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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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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.