Cursory post regarding today’s announcement of the Oscar nominations

Why I’m Happy:
One word: Dogtooth.
The Oscar nom for Best Foreign Language Film will bring a whole new wave of publicity and (hopefully unprepared – just to see their faces!) viewers to this insane, disturbing, tar-black comedy from Greece. If it wins, it will just about make up for last year’s travesty when Haneke’s The White Ribbon and Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet were trumped in this category by the glossy thriller The Secret in Their Eyes.

Why I’m Sad:

No acting nominations for the brilliant Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine), Andrew Garfield or, for that matter, Justin Timberlake (both The Social Network). Neither, perhaps unsurprisingly, for Joaquin Phoenix’s confoundingly committed portrayal of himself as a barking mad twat in I’m Still Here.

Why I’m not really best-placed to comment on the Best Picture award, but will anyway:

I’ve yet to see a number of the big hitters – to wit: Winter’s Bone, True Grit, The King’s Speech and The Fighter. Of the nominees I have seen, I would have to say I probably found The Social Network, 127 Hours and Toy Story 3 equally enjoyable. The Social Network, for its lightning topicality, snappy script and understated, super-tight direction from David Fincher, probably has the best case of the three.

Contrastingly I found Inception to be a glittering, occasionally visually stunning cavity, hopelessly in love with how clever it believed it was being. And as for Black Swan, well, I think we’ve found the next Moulin Rouge. It’s neither analogous in form or content to Baz Luhrmann’s disgusting shower of multicoloured cinematic piss, but I think it will divide people in the same way. I’ve yet to meet anyone ambivalent about either film.

Why, despite being sufficiently motivated to write a blog post, I don’t really care that much:

Because this is the Oscars, for Christ’s sake. Yes, they are high in glamour and excitement, but after all, they are far from a true barometer of quality. In the case of Dogtooth and Winter’s Bone (fantastic, I’m told), the Oscars can do a great job in raising the status of smaller pictures. However, let us not forget that this is the same awards ceremony that gave the Best Picture Oscar to Driving Miss Daisy when Do The Right Thing wasn’t even nominated. Oh, and Crash too, which is possibly the worst film ever made.

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