The first half of 2011 is coming to an end, and what do we have for the next Academy Awards? Not much, I’m afraid. The only real contender for a Best Picture nomination is Woody Allen‘s “Midnight in Paris.” The drum beats louder for this film every day, with Woody in contention for Best Director and Screenplay, and acting nominations possible for Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard (Golden Globes certainly) and Corey Stoll, who plays Ernest Hemingway. Alison Pill is also memorable as Zelda Fitzgerald.
Other than Woody, though, it’s a bleak look back. Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” is a mess, although Brad Pitt does very good work. The movie itself is not a Best Picture nominee; it’s incomprehensible. Then there are some miscellaneous acting achievements. Christopher Plummer is a Best Supporting Actor candidate in “Beginners,” a movie that’s been botched in its release. “Beginners” is just terrific, but I’d wager that most people have never heard of it. I also really liked Hiam Abbass in Julian Schnabel’s little seen “Miral.” She should be considered for Supporting Actress.
Mostly though it’s been a sad period in cinematic history. Will things pick up? We have to wait until July 22nd, when “Another Earth” and “Sarah’s Key” will make things more interesting, and July 29th when Dominic Cooper arrives in a spray of bullets and mayhem with “The Devil’s Double.” Until then: read a book.