Thursday, December 15, 2011

Screen Actors Guild Nominations


  • The Artist
  • Bridesmaids
  • The Descendants
  • The Help
  • Midnight in Paris
Actors were in a more comedic mood than typical, or "lighter" as all five films are bent in a lighter way (even though one film deals with a tragic family, and another with racial discordance in the South.)  No Moneyball, no The Tree of Life, no Hugo, no Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, no Carnage (despite it's starry cast), although I suppose those aren't exactly strange omissions.  I liked each of these five films (and in the case of The Artist...I luurve), but a strangely soft line-up.

  • Demian Bichir, A Better Life
  • George Clooney, The Descendants
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
  • Jean Dujardin, The Artist
  • Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Whoa boy! While a great out-of-left-field nomination for Bichir is nicely unexpected (however at the loss of say Michael Fassbender for Shame or Michael Shannon for Take Shelter, perhaps not so much) the real issue with the otherwise formidable, if predictable line-up is DiCaprio's presence, despite J. Edgar being, well, a fairly awful movie-going experience, despite his careful mugging.  Perhaps this helped:


  • Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
  • Viola Davis, The Help
  • Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
  • Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
  • Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Those who doubted that Close was out should have known better, as how could actors resist the temptation of pitting Close vs. Streep, as both are nominated.  I keep half expecting the other shoe to drop for Tilda Swinton, based on the fact that her film is small, disturbing, and critically divisive, but she keep showing up everywhere...I suppose the past two years of stellar work that was universally ignored has helped.  Missing in this competitive year are: Elizabeth Olsen (for Martha Marcy May Marlene), Kristin Wiig (for Bridesmaids), Kirsten Dunst (for Melancholia) and Charlize Theron, miraculous in Young Adult...more on that soon.

  • Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
  • Armie Hammer, J. Edgar
  • Jonah Hill, Moneyball
  • Nick Nolte, Warrior
  • Christopher Plummer, Beginners

This had better be an easy get for Plummer in this strange young vs. old line-up.  The rest aside from his graceful performance in Beginners must be a prank on the actors part I assume, as great performances like Ben Kingsley's in Hugo and Albert Brooks' in Drive are snubbed in favor of Branagh's easy as cake take on Laurence Olivier and Armie Hammer ridding DiCaprio's ill-advised coattails.  Hill and Nolte were just fine in their respective parts, but still.  On the case of Brooks, I remain hesitant on his Oscar chances, because (and critics awards be damned) I doubt Drive will seriously be their thing.

  • Berenice Bejo, The Artist
  • Jessica Chastain, The Help
  • Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
  • Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
  • Octavia Spencer, The Help
Another very comedy friendly line-up, and whilst I have yet to view Albert Nobbs, it's just fine I suppose...however I adamantly stand up that Chastain was best in Take Shelter of her ten 2011 films.  Dramatic roles missing include Carey Mulligan in Shame, Shailene Woodley in The Descendants and Vanessa Redgrave in Coriolanus.

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