Houston Film Critics Society Nominees

(Thanks to Dustin Chase)

Best Picture

  • Drive, Film District
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Warner Bros.
  • Midnight in Paris, Sony Pictures Classics
  • Take Shelter, Sony Pictures Classics
  • The Artist, The Weinstein Company
  • The Descendants, Fox Searchlight
  • The Help, Dreamworks & Touchstone
  • The Tree of Life, Fox Searchlight
  • War Horse, Dreamworks & Disney
  • Win Win, Fox Searchlight

Best Director

  • Alexander Payne, The Descendants
  • Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
  • Nicholas Winding Refn, Drive
  • Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
  • Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Best Actor

  • Brad Pitt, Moneyball
  • George Clooney, The Descendants
  • Jean Dujardin, The Artist
  • Michael Fassbender, Shame
  • Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

Best Actress

  • Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
  • Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
  • Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
  • Viola Davis, The Help

Supporting Actor

  • Albert Brooks, Drive
  • Alex Shaffer, Win Win
  • Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Armie Hammer, J. Edgar
  • Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Supporting Actress

  • Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
  • Jessica Chastain, The Help
  • Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
  • Octavia Spencer, The Help
  • Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best Screenplay

  • Alexander Payne, Nat Foxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants
  • Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
  • Tom McCarthy, Win Win
  • Will Reiser, 50/50
  • Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Best Cinematography

  • Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life
  • Guillaume Schiffman, The Artist
  • Janusz Kaminski, War Horse
  • Robert Richardson, Hugo
  • Thomas Newton Segel, Drive

Best Song

  • “Lay Your Head Down,” from Albert Nobbs, music & lyrics by B. Bryne & G. Close
  • “Life’s a Happy Song,” from The Muppets, music & lyrics by Bret McKenzie
  • “Star-Spangled Man,” from Captain America, music & lyrics by Alan Menken
  • “The Living Proof,” from The Help, music & lyrics by Mary J. Blige
  • “Think You Can Wait,” from Win Win, music & lyrics by The National

Best Score

  • Alexandre Desplat, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
  • Harry Escott, Shame
  • John Williams, The Adventures of Tin-Tin
  • John Williams, War Horse
  • Ludovic Bource, The Artist

Best Foreign Film

  • 13 Assassins, Magnet Releasing
  • Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, New Video
  • I Saw the Devil, Magnet Releasing
  • The Artist, The Weinstein Company
  • The Skin I Live In, Sony Pictures Classics

Best Documentary

  • Buck, Sundance Selects
  • Cave of Forgotten Dreams, IFC Films
  • Project Nim, Lionsgate
  • The Elephant in the Living Room, NightFly Entertainment
  • Undefeated, The Weinstein Company

Best Animated

  • Adventures of Tin-Tin, Dreamworks
  • Happy Feet Two, Warner Bros.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2, Dreamworks
  • Puss in Boots, Dreamworks
  • Rango, Paramount
  • Winnie the Pooh, Disney

Worst Film of the Year

  • Jack and Jill, Columbia
  • Red Riding Hood, Warner Bros.
  • The Sitter, 20th Century Fox
  • The Smurfs, Columbia
  • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1, Summit Entertainment
  • Your Highness, Universal

2011 Humanitarian Honor – Joanne Herring
2011 – Lifetime Achievement – Jeff Bridges


  1. Juan 4 years ago

    man if Oldman keeps getting snubbed I’m going to get sick, but I’m sure he’ll get GG, BFCA,SAG and Bafta and get the nom anyway but I’m surprised at the lack of critical support to his performance

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  2. RyanT 4 years ago

    I know it’s just critics… but how strong is Drive/Refn for the Oscars? It just keeps popping up.

    And it looks like Best Actress is starting to coalesce.

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  3. Akim 4 years ago

    Damn, it’s official! Glenn Close is OUT of the Best Actress race.

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  4. rufussondheim 4 years ago

    With the International base of the Golden Globes, I’m thinking that Drive could get a Best Drama nomination, especially if some of the other movies could get pushed off into the Best Musical or Comedy category. (I’m always reminded of Jack Nicholson’s acceptance speech for Actor in a Drama for About Schmidt “And here I thought we made a comedy” – so who knows)

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  5. Juan 4 years ago

    I hope Drive is the new Black Swan

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  6. RyanT 4 years ago

    @Akim For all we know she could win LAFCA and she’s right back in. Also note Sandra Bullock had very little (i.e. none) critical support before she swept the latter stages. Then again I hardly see Albert Nobbs getting an unlikely Best Picture nomination. So yeah, who knows?

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  7. Dooby 4 years ago


    Win Win


    No Mulligan
    No Gosling
    Basic bland vanilla taste of the nominations

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  8. Robert A. 4 years ago

    “Damn, it’s official! Glenn Close is OUT of the Best Actress race.”

    I wouldn’t go that far, but I do agree she’s looking more and more vulnerable. If she doesn’t get a BFCA nod (they usually have six per category), a Globe, or a SAG nomination, then I’ll say we can stick a fork in Glenn. But I do expect she will pop up on at least one of those Best Actress rosters.

    Notice that Leo is also showing up pretty much nowhere. I think he’s also looking vulnerable for a Best Actor nomination. His chances of winning are pretty much dead. But I do think he’ll probably get a BFCA and a Globe nod.

    Love that they nominated Alex Shaffer in supporting. And I’m also pleased that Drive keeps popping up.

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  9. Joe8 4 years ago

    Gary Oldman is the most underrated actor in the world (who gives a brilliant performance in TTSS) and not even critics support and push him to get his first ever Oscar nomination… WTF???

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  10. Martin 4 years ago

    I’m surprised to see Oldman missing; I haven’t seen his film, but it’s been getting big raves (it has an 89/100 on metacritic).

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  11. Forfoljare 4 years ago

    Tired of white savior movies getting called best picture.

    Good for Drive though

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  12. Travis 4 years ago

    @Dooby – You should have seen the ballot I submitted. For Best Picture, I only had one nominee from a major studio (Paramount’s Hugo). The rest were minor studios like Fox Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics.

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  13. Dustin Chase 4 years ago

    Alex Shaffer, FINALLY getting the recognition he deserves for WIN WIN!

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  14. Travis 4 years ago

    Ezra Miller would have totally shot Alex Shaffer with a bow and arrow if they were in the same high school.

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  15. Chris 4 years ago

    Loving the Win Win recognition.

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  16. j 4 years ago

    Interesting that Loud shows up but only in 1 category. More than Tattoo.

    More Descendants/Artist obviousness though no Bejo nom.

    More of the obvious lead trios plus hopeful finalists Olsen and Swinton.

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  17. Antoinette 4 years ago

    I like Gary Oldman a great deal and everything I’ve heard about TTSS makes me hope that he will be nominated. Unfortunately by this time next week it’s pretty much going to be over, so it’s now or never. When it was released in the fall in England I thought that it would be a big hit movie here in the US by the time nominations rolled around and that would give the movie and its actors whatever push they needed. But we’re still waiting to see it so that never happened. I’m gonna feel really bad if everyone says how great Gary Oldman was AFTER the nominees have all been decided. :(

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  18. Russen 4 years ago

    Good nominations I think close is hanging on by a thread! Yay for chastain getting in I really want her nominated for tree of life but if she settles for the help it’s all good.

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  19. Pierre de Plume 4 years ago

    It’s refreshing to see Jack & Jill getting the recognition it seems to deserve.

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  20. s 4 years ago

    Hugo was almost shut out as well. Best Cinematography.

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  21. Jack 4 years ago

    No Hugo
    No DiCaprio
    No Oldman

    Houston, we have a problem.

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  22. tintin 4 years ago

    Hugo=Oscar lock. The Artist, The Descendants as well. (Very close: War Horse, Tree of life, The help…)
    I hople: Drive and Potter.

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  23. tintin 4 years ago


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  24. Scott 4 years ago

    Ugh, not happy to see EL&IC on their list…

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  25. Dustin Chase 4 years ago

    I think Extremely Loud took Hugo’s spot honestly. It was more reccent and tugs on the heart strings a little bit more, thus giving it the edge over Hugo, which is a fine film but doesn’t have the emotional presence Extremely Loud has.

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  26. Captain Steve Rogers 4 years ago

    Last year, they snubbed The Fighter for Kick-Ass.

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  27. Scott 4 years ago

    And you have to question why when it doesn’t garner any other mention…

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  28. Dustin Chase 4 years ago

    @ Scott
    I think is because it was the last film they saw before voting.

    @Captain Steve Rogers
    That was a silly omotion I agree, what were they thinking? They must not like movies about being in the ring, they left off Warrior this year, ugh!

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  29. Chris138 4 years ago

    I really hope Gary Oldman starts to pick up some steam with these critics awards. I’m sure Tinker Tailor will get tons of BAFTA nods, but hopefully the Golden Globes and SAG can help it out.

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  30. Aaron 4 years ago

    Where the eff is Hugo and Vanessa Redgrave? Love nominations for Drive, Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris, Tilda Swinton, and Elizabeth Olsen.

    Why the continual snubbing of Charlize Theron? The movie is getting great reviews, but she’s getting RAVES! I’m sure she will show up at the Globes, and hopefully SAG. Ditto for Gary Oldman.

    Not looking good for Glenn Close, although I am sure she will receive a Golden Globe nomination. If she doesn’t, she is out.

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  31. Beth Stevens 4 years ago

    I’m not sure how much the late US release strategy for Dragon Tattoo and Tinker Tailor is hurting their chances with these first critics’ groups. It might matter for Oscar noms in the end, or it might not. We’ll see when BFCA, SAG and GG come out.

    Love the Swinton, Fassbender, Olsen, Shannon picks, though.

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  32. Dustin Chase 4 years ago

    See I wasn’t wow’d by Theron, it was an ok movie, but so many better performances, same with Close, just too much competition.

    TTSS is just suffering because its a difficult movie, well done, very admirable, but when it comes to voting, I think the more emotional, showy performance wins over. I would have rather seen DiCaprio nominated than Oldman. I think Oldman will get his first Oscar nod for The Dark Knight Rises, i’ve heard great things about his role in the final film.

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  33. Ryman 4 years ago

    Hells yeah! Go Drive!

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  34. Camille 4 years ago

    Theron was way better than Elizabeth Olsen and Tilda Swinton. Not to mention she had a more difficult role to pull off and did it brilliantly with so many layers. I hope she gets more attention for her performance.

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  35. dinasztie 4 years ago

    When are they announcing the winners?

    I won’t even talk about the Great Glenn snub. Whatever…

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  36. Walt G 4 years ago

    I love seeing The Star Spangled Man getting attention

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  37. The ghost of easter 4 years ago

    No Hugo or Scorsese…
    Another group that didn’t nominate A Separation…
    Another strong showing for Drive and Refn….
    How did The Help get nominated, while there are tons of better (reviewed) films that deserved that spot?

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  38. naruse 4 years ago

    This is just Houston, period. It’s irrelevant.

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  39. james 4 years ago

    WOW….I’m happy to see Armie Hammer Andy Serkis to get nominated !!!!!!!!!!!!

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  40. Mattoc 4 years ago

    Armer Hammer’s performance in J Edgar was half the performance he gave in Social Network. Period.

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  41. Jerry 4 years ago

    Nice to see Drive and Elizabeth Olsen getting some love. Some balls to shut out Leo.

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  42. steve50 4 years ago

    Good on Drive, Swinton, Fassie, Shannon, Serkis. These seem to be getting a footing. TGWTDT and TTSS definitely shot themselves in the foot waiting to release because non-sentimental work takes longer to be appreciated – it sometimes has to sit with you for a couple of weeks (and a couple of viewings). Emotional fare gets immediate appreciation and does better the less you think about it (WH and ELIC), making late release an advantage. Since there’s no Hugo at play, The Artist takes this one, esp with a double pic nom (BP and FF).

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  43. K. Bowen 4 years ago

    Wait, there’s a song by The National in Win Win? Did I miss it?

    Could this be the year where the Best Song category isn’t filled with a bunch of saccharine Disney tunes that turn the Oscar telecast into a total beating?

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  44. Jimmy 4 years ago

    Did the Houston critics even see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

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  45. Nuno Claro 4 years ago

    The Alex Shaffer, the recognition he deserves for WIN WIN!

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  46. scary 4 years ago

    Michael Shannon in Take Shelter is hotter than Decapio and Oldman.

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  47. rufussondheim 4 years ago

    The National song plays over the end credits. It’s a very typical song for them, meaning it beats out 99% of the crap out there. But I doubt you will include it in the same league as, say, Start a War or any of the songs you love by them.

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  48. Dustin Chase 4 years ago

    Yes, the HFCS saw Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Tinker Tailor!

    The winners will be announced Dec 14th

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  49. Nic V 4 years ago

    Did they see War Horse?

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  50. wisconsinkel 4 years ago

    No one is completely out of the race until the Oscar nominations are read. Look at Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart. Or Laura Linney for The Savages. Or Tommy Lee Jones for In the Valley of Elah (granted, he earned BAFTA and SAG nods for his other film that year, No Country for Old Men)….

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  51. wisconsinkel 4 years ago

    @Travis….After Miles Teller runs him over with his car…granted, that would have been last year..

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  52. OCO 300 4 years ago

    How come Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, also how come Daniel Radcliffe wasn’t nominated for Best Actor, and Alan Rickman for Best Supportin Actor?

    Let me get this straight it nominated Avatar for Best Picture, but not Harry Potter, why cause it’s a box office global hit? It didn’t get any bad reviews? It’s the most anticipated film of the year, it ranked #1 in more theatres than any other film this year or in the best picture category?

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  53. Macy 4 years ago

    It seems to me that critics are deliberately ignoring Gary Oldman’s performance in TTSS. And as @Antoinette said, this week could well decide Gary Oldman’s Oscar fate (I’m expecting SAG and BAFTA nominations for him, though. Oscar nod is still highly uncertain). I know @wisconsinkel is right when he/she says that no one is ruled out till the Oscar nominations are read, but you should know that Gary Oldman and the Academy do not have a great history together (has the Academy actually forgiven him for the fiasco during ‘The Contender’?) And I kind of agree with @steve50 that TTSS waited a bit too late to be released stateside. In fact, I was expecting it to premiere in Telluride/Toronto in September, but obviously the film-makers thought Venice was better.

    And looks like the score for HP seems to be an Oscar lock. It also got nominated for the Grammy. Is it just me or does anyone else also think that a certain film called ‘Hugo’ seems to be sorely missing from this list? And no Best Director nod for Martin Scorsese? And will ‘The Artist’ score a Best Foreign Film nod AND A Best Pic nod at the Oscars? Signs are quite positive as of now. Obviously, the Indie Spirits that ‘The Artist’ is an American film…

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  54. Macy 4 years ago

    @OCO 300 you are OBVIOUSLY a HP fanboy/fangirl…also, did ‘Avatar’ score any acting nominations??

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  55. Dustin Chase 4 years ago

    I wanted Harry Potter to get nominated really really bad! But everyone of the 25 critics has their own opinion, all come from different backgrounds, different day jobs, time constraints, etc. Just like Academy members they choose what they want to see, etc.

    YES they did see War Horse. It made it on the top 10 and in score.

    The only films HFCS didn’t see were: In the Land of Blood & Honey, W.E., and Tyrannosaur

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  56. Dustin Chase 4 years ago

    I have seen them all, and while I thought Oldman was good in TTSS, its not a GREAT performance, even he has had MUCH better. He just has stronger competition this year.

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  57. GoOnNow 4 years ago


    no to Glenn Close, again

    yes to Tilda Swinton, again

    NOT that this means Close will be ignored by Oscar, but … it’s kinda alarming to see her co-star snatch a supporting nod; this means they’ve paid attention to the film.

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  58. Oscarcrazy 4 years ago


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  59. Macy 4 years ago

    Tilda Swinton seems to be gaining some momentum. If she ends up having a good week (nods from BFCA, SAG, GG), I think she’s virtually through.

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  60. Joe8 4 years ago

    Dustin Chase,I disagree with you. Oldman gave an amazing, masterful performance.And he deserves some major recognition.

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  61. casey 4 years ago

    I miss glen

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  62. Dustin Chase 4 years ago

    I guess thats what makes the world go around Joe, haha. I just didn’t see it as amazing. Compared to Michael Shannon it doesn’t isn’t that powerful, but just my opinion

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  63. Macy 4 years ago

    Not to digress Michael Shannon, bur I think his performance has been partly recognized due to Jessica Chastain’s omnipresence. Yes, she was nominated for ‘The Help’, but goodness me! How many films did she figure in this year?!?

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  64. Travis 4 years ago

    What’s hurting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, I think, is that it isn’t a complete film. While it is an excellent film, the fact that Warner Bros. made the decision to break it up into two parts to reap the financial benefits is probably what is holding it back to be mentioned as a Best Picture candidate from critics groups.

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  65. Manuel 4 years ago

    LOVE Shannon, Fassbender, Olsen, Swinton, McCarthy, Hugo snub

    SNUB Oldman, Close,

    The best actress list seems to me like the most likely nominees. They are very strong. So IF Charlize Theron or Glenn Close should replace someone: then WHO?

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  66. Macy 4 years ago

    @Dustin Chase: With all due respect to Gary Oldman, is his role in The Dark Knight Rises so meaty that he’ll end up getting nominated for an Oscar for that? Or, is his performance going to be THAT impactful that the Academy is definitely going to recognize it (no matter what)? Yes, in the teaser, we did see him landing in hospital. But come on, Gordon is not like The Joker (the late Heath Ledger took it to insurmountable heights). Or is it all pre-planned by the Academy that they will definitely snub Oldman for the Oscar this year, and will definitely nominate him for TDKR next year (even if someone like Tom Hardy ends up stealing the show)? I have no idea about next year’s supporting actors, but if that’s the only way the Academy is going to recognize Gary Oldman, well, whatever works…

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  67. Hans 4 years ago

    Huh, Andy Serkis again. That’s…interesting. Might he end up being one to keep watch over?

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  68. sean 4 years ago

    No Close yet McTeer gets nominated
    No DiCaprio but Hammer get nominated

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  69. Dustin Chase 4 years ago

    @ Macy,
    Of course it wont be a Ledger type performance, but Oldman has shown lots of strength in a role that could have easily been a filler role. Oldman doesn’t take any role just because, there is a reason he took the Gordon role and I think he will deliver one of his best performances in TDKR.

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  70. Proman 4 years ago

    Is Tintin really that hard to spell 😉 ?

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  71. Jenny Lee 4 years ago

    No Hugo or Martin Scorsese??? What are you doing my city??!!

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  72. Outtabucks 4 years ago

    Had a nice chuckle at worst films. I’m really excited for Andy Serkis! I feel the love! Love the acknowledgement. Sad is we all know acknowledgement is the only thing there is for Serkis in the category. He should win…. but…

    Surprising is Desplat, a pleasant surprise but I did see it coming with the reviews for Extremely Loud. I actually preferred his HP7 composition than The King’s Speech and wished for his Oscar nom on that film instead. I think he won a critic’s choice for HP7 though. Really excited for Best Score. Inclining on The Artist to win but War Horse and HP8 are what I want to win.

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  73. Ausiefied 4 years ago

    My only thought for all of the love on TTSS is that no one commenting has actually seen it. It is a boring, lame excuse for a movie and the performances were not close to award worthy. I watched it twice thinking the second time I would get it, but no – still lame.

    I was upset at the snub of Warrior for picture and acting and Arthur Christmas for animated. Winnie the Pooh – really???

    As for War Horse – if you’ve seen the play – Spielberg ruined it. If you haven’t, you might have a chance to enjoy, but he took a perfect story and butchered it to shit. I love the man, but you gotta leave great material like that alone.

    One other thing – The National had a great song in The Warrior. I hope the Oscar voters take a listen as it really brings the film together during the final fight sequence.

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  74. John 4 years ago

    Thank goodness HUGO didn’t get a nomination for BP. At least some circles don’t buy it.

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