The 85th Annual Academy Awards nominations were announced this morning and my first reaction is what the Hell is going on in the Best Director Category? I had warned all my Twitter followers and Facebook fans that if Tarantino was snubbed I was going to freak out, and guess what? Quentin was shut out of the category. Although, I can take solace in the fact that Tarantino was nominated for Original Screenplay and a Best Picture nod for Django Unchained.
Tarantino wasn’t the only name shut out of the Best Director category. Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck were both snubbed in the category as well. How can that be? I thought both of them were locks for the category, but they chose a foreign film director Michael Haneke for Amour instead. Come on! Are you kidding me? No offense, but I can think of five other directors who deserve to be noinated before him. David O. Russell isn’t a surprise for Silver Linings Playbook and neither is Benh Zeitlin for anyone who has seen Beasts of the Southern Wild. My pick in this category would go to Ang Lee for Life of Pi. What he managed to pull off on film was nothing short of a miracle. Remember, it’s a movie about a boy in a small boat with a tiger. Kind of a tough sell for movie goers, but he pulled it off.
I know some people will be upset about Leonardo DiCaprio getting snubbed for his work in Django Unchained in the Supporting Actor Category. All the nominees in the category have previous Oscar wins, which will take away from the excitement of a first time winner like DiCaprio’s name being called. The truth is all the nominees including DiCaprio’s cast mate Waltz gave better performances. I would even make the argument that it wasn’t DiCaprio who got snubbed, but Samuel L. Jackson as the scheming Stephen in Django Unchained. I can’t argue with this category, because my pick all along was Chistoph Waltz who was nominated and should win for Django Unchained.
I’m pretty happy overall with the Best Picture category with the exception of Amour. Sorry art house and foreign film lovers. I don’t find reading subtitles in a movie about old people dying enjoyable. There’s a category for Amour. It’s called the Best Foreign Language film. You know that category that shows up half way through the show with movies and people who we don’t have a clue about who they are. My pick in this category would still go to Zero Dark Thirty, but it seems there is a lot of momentum for Life of Pi.
On a side note, the production guy in me thinks if Tim Squyres doesn’t win the Oscar for Best Achievement in Editing for Life of Pi, they shouldn’t have the Oscars anymore. I know this is a category most people don’t care about, but if you’ve seen Life of Pi you will understand my argument. Life of Pi is the best film to enhance the editing of a film with 3D. The 3D is used as transitions in the story telling when jumping from past to present day and vice-verse. At times you felt as if you were floating in the water with Pi going from surface to underwater views. Don’t be surprised if Life of Pi takes home the Visual Effects Oscar for creating the living breathing tiger, Richard Parker.