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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The 83rd Annual Academy Award Nominees

Apparently he has lice or something...

Oh my. What a morning. My alarm clock went off at 5:20am, even though I had nothing to do until around 8:30 or so, for one specific reason - Oscar nomination day. 

Should be its own federal holiday; I swear to God. 

More, and the full list of nominees, after the cut --
I'm going to break this down category by category. I haven't had coffee yet, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around the curious exclusion of Black Swan from Original Screenplay. So, here we are, starting with Best Picture. 

Best Motion Picture of the Year
127 Hours
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

There are absolutely no surprises here. Anyone who can read should have been calling this for the last couple of weeks now. I feel that there are some blinding omissions made by the Academy here, but... I made a wrong call on Winter's Bone. It had more traction than I believed, and apparently Jeremy Renner was the only thing decent about The Town. I missed that memo.

Best Actor
Javier Bardem - Biutiful
Jeff Bridges - True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network
Colin Firth - The King's Speech
James Franco - 127 Hours

Bardem? I'm pretty sure no one saw that coming. His film was barely getting traction for Best Foreign Language feature. This is the first time that a performance spoken entirely in Spanish is nominated for a competitive Oscar. It's big news. Also, our host James Franco getting nominated was a sure thing, as were Bridges and Eisenberg. If there's a snub, it's either Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine or Robert Duvall in Get Low. Colin Firth's had this wrapped for months now. 

Best Actress
Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman - Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Michelle Williams - Blue Valentine

Again, as expected. Portman has this wrapped, like Firth. Has for months now. The only possibility of her not getting the Oscar is if people feel that for some reason Annette Bening previous three loses helped her earn it this year. Her performance is excellent, but I'm hard pressed to find anything about it that comes close to what Portman did. 

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale - The Fighter
John Hawkes - Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner - The Town
Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush - The King's Speech

There's something terribly wrong here, while at the same time, something terribly right. Andrew Garfield was snubbed, dramatically, for The Social Network. But, at the fortune of John Hawkes in Winter's Bone. I don't know whether to be angry, or to dance. Both are superb performances from intelligent actors, but... yeah, there's just no room. Supporting Actor was THE category this year. All five performances deserve to win, if you ask me, but it will go Christian Bale. And... damn, does he deserve it. 

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams - The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter - The King's Speech
Melissa Leo - The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
Jackie Weaver - Animal Kingdom

The Mila Kunis snub surprises the hell out of me. A lot more than the Andrew Garfield snub (he was missing a few key pre-cursor awards). Kunis had critical support, a Globe nod and a Screen Actors Guild nod, but still couldn't land a nomination here. Like Garfield for Hawkes, though, it was for Weaver that she was left out. Again, I can't be too upset. Weaver was remarkable, and the best thing about an excellent film. 

Also, Hailee Steinfeld is lead. This is so stupid. 

Best Director
Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
Joel and Ethan Coen - True Grit
David Fincher - The Social Network
Tom Hooper - The King's Speech
Christopher Nolan - Inception
David O Russell - The Fighter

I'd like to say how proud I am of the Coen Brothers, first of all. True Grit will live, like the original, as an American classic, and will stand the test of time. That said, they took Christopher Nolan's twice earned spot. And even if we're not counting his snub from 2008, which we aren't, he was ace this year and deserved a nomination here. 

All joking aside, the tonal structure of Inception is the most crucial part of that film. They nominated the dreaming map for Original Screenplay, and the dream as a whole for Picture, but they discredit the dreamer by ignoring him? Shameful. 

Below is a link for the full nominees, not including Black Swan in Original Screenplay. 


What do you think of the nominees? Anyone you were expecting to get in who didn't? Let me know in the comments! And if you're as mad as I am about the Nolan snub, let's hug it out.