At 8:30 a.m. this morning, the Academy released this year’s nominees for the 84th Academy Awards, coming up on Feb. 26. Wondering what The Post’s critics thought of these movies? Here are the nominated films, with an excerpt from the review:
“Albert Nobbs” (Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress) “Rodrigo Garcia's adaptation of an Irish short story is spare, quiet and surprisingly moving, with Glenn Close delivering an astonishing performance as a 19th century woman who disguises herself as a man in order to work.” (This film opens in the Washington area on Jan. 27.) — Ann Hornaday. | Find showtimes.
“The Artist” (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director) “‘The Artist’ comes as a particularly refreshing balm: It’s a film that simply offers viewers an elegant escape from the toils and worries of the real world, plunging them into an alternate universe where glamour, romance and indefatigable optimism rule the day.” — A.H. | Find showtimes.
“A Better Life” (Best Actor) “Early Oscar list-makers, please write down this name: Demian Bichir. Bichir... delivers one of the most powerful performances of the year in ‘A Better Life,’ Chris Weitz’s engrossing, unassuming drama about an undocumented Mexican worker in contemporary Los Angeles.”— A.H.
“Beginners” (Best Supporting Actor) “[Filmmaker Mike] Mills, who wrote the script largely from events in his own life, addresses issues of history, culture, Los Angeles’s graffiti subculture and, yes, telepathic canines with deft, perceptive finesse.” — A.H.
“Bridesmaids” (Best Supporting Actress) “The only title character who threatens to give [Kristen] Wiig a scene-stealing shove for the bouquet is the groom’s gruff-voiced sister, Megan, played by Melissa McCarthy in a swaggering, goofily weird turn reminiscent of Zach Galifianakis in ‘The Hangover.’” — A.H.
“The Descendants” (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director) “George Clooney doesn’t put a foot wrong except on purpose in ‘The Descendants,’ a pitch-perfect movie that threads a microscopically tiny needle between high comedy and devastating drama.” — A.H. | Find showtimes.
“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” (Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor) “There's a fine line between precocious and insufferable, and it's a line continually crossed by ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,’ Stephen Daldry's extremely labored and incredibly crass adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel.” — A.H. | Find showtimes.
“Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” (Best Actress) “More profitably, at least where Hollywood is concerned, [Rooney Mara] allows ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ and director David Fincher to indulge in the kind of lurid, pulp violence and sadistic rituals that make torture-porn such a reliable genre...” — A.H. | Find showtimes.
“The Help” (Best Picture, Best Actress) “...Readers who felt they came to intimately know characters such as Celia, Minny and Skeeter are likely to greet their alter egos on screen like cherished, long-lost friends.” — A.H.
“Hugo” (Best Picture, Best Director) “During ‘Hugo’s’ final 20 minutes or so, when [director Martin] Scorsese mounts a lavish reenactment of those early days of the art form, the film truly comes to life, as the story’s preoccupation with mechanics and logistical dot-connecting gives way to imagination, magic and swashes of lurid color.” — A.H. | Find showtimes.
“The Iron Lady” (Best Actress) “Meryl Streep disappears so uncannily into former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in ‘The Iron Lady’ that her performance overpowers the movie it's in - a perfectly executed triple axel that renders everything else just featureless ice.” — A.H. | Find showtimes.
“Midnight in Paris” (Best Picture, Best Director) “‘Midnight in Paris’ finds Allen in a larky, slightly tart and altogether bountiful mood, giving filmgoers a movie that, while unabashedly funny and playful, provides a profiterole or two for thought.” — A.H.
“Moneyball” (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor) ““Like a cold beer under a bluebird sky; like a flawless line drive on a warm summer’s day; like a long, languorous seventh-inning stretch — ‘Moneyball’ satisfies.” — A.H. | Find showtimes.
“My Week With Marilyn” (Best Actress) “[Michelle] Williams’s Monroe is more vital than anything else. The actress captures Monroe’s range of emotions and personae, her shifts from vulnerability to brashness.” — Mark Jenkins | Find showtimes.
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” (Best Actor) “As a stylistic and narrative throwback, Alfredson's adamantly un-thrilling procedural reminds viewers of an era when viewers allowed themselves to be entertained by a good yarn about a few colorful or at least colorlessly compelling characters.” — A.H. | Find showtimes.
“Tree of Life” (Best Picture, Best Director) “At its best, ‘The Tree of Life’ makes the viewer lean forward, eager to enter Malick’s own dreamy, poetic consciousness. At worst, it leads to the vague feeling that we’re listening to the meanderings of someone who’s not sure we’re smart enough to keep up.” — A.H.
“War Horse” (Best Picture) “Man’s inhumanity to man is examined through a boy’s mystical connection to a horse in ‘War Horse,’ Steven Spielberg’s stirring, expertly manipulative adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 novel (which has already been adapted for a hit Broadway play).” — A.H. | Find showtimes.
“Warrior” (Best Supporting Actor) “Many cinephiles will recoil at the suggestion that it's this year's ‘The Fighter,’ but ‘Warrior’ is in some ways more satisfying than David O. Russell's justly celebrated film - particularly for viewers who enjoy watching great screen acting that doesn't constantly remind you of its greatness.” — A.H.
More Academy Awards news: