by Rachel Swan
We've learned not to expect too much at the Academy Awards, but this year's nominees for Best Picture take the cake. The list includes Moneyball, a surprisingly riveting movie about looking at spreadsheets, held together by Brad Pitt's stunning depiction of former Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane (who has garnered a certain pop culture cachet and a massive cult of adoration, especially over the past year). Also: Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, which was saved only by Corey Stoll's portrayal of Ernest Hemingway. And: The Help. I mean, do we even have to say what's problematic about that movie? Oh, and finally: War Horse, Spielberg's new World War I movie, beloved by horse fetishists everywhere.
SFist published the whole list, and we'd like to note a few notable absences — namely, Lars Von Triers' Melancholia, Clint Eastwood's vastly underrated J. Edgar biopic, the political nail-biter and George Clooney vehicle The Ides of March, Drive — because there's nothing more wonderful than Ryan Gosling acting like a badass for two hours — and Drake Doremus' breakout mumblecore romance, Like Crazy. Oh, and most importantly: The Interrupters, a critically-acclaimed but under-appreciated documentary about gang intervention in Chicago. That marks the second time director Steve James got slighted by Hollywood, since his 1994 basketball documentary Hoop Dreams also failed to garner the praise it deserved. Perhaps that shouldn't surprise us at all.
That said, we're pretty happy about the nod to Thomas Langmann's silent film, The Artist, which shows that nostalgia-based trends have real staying power.