Though you might be forgiven for thinking so -- no, this doesn't really have much to do with Uggie, the dog from The Artist. We're continuing our Oscars coverage here at Screening Room now that the nominations have been released and it's time to break down our pet favorites in a few of the different categories. The Oscars matter as crazy as they might drive us, and as such we have a few nominees we'd like to see win more than the rest. So here are the nominations to which we're dearly clinging to and hoping for the very best about a month from now.
The Descendants (Best Picture)
You know we consider The Descendants the best movie of 2011, but you might think we'd prefer to see George Clooney win Best Actor for his turn as wealthy trustee Matt King. You'd be wrong. The Descendants looks like a fairly sizable underdog to The Artist in this category, but despite the novelty of the latter, we really believe in the former. It was poignant yet funny. We enjoyed every minute of it (even if some of it was painful) and no movie left us thinking more after the credits rolled.
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Best Actress)
Many pundits were stunned Mara was even nominated for her role as Lisbeth Sylander, which means she probably has very little chance of winning this award next month. She also happens to be going against some heavy hitters, most notably the beloved Golden Globe winner in this category, Meryl Streep. We'll be pulling for her hard all the same. Her stark transformation into the brooding, brilliant heroine of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was tremendous.
Nick Nolte, Warrior (Best Supporting Actor)
If the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences noticed Nolte's sterling performance as Paddy Conlon, the recovering alcoholic patriarch of a broken family of MMA fighters, then how come it didn't recognize the rest of the terrific movie in the nominations? We'll never know ultimately, we suppose, and in place of that knowledge we'll put all the hope and energy left over from seeing Warrior into rooting for Nolte to take home a statue.
Berenice Bejo, The Artist (Best Supporting Actress)
Forget Uggie and Jean Dujardin and the rest of the film altogether -- our favorite part of The Artist was the vibrant Bejo, who lit up the screen and thrived in the black-and-white, silent format. Especially with The Descendants' Shailene Woodley not even being nominated in this category, we'll be hoping against hope that Bejo can pull off an upset.
"Man or Muppet", The Muppets (Best Original Song)
We loved this movie and we really, really loved this song. There's only one other nominee in this category -- "Real in Rio" from Rio -- so we're hoping Jason Segel and company steamroll to victory.