First, let me be clear that the Oscars don't matter a whole lot.
Except that they become a part of movie history. And they inspire some folks to get out and see some good movies. And they are one of the only television events that I look forward to every year.
Sure, the arts shouldn't be a horse race. But once a year, it's fun to meld culture and competition, especially when so many people have an experience with the form. Translation: It's very difficult to find people who care passionately about, say, the Tony Awards because so few people--at least here--have seen the work. And it's difficult to care about the Emmy Awards because a) there are so many categories and b) people gravitate toward the shows they like.
And so, with the 2013 Oscar nominations less than an hour old, here are some observations/opinions:
--It's a hoot that a Simpson's flick was nominated for Best Animated Short. But there it is: "Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare.'"
--Best Production Design could be the toughest category this year--although you may well be going to the rest room when it's aired. The nominees: "Anna Karenina," "The Hobbit," "Les Miserables," "Life of Pi," and "Lincoln." I'll go with "Anna Karenina" but I doubt if the Oscar will.
--The worst song in "Les Miserables" is the one written for the movie. Of course, "Suddenly" landed a nomination for Best Original Song.
--I don't think even sound editors know the difference between Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
--"Moonrise Kingdom" gets only one nomination--for Best Original Screenplay. And that it was.
--The snubs pundits will be talking about the most will be Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigalow not getting noms for the two military infiltration flicks "Argos" and "Zero Dark Thirty." (Congrats to those who won tickets to the Jan. 10 screening of the latter. Thanks for reading IBJ.)
--Much will be made of the Best Actress category having both the youngest and oldest nominations ever. And I'm sure someone in Hollywood is already planning a Lifetime Original Movie starring Emmanuelle Riva and Quvenzhané Wallis.
--Naomi Watts is very good in "The Impossible" and I wish I had pushed for her in the Indiana Film Journalists awards this year.
--Helen Hunt is the lead actress in "The Sessions," not supporting actress (as she is nominated). Ditto for Sally Field in "Lincoln."
--My favorite films of the year not to get any nominations: "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," "Starry, Starry Night," and "Safety Not Guaranteed."
What about your Oscar nomination observations?