Oscar 2012 recap

This was a good year for gays at the Oscars — at least on screen. Of the 20 characters whose portrayers were nominated for acting Oscars, five — Glenn Close, Janet McTeer, Rooney Mara, Kenneth Branagh (as bisexual Laurence Olivier) and Christopher Plummer — were members of the LGBT community. (I also have my suspicions about Jonah Hill’s character.) In the end, only one — Plummer — ended up in the winners’ circle, but it was a sweet victory nonetheless.

Onstage, Meryl Streep’s makeup artist seemed to be the only gay winner, though you can never tell about those sound mixers.

For those keeping track, I correctly picked seven of the top eight categories (missing only original screenplay), but the raft categories proved to be a crap-shoot: some very puzzling victories (for instance, Hugo for visual effects over the far superior achievements of Rise of the Planet of the Apes) muddled things.

Although both won five Oscars, in head-to-heads between The Artist and Hugo, The Artist came out ahead, beating Hugo for best picture, director, score and costumes. Hugo beat The Artist in direct competition for cinematography and art direction. Remarkably, neither of the frontrunners won for their screenplays, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was the (happy) surprise winner for film editing.

See the list of last night’s winners after the jump:

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

BREAKING NEWS: The Oscar nominees!

THE SAMUEL GOLDWYN THEATER, HOLLYWOOD — The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced its nominations for the 2011 Oscars this morning, and most of the major predicted contenders ended up on the finals list, with Hugo leading the pack with 11 and The Artist a close second with10 nominations.

Among the nominees with gay-interest are The  Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for best actress Rooney Mara as a bisexual hacker, Midnight in Paris for Woody Allen and Beginners (supporting actor nominee Christopher Plummer seems a lock to win).

Some surprises included a best picture nomination for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Demian Bichir for A Better Life and to a lesser extent Nick Nolte in Warrior and Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids, which also got a best screenplay nod. Other surprises were among the omissions, including no noms for Shame or The Descendants‘ Shailene Woodley.

Here are the nominees in the major categories.

PictureThe Artist; The Descendants; Extremely Loud and Incredibly CloseThe Help; Hugo; Midnight in Paris; MoneyballThe Tree of Life; War Horse.

Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist; Alexander Payne, The Descendants; Martin Scorsese, Hugo; Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris; Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life.

Actor: Demian Bichir, A Better Life; George Clooney, The Descendants; Jean Dujardin, The Artist; Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Brad Pitt, Moneyball.

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.

Supporting Actor: Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn; Jonah Hill, Moneyball; Nick Nolte, Warrior; Christopher Plummer, Beginners; Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

Supporting Actress: Berenice Bejo, The Artist; Jessica Chastain, The Help; Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids; Janet McTeerAlbert Nobbs; Octavia Spencer, The Help.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones