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Oscar Awards
Oscar Awards

Oscar nominations 2012

(Dp-news - Guardian)

For weeks it seemed all over bar the shouting. The French silent film The Artist had cleaned up at awards ceremony after awards ceremony. But in the event, at the biggest of them all, it has been outdone by Martin Scorsese's 3D fantasy Hugo, which has taken 11 Academy Award nominations to The Artist's 10.

Scorsese's change of pace for Hugo, which could become the first 3D film to win the best picture Oscar, appears to have paid dividends: it is, as he remarked when winning the Golden Globe for best director, "a film [my] daughter can see, for once". Overlooked by the Academy for acknowledged masterworks such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and GoodFellas, Scorsese won a long overdue Oscar for best director in 2007 for The Departed, and may repeat the trick next month.





As expected, however, The Artist was nominated in all major categories: best picture and original screenplay, best director, leading actor and supporting actress. Also as expected, no room could be found for its breakout star, Uggie the dog. The Artist will provide Hugo's sternest competition for total Oscar numbers, even if the latter is putting up no real opposition in the acting categories, with its best hope, Ben Kingsley, failing to secure a supporting nod.



The other Hollywood big hitters that have been circling in recent weeks will all feel that the nominations gravy has spread fairly evenly – with the notable exception of the Clint Eastwood-directed biopic J Edgar, which was completely shut out. Baseball drama Moneyball and Steven Spielberg's first world war yarn War Horse received six nominations, The Descendants and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo five, and The Help four. Woody Allen has been rewarded for his biggest ever commercial hit with four nominations for Midnight in Paris.



British film-makers will have experienced mixed emotions: some films did less well than expected, while others scored personal triumphs. After being completely overlooked at the Golden Globes, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy received three nominations, including a best actor shot for Gary Oldman: a decent result for the film, even if at the start of the awards race they may have been gunning for more. Oldman said: "It is extremely humbling, gratifying, and delightful to have your work recognised by the Academy, and to join the celebrated ranks of previous nominees and colleagues. Amazing."



My Week With Marilyn, which looked like a strong awards contender after the Globes and Bafta nominations, had to be content with two nominations, both for acting: Michelle Williams for best actress and Kenneth Branagh for best supporting actor. On the other hand, the Steve McQueen sex-addiction drama Shame failed to register at all, while other major names – Carey Mulligan, Colin Firth, Stephen Daldry – who might have expected some recognition, have been ignored.



In keeping with its mood of trend-bucking, the Oscars have thrown a few curveballs, just to ensure no one can accuse them of playing too safe. Alone among the major awards organizations they have recognized The Tree of Life, the Palme d'Or-winning film by Terrence Malick, handing it three nominations, including best picture.



A spot in the best actor list has been found for Demián Bichir, the Mexico-born lead of East LA saga A Better Life, and one in the best supporting actor list for Nick Nolte for Warrior, completing a Hollywood rehabilitation after his arrest for DUI in 2002. And somewhat implausibly, the toy-franchise spin-off Transformers: Dark of the Moon, has been given three nominations (for visual effects, sound and sound mixing), which puts it comfortably ahead of The Iron Lady (two nominations), Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (two).

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