One of the editors here gave me a hard time for not getting more agitated in my Oscars nominations story about some of the slights, snubs and outright omissions on the list of candidates for the 82nd Academy Awards.
As the guy who said Fantastic Mr. Fox was not only the best animated film of the year, but the best cussin’ any-kind-of-film of the year, one would think I’d be peeved that the only recognition Wes Anderson’s stop-motion gem managed to get from the Academy was nods for best animated feature and best original score. No best adapted screenplay nomination (from the Roald Dahl book), no best actor for George Clooney, nor actress for Meryl Streep (they had to be satisfied with their respective salutes for the lesser endeavors, Up In the Air and Julie & Julia, instead).
Well, what can I say? After months of championing this brilliant existential caper movie and its portrait of a marriage, its trenchant examination of our innate animal instincts - and not to mention its compelling use of tweed and corduroy – I’ve resigned myself to the fact that Fantastic Mr. Fox is not a mass appeal thing. Maybe if Sandra Bullock had been in it, and the sport depicted was football and not whack-bat, Anderson’s ingenious and charming classic would have been recognized as THE INSIPRED WORK OF ARTISTRY IT IS!
Other neglected films/performances/contributions in -- or not in -- the roster announced Tuesday, as far as I’m concerned:
Nothing but a costume kudo for Jane Campion’s exquisite Romantic poet romance, Bright Star (Abbie Cornish over Sandra Bullock, I say).
No props for Michael Stuhlbarg, who stars as the tormented 1960s college prof in the Coen Brothers’ best picture nominee, A Serious Man (not to be confused with Colin Firth, who was accorded an Oscar nomination for his role as a tormented 1960s college prof in A Single Man).
And In the Loop for best adapted screenplay? (Insert your colorful Armando Iannucci Britspeak expletive here.) What should have gotten that slot: Scott Cooper’s adaptation of the Thomas Cobb novel, Crazy Heart. Or, hey, have I mentioned Wes Anderson and co-writer Noah Baumbach’s brilliant reexamination of the Roald Dahl children’s book about a fox on the prowl for chickens and high-alcohol apple cider?