What. The. Fudge.
This year's list of Oscar nominees has got to be one of the strangest on record.
The internet is abuzz with people panning the Academy's choices, and questioning their motives.
Let's start with the most obvious for us here in New Zealand - Tin Tin.
Steven Spielberg claimed Best Animated Picture at the Golden Globes for the film, produced by Sir Peter Jackson and shot in Weta's motion capture studios in Wellington.
Some were expecting it might make the Best Picture category. No one thought it would be shut out so comprehensively. In the end, it picked up just one nod - for John Williams' original score.
More disturbingly, it was snubbed in favour of the abysmal Shrek spin-off Puss in Boots - which really is the ultimate slap in the face.
Spielberg and Jackson took a risk using motion capture animation - which has proved hugely unpopular with audiences in the past - but seemed to have overcome the stigma, earning big box office returns.
The snub will be a significant blow for Spielberg and Jackson - though Spielberg can console himself with his War Horse nominations. The trite, and in my opinion, thoroughly mediocre war epic has picked up six nominations, including Best Picture.
It comes from the Disney family, who also picked up several nominations for another questionable feature, The Help. Yes, it did much better than expected at the box office - driven largely by the outstanding success of the book. And yes, there are some outstanding performances - in particular from Octavia Spencer who could well take home the best supporting actress gong. But is it really Oscar worthy? No.
The fact War Horse and The Help made the Best Picture short list reflects the ultra conservative mentality of the Academy this year. More daring films like Drive and Shame have been shut out completely. Both feature extreme violence and full frontal nudity.
Likewise, Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, failed to score a Best Picture nod or a Best Director nod for David Fincher - who has been nominated for his last two films, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network.
On the acting front, Melissa McCarthy emerges as a dark horse, earning a nod for Best Supporting Actress. It's a strange move in a year that, overall, seems to favour the obscure and arty. Which has to make you wonder if it's simply Hollywood's way of saying "see, we're cool with fat people".
At least there is some question of competition in the supporting actor race. Best Actress is all stitched up with Meryl Streep guaranteed to take home yet another little gold man. (But deservedly so, her performance is breathtaking.)
In the end it's shaping up to be three-horse race between Hugo, The Artist and The Descendents. The latter being a film one blogger aptly described as "a glorified Lifetime TV movie".
The danger is both Hugo and The Artist are tributes to the magic and mystery of film making and will appeal to the same cinephile voters. Which could see them cancel each other out, leaving the thoroughly unworthy Descendents to take home the prize.
Watch this space.