Oscar History

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Welcome to the Academy

The Academy has released the annual list of new invitations to their hallowed ranks. Now you can blame THESE people next time you don't like a nomination or win! I hope none of these people are reading because I'm going to be divvying them up into the following categories:  

"duh!" an obvious choice that makes sense based on current career or recent nomination.
the public or the industry is hot for them now.... even if they're not exactly "oscar worthy"
isn't this too early OR too late?
"curious" Perplexing choices. Some of them are wonderful but we still can't figure out why they've been given this great honor... especially if their fame is largely TV based (There's another Academy for that. You may have heard of them since they also give out coveted statues.)
we do not approve.

New Actors
Duh!: Vincent Cassel, Jesse Eisenberg, John Hawkes, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Lawrence, Anthony Mackie, Lesley Manville, Ellen Page, Mia Wasikowska, Jacki Weaver
Starfucking: Russell Brand, Gerard Butler, Bradley Cooper, Beyonce Knowles
Now?: Rooney Mara, Jennifer Garner, Nastassja Kinski, Tea Leoni, Connie Nielsen, Wes Studi
Curious: Robbie Coltrane, Rosemarie DeWitt, Peter Dinklage, Dominic Monaghan
WTF: John Corbett, David Duchovny...

....John Corbett is obviously qualified to judge the artistry of Tilda Swinton and Daniel Day-Lewis, don't you agree?

New Directors
Duh!: Susanne Bier (In a Better World) and Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) both won Oscars last year and Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) and Debra Granik (Winter's Bone) both directed Best Picture nominees. Cholodenko and Granik were also invited to the writer's branch so they'll be able to nominate in three categories: Picture, Director and Screenplays.

Surprising but welcome choices: Gregg Araki and John Cameron Mitchell

Curious: Yojiro Takita (do they always invite the foreign directors whose films win? He directed Departures) Now?: Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Limitless).
: Gregg Araki (Kaboom) and John Cameron Mitchell (Rabbit Hole)

But that's not all...

Sylvain ChometAnimators
Geefwee Boedoe (Let’s Pollute), Alessandro Carloni, Kristof Serrand and Jakob Hjort Jensen (How to Train Your Dragon), Sylvain Chomet (The Illusionist), Biljana Labovic (The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger), Tomm Moore (The Secret of Kells), Teddy Newton (Day & Night), Javier Recio Gracia (The Lady and the Reaper), Andrew Ruhemann and Shaun Tan (The Lost Thing), Simon Wells (Mars Needs Moms)

Finally Bob Peterson (Up) was invited for both this category and the writer's branch which means he gets three nomination ballots: Picture, Animation, Screenplay.

Art Directors, Set Decorators and Production Designers
Anahid Nazarian (The Virgin Suicides), Lauren E. Polizzi (Cowboys & Aliens), Judy Farr (), Gene Serdena (The Fighter), Howard Cummings (I Love You, Beth Cooper), Therese DePrez (Black Swan), Guy Hendrix Dyas (Inception), Jess Gonchor (True Grit), Jane Musky (Something Borrowed), and Eve Stewart (The King’s Speech)

Eric SteelbergCinematographers
Frank Byers, Patrick Cady, Danny Cohen (nominee last year), Luka Ettlin, Steven Fierberg, Barry Markowitz,  Charles Minsky, Lawrence Sher, and Eric Steelberg (the latter, in particular, seems like a good choice as he did fine work on Up in the Air and (500) Days of Summer)

Costume Designers
Odile Dicks-Mireaux who should have been nominated for An Education, Sarah Edwards who does strong work in contemporary films like Salt and Michael Clayton and Danny Glicker of Milk fame.


Jon Alpert (China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province),  Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story), Diane Weyermann and Lesley Chilcott (Waiting for ‘Superman), Carl Deal (Trouble the Water), Charles Ferguson (Inside Job), Tim Hetherington (Restrepo)... this is a posthumous honor. RIP, Sebastian Junger (Restrepo), Thomas Lennon  and Ruby Yang (The Warriors of Qiugang)

Film Editors
Tariq Anwar (The King’s Speech), Naomi Geraghty (Limitless), Jon Harris (127 Hours), Darren Holmes (How to Train Your Dragon), Pamela Martin (The Fighter), Joel Negron (Transformers: Dark of the Moon), Terilyn A. Shropshire (Jumping the Broom), Angus Wall (The Social Network) and Andrew Weisblum (Black Swan)

Live Action Short Films
Luke Matheny (God of Love)

Makeup Artists and Hairstylists
Judy Chin  who should've been nominated for Black Swan as well as Kathrine Gordon (3:10 to Yuma),
Trefor Proud (Topsy-Turvy), Cindy Jane Williams (Burlesque), Wesley Wofford (Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son)

Terence Blanchard (Inside Man), Fernand Bos (Crazy Heart), Graeme Revell (Darfur Now)


Andrew DeCristofaro,Joe Dorn, Marc Fishman, Lora Hirschberg, Chris Jargo, John Midgley, Ed Novick, Hammond Peek, Brian Vessa, Mark Weingarten

Visual Effects
Tim Alexander, Rob Bredow, Tim Burke, Peter Chesney , Paul Franklin, Kevin Tod Haug, Florian Kainz, Marshall Krasser, Sean Phillips, Peter G. Travers, Brian Van’t Hul,  Mark H. Weingartner

Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko, Debra Granik, Karen McCullah Lutz, Aline Brosh McKenna, Bob Peterson, David Rabe, Anne Rosellini, David Seidler, Scott Silver, Kirsten Smith, Aaron Sorkin, Daniel Waters

The weirdest thing here is probably Lutz and Smith who wrote The Ugly Truth. What's with the Academy's group love for The Ugly Truth team? (Gerard Butler was also invited). Now this team also wrote the wonderfully funny Legally Blonde but don't you have to deduct points for The Ugly Truth? You have to, right? If it's not a rule, it should be.

Miscellania -not a specific category so their only nomination ballot would be for Best Picture.
Casting: Nina Gold, Jina Jay, Lora Kennedy. Executives: William J. Damaschke, Richard M. Fay, Donna Langley, Leslie Moonves, Vanessa L. Morrison, Bill Pohlad, Rich Ross, Jeff Small and Thomas Tull; Producers: Iain Canning, Cean Chaffin,Kevin Feige,Gary Goetzman,Sisse Graum Jorgensen,Jeffrey Levy-Hinte,Todd Lieberman,Robert Lorenz, Celine Rattray, Emile Sherman,Emma Thomas, Gareth Unwin; Public Relations:
Susan Ciccone, Alissa Grayson, Jeffrey Hall, Jill Ann Jones, Mark Markline, Carmelo Pirrone, Ira Rubenstein
David Schneiderman, Loren Schwartz, Lance Volland; "At Large": George Aguilar, Barry Bernardi, Christopher Dodd, Ted Gagliano, James L. Honore, Dawn Hudson, Beverly Pasterczyk, Randall Poster, Ric Robertson, David Schnuelle, Randy Spendlove, Beverly Joanna Wood

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Reader Comments (36)

Aww, no Andrew Garfield.

June 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkin

kin -- but JOHN CORBETT. lol

June 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

as a United States of Tara fan I love both Rosemarie DeWitt and John Corbett so hmph.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJonathon

btw i'm still bitter about DeWitt being snubbed by all awards for Rachel Getting Married.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJonathon

Ah ah an amusing read as I expected.

These decisions are extremely laughable.

How on Earth Ellen Page, Terrence Blanchard, Aaron Sorkin, Vincent Cassel, Charles Ferguson, Danny Glicker and Eve Stewart are only nominated now?

And if we're going for the now, wasn't EMMA STONE, ANDREW GARFIELD or TOM HARDY a better choice than, say, Téa Leoni, David Duchovny or even Jennifer Garner?

And for the starfucking: Isn't JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE a better choice nowadays (respected, even) than Beyonce?

And while I have nothing against Cooper, Butler or Brand, does the Academy really consider them among - and I quote - 'the best performers in the business today'? Really? I'm finding it hard to count all the prestige and Oscar-y projects they've worked on. Not to mention with quality.

And CHOMET and PETERSON only now too? Crazy.

P.S. - At least I'm glad they didn't forget Araki and Cameron Mitchell, I suppose.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

It kinda looks like the Academy Board has been catching up on their Showtime shows and decided to nominate Corbett and DeWitt (US of TARA) and Duchovny (CALIFORNICATION). And in the while they decided that they couldn't have Duchovny without Léoni. Duh.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

I'm kind of surprised Ellen Page wasn't nominated back when she carried Juno to its Best Picture nomination back in 2007.

I wrote "But Aaron Sorkin was already nominated for A Few Good Men (a Best Picture nominee) and The American President, it took a win to get him in?" until I realized that despite Golden Globe noms for both of those screenplays (AND Charlie Wilson's War) and a WGA nod for The American President, The Social Network was actually his first nomination...

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

It's so weird to me that casting directors can only vote for Best Picture and *not* the acting categories. Don't they, like, evaluate actors FOR A LIVING?

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWalter

It's always amazing to see who's not already in: Terence Blanchard, Leslie Moonves, Randall Poster, Tariq Anwar. I love the Therese DePrez and Anthony Mackie inclusions, and the Cholodenko and Granik nods. Kind of surprised to see Manville here: it's such an overt concession that she barely missed last year. Big Garner fan, too, so I think she should've been invited years ago.

Re: Neil Burger, The Illusionist did get that Cinematography nod, but it looks like Oscar just got Limitless-crazy.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

"I don't approve at all": Russell Brand, Bradley Cooper

"They're only discovering them now?!": Lisa Cholodenko, Eve Stewart, Ellen Page, Lesley Manville

"Lets not even talk about it": Beyonce

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

FTW: Page, Garner, Mitchell, Mackie, DeWitt

And so we will ignore Beyonce, Brand and all things related to The Ugly Truth

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Is Diablo Cody doing her work now? Two Juno Girls (Ellen Page & Jen Gardner) and two Tara actors (DeWitt & Corbett)

Rooney Mara over Andrew Garfield from the Social Network team?

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterchatan

Isn't Mia Wasikowska more a 'now?' instead of a 'duh'? I mean, really.

It sure doesn't take much to become an Academy member.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRax

Thank you for mentioning Daniel Day-Lewis and Tilda Swinton in the same sentence! ;)

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShtajner

I find it kind of unfair that they invite Rooney Mara. Yes, she's going to be big, so why not wait 'till she is? They can invite her next year and nobody would question it, but what has she done so far? I mean, besides a five-minute role in The Social Network and Nightmare in Elm Street.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

Very happy for Araki, Cameron Mitchell and, even if it could have happened before, Kinski!

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermirko

Well I learned something today. And that something is that Sylvain Chomet is a man.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

Jonathon & Jorge -- i also love UNITED STATES OF TARA but I can't really justify Rosemarie DeWitt even (who is a *great* actress) because she is primarily a tv actress and that's why you invite them to join the Academy of Television to vote on the Emmys.

I know there's more crossover now and I'm not trying to diss on TV but seriously, now, what has JOHN CORBETT ever done for the movies? He's made 23 features and the only well known parts are in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and TV crossover Sex & The City.

when you think that some actual movie stars or acclaimed film actors have never been nominated to join AMPAS it's kind of shocking.

June 18, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

although Rosemarie DeWitt has several movies coming out so maybe I mispeak. at any rate she's a more solid choice than ROONEY MARA who also appears to be a great actress BUT like

Lucky -- what you said!

June 18, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

But Rooney Mara appears top-less in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo poster. Never underestimate two good assets.

I don't keep track of these lists, but isn't this year's one with some of the hottest starlettes out there? I'm sure even Brand inclusion has also something to do with her wife possibly attending AMPAS events. Or maybe it's just that I picture AMPAS members as perv old men who only watch movies to look at female breasts and who can't use the remotes of their dvd players single handed (ugh, I've grossed myself out with that picture).

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

The ones that are really bugging me are Beyonce and Russell Brand. The names Emma Stone, Tom Hardy, and Andrew Garfield have all been thrown around (not to mention nominees Hailee Steinfeld and potentially James Franco or Christian Bale), and all are snubbed in favor of two of the worst actors on screen these days (and quite frankly, while I like Beyonce the singer, they have to be two of the most annoying "actors" being shoved down the public's throat with a "like them, like them" sort of campaign strategy).

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

I think a more interesting list would be people that decline the invitation to the academy. LOL. I wonder if anyone has.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Fernanda Montenegro, the brazilian actress nominated for "Central station" has declined several times, as well as her fellow brazilian Walter salles, director of that very same movie, "the motorcicle diaries" and the upcoming "on the road"

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Philip -- a lot of people have declined I'm sure. I'm forgetting who recently damnit but it was somebody big and auteury.

June 18, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

A quick note: Neil Burger has directed 4 feature films so far and among them THE ILLUSIONIST received one Oscar nod.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGustavo

Sean Penn declined to join several times in the past IIRC, but I think he's a member now?

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRax

Beyonce gave a Meryl Streep approved performance in Cadillac Records -- her next project is a Clint Eastwood film -- Liza Minnelli's cover of Single Ladies is the highlight of SATC 2 -- Diana Ross loves her -- and most important Streisand adores her -- Old Hollywood respect means everything.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtfu11

"....John Corbett is obviously qualified to judge the artistry of Tilda Swinton and Daniel Day-Lewis, don't you agree?"

Remember when Anne Hathaway told Dev Patel he gave her favourite performance of 2008? And Cate Blanchett LURVED Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

But Arkaan... Anne Hathaway doesn't seem tasteful at all.

Remember last year when every presenter she announced gave her the most joyful moment of her life? She did it with Kirk Douglas, with Sandra Bullock... I think she said about everyone who came out of the door that they were her #1 idol. Gah.

And she was so clearly kissing up to Dev Patel. Why - I can't figure out. She give the most jawdropping, raw performance of 2008, give or take Mickey Rourke. No one in Hollywood saw it coming.

About Cate Blanchett... Marion Cotillard gave a very interesting performance and I can totally see why Blanchett would back her up. I know Cotillard has a very deeply commited group of detractors but too bad, she's here to stay. She is appealing, sexy, speaks English with the most cutesy voice, has loads of talent and she knows how to work the press and the carpet. Plus, she seems to know which projects to pick and I'd reckon Hollywood loves her more than they'll ever love another French (yes, even Deneuve).

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

Nathaniel's pointed out that actors are often not the best critics of acting. It does seem wierd to pick on a lesser and/or television actor (which, lets be honest, is what we're doing) when you believe that to begin with.

Hathaway wasn't just sucking up. That NBR clip that circulated demonstrated genuine enthusiasm. And if she was just sucking up, then she's a better actress than I gave her credit for being.

Sally Hawkins and Andrew Garfield gave the best performances of 2008.

I love Cotillard. I just don't care for her in La Vie en Rose. Or Inception.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Is there an award for casting directors? There should be.
Is Tyler Perry a member?

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRichardA

Yeah, you may be right. She was REALLY excited about him. So either she's an awesome actress or she has bad taste. It's not that Dev Patel wasn't good... He just wasn't... special.

And I'm glad you love Cotillard. I love her too. NINE would have stunk SO bad if it wasn't for her. Hollywood star-making performance right there.

Hmm what I meant by best of 2008 wasn't THE BEST, it was 'the performance which blew most people away in Hollywood' and that one was Anne's. Sally was my #1 that year too. And Garfield... It took me a while more to watch that performance but yes he was awesome in Boy A and also in Red Riding.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

"The ones that are really bugging me are Beyonce and Russell Brand. The names Emma Stone, Tom Hardy, and Andrew Garfield have all been thrown around (not to mention nominees Hailee Steinfeld and potentially James Franco or Christian Bale), and all are snubbed in favor of two of the worst actors on screen these days (and quite frankly, while I like Beyonce the singer, they have to be two of the most annoying "actors" being shoved down the public's throat with a "like them, like them" sort of campaign strategy)."

John T., I believe that Christian Bale is already an AMPAS member, and has been for several years. Also, winning an Oscar automatically grants inclusion into AMPAS, I think (unless said winner rejects the invite for whatever reason). As for Hailee Steinfeld being snubbed despite being a recent nominee, I believe that AMPAS is waiting to see if she has the chops and that she's not a one hit wonder or that her performance in True Grit wasn't some sort of lucky fluke. A similiar sitiuation happened to Ellen Page, actually. After Juno, a lot of people expected her to be invited to AMPAS, but at the time the Academy was tightening down restrictions, and were looking to be more choosey with their inductees. Now that Page has proven her bonafides - and worked with and built friendships with other AMPAS members - she gets the invite. If Hailee Steinfeld can prove that she's the real deal, it's likely she'll get her own AMPAS invite in a few years from now.

June 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBlinking Cursor

Arkaan -- i know it looks like i'm picking on them because they're television actors BUT isn't my point a valid one. There is, after all, another Academy that's meant to honor television actors. So by all means, invite John Corbett to that one.

His inclusion baffles me is all. There are people in the movies that hope to get in the Academy every year and it never happens but a tv series regular / star with no strong movie roles (unless you count My Big Fat Greek Wedding and that SAG ensemble nod but do you really want to count that) and not even much acclaim in TV gets in?

June 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

are you sure that people invited to multiple branches (like the guy who did UP) gets multiple nomination ballots? I thought that members had to choose one branch to belong to.

June 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpoopface

poopface -- it's my understanding that so long as you are invited and accept the invitations, you can vote in more than one branch. But most people are only invited to one branch.

if anyone knows any differently please point to evidence.

June 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR
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