And the nominations for Best Picture are…

Amour (5 nominations)
 (7 nominations)
Beasts of the Southern Wild
 (4 nominations)
Django Unchained
 (5 nominations)
Les Misérables
 (8 nominations)
Life of Pi
 (11 nominations)
 (12 nominations)
Silver Linings Playbook
 (8 nominations)
Zero Dark Thirty
 (5 nominations)

You can see a full ballot list for printing at Oscar.com.

The Good? I’m always thrilled when a French film has multiple nods outside the Foreign Language Film category, so Amour‘s five nominations are probably the most welcome surprise on this list. And kudos for getting Amour listed as an Austrian film because the French never get their Oscar submission right.* Amour opens tomorrow in San Francisco and will probably be the first film for which I use my Christmas gift.


The Bad? Nine nominees. Really? Just go for the full ten already. Or, since there seemed to be so few obvious contenders this year, a traditional list of five (Argo, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Lincoln, and Les Misérables) would have perhaps sufficed.

Also, on a personal note, it’s sort of sad to see Les Misérables filed alphabetically under L. Was Il Postino filed under I?

The Ugly? The exclusion of both Ben Affleck and Tom Hooper from the Directing category. Again, I’m thrilled to see Michael Haneke there, but I don’t care how good Life of Pi and Lincoln are, to have Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg and not Affleck and Hooper is a serious crime, even if Hooper did just win.

les miserables poster

But what really stands out to me in the entire list is how few films have more than one nomination. Besides the Best Picture nominees, only Anna Karenina, Flight, The Hobbit, The Master, Skyfall, and Snow White and the Huntsman garnered at least two nods. It seems like there are usually more than that.

Of course, that makes the Oscar blitz a whole lot easier. I’ve seen almost nothing, but I have seen Argo and Les Misérables, so that leaves Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty as must-sees.

If only most of them weren’t so darn long. Beasts of the Southern Wild is the only one of these films that clocks in under two hours, at a zippy 93 minutes. Bless you, film-I-had-never-heard-of-until-today, you have just shot up to #2 on my must-see list. After that, I’m probably most interested in Silver Linings Playbook. I suppose I’ll now see Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty, but I’m not really excited about any of them. Even the Tarantino, who I usually love.

Of the others, I’m mildly tempted by Anna Karenina (4 nominations) because I felt the limited set was an interesting conceit, but it bums me out that I haven’t read the book yet. I’ve heard good things about The Master, but Anderson is hit-or-miss for me. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve seen it.

I already ruled out seeing The Hobbit and Skyfall in the theater due to length, but I may revisit that for Skyfall. (I love Tolkien as much as the next person, but, Peter Jackson, get over yourself already).

Snow White and the Huntsman (Costume Design, Visual Effects) has now been added to my Netflix queue, along with Mirror Mirror (Costume Design), but only because they are available now. Flight comes out on DVD in early February so that will probably be Netflixed as well.

All in all, it’s a fairly predictable list, with a few interesting surprises. With both Affleck and Hooper being snubbed, I’d say Lincoln is probably the current front-runner for Best Picture, but I suppose anything might happen.

What are your thoughts on this morning’s announcement?

*If you think I’m going to consider a French-language film that takes place in Paris (and stars the legendary French actors Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, and Isabelle Huppert) anything but French, you don’t know me at all.