Nominations Reveal Zoomers Set to Shine at the Academy Awards

With the golden dust of the Oscar nominations settling across Tinseltown and the debate swells over who was and wasn’t nominated (no Jim Broadbent for Actor in a Supporting Role? Really?), one thing about the 84th Academy Awards is clear: it’s going to be an evening of Zoomer pride.

The Martin Scorsese-directed Hugo leads the Oscar race with 11 nominations, followed closely by Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist.

Meanwhile, a look at the nominees named in the four acting categories (Best Actor/Actress, Supporting Actor/Actress), Best Director and Best Picture illustrates the overwhelming success Zoomers achieved in film in 2011/2012. Could this also be the foreshadowing of a Zoomer sweep at the 84th Academy Awards? We decided to take a closer look:

Best Actor

All but one of the nominees  (Jean Dujardin, The Artist) is a Zoomer. Odds-on favourite George Clooney leads the pack for his work in The Descendants, not to mention the fact that he picked up a Golden Globe earlier this month in the same category. Fellow nominees Demián Bichir (A Better Life), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Brad Pitt (Moneyball) are worthy contenders, but unless Oscar voters decide to go against the Globe precedent and give the award to Dujardin, Clooney is a safe bet to take it for the Zoomer side.

Best Actress

Three of the five best actress nominees are Zoomers: Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs) and Viola Davis (The Help).  Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn) also received nods but, as in the best actor category, it’s almost accepted that Streep has this one locked up. Even if she doesn’t win, it’s unlikely that Williams (who had great moments but not the thoroughly brilliant performance as Marilyn Monroe that Streep did as Margaret Thatcher) or Rooney (a surprise nominee) will be the one to steal the statue from her. This should be another Zoomer win.

Best Supporting Actor

Moneyball’s Jonah Hill is the only non-Zoomer in this category. Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn), Nick Nolte (Warrior), Christopher Plummer (Beginners) and another surprise nominee in Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close) round out the group. Again, if the Golden Globes are any indication, this could be a Canadian Zoomer win. As much as we enjoyed Branagh’s performance as Sir Laurence Olivier in My Week with Marilyn – though not as spot on as some critics may have liked – it may fall just short of a statuette. A Nolte win would be redemption of sorts for the actor, who has struggled with his share of personal problems over the last number of years, but is a long shot.  A von Sydow win could stand as the evening’s upset victory, though with Hill’s star on the rise the Moneyball actor has a legitimate chance. We’re cautiously calling this one for Plummer and Canadian Zoomers everywhere.

Best Supporting Actress

This is where it gets tough for the Zoomer contingent, with only one nominee (Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs) making the cut. The Help, with two actresses nominated in this category (Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer) could wind up producing the eventual winner, though The Artist‘s Bérénice Bejo is tough competition and Melissa McCarthy from Bridesmaids would be a fitting recipient, representing a film that may have deserved a best picture nod as well. Our fingers are crossed for McTeer, but her chances aren’t helped by The Help.

Best Director

From the category with the toughest competition for Zoomers to the one with a guaranteed win. All five nominees for the best director title are Zoomers, with Martin Scorsese the likely favourite for Hugo, which topped the list of film nominations with 11. Of course, the competition couldn’t be stiffer with Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris), Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life), and Alexander Payne (The Descendants) in hot pursuit. Any pick is a good one, and in the end it’s a Zoomer victory.

Best Picture

Zoomers are well represented in this category by eight out of the nine directors of the nominated films. Hugo (Martin Scorsese), The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius), The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick), Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen), The Descendants (Alexander Payne), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Stephen Daldry), Moneyball (Bennett Miller) and War Horse (Steven Spielberg) are all in contention, along with The Help (Tate Taylor). Smart money so far is on The Descendants, though Hugo or The Artist could easily take the prize. The Help is one of the best films of the year, but the odds favour another win for Zoomers.

Overall, Oscar was quite kind to Zoomers this year, and we foresee a solid showing for them in the winner’s circle when all is said and done.

For a full list of Academy Award nominees, click here.

The 84th Academy Award ceremony takes place on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 at 7 p.m. on ABC.

-Mike Crisolago