The Academy just released their Oscar nominations, recognizing the best in film from 2012, and the list of pretty light on comedies this time around. Silver Linings Playbook, director David O. Russell’s romantic comedy-drama was the only comedy-ish film to receive a lot of recognition (although there are plenty of laughs in non-comedy Best Picture nominees Django Unchained and Argo). Silver Linings was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Russell), Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Supporting Actor (Robert DeNiro), Best Supporting Actress (Jacki Weaver), and Best Adapted Screenplay (David O. Russell). Moonrise Kingdom, which was a contender for a Best Picture nomination, was snubbed, only receiving one nomination for Best Original Screenplay (Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola).
Other comedy-related nominations include comedic actor Alan Arkin’s Best Supporting Actor nomination for his turn as the comic relief in Argo. The Simpsons short, Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare” was nominated for Best Animated Short Film, and “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from the movie Ted (words by Seth MacFarlane, music by Walter Murphy) was nominated for Best Original Song. Yes, Seth MacFarlane is an Oscar nominee now.
Last year saw the Academy giving out more nominations to comedies and comedic actors, with Bridesmaids scoring two (Best Supporting Actress for Melissa McCarthy and Best Original Screenplay for Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo), Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris getting nominated for Best Picture and Best Director and winning Best Original Screenplay, Jonah Hill receiving a Best Supporting Actor nom for his dramatic turn in Moneyball, comedy guys Nat Faxon and Jim Rash winning an Oscar for co-writing (with Alexander Payne) the drama The Descendants, and Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie winning Best Original Song for “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets. 2012 was a much less spectacular year for big-screen comedies than 2011, lacking a critically-acclaimed crowd-pleaser like Bridesmaids or Midnight in Paris. Still, well-liked movies like Moonrise Kingdom and Safety Not Guaranteed deserved a little more attention than they received, and it’d be nice to see Academy voters continue to recognize and acknowledge non-serious stuff next year.