The 2012 Academy Award nominations show there are still some sf/fantasy stars in the cinema firmament, even if they are not in the prestigious Best Picture or acting categories. (Unless we appropriate Hugo, the 3-D movie about the man who invented special effects — I haven’t seen it, you tell me.)
The genre dominates the Visual Effects category, as is often the case:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Unlike last year, when the Short Film (Animated) category was highlighted by the work of recent Worldcon GoH Shaun Tan, there is no comparable standout in 2012, although a couple of these might be claimed as examples of sf/fantasy (links have been added to the trailers I viewed while drafting this post):
In the Animated Feature Film category, the story of greatest interest to me is about the contender not nominated.
Having reported Steven Paul Leiva’s argument against allowing The Adventures of Tintin as an Oscar contender in the animation category, I was interested to find Spielberg’s movie did, indeed, fail to make the cut. Even after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had announced in July 2010 that “motion-capture films are no longer considered eligible for the Best Animated Feature Film category,” Paramount had continued to urge on voters the view that Tintin isn’t a just a performance capture film. Academy voters evidently felt differently.
Animated Feature Film
A Cat in Paris, Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
Chico & Rita, Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
Kung Fu Panda 2, Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Puss in Boots,” Chris Miller
Rango, Gore Verbinski
About the animated films that are up for an Oscar the NY Times observed:
The animation voters this year skewed European and hand-drawn, choosing “”A Cat in Paris,” a French film, and “Chico & Rita,” made by a Spanish director and designers, over more high-profile, high-tech hopefuls like “The Adventures of Tintin,” “Arthur Christmas” and Pixar’s “Cars 2.” (It is only the third time since Pixar was founded a decade ago that its name did not pop up in the best animated feature selections, though it did garner a nod for its short, “La Luna.”)