Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thoughts on Oscar Nominations

Out of the 56 films nominated, I have seen 22 films including all ten Best Picture nominees. If I had seen Another Year, Rabbit Hole, and Biutiful then I would've seen every film or performance nominated in Picture, Directing, Acting, and Writing categories. Out of the 120 nominations, I've seen 85 of them i.e. 70.8% of the nominees. If you ignore all of the short films, my percentage goes up to a lovely even 80%.

I've bolded the films and performances I have seen below:

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King's Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter's Bone

This is probably the first time I have seen every film nominated for a Best Picture before nominations came out. It wasn't that hard since most of these films I really wanted to see and then some others were made readily available on DVD. These ten films plus the snubbed The Town were the films to make any real impact all awards season including critically and even at the box office so absolutely NO ONE was shocked when these ten were announced. And as someone who has seen them all, I can say there's not a single stinker. The King's Speech lead with 12 nominations followed by True Grit with 10 nominations.

  • Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
  • David O. Russell, The Fighter
  • Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
  • David Fincher, The Social Network
  • Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, True Grit

The big shocker here is the absence of Christopher Nolan who is still looking for his first Academy Award nomination as a director. The snub is even more glaring when you think about the fact that he's been nominated by the Directors Guild three times, including for his work this year with Inception. His other DGA nominees made the shortlist here with the Coen brothers presumably taking Nolan's spot. It's worth noting that while last year gave us a woman and an openly gay black man, this year we have five white men in the lineup. David Fincher is the current front-runner, but his film's lower-than-expected nomination count (8 nominations), is putting to question the strength of the film. Then again his biggest competition, Nolan, is out so that should only help him.

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

The Academy decided to stick with the SAG nominations with the exception of Robert Duvall being left out on the list. In his place is Javier Bardem who came from nowhere thanks to lots of A-list people campaigning for him. Also shafted were Ryan Gosling and Mark Wahlberg. The former, in my opinion, gave the performance of the year while the latter had to settle seeing the rest of his cast be nominated. Colin Firth is the favorite to win here, especially with Jeff Bridges already winning last year.

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

Even with Gosling's snub, the Academy had the decency to nominate his co-star Michelle Williams. This whole category is actually pretty good even though I was a bit more partial to Julianne Moore over Annette Bening, but it's all pretty moot now. The award is Natalie Portman's to lose as everything has just been going perfectly for her. Only Bening can possibly take it away from her. Also very happy to see Nicole Kidman back in the limelight.

  • 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

I still can't believe Andrew Garfield got snubbed here as not only did he give one of my favorite performances of the year in The Social Network, but he delivered a second fantastic (supporting) performance in Never Let Me Go. I suppose everyone should've seen it coming, as the Academy went 5 for 5 here with the SAG. For the win, this is Christian Bale's unless the Academy really loves The King's Speech and decides to give Rush another statue.

  • Amy Adams, The Fighter
  • Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech
  • Melissa Leo, The Fighter
  • Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
  • Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

The question here was whether or not Hailee Steinfeld would garner enough votes since many consider her role as lead. The category fraud worked though and she should be seen as the co-favorite to win alongside Melissa Leo. Jacki Weaver was able to sneak into the shortlist knocking off SAG nominated Mila Kunis. My Hail Mary wish for a surprise nomination in the form of Olivia Williams for The Ghost Writer didn't pay off at all.

  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • The Illusionist
  • Toy Story 3

These were widely known to be the three to get nominated, so no big shocker. Though Despicable Me (and Tangled) were holding up well enough in the precursors that it made fans of The Illusionist (and even How to Train Your Dragon) nervous. Pixar fans though should never ever be nervous. Pixar will again win here.

  • Another Year
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • Kids Are All Right
  • King's Speech

The Academy decided to throw Mike Leigh's Another Year a bone here presumably at the cost of WGA-nominated Black Swan. They also honored Christopher Nolan here hoping he's not too upset for that directing snub. Nolan's film is actually the front-runner here based on the precursors, but The King's Speech seems to be much more the Academy's taste. Then again, maybe they feel so bad about snubbing Nolan in directing, they'll almost be forced to give him this win.

  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter's Bone

Even thought the films foothold on award's season have been lessened the past few days, The Social Network is still the film to beat MOST ESPECIALLY in this category as I'm sure the Academy is just dying to give Aaron Sorkin this award. The rest of the nominees were also widely expected replacing WGA nominees Phillip Morris and The Town with Best Picture hopefuls Toy Story 3 and Winter's Bone.

  • Biutiful, Mexico
  • Dogtooth, Greece
  • In A Better World, Denmark
  • Incendies, Canada
  • Outside the Law, Algeria

The precursors have been immensely unhelpful with this category, but it seems these are not at all shocking nominations. Many are pleasantly surprised that Dogtooth made it in. The slight favorite might be Golden Globe winner In A Better World, but it's worth noting that the only film to have a nomination outside of this category is Biutiful with its lead actor also nominated.

  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Inception
  • The King's Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network

Sadly, I don't really remember the score for 127 Hours, but I do like A.R. Rahman's work in Slumdog Millionaire, so I probably really liked it. The other four scores are fantastic and like every year, I'm just absolutely in love this category. A few people are bemoaning the fact that Daft Punk's work in TRON: Legacy were not honored, but honestly I couldn't even say which one I'd want them to replace it with. Click here to sample of all of these wonderful scores.

  • Coming Home, Country Strong
  • I See the Light, Tangled
  • If I Rise, 127 Hours
  • We Belong Together, Toy Story 3

The fact that Cher and her wonderful "You Have Not Seen the Last of Me" solo in Burlesque was not nominated is another egregious snub on the Academy's part. Burlesque is no Citizen Kane, but it had some Oscar-worthy songs. If that were to have been nominated, it would've been the favorite. As of now, this category is wide open.

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
  • Inception
  • The King's Speech
  • True Grit

Tough to figure out where the tech nominations will go. Inception is a good bet, but it didn't receive nearly as much love as many had expected. Anyone have a clue?

  • Black Swan
  • Inception
  • The King's Speech
  • The Social Network
  • True Grit

Can acclaimed Roger Deakins finally FINALLY get his first Oscar win for his work on True Grit? Well, this year is as good as any. The closest competition is probably Wally Pfister for his work on Inception. I'd be shocked if neither these two men win this.

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • I Am Love
  • The King's Speech
  • The Tempest
  • True Grit

Was thinking Burlesque could've appeared here, but I guess not. I Am Love and The Tempest get their lone nominations here and methinks deservedly show. I have no clue who is the front-runner here.

  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
  • Gasland
  • Inside Job
  • Restrepo
  • Waste Land

I've only seen Exit Through the Gift Shop which I really loved and is one of my favorite films of the year. It's hilarious to me that Banksy might actually be a presence at this year's award. I'm expecting something crazy if anything happens regarding him. I'll probably get to see Inside Job and Restrepo before the big night. The winner is likely from those three aforementioned films with Inside Job the likeliest option.

  • Killing in the Name
  • Poster Girl
  • Strangers No More
  • Sun Come Up
  • The Warriors of Qiugang

My yearly tradition of picking the winner by how awesome the name is continues. This year that is The Warrior of Qiugang especially since I'm totally picture a queer film in my head. God, I don't even know what that film is about. I hope I didn't just make an inappropriate joke.

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • The King's Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network

The big exclusion here is once again Inception. Lee Smith's work was thought to be the front-runner here, but alas no mas. With this award becoming in recent year a sort of barometer for Best Picture winners, these films become the slight front-runners in that race, though realistically, only The Fighter, The King's Speech, and The Social Network are probably in the running.

  • Barney's Version
  • The Way Back
  • The Wolfman

What an odd list of nominees. Not exactly undeserving, but just really out-of-the-blue considering these are the lone nominations for all three films. But as far as I can tell, there's no man in drag wearing a fat suit, so it's one of the better years.

  • Day & Night
  • The Gruffalo
  • Let's Pollute
  • The Lost Thing
  • Madagascar, a Journey Diary

My favorite title is The Gruffalo. Now, please tell me this is not some animated short based on Mark Ruffalo? Or if it is, someone give me the link now! but anyway, I did see Day & Night. Not the best Pixar short, but still good.

  • The Confession
  • The Crush
  • God of Love
  • Na Wewe
  • Wish 143

Kind of boring titles, but I kind of really like Wish 143. Of course I'll find out later it's some heinous movie or something.

  • Inception
  • Toy Story 3
  • Tron: Legacy
  • True Grit
  • Unstoppable

Inception should get this unless they really don't like the film.

  • Inception
  • The King's Speech
  • Salt
  • The Social Network
  • True Grit

Again, Inception, but with four Best Picture nominees here, this award will be worthy to pay attention to early on to see how the evening might go.

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
  • Hereafter
  • Inception
  • Iron Man 2

And finally, we get to this category which is a little painful to look at because I know fully well that the two films they snubbed was TRON: Legacy and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The latter would've been such an inspired choice and would've given the cult-favorite film its one and only nomination. Alas they picked dull and inexplicable choices such as Iron Man 2, Hereafter, and Eyesore in Wonderland (via Nathaniel). Remember last year when Avatar, District 9, and Star Trek were the three nominees? Good times.

The big night is on February 27th and will be hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway.

1 comment:

  1. I'd actually think The King's Speech would be a shoo-in for cinematography.


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