Oscars, Part Deux – February 24, 2012

I best catch up. The Oscars are this Sunday and I have so many posts needing to be published. Today I have my thoughts on the Supporting Acting categories (AKA, the sympathy/make-up awards). And for dessert, a brief thought on best song.

Best Supporting Actor

Kenneth Branagh, “My Week With Marilyn”
Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”
Nick Nolte, “Warrior”
Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
Max Von Sydow, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

The Academy Awards does this thing where they nominate famous actors who have been around for decades. Sometimes the performance is deserving, but most of the time it feels like a life-time tribute. It’s like when Judy Dench won for her performance in “Shakespeare in Love”. Her overall screen time had to be less than five minutes. That’s a glorified cameo role. Sure, she was playing the Queen of England and she is great in most of her films (and should have won for her performance in “Mrs. Brown”), but was it really deserving of the award for best supporting actress? I think not. And this is what we see with the nominations of both Christopher Plummer and Max Von Sydow. Plummer did a good job in “Beginners”, but I actually found myself more intrigued by Ewan McGregor’s performance (in case you forgot, he was not nominated). From all appearances, Plummer’s going to win.

Best Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain, “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer, “The Help”

It’s nice to see the academy break out of the mold and nominate a comedic performance. Melissa McCarthy was hilarious and I was glad to see her get the nomination. Now, she won’t win. We all know this. Even though you’ll see some unexpected wins in the supporting categories, the Oscars still skew for the dramatic. There are some wonderful performances in this category and I’d be happy if any of these women won (except Janet McTeer, because again, what is with this “Alfred Nobbs” nonsense?).

Best Original Song
“Man or Muppet,” The Muppets; Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio,” Rio; Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown, Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Muppets. Hands down. I have much love for Bret (one half of Flight of the Conchords, New Zealand’s number two folk band) and “Man or Muppet” is such a perfect blend of sincerity and hilarity.

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