Words: Rob DeStefano & James Passarelli

For thousands of years, the Grammys have been the most relevant of the four award shows, but after bestowing upon some chump named Bon Iver the sought-after Best New Artist honor, they might find themselves trailing the Academy by the month’s end.  Sure, the Oscars picked their fair share of losers this year: from silent movies (I’m told that’s how they used to do all of them – yikes!) to comedies (who wants to laugh?), but they redeemed themselves with nominees that reminded us of the joys of nineteenth century race relations, the inspiration animals have on all of us, and the delicate manner in which national tragedies can be remembered and replayed.  So this year, we just thought we would give our two cents on the best and the brightest in film in 2011, as well as reminding everyone all those filmic masterpieces that tragically slipped through the cracks (it would seem the Academy forgot Joel Schumacher is still making movies).  And the Ferret goes to…

Supporting Actress

If this awards show took the Delorean back fifty years, a catchy little diddy might have played as this category’s nominees were announced:

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

There is no clear indication as to who will leave the stage holding this statuette. After receiving the Rising Star Award and the Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema Award at the BAFTA Film ceremony, January Jones (X-Men: First Class) is as good a contender as any. In the other corner is Ryan Gosling, whose unselfish ways and social campaign gained him much accreditation in the feminist community. It was quite the year for gender exchanges, but Gosling refused to be grouped into the Supporting Actor category for his performance as Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids. He commented to E! “This one’s for the girls.” Other opposition comes in the form of Bérénice Bejo (The Artist), Jessica Chastain (Was in 50 Movies this Year) and last, but certainly not least, Octavia Spencer (The Help: It Began with a Whisper).

Did you guess which thing was not like the others?
Did you guess which thing just doesn’t belong?

In the News: After Anna Paquin revealed herself on True Blood, the academy decided to no longer award young people, fearing that they too would turn into little monsters. Shay Woodley (The Descendants) was given a day pass to Six Flags instead. Elle Fanning (Super 8) will be allowed to stay up until 9:30 on the first night of Spring.

Leading Actress

Will Meryl Streep take home this year’s top honor for her staunch portrayal of British punk icon M. Thatcher? – Outlook not so good. Is this the year for the adorable pixie Michelle Williams to bask in the same glory felt by Marilyn Monroe at the Golden Globes in 1960 (hosted by Billy Crystal)? – Don’t count on it. The 84th and final Academy Award for Best Actress is sure to be awarded to Glenn Close for her transcendent work in Albert Nobbs. Glenn’s transformation into a male waiter required far more than just make-up and the hysterectomy, it demanded her undying commitment to male nuance and technique. This authoritative performer defied her director Rodrigo García’s tactics of simple research and repetition. Glenn went above and beyond, spending weeks hiding in the backseat of Mickey Rourke’s car, sipping the dregs out of Budweiser cans and learning how to effectively conceal a fart while bargaining with a hooker – her self-training for Albert Nobbs began back in the 90s and showed slightly during her role in Air Force One. But after two decades of stalking, she brought her character to fruition in what Peter Travers calls, “A velvety performance! The scissor scene with Mia Wasikowska is surprisingly wholesome.” When critiquing the film as a whole, Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune writes, “My grandmother walked right out of War Horse and straight into Albert Nobbs, and hasn’t left.” Glenn’s work in one of the year’s best films is an undeniable gift; there is no other lead female more deserving of the prize.

NOTE: Albert Nobbs is currently released with an R rating, but will be redistributed by Roadside Attractions with a PG-13 rating as requested by fans for the whole family to enjoy.

Originally there was backlash regarding neglect for Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia), but the air was cleared when Lars von Trier spoke for Miss Dunst, stating that she is too despondent to accept the nomination and that she will respectfully transfer it to Octavia Davis – Trier apologists swore it was not a racist comment.

Rumor Has It that Elisabeth Olsen received a nomination for Martha Marcy May Marlene but replied back to the Academy with, “Go Fuck Yourself!” She was promptly removed from the ballot, along with Charlize Theron, whom they assume to be an accomplice in the volatile behavior.

Supporting Actor

Let me just get this straight.  Max von Sydow played a deaf man, but he isn’t deaf?  How exactly does that work?  Did Scott Rudin, producer of EL&IC (the simple mnemonic by which the film will forever be recognized), create some sort of temporary reverse cochlear implant?  According to my research, it seems the 82-year old von Sydow is just that cunning.  It’s a Shame, because at first glance, Jonah Hill seemed to be this year’s Hailee Steinfeld – wait, she didn’t win after all, forget I even mentioned her.  Regardless, von Sydow is up against competition as stiff as Fassbender’s – hey, didn’t Clash of the Titans have any supporting actors?  Damn, that was 2010, and according to the rule book, beards don’t count as people (what is this, Russia?).

Leading Actor

Rin Tin Tin – Hollywood’s lead canine actor of the 1920s – posthumously received a key to New York City, but sadly, and despite human protest, never received an Oscar. Animals – with the exception of Nicholas Cage – have not been eligible for this accolade… until now. Dujardin. Oldman. Pitt. Bichir. Clooney. Fassbender’s Penis. Yes, 2011 was the year of the animal, just not you, Andy Serkis. Michael Fassbender’s snub for Shame makes perfect sense: how is it morally right to reward a man for the work of his appendage? His face delivered vapid stares, nearly expunging all meaning from director Steve McQueen’s film, while his flagrant exposure of his navel resulted in the NC-17 rating that kept audiences out of the theaters. Though Fassbender’s mortal being ran amok from scene to scene, his genitalia pulled his dead weight, much like it pulled a submarine from the ocean in his superhero debut. It’s a remarkable penis who is capable of rifling through emotions without ever missing its mark. Its poise and brilliance are advantageous, but even so, it’s not too late for Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) to flash his at the pre-ceremony and gain some recognition.

Director

The Stallion is a religious man, as reflected in many of his films. So it’s not an exaggeration to say that if he doesn’t take home the win for Hugo 3D, Catholics might as well have fasted this Friday in the name of our lord, McG.

His past direction of antiheroes, ambivalent morals, and seedy crime rings – Martin Scorsese this is, not McG – is nothing in comparison to his guidance of Asa Butterfield as Orphan Hugo Cabaret. In the hands of a less equipped director, Butterfield’s nasal mucus might not have dripped with such deliberation. Scorsese fills each and every snot release with the texture of Matthew Goode’s menstruation mixed with the palpable vibrancy of film pioneer Georges Méliès. Now put that in three dimensions, and you’ve got 2011’s biggest directorial achievement!

The biggest upset in this category is Terrence Malick’s nomination: no narrative in your film should = no ticket to the ceremony. Rejections include Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) for making a thriller that was boring – unlike Fast Five – and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) for undoing the societal equity created by The Help.

Cinematography

Animated Picture

Remember the Shrek we all knew and loved?  Now you don’t have to!  Because the franchise’s latest prequel spinoff doesn’t even feature Mike Myers’s green ogre persona.  And who better to revive the limping – I mean, thriving – DreamWorks series than Chris Miller, the man who directed the cherished Shrek the Third?  Anonymous sources talk of rumors that DreamWorks has signed Miller on for a dozen more Shrek movies in the hopes of outlasting Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies in a studio war of attrition.  Thankfully, they’ve cloned the middle-aged director in the unlikely event that his mind and body fail him before 2030 – thank god, considering a director’s pivotal role in any animated feature.  Miller’s only flaw is that he doesn’t seem to take his career seriously enough.

If Puss in Boots doesn’t come home with the statuette:  look for Kung Fu Panda 2 to snatch it.  After all, no one takes non-sequels seriously in this category.

Adapted Screenplay

I’ll be honest.  I can’t even tell from what some of these nominated scripts were adapted.  Add two sets of parentheses to indie director Alexander “Max” Payne’s The Descendants, and you get The Descen(dan)t(s), Neil Marshall’s 2005 cave-diving zombie flick.  Coincidence?  Ha, keep telling yourself that.  I can only hope Scorcese’s beloved Hugo was cribbed from Hugo Weaving’s unreleased memoirs.  And I’m guessing Moneyball is a shot-for-shot remake of an early Ron Jeremy picture.

But now that we’ve made it through some of the nominees, let’s talk snubs.  Or snub, singular, really.  IF’s pick is Jack and Jill, adapted from same-self director Dennis Dugan’s 2010 summer smash hit, Grown Ups.  For those who bemoaned the lame Dugan-Sandler team ups of the 90s (Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy), worry not.  The Illinois native has upped his game since I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.  And Jack and Jill’s $135 million box office performance is proof that America still has a sense of humor.  The film, deriving its title from the popular nursery rhyme of the same name, follows the lives of Jack Sadelstein (Adam Sandler) and his wife Erin (Katie Holmes), and Al Pacino (himself).  But when Jack’s sister Jill (Adam Sandler) comes to town, things start to – you’ve seen the previews?  Why didn’t you say so?

Picture

Although there are, in fact, other lowly nominees (the perfectly round number of nine altogether, the only nine movies one could conceivably deem “the best”), this wonderfully existent category goes (horribly) far and (ridiculously) away to Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.  Between the unbelievably aforementioned von Sydow, kid Jeopardy! winner Thomas Horn, the noxiously likable Sandra Bullock and yellably frantic Tom Hanks, this wildly touching film is a shiningly example of how a movie can be painstakingly made without being overdonely or insultingly.


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