TECH SUPPORT: Post mortem

Posted by · 12:17 pm · February 5th, 2010

Michael Gambon in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceSo here we are. For the most part, the crafts category nominations weren’t surprising, and there is not a single film that fared drastically better – or worse – than I expected.

As for comments on individual categories? In Best Cinematography, Bruno Delbonnel’s nomination for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” has got to be one of the biggest surprises of the year. The other nominees were completely expected. Dion Beebe apparently couldn’t overcome “Nine”’s collapse.

On the other hand, John Myrhe managed to make it in for Rob Marshall’s musical in Best Art Direction after missing with both BAFTA and the guild. Nominations for “Avatar” and, in my opinion, “Sherlock Holmes” were to be expected. But the other nominees were slightly surprising.

“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” was richly deserving but still surprising. And “The Young Victoria” evidently had more support than I first thought. The real snub here, however, is David Wasco. If he can’t get in for “Inglourious Basterds,” I’m not sure what it’ll take.

Meanwhile, in Best Costume Design, nominations for “The Young Victoria,” “Nine,” “Coco Before Chanel” and, to a lesser extent, “Bright Star” were to be expected. Anna B. Sheppard was a surprising snub for “Inglourious Basterds.” Rather, Monique Prudhomme received her first nomination, a tribute to the visually imaginative film.

While snubs for art direction and costume design were disappointing for Tarantino’s latest, it received somewhat surprising success in the sound categories at the expense of “District 9.” I did correctly guess seven of the other 10 nominees, however. I correctly predicted that “Up” would be cited for sound editing and not sound mixing. I missed “The Hurt Locker” in sound editing but that is hardly shocking. Everything else was precisely what I expected.

Toni Servillo in Il DivoIn the film editing category, we had a fair bit of predictability. “The Hurt Locker,” “Avatar” and “District 9,” each of them guild nominees, were highly likely.  But Sally Menke returned to the race for “Inglourious Basterds,” despite a guild snub.  I was, however, surprised, if not shocked, to see Joel Klotz sneak in for “Precious” over “Up in the Air” and “Star Trek.”

Meanwhile, the makeup field has proven itself for the umpteenth year in a row to be a completely unpredictable category. I really thought this was the one category “District 9” was guaranteed of winning. Instead, it is snubbed for “The Young Victoria” (whose nomination I do respect, if only for the fact that it acknowledges hairstyling’s role in this analysis) and “Il Divo” (which I should have figured out as soon as it was shortlisted). Alas, I’d venture to say “Star Trek” is virtually assured of winning this category.

As for the other category with three nominees – Best Visual Effects – nominations for “Avatar,” “District 9” and “Star Trek” were to be expected.

And then there is the crazy music branch. In Best Original Score, things were predictably unpredictable beyond the inevitable Horner and Giacchino nominations. Marvin Hamlisch’s dry spell continues, while I found the absence of “A Single Man” to be appalling. Instead, we saw Hans Zimmer finally return to the race for “Sherlock Holmes” and Alexandre Desplat perhaps cementing himself as a deserved regular nominee. Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders’s nomination for “The Hurt Locker” was VERY surprising, but the more I think about this, the more I realize what a creative job they did.

And then we arrive at Best Original Song. James Horner’s atrocious piece from “Avatar” managed to be slighted. I’m really happy. Apart from that, we have our likely winner, in “Crazy Heart”’s “The Weary Kind,” two Randy Newman nominations for “The Princess and the Frog,” a nomination for the better “Nine” song (“Take It All”), and the semi-annual foreign tune.

So there are the tech category nominees for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. See you in a few weeks for a final analysis.

What are you predicting to win throughout the crafts fields?  Cut loose with your thoughts in the comments section below!

→ 20 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Tech Support

20 responses so far

  • 1 2-05-2010 at 12:29 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    art direction and costume snubs for inglourious basterds made me sad, makeup is pretty weak this year, rooting for bright star in costumes

  • 2 2-05-2010 at 12:29 pm

    Vito said...

    I too was absolutely appalled that A Single Man’s score was not recognized. In my opinion, it was easily the year’s best.

  • 3 2-05-2010 at 12:33 pm

    Rob Cameron said...

    I am not in any way of fan of The Hurt Locker’s nomination for Best Original Score. It would’ve seemed like a creative, thoughtful choice if it weren’t such a blatant sucking of the movie’s dick. And if you listen to it it’s pretty obvious that it on more than one occasion steals from a superior score: Johnny Greenwood’s work for There Will Be Blood. And the snub for Giacchino’s score for Star Trek is, for me, unforgivable. Its omission and Hurt Locker’s inclusion is, for me, the equivalent of Star Wars’ score being snubbed in favor of the ambient sound in Annie Hall. What a crock of shit.

  • 4 2-05-2010 at 12:48 pm

    Jake said...

    I agree that the cinematography nomination for Bruno Delbonnel was a surprise, but it was definitely a good surprise. I definitely think that the nomination is well deserved.

  • 5 2-05-2010 at 1:18 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    FYI: This is Gerard’s column, not mine. We had the wrong byline up for about an hour.

  • 6 2-05-2010 at 1:20 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Rob: The composers don’t exactly think that way, re: lazy voting for frontrunners (to use a kinder phrase than your rather vulgar assessment). They thought it was a fine score, and indeed, it was. You have no way of knowing what they would go for since there is no precursor with overlapping membership, and the score was well-represented by an LA agency that works closely with the original scores, so chalk it up to “they liked it” and move on.

    I agree that Giacchino should have been given a fairer shake for his Star Trek work, however.

  • 7 2-05-2010 at 1:20 pm

    Edward L. said...

    Was Delbonnel such a surprise? He hadn’t received any other nominations anywhere for HP6, but ever since the film was released, commenters in the blogosphere have ben acclaiming the cinematography as among the year’s best, with many people predicting it (or hoping for it) to turn up at the Oscars. I wasn’t surprised – just disappointed that, among a fine bunch, there wasn’t room for The Road, but Delbonnel has considerable Oscar pedigree and a summer blockbuster often makes it in.

  • 8 2-05-2010 at 1:22 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Edward: Yeah, I’d say it was still a surprise. Bloggers don’t vote for Oscars.

  • 9 2-05-2010 at 1:30 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    So could A Single Man score have been snubbed because it wasn’t very clear how much of it was done (additionally) by Shigeru Umebayashi?

  • 10 2-05-2010 at 1:31 pm

    m1 said...

    HPATH-BP was an EASY contender to predict. If you saw it, you knew the movie had contained gorgeous scenery; how was this unexpected?

  • 11 2-05-2010 at 1:40 pm

    Edward L. said...

    Kristopher: I know that – I just meant that it had been in the conversation, and Delbonnel was already a twice-nominated cinematographer (for non-Best Picture nominees to boot). With this nomination, it feels like he’s turning into another Emmanuel Lubezki or Eduardo Serra – gathering together nominations here and there and maybe headed for a win one day.

  • 12 2-05-2010 at 5:19 pm

    Joel said...

    I don’t see the surprise in the nomination for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” It was the best cinematography of the year.

  • 13 2-05-2010 at 5:31 pm

    Brady said...

    So sad for Dion Beebe…

  • 14 2-05-2010 at 5:58 pm

    Kevin said...

    I wasn’t overly impressed with Harry Potter’s cinematography and was quite shocked to see it nominated Delbonnel nominated over Stuart Craig for the film’s immaculate and very detailed art direction. Replace its cinematography nom with art direction and I would have been a very happy chappy (it didn’t really have a realistic chance of getting in anywhere else).

  • 15 2-05-2010 at 9:52 pm

    Speaking English said...

    ***I don’t see the surprise in the nomination for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” It was the best cinematography of the year.***

    So was the cinematography of “Bright Star.” But that didn’t make it in. The quality of it has nothing to do with the surprise factor. Truth is, it wasn’t being mentioned ANYWHERE. It was not expected.

    And the “Avatar” song atrocious? Please. The song works with the movie and provides the perfect closer. Talk about hyperbole.

  • 16 2-06-2010 at 6:45 am

    revoir said...

    I was more expecting that Stuart Craig will make it more than Bruno Delbonnel after the BAFTA and ASC snub.. But I think it was very well deserved for Bruno, and I felt sad for Stuart….. Bruno even deserves to win that golden statuette….. He contributed a lot to “Half-Blood Prince” aesthetic appeal. I really hope he win even if its an odd choice because he’s not the favorite… But the fact that he made it to the nominees still gave me a chance.. Who knows? he might just came short by a couple of votes to make it at the BAFTAs and ASC nomination?

    Thinking of the “Pan’s Labyrinth” win for the same category on its year, gives me hope, but as the cliche goes, “just to be nominated is already an honor”.

  • 17 2-06-2010 at 7:10 am

    Hero said...

    I’m on board with Kevin. Even considering the competition, I think HPB getting a cinematography nom and not an art direction nom is bass ackwards.

  • 18 2-06-2010 at 5:01 pm

    John said...

    Um, Harry Potter’s nomination for Cinematography was hardly a surprise. That’s what everyone who talks about such things was talking about from that movie.

    I love THE HURT LOCKER, I love Marco Beltrami (who was rightly nominated a few years back for 3:10 TO YUMA), but that was not a score-driven movie. So many unnominated films this year hinged greatly upon their scores, so that nomination seems odd (THE INFORMANT, STAR TREK, MOON, TWILIGHT 2, DRAG ME TO HELL). Loved the Sherlock Holmes score, so even though I didn;t care for the film, that was a nice nomination to see.

  • 19 2-07-2010 at 11:58 pm

    Glenn said...

    Dion Beebe has the strangest Oscar trajectory. Won for his weakest work (“Memoirs”) and his fine work on a BP nominee and yet all of his truly best work has gone un-nominated. “Collateral”, “In the Cut” (for obvious reasons) and now “Nine”. So strange.

    I’m proud of the make-up branch for a chance. At least their surprises weren’t in the form of movies like “Norbit” or “Click”, but a foreign film barely anyone had seen and a period flick using mostly “makeup” as hairstyling, which is something that so very rarely ever happens (although is just as important and lacquering up Eric Bana’s scalp or making Eddie Murphy look obese. last time a mostly hair-oriented nominee showed up was “Moulin Rouge!”). I’m not missing “District 9” that much.

    So happy for “Imaginarium” in those two categories, too. Especially happy for Monique Prudhomme who has made a career out of contemporary projects.

  • 20 2-08-2010 at 4:10 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Glenn: I partly agree on Beebe, but I don’t think I’m the only one who thought “Nine” was far from his best work. He serves Rob Marshall’s stage aesthetic well enough, but it’s a dull (and in this context, fairly senseless) approach. Snubbing him was a good call, I think.