The Oscar nominations just came out, announced by Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone. There were surprises and oddities and the usual silliness. Also, now we know that Lincoln is going to win everything. Here are our quickest thoughts.
*** We correctly predicted the nine films nominated for Best Picture yesterday, but the route the Academy took to get there was a bizarre one. Basically, they've gutted their whole ceremony of any drama or mystery other than "How many times will Seth MacFarlane think he's being really daring by saying 'Hitler'?" Lincoln's two main competitors for Best Picture were probably Argo and Zero Dark Thirty ... and neither Ben Affleck nor Kathryn Bigelow was nominated for Best Director. That effectively eliminates those films from consideration. Only three films have ever won Best Picture without their directors being nominated: Wings in 1927, Grand Hotel in 1931 and Driving Miss Daisy in 1989. Even the darkest-horse candidate, Django Unchained, didn't see its director, Quentin Tarantino, get a nomination. (Basically, the three films that felt the most directed—the ones with their directors' signature touches—were the ones that didn't get their directors nominated.) It's difficult to see a scenario where Lincoln doesn't romp.