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Sci-Fi/Fantasy Globes and Oscars

By January 14, 2013

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Quvenzhané Wallis in (I)Beasts of the Southern Wild(/i).

Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild.

© Fox Searchlight Pictures

 Go to Golden Globe Nominations
2013 Academy Award Nominations--There was some interesting news for fans of sci-fi and fantasy secreted within the nominations for the 85th Academy Awards, though it's quite likely we'll have to be satisfied with the nominations themselves.

Among the nine titles nominated for Best Picture are two nonmainstream films with fantasy elements: the handmade indie Beasts of the Southern Wild and Ang Lee's Life of Pi. They stand very little chance of winning, but it's arguably nice that the Oscars, with the expansion of the Best Picture category, now have a ways of saying "here are a few other films that, statues aside, are pretty good." Both directors, Benh Zeitlin and Ang Lee, and both (adapted) screenplays are also nominated.

Quvenzhané Wallis, the remarkable star of Southern Wild, is nominated for Best Actress, the only performance nomination for a genre film.

Genre films are best represented in the Visual Effects category, naturally, where The Hobbit, Life of Pi, The Avengers, Prometheus, and Snow White and the Huntsmen are all nominated. It's an interesting match-up, because in nature, prolixity, and tone the effects in these movies all differ wildly from each other.

Interestingly, the line-up for Animated Feature is significantly unlike the Golden Globes category. The Oscars drop Hotel Transylvania and Rise of the Guardians and instead add Paranorman and The Pirates! Band of Misfits. Brave probably still has an edge, but it would be fun to see a win for Paranorman, which did try to shake things up a bit for a film of this type.

Sci-fi/fantasy pops up in other categories here and there. Both Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror Mirror are up for Costume Design, but against conventional costume dramas Lincoln, Anna Karenina, and Les Miserables.

The Hobbit is also up for Production Design as well as for Make-Up and Hairstyling. Life of Pi is up for Production Design; Sound Editing; Sound Mixing; and Film Editing. And Seth MacFarlane's cheery "Everybody Needs A Best Friend," from Ted, is up for Original Song.

The Oscars will be awarded Feb. 24.

2013 Golden Globes Winners--There were hardly any nominations recognizing sci-fi/fantasy for the 70th Golden Globes, awarded last night, so there's little to say about the presence of speculative fiction among the statues awarded (which were dominated by Argo, Django Unchained, and Les Miserables, all controversial largely because of the personnel involved, and Homeland, Girls, and Game Change on the TV side).

Life of Pi, which does have fantasy elements, won for original score, which is nice. The Hunger Games lost for best song, to Adele's rendition of the latest Bond theme, Skyfall.

Even in animation the genre presence is a bit muted. Pixar's Brave, which is more legendary than fantasy, beat out Tim Burton's Frankenweenie, Sony's Hotel Transylvania, Dreamworks's Rise of the Guardians and Disney's Wreck-It Ralph. Brave is probably the better film, but none of these will be much remembered a decade down the road. Sci-fi television, having been shut out of the nominations, had no place among the wins, obviously. Even Jessica Lange and American Horror Story were shouldered aside by Julianne Moore's portrayal of Sarah Palin in Game Change. (Insert joke about the fantasy elements of Sarah Palin's policy platform here.)

Tags: Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
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