The nominees for the 2012 Academy Awards were announced this morning, and Hugo leads with 11 nominations, and The Artist follows with 10 nominations. We've seen quite a few of the Best Picture nominations this year; Hugo, Midnight In Paris, The Artist, The Help, Moneyball, War Horse, and Tree of Life are our favorites for the best picture noms. Mike and I loved Hugo, The Artist, and Midnight in Paris because they are essentially about nostalgia: nostalgia of film(Hugo and The Artist), and nostalgia for Paris of another time(Midnight in Paris.) Owen Wilson's character in "Midnight in Paris" calls himself a nostalgist, which means he loves Paris in the 1920's. I love all the references to writers, artists, and songwriters(Cole Porter) in the film. Cole Porter makes an appearance in "Midnight" which is so wonderful that it brought tears to my eyes. Mike bought Ella Fitzgerald's autograph for me for my birthday, because I love Ella singing the Cole Porter songbook. We then went on to buy Ella's complete songbooks, and listened to them while making scrapbooks together of our trips to Michigan, Peru, Indiana--for the Cole Porter festival--and our "staycations" to Chicagoland outings like the Art Institute, the Chicago Botanic Gardens, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the Friday Night at the Movies events--I loved West Side Story played by the CSO last year. They played along to the film perfertly on time and with passion. Certainly, one of my favorite films of all time.
Also, Mike and I just rented "The Magic of Melies" and The Landmark of Film documentaries after seeing Hugo, and loved the sweetness and Humor in Melies' classic short films like "A Trip To The Moon." Hugo is a love letter to the creator of cinema, Georges Melies, and it is a love letter to film preservation. Last year, Mike and I sadly saw the Bank Cinema close in Chicago, but film buffs want to continue the tradition by playing rare and classic films at the old, Portage theater in Chicago. We saw quite a few films at the Bank Cinema, and were sad to see it go. It was like the scene in "Cinema Paradiso" when the teary-eared townspeople gathered around to see the tearing down of the town cinema house. And, Mike and I found Harold Lloyd's classic silent film "Safety Last" at the public library and watched it. Hugo and his girl friend Isabelle watch that film together in "Hugo." It's very sweet.
I loved how the movie "The Artist" revived interest in silent film. That's what the Broadway in Chicago theaters like the Cadillac Palace and the Ford Oriental where built for: for silent films with a big symphony. Mike and I love Broadway in Chicago. We have seen so many musicals there like The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Beauty and The Beast, Shrek The Musical, Les Miserables--which is being turned into a film, and, most recently, La Cage Aux Folles. We love "La Cage" and think it would make a good musical movie, along with "The Secret Garden" The Musical, which we also saw last year.
I realize that Jean Dujardin is drinking illegal alcohol in "The Artist." "Midnight in Paris" and "Hugo" were also set during the 1920's or the Prohibition of Alcohol in the U.S.A. Mike and I gave tours at the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace in Oak Park, and learned that Hemingway wrote "The Sun Also Rises" during the Prohibition, and was most likely thumbing his nose at the laws that banned alcohol, because his characters drink like fish in the book. I liked Hemingway's presence in "Midnight in Paris." I could tell Woody Allen did his research to write the screenplay, which was also nominated for an Oscar. Some critics think "The Artist" might win the most awards this year, but I also want Hugo and Midnight in Paris to win some, because these are films that moved me. Is the disturbing trend of violent nominated films over? I won't complain.
I wonder why Woody Allen doesn't like the Oscars, and still hasn't picked up his past awards yet. Maybe he doesn't like that great films have to compete with each other, which leaves many good films snubbed. Is it a East Coast/West Coast thing? Maybe he's too New York for Hollywood. I like that he puts old jazz classic songs in his films. He should make a film about Ella Fitzgerald.
I love that Christopher Plummer was nominated for playing a Gay senior citizen in Beginners, and Mexican Actor Demian Bichir was nominated for A Better Life. The Help was great, deserved its nominations. We still have to see The Descendants, My Week With Marilyn, Bridesmaids(Huh?), A Better Life, Iron Lady, Pina. Jane Eyre, at least, got a Best Costume nomination.
Jean Dujardin is so handsome and charming, he deserves his nomination. Michael Fassbender was ignored in this year's Oscar noms. I liked Fassbender in Jane Eyre. I heard he was good in "A Dangerous Method" too. J. Edgar was ignored this year, probably because it feels homophobic that a conservative director--Eastwood--made a film about a closeted man who was conflicted about his homosexuality. DiCaprio wore a dress and kissed a man, but didn't get the nomination. Christopher Plummer gets kissed by a man in "Beginners" a few times, which makes the movie sweet, and bit touching. "Beginners" was a very interesting film to Mike and me.
I think Harry Potter deserved an nomination for Best Picture because it made me feel so war-ravaged, and weary in the end, and very sympathetic for it's characters.
Biggest films of the year (by number of nominations):
Hugo (11 nominations) The Artist (10 nominations) Moneyball (6 nominatons) War Horse (6 nominations) The Descendants (5 nominations) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (5 nominations) The Help (4 nominations) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (3 nominations) Midnight in Paris (3 nominations) Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (3 nominations) Transformers: Dark of the Moon (3 nominations) The Tree of Life (3 nominations) Bridesmaids (2 nominations) Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2 nominations) My Week with Marylin (2 nominations) A Separation (2 nominations) The Iron Lady (2 nominations)
It's time to see more movies.