There were several surprises among this year's Oscar nominations:
1) Amour got a lot of recognition.
Films by Michael Haneke (The White Ribbon) are generally way too chewy and smart for the Academy, so it is wonderful to see Amour nominated for both Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film, with Haneke also getting the nod for Director and Emmanuelle Riva scoring a Best Actress nomination.
Mind you, Amour is an intense film about age, the passage of time and mortality, all things that might be especially pertinent to creaky old Academy voters. Well. That was certainly mean-spirited.
2) Pretty fabulous to see Canada's War Witch (also known as Rebelle) make the Foreign Language Film category.
Again, it's heartening to see films with this kind of difficult content pop up anywhere in the Oscar nominations, as the Academy Awards tend to be a bit fuzzy and middle of the road. Don't say you never noticed.