Oscar Blows It

Hugo leads the nominations with 11
The wait is over, but was it worth it? The mystery of how many films would be nominated for Best Picture was answered today. There are nine. Hugo leads with 11 nominations. It's joined by Midnight in Paris, The Descendants, and front-runner The Artist, but the wacky new voting system also allowed lesser films like War Horse and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close to squeeze in. As further proof that one can always buy one's way into the ceremony, Demian Bichir scored a surprise Best Actor nomination for A Better Life. I think every other time I logged on to Twitter I saw someone tweeting that they were heading out to a lunch for the film, or a screening, or some other variety of schmoozing. Bichir's nom means that one of the early faves was squeezed out, and that person is ... MICHAEL FASSBENDER. What?! At least Gary Oldman found his way in for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. But, wow. Snubbing Fassy for Bichir is a joke. Like War Horse for Best Picture bad. Adding insult to injury was a snub for Tilda Swinton's performance in We Need to Talk About Kevin, and Shailene Woodley got bumped from Best Supporting Actress.
My sentiments exactly
There are some goodies, though. Terrence Malick and Tree of Life were nominated when it seemed like the film had no chance in hell. It was also a good day for Canada, with Monsieur Lazhar  landing a Best Foreign Film nom, plus two nominations in the animated short category for the NFB films Dimanche and Wild Life (both of which were posted here last week)
And let us rejoice for the nominations for Woody Allen, Meryl Streep, Jessica Chastain, and Christopher Plummer!

The nominees are:

Best Picture
The Artist  - Thomas Langmann, Producer
The Descendants  - Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - Scott Rudin, Producer
The Help  - Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
Hugo  - Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
Midnight in Paris  - Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
Moneyball  - Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
Tree of Life - Nominees to be determined
War Horse  - Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Best Actor
Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Best Actress
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Drag on Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Supporting Actress
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Animated Feature Film
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Pa nda 2
Puss in Boots

The Artist
Production Design: Laurence Bennett
Set Decoration: Robert Gould
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Part 2
Production Design: Stuart Craig
Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
Production Design: Dante Ferretti
Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
Midnight in Paris
Production Design: Anne Seibel
Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil
War Horse
Production Design: Rick Carter
Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

The Artist, Guillaume Schiffman
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Jeff Cronenweth
Hugo, Robert Richardson
The Tree of Life, Emmanuel Lubezki
War Horse, Janusz Kaminski

Anonymous, Lisy Christl
The Artist, Mark Bridges
Hugo, Sandy Powell
Jane Eyre, Michael O’Connor
W.E., Arianne Phillips

The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants, Alexander Payne
Hugo, Martin Scorsese
Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen
The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick

Hell and Back Again, Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
Pina, Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
Undefeated, TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas

The Artist, Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants, Kevin Tent
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
Hugo, Thelma Schoonmaker
Moneyball, Christopher Tellefsen

Foreign Language Film
Bullhead, Belgium
Footnote, Israel
In Darkness, Poland
Monsieur Lazhar, Canada
A Separation, Iran

Albert Nobbs, Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and
Matthew W. Mungle
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin
The Iron Lady, Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Music (Original Score )
The Adventures of Tintin, John Williams
The Artist, Ludovic Bource
Hugo, Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Alberto Iglesias
War Horse, John Williams

Music (Ori ginal Song)
“Man or Muppet,” The Muppets, Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio,” Rio Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown, Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Short Film (Animated)
Dimanche/Sunday, Patrick Doyon
The Fantastic Flying Books of
Mr. Morris Lessmore, William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
La Luna, Enrico Casarosa
A Morning Stroll, Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
Wild Life, Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

Short Film (Live Action)
Pentecost, Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane
Raj u, Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
The Shore, Terry George and Oorlagh George
Time Freak, Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
Tuba Atlantic, Hallvar Witzø
Hugo, Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
War Horse, Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and
Bo Persson
Hugo, Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
Moneyball Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboushand Peter J. Devlin
War Horse
Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and
Stuart Wilson

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Pa rt 2 Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
Hugo, Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
Real Steel, Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

(Adapted Screenplay)
The Descendants
Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Hugo, Screenplay by John Logan
The Ides of March
Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin Story by Stan Chervin
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

(Original Screenplay )
The Artist
Written by Michel Hazanavicius
Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
Margin Call
Written by J.C. Chandor
Midnight in Paris
Written by Woody Allen
A Separation
Written by Asghar Farhadi

See sidebar for reviews of all films. I never wrote a review for A Better Life, but I believe I tweeted some praise for Bichir's performance, but called the film out for being the sentimental fodder that it is.