Oscar Week 2012

The 84th Academy Awards

“Every time I go to a movie, it’s magic,

no matter what it’s about.”

– Steven Spielberg

 

I have been fortunate to work in some form or fashion of the Film Industry for the past 18 years. As a Writer and Screenwriter who once was a Makeup and Special Effects Artist, I love the world of cinema. More importantly, the craft and beauty of everything that happens from Pre-Production to Post – and trust me, there is a LOT that goes on. A collective group of hundreds, sometimes thousands, that come together to execute a single vision – sometimes it is truly flawless, sometimes the vision gets skewed but that is the magic of film. Magic, by the way, that was exemplified this year in Martin Scorsese’s, “Hugo”. Hugo paid tribute to why it is anyone in film does what we do. Movies are our beautiful escape – our mirrors, our imaginations, our hopes, our passions, our fears, our truths, our worlds, our wars. Cinema is the most prolific Art Form in that there is no escaping the message it can teach you. Whether it makes you laugh or cringe or cry or fear or think or feel or imagine – the purpose is to show you a world crafted by those who dare to dream beyond the lens.

I have also been an avid goer of the Symposium Series at the Academy for the past 15 years. My favorite had been the Foreign Film Symposium though last year I attended the Animated Shorts, Documentary Shorts, Documentary, and Foreign Films symposiums. I was so glad I ventured into each of them. That is where I had the distinct honor of meeting and speaking with Vanity Fair Correspondent, Journalist, Documentarian, and Author of the highly acclaimed book, “The Perfect Storm”, Sebastian Junger and British-born Photographer and world-renown journalist, Tim HetheringtonRestrepo. I saw Restrepo – a film that stripped away the politics of war and simply showed the act of war and the soldiers involved. Sebastian and Tim went to the Kigali Valley – the most dangerous place in the Middle East. Their very first week of shooting, their tank was bombed. Thankfully, no one was seriously harmed but they did, in their time in the Kigali, witness murders, deaths, peace, volatility, and the true spirit of war. After the Symposium, I spoke to Sebastian and Tim – two truly remarkable men who fearlessly find the story in the most crucial of situations. Following the Symposium, Tim went on to Lybia to cover the story of Qaddafi. Hetherington was killed by mortar shells fired by Libyan forces while covering the 2011 Libyan civil war. The world will miss him and his willingness to tell a story indefinitely. The Host of this Symposium was Producer, Mark Johnson. He spoke and shared his (and the Members of the Academy’s) astounding realization about the entries. He noticed a glaring theme to each of the films submitted by over 60 Countries: Family. Whether the dissolution, the coming together, the breaking apart, the necessity, the perversion, the love, the truth – the theme was clear. We need to find out what “family” means to us. This year, the theme is “the fight”. What are we fighting for?

 

The Oscars is more than Fashion, the Red Carpet, and the Major Films nominated. The Oscars represent a pool of talent from every stretch of the world and we get to pay homage to the bodies of work they create for our entertainment. While I know we will get swept up in the “Pop Culture” of it, I ask you to take a deeper look into the themes of the films nominated. Much like Sundance this year, the films are unilaterally telling the story of where we are in the world – the collapse of the global economy, the need for coming together, the truth about family, the disembodiment of war, the underlying cry for hope. Films are not only something to pass two-to-three hours of time. Films are reflections of who we all are – even the terrible ones. So this year, I encourage you to look closer, see as many of the films as you can – Los Angeles and New York have theatres everywhere that are screening most of the Nominated Films – find the commonality in each one. Even when they make you laugh or scream or simply pass the time, there is depth there. The heart of a filmmaker is one of sheer complexity and vulnerability – film and those involved in its process are more than “celebrities”. They are human beings who use their art to make you feel.

For the Calender of Screenings in Your City: http://www.oscars.org/filmarchive/collections/screenings.html

 

THE 2011 NOMINEES ARE:

Home : Awards : Academy Awards : Nominees

Nominees for the 84th Academy Awards

84th Academy Awards Nominees

Actor in a Leading Role

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn”
  • Jonah Hill in “Moneyball”
  • Nick Nolte in “Warrior”
  • Christopher Plummer in “Beginners”
  • Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs”
  • Viola Davis in “The Help”
  • Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
  • Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady”
  • Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn”

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist”
  • Jessica Chastain in “The Help”
  • Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”
  • Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs”
  • Octavia Spencer in “The Help”

Animated Feature Film

  • “A Cat in Paris” Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
  • “Chico & Rita” Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
  • “Kung Fu Panda 2” Jennifer Yuh Nelson
  • “Puss in Boots” Chris Miller
  • “Rango” Gore Verbinski

Art Direction

  • “The Artist”
    Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
    Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
  • “Hugo”
    Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
  • “Midnight in Paris”
    Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil
  • “War Horse”
    Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

Cinematography

  • “The Artist” Guillaume Schiffman
  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Jeff Cronenweth
  • “Hugo” Robert Richardson
  • “The Tree of Life” Emmanuel Lubezki
  • “War Horse” Janusz Kaminski

Costume Design

  • “Anonymous” Lisy Christl
  • “The Artist” Mark Bridges
  • “Hugo” Sandy Powell
  • “Jane Eyre” Michael O’Connor
  • “W.E.” Arianne Phillips

Directing

Documentary (Feature)

  • “Hell and Back Again”
    Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner
  • “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”
    Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
  • “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”
    Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
  • “Pina”
    Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
  • “Undefeated”
    TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Rich Middlemas

Documentary (Short Subject)

  • “The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement”
    Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
  • “God Is the Bigger Elvis”
    Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
  • “Incident in New Baghdad”
    James Spione
  • “Saving Face”
    Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
  • “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom”
    Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

Film Editing

Foreign Language Film

  • “Bullhead” Belgium
  • “Footnote” Israel
  • “In Darkness” Poland
  • “Monsieur Lazhar” Canada
  • “A Separation” Iran

Makeup

  • “Albert Nobbs”
    Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
    Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin
  • “The Iron Lady”
    Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Music (Original Score)

  • “The Adventures of Tintin” John Williams
  • “The Artist” Ludovic Bource
  • “Hugo” Howard Shore
  • “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Alberto Iglesias
  • “War Horse” John Williams

Music (Original Song)

  • “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets”
    Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
  • “Real in Rio” from “Rio”
    Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown; Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Best Picture

  • “The Artist” Thomas Langmann, Producer
  • “The Descendants” Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
  • “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” Scott Rudin, Producer
  • “The Help” Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
  • “Hugo” Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
  • “Midnight in Paris” Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
  • “Moneyball” Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
  • “The Tree of Life” Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Dede Gardner and Grant Hill, Producers
  • “War HorseSteven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Short Film (Animated)

  • “Dimanche/Sunday” Patrick Doyon
  • “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
  • “La Luna” Enrico Casarosa
  • “A Morning Stroll” Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
  • “Wild Life” Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

Short Film (Live Action)

  • “Pentecost” Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane
  • “Raju” Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
  • “The Shore” Terry George and Oorlagh George
  • “Time Freak” Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
  • “Tuba Atlantic” Hallvar Witzø

Sound Editing

  • “Drive” Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Ren Klyce
  • “Hugo” Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
  • “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
  • “War Horse” Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Sound Mixing

  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
    David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
  • “Hugo”
    Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
  • “Moneyball”
    Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, David Giammarco and Ed Novick
  • “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
    Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
  • “War Horse”
    Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

Visual Effects

  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
    Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
  • “Hugo”
    Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann and Alex Henning
  • “Real Steel”
    Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
  • “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
    Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
  • “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
    Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • “The Descendants” Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
  • “Hugo” Screenplay by John Logan
  • “The Ides of March” Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
  • “Moneyball” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin; Story by Stan Chervin
  • “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • “The Artist” Written by Michel Hazanavicius
  • “Bridesmaids” Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
  • “Margin Call” Written by J.C. Chandor
  • “Midnight in Paris” Written by Woody Allen
  • “A Separation” Written by Asghar Farhadi