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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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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

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It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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