused that all these films ended up in the same category.  It is hard to critique the list when “fantasy” doesn’t really seem to have a strict definition.  A stacked category, but if I were running things, the atrocious Hugo would be off with Sucker Punch taking its place.


  • Contagion
  • The Devil’s Double
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • The Grey
  • Take Shelter
  • The Thing

I love that Take Shelter is included in this list.  I haven’t seen three of these movies, but The Devil’s Double is near the top of my queue and obviously I’m going to watch The Grey when it hits DVD.  Contagion may well be the scariest movie I’ve ever seen.  I was scared to go outside or touch anything for like a week after seeing it.  I would have found room for Kaboom here.  And also think Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil should have been in the conversation.


  • Fast Five
  • The Lincoln Lawyer
  • Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
  • Red Tails
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
  • War Horse

Nope.  I’ll give Fast Five a pass, I’ve heard a lot of people raving about it and it is near the top of my queue.  But Mission Impossible is the only other one that belongs on here.  Correct answers include: The GuardWarriorBellflower, Colombiana, and Super.  And I’ve already gone over.  Want five more that are acceptable answers?  HannaElite Squad 2BunrakuTransformers 3, and Cell 211.  But hey.  War Horse is definitely in the top 50 action/adventure films of the year.


  • Antonio Banderas, The Skin I Live In
  • Dominic Cooper, The Devil’s Double
  • Tom Cruise, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
  • Chris Evans, Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Ben Kingsley, Hugo
  • Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

A really strong group, overall, but, uh, Ben Kingsley for lead is rather egregious category fraud, don’t you think?  The easy solution is Brendan Gleeson for The Guard.  Chris Hemsworth was also surprisingly good in Thor.


  • Jessica Chastain, Take Shelter
  • Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia
  • Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Brit Marling, Another Earth
  • Keira Knightley, A Dangerous Method
  • Elizabeth Olsen, Marcy Martha May Marlene

This category is pretty competitive with Oscar’s group, I think.  Let’s move Chastain down to supporting, where she belongs, in my opinion.  That frees up a spot for Zoe Saldana, who was fantastic in Colombiana.  And while I did like Brit Marling, I wonder if Emily Browning merits consideration.


  • Ralph Fiennes, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • Harrison Ford, Cowboys and Aliens
  • Tom Hiddleston, Thor
  • Alan Rickman, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Stanley Tucci, Captain America: The First Avenger

That’s a damn fine group of actors, almost all of whom are nominated for roles that maybe didn’t quite allow them to show off their talents.  I love Alan Rickman lots, but did I miss something or was in like one scene in that movie?  And to me, it wasn’t entirely clear Harrison Ford looked like he wanted to be in the film.  Hiddleston is a great pick, though.  I think you have to put Corey Stoll in here, especially if Stanley Tucci can get in for his short turn in comic relief.  Don Cheadle was very solid in The Guard.  Maybe Woody Harrelson in Bunraku.


  • Elena Anaya, The Skin I Live In
  • Emily Blunt, The Adjustment Bureau
  • Charlotte Gainsbourg, Melancholia
  • Paula Patton, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
  • Lin Shaye, Insidious
  • Emma Watson, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

So Paula Patton is extremely pretty and probably a lovely person, but unless there were only six roles for supporting actresses this year, I think there was a mistake somewhere.  Heck, I’d take Lea Seydoux over her.  As mentioned, Jessica Chastain should drop down here.  I also want to find room for Ellen Page from Super who was…well…certainly something.  And I think we should at least talk about Hayley Atwell from Captain America.


  • Asa Butterfield, Hugo
  • Joel Courtney, Super 8
  • Elle Fanning, Super 8
  • Dakota Goyo, Real Steel
  • Chloe Grace Moretz, Hugo
  • Saorise Ronan, Hanna

I remain convinced that Elle Fanning gave the supporting performance of the year.  And Ronan was quite good in Hanna.  The category probably should have stayed with just those two this year.

March 2012