Anyone thinking that this year's Academy Awards would merely be a carbon copy of the Golden Globes will surely have been unsettled by today's nominees announcement, which included Bridesmaid's Melissa McCarthy. Elsewhere, even Martin Scorsese himself must surely have been surprised to find Hugo nominated in no fewer than eleven categories. Scorsese was nominated for the Best Director category and the film was selected in the coveted Best Picture section. Hugo has also been credited for the screenplay adaption, cinematography, the score. the list goes on. In fact, the only surprise left for the ceremony itself will be if Hugo doesn't actually Win any of those awards.
Hugo wasn't the only film ruffling feathers at the announcement. You'd be forgiven if the folks behind the Golden Globes had even heard of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, as the film didn't get a look in there. At the Academy Awards announcement, though, huge whoops of cheer could be heard each time the film's name was called. The drama, which stars Tom Hanks, even made it into the Best Picture category, whilst Max Von Sydow has picked up a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Another unlikely addition to the list was MCCarthy, who is in the running for Best Supporting Actress, alongside Jessica Chastain, Berenice Bejo, Janet McTeer and Octavia Spencer. In a category that historically favors more serious roles, her inclusion in this will no doubt raise a few eyebrows, whilst others will applaud the diversity of the selection. Nick Nolte hasn't been in the running for an Oscar since 1999 and his appearance in the Best Supporting Actor category, for Warrior, will be considered another leftfield choice, for many.
The Tree of Life, which has received a mixed critical and public response was also included in the Best Picture and Best Director categories as well as, somewhat more predictably, Best Cinematography. Whilst some viewers have been wowed by the film's artistic merit, others have been confounded by its unconventional narrative structure making it, perhaps, an outsider's bet for the elite award of Best Picture.