The 84th Annual Academy Awards

Oscars 2012

When the nominations for the 84th annual Academy Awards were announced last month, one fact was made clear: Hollywood loves movies about movies. The two films with the most nominations (and the only two to receive double-digit nominations) were Hugo and The Artist, with 11 and 10, respectively.

The Arist & Hugo

It’s ironic that love of film has featured so prominently in this awards season when one considers the general consensus surrounding many of the other films and filmmakers nominated. This year’s crop of nominees (including the 9 films vying for Best Picture) earned a collective shrug by many in the blogosphere, which suggests that the Academy, as some already feel, may be out of touch with audiences. Several of this year’s most critically-acclaimed and/or buzzed-about films, including Melancholia (78% on Rotten Tomatoes), Drive (93%), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (96%) and Bridesmaids (90%), were left out of the big race for Best Picture, while more polarizing fare, like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (45%) was nominated in their stead.

If the film industry is to take a cue from its two most-nominated films of the year, movies should strive to celebrate the form itself — be it via homage or through the making of excellent films that audiences and critics alike can enjoy. In the meantime, you can start finalizing your ballot predictions and hope for a more exciting awards season next year.

Luckily, the Herman B Wells Library has everything you need to brush up on your trivia before the big night. The following books are available for checkout in the East Tower stacks:

Although many nominated films are still in theaters, you can check out the following nominees in Media and Reserves Services at the Wells:

Bridesmaids (nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay)

Rango (nominated for Best Animated Film)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (nominated for Best Art Direction, Best Makeup and Best Visual Effects)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (nominated for Best Visual Effects)

Other nominated films are available in various RPS libraries; for checkout policies and procedures, take a look at the Wells Reference Blog post from January 30, 2012 .

Wells Media and Reserves Services also has a number of previously-awarded films, including these Best Picture-winning classics: Gone with the Wind and On the Waterfront, last year’s Best Picture winner The King’s Speech, and the very first Best Picture winner, 1927’s Wings.
Wings Gone with the Wind On the Waterfront
Additional resources can be found via the Ask a Libarian feature on the IU Libraries homepage.

For more information about the 84th annual Academy Awards (including a complete list of nominees), visit

And don’t forget to watch the big show live on February 26, 2012!