By now you have all seen this year's Oscar nominations, released yesterday, in Beverly Hills, California. Nine films were nominated for Best Picture, including Hugo, Moneyball, War Horse, The Artist, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Midnight in Paris and The Tree of Life. Fun stuff, especially if you hated War Horse as much as our Pete Vonder Haar did. Absent from the major categories was Ryan Gosling's Drive, which just months ago was considered an Oscar shoo-in. Too much sexy for the Academy?
Of course, the Oscars try their best to recognize all the great films of the past year, in their own way. But often this falls short of public expectation. People will either tell you they want fewer categories or more categories. As it stands now, the telecast, set for February 26, 2012, already runs nearly four hours in length.
Categories such as Original Score, Film Editing, Cinematography, Costume Design, and Makeup are all fine and dandy, but some of them confuse and bewilder the folks at home. "What does a director do that a cinematographer doesn't?" we have heard now and then.
"So, what categories are the Oscars missing?" I asked the peanut gallery on Facebook. Is there a significant part of the moviegoing experience that the powers that be are not recognizing? Of course there is!
It's not as if there will ever be a shortage of biopics, and within the next three years there will be an Abraham Lincoln movie, two Linda Lovelace pictures and possibly a Teddy Roosevelt picture. Let's get The History Channel to sponsor this category.
"I wish they'd break up drama and comedy like the Golden Globes do, so comedies would have a better shot at being recognized. Good comedies rarely get the credit they deserve," said my friend Krista. A comedy category would have assured that early frontrunner and today's shut-out Bridesmaids would have walked away with a nom. But alas...
Most Oscar-nominated films are dramas by their function, so this category in essence would hold the flicks that are Oscar bait anyway. Your Iron Lady and whatnot.
Best Social Media Campaign
Which PR campaign worked the best? Which film had the biggest impact on Facebook and Twitter, these are all things that could be honored, but, sadly, it would probably just make us turned off by the movie it was to be touting.
Best Theater Lobby Display For Teens To Desecrate Whether it be gigantic Chipmunks statues or a life-size cardboard Jessica Alba in a bikini, we must honor those brave theater displays that undergo mass humpings every summer and holiday season.
Burn! Hollywood! Burn! How to pick the "best" of something would be difficult considering so many of these are awful, though films like The Departed proved that you could remake previously released material and create something slam-bang awesome. Maybe "Best Remake Of A Foreign Film" fits better?
Best Action Sequence
The only problem with this one, that multiple friends brought forward, would be the inherent MTV-ness of such an award. Otherwise it would be fun to see stunt folks honored while they are still alive, though most of their jobs are being sourced out to eggheads on computers in 2012.
Best RIDR: Rapper In A Dramatic Role
My friend Marshall brought up this one, which could be tweaked to be "Best Musician In A Dramatic Role." There could be hope for you yet, Beyoncé!
Emma Stone's Southern drawl in last year's The Help made some people fall in love with her all over again. People have been trying to do their best Vito Corleone since 1972, to everyone's chagrin. This would also honor the dialect coaches who try so hard to make Gwyneth Paltrow sound like a human too.
Best Fashion Movement To Come From Movie
Which hairstyle had all the girls running to the salon? What jacket was so-and-so wearing that ended up at Nordstrom's for three thousand bucks? I did see a few guys sporting satin coats like Gosling wore in Drive after the film was released, but this was in Austin, so maybe that doesn't count. All it takes is another Sex and the City movie to gum up the works, though.