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Random raging over this year's nominees:

Quick -- what were last year's Best Picture nominees? Can't remember, huh? That's because in the grand scheme of things, the Academy Awards are a meaningless arbiter, reflecting the dim taste of Hollywood's "elite." They wouldn't know art if it came up and bit them on the ass as evidenced by including Extremely Dull and Incredibly Offensive -- the first "feel-good" film about 9/11 and my winner for worst picture of the year -- among the Best Picture hopefuls.

Martin Scorsese's Hugo leads the pack with 11 nominations, but from where I sit, that only means 11 chances for it to lose. The staid voters are more than likely to slight Marty's passionate love letter to the medium he holds dear. Who needs art when there's The Artist, a silent film for people who have never seen one? (Maybe they saw Mel Brooks' Silent Movie.) One of my colleagues praised The Artist saying, "there has never in the history of cinema been a film like it." A film critic without a sense of history is like a marathon-runner without legs. It was my sad duty to inform her that prior to 1928, all films were silent.

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While he doesn't stand a chance (Clooney is a shoe-in for Best Actor), the most surprising (and intelligent) nomination is Demian Bichir for A Better Life.

The Artist for Best Original Score?! Bernard Herrmann is spinning in his grave.

Why are there only 9 Best Picture nominees? The past 2 years, the Academy experimented with doubling the number of nominees. They couldn't find 1 more picture to make it an even 10?

I was forced to do a double-take upon noticing a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for The Ides of March. I thought these were the Oscars, not the Emmys.

Kung Fu Panda 2 and Rango were both recognized as outstanding Animated features and Tintin didn't make the cut. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Defecation = Nomination. This quickest way to win Oscar's heart this year was to move your bowels either in a bathroom sink or the white devil's pie.

The funniest thing about Bridesmaids, a long-form scatological SNL skit, is that it received a Best Original Screenplay mention. If Cary Grant never won an Oscar because in the eyes of Academy fools he spent a career playing himself, does that means Melissa McCarthy's one-note, semi-autobiographical performance in Bridesmaids will go unrewarded? Seriously, how can a group allegedly dedicated to honoring the best in film nominate anyone associated with a movie that basically says women can be just as crude and piggish as men?

Four of the Best Foreign Language and all of the Best Documentary nominees have yet to play San Diego.

The biggest disappointment was the snub of Albert Brooks for Drive. Look on the bright side. What with his Best Supporting Actor nod, it appears that Jonah Hill won't be forced into doing Jenny Craig commercials anytime in the near future.

If Man or Muppet wins Best Song (it has a 50/50 chance), it will go down in history as the worst tune ever to win an Oscar, and that's saying a lot.

Who will win when the Awards are handed out on February 26? One thing is for certain: the biggest losers will be those who make it all the way through the 3 1/2 hour telecast. I'll be here blogging along during the festivities. Please join me in helping to burst Oscar's bubble.

BEST PICTURE

Hugo, The Artist, War Horse, The Descendants, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris, The Help, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

BEST DIRECTOR

Martin Scorsese (Hugo), Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Woody Allen, (Midnight in Paris), Terrence Malick, (The Tree of Life)

BEST ACTOR

Demian Bichir, (A Better Life), George Clooney, (The Descendants), Jean Dujardin, (The Artist), Gary Oldman, (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Brad Pitt, (Moneyball)

BEST ACTRESS

Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs), Viola Davis (The Help), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Jonah Hill (Moneyball), Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn), Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close), Nick Nolte (Warrior), Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Berenice Bejo (The Artist), Jessica Chastain (The Help), Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs), Octavia Spencer (The Help)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

The Artist, Bridesmaids, Margin Call, Midnight in Paris, A Separation

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Hugo, The Descendants, The Ides of March, Moneyball, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

A Cat in Paris, Chico & Rita, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots, Rango

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

A Separation, Footnote, In Darkness, Bullhead, Monsieur Lahzar

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Pina, Hell and Back Again, If A Tree Falls: The Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Paradise Lost 3, Undefeated

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

The Artist, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, The Tree of Life, War Horse

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

The Adventures of Tintin, The Artist, Hugo, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, War Horse

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Man or Muppet from The Muppets, Real in Rio from Rio

BEST EDITING

The Artist, The Descendants, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, Moneyball

BEST ART DIRECTION

The Artist, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, War Horse

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Anonymous, The Artist, Hugo, Jane Eyre, W.E.

BEST MAKEUP

Albert Nobbs, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, The Iron Lady

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Hugo, Real Steel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Transformers: Dark of the Moon

BEST SOUND MIXING

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Moneyball, Hugo, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, War Horse

BEST SOUND EDITING

Drive, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, War Horse

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

Dimanche/Sunday, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, La Luna, A Morning Stroll, Wild Life

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

Pentecost, Raju, The Shore, Time Freak, Tuba Atlantic

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement, God Is the Bigger Elvis, Incident in New Baghdad, Saving Face, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

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Comments

denfrank Jan. 24, 2012 @ 9:05 a.m.

Predictions: Hugo to win, baby, 7 out of 11 win, because it has color & sound. The Artist will win best Tech 1 film, and Dujardin for his smile. Upset: Rooney Mara over Meryl. Supporting Gay Plummer & big chick who shat in the sink. Foreign, Iran's Separation. Januz grabs #3. Woody original play, Moneyball adaptation. Editing, Tatto….Make up Nobbs. Wise of the Apes, best FX. Directing: Scorsese denied. Malick wins. Documentary, hold your nose, there are no Interrupters.

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Scott Marks Jan. 24, 2012 @ 9:55 a.m.

The slob from "Bridesmaids" doesn't stand a chance against Minnie.

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denfrank Jan. 24, 2012 @ 11:50 a.m.

She got the globe. The Academy likes women who diaherria themselves in public sinks. Stand up Lissa, this is your time!

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Scott Marks Jan. 24, 2012 @ 12:10 p.m.

Using a sink as a convenience is one thing. Minnie relieved herself in a pie!

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Jay Allen Sanford Jan. 24, 2012 @ 9:32 a.m.

The Hugo stack o' noms is no surprise, given how Hollywood loves to love itself, but you're right that it will probably be mostly backburned when it comes down to hooking up their Oscar brood.

Since the only thing Hollywood loves more than loving itself is hating itself, here's hoping there's something on the 2012 slate akin to woefully under-seen "Day of the Locust," looking under the Tinseltown rock all the bugs and crud that make up its true surface -- I'm getting kinda tired of gilting the so-called golden age of cinema --

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Scott Marks Jan. 24, 2012 @ 9:55 a.m.

The shot of Sutherland sitting in his yard with oranges bouncing off his head is one of the most delightfully damning images ever to grace a movie screen. And Billy Barty was never better.

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