And the Oscar for Best Actress goes to…Kristen Wiig! Best Actor…Patton Oswalt! Best Picture…Bridesmaids! Or so we wish. The Oscar nominations came in this morning and it was a great year for comedy in film! This year, the Academy will recognize many comedic talents who are often overlooked during awards season.
It was an especially huge morning for the Judd Apatow-produced Bridesmaids, a movie about a female bro-mance (‘sisterhood’ without the militancy) that had women swearing at flight attendants and defecating in wedding dresses. Comedienne Melissa McCarthy was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, a shock to many awards bloggers (but not to the comedy community). In an exciting addition, Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig were nominated for Best Original Screenplay. It looks like we all will get another opportunity to see these badass ladies dressed up together again. I know I will finally watch that hour-long red carpet event this year, a time I usually reserved for Sudoku and wondering why the sky was blue.
Also with a nomination in a major category was funnyman Jonah Hill for his portrayal of Peter Brand in Moneyball. Hill plays the numbers-crunching Yale graduate who helped Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) transform a losing baseball team into a winning franchise. In addition to an excellent acting job, Hill served as crucial comedic relief to an otherwise serious film.
More hilarious people should be in attendance at the Kodak Theatre on Feb. 26th. Among the Best Animated Feature nominees are Puss in Boots and Kung Fu Panda 2. Puss featured alt comedy giant Zach Galifianakis as the voice for Humpty Dumpty. Kung Fu Panda 2 had several comedians voicing major rolls in addition to Jack Black‘s return as the karate-chopping panda, Po. David Cross voiced Crane, Seth Rogen voiced Mantis and Danny McBride voiced Wolf Bass.
This year’s Best Original Song category boasts only two nominees this year, a rare low. One of the two songs up for the award is “Man or Muppet” from this Fall’s The Muppets. We will certainly be excited to see Jason Segel singing at this year’s awards ceremony as he contemplates his manhood (or muppethood).
The Academy tends to favor more “serious” movies, so it’s great to see a slapstick comedy/musical have a very legitimate chance of winning the highly-coveted award for Best Picture. Silent film The Artist, which won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy or Musical Feature, would be a significant move towards comedic films being recognized for their capability to mix in jokes as well as character development, storyline, production and all of those other fancy things that go into making an amazing movie.
All of this year’s comedy nominees have made Hollywood realize that it’s time to take funny people seriously! Tune in Sunday, Feb. 26 at 7 pm EST for the 84th Annual Academy Awards on ABC with host Billy Crystal!
My apologies for leaving out Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris. The film that transports an engaged Owen Wilson to the 1920s every night while on vacation in Paris earned four nominations: Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, Best Art Direction and Best Picture, to which the writer-director is nominated for two. Come awards season, (as I fallaciously did myself) the Academy tends to forget about Allen in February. It seems every other year he’s nominated for writing and/or directing, but he has not won an Oscar since Hannah and Her Sisters (1987) for his screenplay.
He’s been nominated for 23 Academy Awards– 15 for writing, seven for directing, and he snagged a Best Actor nod for Annie Hall. Midnight in Paris won the Best Original Screenplay Golden Globe, an awards ceremony that sheds some speculative light on the Oscars. So maybe this year will be the one for Allen. Although I’m not sure it will change his prolific output of films.