The nominations for the 85th Academy Awards will be released on January 10th, one week from today, and will, as history has taught us, provide endless frustration for cinephiles everywhere.
Why? Because the Oscars are silly. In concept and execution, they are a frivolous exercise, a largely substance-free attempt for Hollywood to congratulate itself, defined by industry politics and campaigning. The Academy Awards are not a bad thing, but they are also not worth putting much stock in, especially if one is a rampant film lover who probably sees twice as many films in a given year as most Academy voters. The Oscars are obnoxious because they make claim to definitiveness, but are really nothing more than a simple set of opinions, no different or superior to yours or mine.
With that in mind, I have found that one of the best remedies for alleviating Oscar-related frustrations is to simply imagine a different outcome based on my own tastes, preferences, and experience. These are my Dream Academy Award Nominations – the artists and films I would personally nominate if I put on an awards show, or, putting it another way, the artists and films I would like to see nominated in an alternate universe where the Oscars know what they are doing.
I do like these sorts of Awards in theory, and though the Oscars annoy me, I very much value this exercise for shining a light on the best achievements in individual components of filmmaking. I therefore view these Dream Nominations as my final summary of the year in film, a chance to celebrate the best elements of a highly enjoyable 2012.
These are not – and I cannot stress this enough – predictions for what the nominees will be. There is little value in making such prognostications, as the Oscars are habitually predictable, and habitually boring in their picks. I hope my choices are a little more eclectic, and if you find yourself dissatisfied, please feel free to offer your own Dream nominees in the comments. There are plenty of excellent choices to go around. I should note that these picks are, in part, based on my ballot for the 2012 Denver Film Critics Society awards, which I voted in earlier this week.
Because there are a lot of categories to get through – I am doing everything except the Short Film categories, Documentary, and Foreign Language – we will be presenting this feature in two parts. Today’s article will focus on the technical categories – Cinematography, Sound, Visual Effects, Editing, etc. – while the next part, publishing Monday, will dive into the big awards, like acting, writing, and directing.
Begin reading on the next page…