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Oscars 2012: The lauded films that got the Academy’s cold-shoulder

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If you were looking for an upset at this year’s Academy Awards, you aren’t going to find it in the nominee pool announced today. The nominations went out to the expected recipients — hey there, “The Artist,” “The Descendants” and “Hugo” — while the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences opted to have only nine Best Picture nominees instead of adding a tenth dark horse.

Unfortunately, that meant a lot of well-deserving movies didn’t make the cut. Indies didn’t do too well this time around (sorry, “Martha Marcy May Marlene”), and neither did the movies that were both critical and box office successes (here’s a tissue, “Harry Potter” and “The Muppets”). It seems that the films that could be fairly labeled awards season bait caught their prey, though they’re well-deserving of the awards they received. But we wish that some of these other flicks could have received the recognition they deserved as well.


“Drive”

Ryan Gosling gave the best performance of his career in Nicholas Winding Refn’s violent thriller, but didn’t receive any recognition from the Academy for his efforts. We would have at least expected Albert Brooks to get a nod for Best Supporting Actor (I mean come on, that scene with Bryan Cranston towards the end!), but no cigar. “Drive’s” only nomination was for Best Achievement in Sound Editing, which doesn’t do too much to ease this snub.


“The Ides of March”

Speaking of Ryan Gosling snubs, where was the love for “The Ides of March”? The movie picked up Golden Globes noms for Picture, Director, Actor and Screenplay, but only got a Best Adapted Screenplay nod from the Academy. Sorry if you were looking for a second Best Director nod, George Clooney, but at least you were recognize for your work in “The Descendants.” Between this, “Drive” and last year’s “Blue Valentine,” it seems safe to say that the Academy isn’t the biggest Ryan Gosling fan. In fact, maybe they were the ones who voted for Bradley Cooper to be People‘s Sexiest Man this year, too.


“Shame”

It seems as though that NC-17 rating really was the mark of death for “Shame’s” Oscar chances. Despite Michael Fassbender‘s well-regarded performance, he didn’t pick up a nomination for Best Actor, and the movie was jilted with no nominations across the board. And, to us, that’s a real shame. Yes, we went there.


“50/50”

“50/50” was the little indie that could this year. The feel-good cancer dramedy had earned Joseph Gordon-Levitt some Oscar buzz when it came out in September, as well as writer Will Reiser. But no luck, come nomination time. The film walked away from the Academy announcement empty-handed.


“The Adventures of Tintin”

The fact that “The Adventures of Tintin” didn’t pick up a Best Animated film nomination after winning the Globe for it is probably the biggest shocker in today’s nominations announcement. All we can think of is that the movie was submitted to be a Best Picture contender and didn’t make the cut, but still it seems shocking that “Puss in Boots” was picked over this Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson collaboration. At least Spielberg can take comfort in the fact “War Horse” got some serious love.


“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

This movie was never going to be an easy sell. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” got a nod for Best Visual Effects, but I personally was pulling for Andy Serkis to get some sort of acting recognition for his role as Caesar, even if it was as Best Supporting Actor. Matt Singer disagreed, but it seems unfair that Serkis repeatedly walk away unrecognized.


“Martha Marcy May Marlene”

Where was the love for this Sundance darling? Elizabeth Olsen broke out onto the scene early this year in an amazing performance, but the Academy opted instead to honor frontrunners like Michelle Williams and Viola Davis. We get it, and those actresses duly deserve their recognition, but it doesn’t make us any happier about Olsen — and the movie’s — snub.


“The Muppets”

First, let us preface this by saying that we are over the moon that “Man or Muppet” is nominated for Best Song. Thank goodness, there is some justice in the world. But that’s all that “The Muppets” walked away with, and that seems unfair. The movie was almost universally critically beloved, and all that without any cynicism or guile. If this loses to “Rio” for Best Song, there really is no justice in the world.


“J. Edgar”

Honestly, we’re sort of glad “J. Edgar” didn’t make the cut. The movie is Oscar-bait through and through, down to Clint Eastwood directing, Dustin Lance Black writing and Leonardo DiCaprio starring in it. But DiCaprio gave a genuinely great performance, and was probably a more popular choice than Demian Bichir, Gary Oldman (who we’re very pleased made the cut) and Jean Dujardin. Give DiCaprio his Oscar, already.


“Take Shelter”

This list seems overloaded with men who were snubbed the Best Actor nomination this Academy Awards, but this was a year that had plenty of great male performances. Michael Shannon‘s turn in “Take Shelter” was phenomenal and another Sundance darling, but the movie has walked away from the major awards show season completely empty handed.


“Warrior”

“Warrior” is probably the year’s most underappreciated film, so we’re thrilled that the Academy awarded Nick Nolte a Best Supporting Actor nomination. But the movie really should have landed a Best Original Screenplay nod as well, arguably over the surprise pick “Margin Call.”


“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”

This was your last chance, Academy, and you blew it. “Harry Potter” is the top-grossing film franchise ever, and for good reason. While many of the “Potter” films are good not great, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” was a surprisingly wonderful finale to the decade-long series. It also was the highest grossing movie and one of the most well-received movies of the year. It at least deserved a Best Picture nomination, if not a win. And the fact that Alan Rickman wasn’t rewarded with a nomination for Best Supporting Actor is a real shame. If “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” walks away without winning any of its three technical nominations, the franchise will have never won a single Oscar.

Which movie do you think should have been nominated, but wasn’t? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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