OSCARS 2012: Know Your Nominees:Best Picture

In the days leading up to the 84th Academy Awards, FilmBuffOnline will be offering profiles on all the nominees in the major categories. Some may be well know, others might be new to you, but if you need a refresher on these talented nominees, here it is.

The Artist

Producer: Thomas Langmann

Release date: November 25, 2011

Box office gross as of February 1, 2011; $41,169,740 (Domestic: $17,030,695, Foreign: $24,139,045)

IMDB Synopsis: Hollywood, 1927: As silent movie star George Valentin wonders if the arrival of talking pictures will cause him to fade into oblivion, he sparks with Peppy Miller, a young dancer set for a big break.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 10 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Achievement in Art Direction; Best Achievement in Cinematography;Best Achievement in Costume Design; Best Achievement in Directing; Best Achievement in Film Editing; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Writing, Original Screenplay)

Other honors for this film:

Won, Best Film, The 2011 Washington DC Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Picture, New York Film Critics Circle.

Won, Best Picture, Boston Society of Film Critics.

Won, Best Picture, 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Won, Best Picture-Musical or Comedy, The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Won, Best Feature Film, 2012 Producers Guild Awards.

Won, Best Film, 2012 BAFTA Awards.

Nominated, Best Feature, 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 97% (178 Positive Reviews, 5 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: A crowd-pleasing tribute to the magic of silent cinema, The Artist is a clever, joyous film with delightful performances and visual style to spare.

Dissenting Opinion: “Ignores everything that’s fascinating and memorable about the silent-film era, focusing instead on a patchwork of general knowledge, so eroded of inconvenient facts that it doesn’t even qualify as a roman à clef.”–Jamie N. Christley, Slant Magazine.

Official Site: http://weinsteinco.com/sites/the-artist/

The Descendants

Producers: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor

Release date: November 16, 2011

Box office gross as of February 1, 2011; $86,086,672 (Domestic: $59,186,672, Foreign: $26,900,000)

IMDB Synopsis: A land baron tries to re-connect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 5 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Achievement in Directing; Best Achievement in Film Editing; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role; Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay)

Other honors for this film:

Nominated, Best Film, The 2011 Washington DC Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Picture, 37th Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Picture, 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Won, Best Picture-Drama, The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Best Feature Film, 2012 Producers Guild Awards.

Nominated, Best Film, 2012 BAFTA Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 90%  (192 Positive Reviews, 22 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Funny, moving, and beautifully acted, The Descendants captures the unpredictable messiness of life with eloquence and uncommon grace.

Dissenting Opinion: “From beginning to end, everything that happens in “The Descendants” feels false.”–Chris Hewitt, St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Official Site: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/thedescendants/

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Producer: Scott Rudin

Release date: December 25, 2011

Box office gross as of February 1, 2011; $21,960,998 (Domestic only)

IMDB Synopsis: A nine-year-old amateur inventor, Francophile, and pacifist searches New York City for the lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his father, who died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 2 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role)

Other honors for this film:

Nominated, Best Picture, 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 46% (59 Positive Reviews, 69 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close has a story worth telling, but it deserves better than the treacly and pretentious treatment director Stephen Daldry gives it.

Dissenting Opinion: “It’s a unique journey that’s equal parts sympathy card and celebration of human resilience.”–Richard Roeper, RichardRoeper.com.

Official Site: http://extremelyloudandincrediblyclose.warnerbros.com/index.html

The Help

Producers: Brunson Green, Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan

Release date: August 10, 2011

Box office gross as of February 1, 2011; $205,313,398 (Domestic: $193,613.398, Foreign: $35,700,00)

IMDB Synopsis: An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maid’s point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 4 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role x2)

Other honors for this film:

Nominated, Best Picture, 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Nominated, Best Picture-Drama, The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Best Feature Film, 2012 Producers Guild Awards.

Nominated, Best Film, 2012 BAFTA Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 76% (149 Positive Reviews, 47 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Though arguably guilty of glossing over its racial themes, The Help rises on the strength of its cast — particularly Viola Davis, whose performance is powerful enough to carry the film on its own.

Dissenting Opinion: “”The Help” comes out on the losing end of the movies’ social history. The best film roles three black women will have all year require one of them to clean Ron Howard’s daughter’s house. It’s self-reinforcing movie imagery.”–Wesley Morris. Boston Globe.

Official Site: http://www.dreamworksstudios.com/films/the-help

Hugo

Producers: Graham King, Martin Scorsese

Release date: November 23, 2011

Box office gross as of February 1, 2011; $90,001,874 (Domestic: $59,301,874, Foreign: $30,700,000)

IMDB Synopsis: Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 11 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Achievement in Art Direction; Best Achievement in Cinematography;Best Achievement in Costume Design; Best Achievement in Directing; Best Achievement in Film Editing; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score; Best Achievement in Sound Editing; Best Achievement in Sound Mixing; Best Achievement in Visual Effects; Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay)

Other honors for this film:

Nominated, Best Film, The 2011 Washington DC Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Film, National Board of Review.

Nominated, Best Picture, 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Nominated, Best Picture-Drama, The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Best Feature Film, 2012 Producers Guild Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 94% (177 Positive Reviews, 11 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Hugo is an extravagant, elegant fantasy with an innocence lacking in many modern kids’ movies, and one that emanates an unabashed love for the magic of cinema.

Dissenting Opinion: “It’s as if David Copperfield wandered into a History of Film lecture. Maybe it isn’t a great idea to wait till you’re nearly 70 to make your first kid movie.”–Kyle Smith, New York Post.

Official Site: http://www.hugomovie.com/

Midnight In Paris

Producers: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum

Release date: May 20, 2011

Box office gross as of February 1, 2011; $148,333,649 (Domestic: $56,473,065, Foreign: $91,860,584)

IMDB Synopsis: A romantic comedy about a family traveling to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple forced to confront the illusion that a life different from their own is better.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 4 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Achievement in Directing; Best Achievement in Art Direction; Best Writing, Original Screenplay)

Other honors for this film:

Nominated, Best Picture, 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Nominated, Best Picture-Musical or Comedy, The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Best Feature Film, 2012 Producers Guild Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 93% (179 Positive Reviews, 14 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: It may not boast the depth of his classic films, but the sweetly sentimental Midnight in Paris is funny and charming enough to satisfy Woody Allen fans.

Dissenting Opinion: “Pure Woody Allen. Which is not to say great or even good Woody, but a distillation of the filmmaker’s passions and crotchets, and of his tendency to pass draconian judgment on characters the audience is not supposed to like.”–Richard Corliss, Time Magazine.

Official Site: http://www.sonyclassics.com/midnightinparis/

Moneyball

Producers: Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, Brad Pitt

Release date: September 23, 2011

Box office gross as of February 1, 2011; $106,781,156 (Domestic: $75,605,492, Foreign: $31,175,664)

IMDB Synopsis: The story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 7 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Achievement in Film Editing; Best Achievement in Sound Mixing; Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay;Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role; Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role)

Other honors for this film:

Nominated, Best Picture, 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Nominated, Best Picture-Drama, The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Best Feature Film, 2012 Producers Guild Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 95% (203 Positive Reviews, 11 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Director Bennett Miller, along with Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, take a niche subject and turn it into a sharp, funny, and touching portrait worthy of baseball lore.

Dissenting Opinion: “Those who enter the cinema unstirred by either the sport or by the joys of stats are unlikely to come out converts.”–Catherine Shoard, The Guardian.

Official Site: http://www.moneyball-movie.com/site/

The Tree of Life

Producers: Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Dede Gardner, Grant Hill

Release date: May 27, 2011

Box office gross as of February 1, 2011; $54,303,319 (Domestic: $13,303,319 , Foreign: $41,000,000)

IMDB Synopsis: The story centers around a family with three boys in the 1950s. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 3 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Achievement in Cinematography; Best Achievement in Directing)

Other honors for this film:

Runner-Up, Best Picture, 37th Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Picture, San Francisco Film Critics Circle.

Nominated, Best Picture, 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 84% (203 Positive Reviews, 38 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Terrence Malick’s singularly deliberate style may prove unrewarding for some, but for patient viewers, Tree of Life is an emotional as well as visual treat.

Dissenting Opinion: “[Malick is] a meticulous visionary who knows where to place a camera, but he hasn’t a clue about how to tell a story with simplicity and coherence.”–Rex Reed, New York Observer.

Official Site: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/thetreeoflife/

War Horse

Producers: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy

Release date: December 25, 2011

Box office gross as of February 1, 2011; $111,380,706 (Domestic: $75,980,706 , Foreign: $35,400,000)

IMDB Synopsis: Young Albert enlists to service in WWI after his beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry. Albert’s hopeful journey takes him out of England and across Europe as the war rages on.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 6 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Achievement in Art Direction; Best Achievement in Cinematography; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score; Best Achievement in Sound Editing; Best Achievement in Sound Mixing)

Other honors for this film:

Nominated, Best Picture, 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Nominated, Best Picture-Drama, The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Best Feature Film, 2012 Producers Guild Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 76% (149 Positive Reviews, 46 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Technically superb, proudly sentimental, and unabashedly old-fashioned, War Horse is an emotional drama that tugs the heartstrings with Spielberg’s customary flair.

Dissenting Opinion: “It’s overlong, painfully earnest and sometimes even hokey.”–Christy Lemire, Associated Press.

Official Site: http://www.warhorsemovie.com/

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About William Gatevackes 1929 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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