As the Academy Awards nominations were announced this morning, there was shock and awe all across Hollywood -- so we called together our Movie Fanatic Round Table. And much as The Avengers were called to duty, the best and brightest of Tinseltown journalists have descended on Movie Fanatic to give you our insight as to the ups and downs of the 2013 Oscar nominees.
Gerrad Hall, TheSevenSees.com
First of all, where is Looper for Best Original Screenplay? Rian Johnson was robbed. Whatever, Academy. And like most, I am a bit stunned by the Best Director category. The Academy swapped one Ben(h) for another, nominating Beasts of the Southern Wild's Benh Zeitlin over Ben Affleck. And I'm cool with that. Beasts is my personal favorite of 2012, it rightfully scored its Adapted Screenplay nomination, and I'm ecstatic that nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis landed a Best Actress nomination, making her the youngest ever in that category.
The movie completely relied on her performance…she lured me in, took me on her incredible journey, opened my eyes to my own life, and made me cry like a baby. There, I said it.
Overall, no major, where did that come from? Surprises ... I'm very impressed with the Best Picture category including both a Foreign Language nominee, Amour, and an indie darling like Beasts. And I find it especially cool that Silver Linings Playbook earns the special distinction of being not just a Big Five honoree, but a Big SEVEN (ahem, The SEVEN Sees) honoree with Best Picture, Director, Screenplay (Adapted), Best Actor & Actress, as well as Supporting Actor & Actress. The last time that happened, at least according to my research, was Reds at the 1982 Oscars. Talk about a Silver Lining.
Ned Ehrbar, Metro World News
All the high-profile love for Beasts of the Southern Wild aside, it's Spielberg’s race to lose. Not only is it the top nomination earner, but Lincoln is already a lock for Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis and Best Adapted Screenplay for Tony Kushner. Since Best Director and Best Picture almost always line up, that means it's really between Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi, Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook. My money's on Lincoln, but I wouldn't rule out a David O. Russell upset.
The snub I'm most surprised about is Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty, which -- if the above logic holds -- means it's out of the running for Best Picture. I'm less concerned about Ben Affleck and Tom Hooper not getting noticed, but seriously what does the Academy have against Quentin Tarantino? Also, no Skyfall Best Picture nod, which wasn't that much of a long-shot, I don't think. That plus no Javier Bardem in Best Supporting Actor means I'm pulling for Roger Deakins and Adele big time.
The Best Supporting Actor race is disappointing in its boringness -- five previous winners, all showy but not necessarily amazing performances. I would've loved to see Matthew McConaughey or Ewan McGregor show up here instead. Or, if you must have someone from Argo, I think John Goodman actually outshone Alan Arkin, but Arkin yelled louder so there you go. I'll give Tommy Lee Jones the edge, even if Christoph Waltz's turn was my favorite of the five.
Joel D. Amos, MovieFanatic.com
Some of my favorite directors awoke this morning to mixed messages. Their film got nominated for Best Picture, but alas, they failed to score a directing nomination. It is a sad day for Ben Affleck (Argo), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained). The fact that Tom Hooper was left out for Les Miserables is not as surprising as some may think. It's a crowded year for directors!
Also something that stood out is if they could nominate a myriad of actresses from The Help, why not all the great actors from Django Unchained? Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and Jamie Foxx should all feel a little snubbed this morning.
But of all the actors that were left off of the nomination list this morning, I am completely shocked by the absence of John Hawkes for The Sessions. They give a nod to Helen Hunt but forgot to nominate the person she most credits with honing her performance? Does not make any sense!
One category that I believe completely nailed it was Best Animated Feature. All five films deserve, and needed, to be there. Unlike last year when the Academy seemed to have forgotten what great work animators are doing, it's nice to see they woke up and smelled the coffee.
James Oster, JoBlo.com
Are they serious? No directing nomination for Affleck and Bigelow? This just seems like a blatant oversight. To be honest, I would have picked Affleck to win.
As much as I loved ParaNorman, I didn't expect it to get a nomination and I'm very pleased that it did.
I'm glad to see Silver Linings Playbook do so well, it is especially nice to see Jacki Weaver nominated because she - much like her fellow cast members - is absolutely terrific
I was really hoping that Skyfall would get a best picture nomination, I predict that Roger Deakins will take the cinematography award home that night. Although Life of Pi is pretty gorgeous as well.
Don Kaye, MSN Parallel Universe
My first impression is that I'm delighted to see Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild get the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress love that they deserve, because both movies excelled in all three categories. And I'm ecstatic that Tom Hooper did not get a Best Director nod for one of the most shoddily-directed films of the year, Les Miserables.
On the other hand, leaving Kathryn Bigelow off the Best Director list -- purely because of a political campaign directed against Zero Dark Thirty, in my opinion -- is a disgrace.
Also disappointing: Leaving Rian Johnson's Looper script out of the loop for Best Original Screenplay and ignoring Marion Cotillard's searing performance in Rust and Bone for the Best Actress category. On the whole, however, a lot of the nominations went pretty much as expected and it looks like this will be Lincoln and Spielberg's race to lose -- not my favorite by far, but the kind of picture that the Academy loves to bestow its accolades on. Let the games begin...
Eric Eisenberg, CinemaBlend.com
There are certainly a few bad snubs in this year’s crop of nominees -- the fact that Ben Affleck didn’t get nominated for Best Director is mind-boggling -- but overall I have to say that I actually agree with a lot of the Academy’s calls this year. My favorite three films of 2012 were The Cabin in the Woods, Seven Psychopaths and The Avengers so I didn’t go into the nominations really rooting for anything big in particular (as I knew they didn’t really stand a chance in the major categories), but I’m thrilled to see the right movies getting the proper recognition.
I love seeing Silver Linings Playbook in practically every field, I’m thrilled to see ParaNorman up for Best Animated Feature after being snubbed by the Golden Globes and while I was hoping for some acting nods I look forward to seeing Adele take home Best Original Song for Skyfall. Simply put, 2012 was a great year for movies and this year’s Oscar nominees actually reflect that.