by Rob Boylan
The Artist will win this award tomorrow night. Some people will be happy, some people will be livid. Most people will shrug because they haven't seen it. I will probably shrug even though I have seen it.
I liked it as a film. It was fun and whimsical and, most importantly for a gimmick film, didn't overstay its welcome. But it was not a film that moved me. Not by any stretch. If it weren't nominated for so many awards (and the damn dog), it would probably be kind of forgettable, honestly.
So, my breakdown for the nominations goes like this:
Hugo moved me.
The Tree of Life moved me.
Midnight in Paris moved the part of me with the same wistful problem with the present as Gil.
Moneyball moved the baseball fan in me, though I'm not much for rooting for the underdog (and my team was the one who mercilessly beat the A's bookend style).
War Horse moved me briefly in two or three spots (once with the French family, once with the German horse wrangler), but never fully or really powerfully.
The Descendants kinda almost sorta moved me but then at the end it didn't.
The Help wasn't as terribly lame as I thought it was going to be, though it didn't move me.
The Artist made me smile.
And maybe Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a great film, but I will probably never see it because I remember 9/11 quite well enough without pouring salt on it.
I guess the thing I'm most surprised about with this category is that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 wasn't nominated, Return of the King style. How many billions of dollars did the franchise bring in, and how many academy members (and Academy members' friends) have been in it? It's just such an awful snub. It's not a travesty, but it is kind of a bitch slap. You can't say it's because they never nominate children's fantasy (how about Hugo?), or sequels (Godfather II and II, Toy Story 3), or movies about wizards (how about Return of the King?), or that it didn't have a high enough caliber of actor in it (Jesus, I'm not listing them all). I don't know what you can say besides it being a bitchslap.