Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oscar Nominations: What Sucks and What Doesn't.

Well, a couple shockers right out of the gate here, a couple snubs that make me incredibly depressed, and a couple nominations that I love. Let's get into it, shall we?
I'll put asterisks next to the ones I predicted correctly.

Best Picture
127 Hours*
Black Swan*
The Fighter*
Inception*
The Kids Are All Right*
The King's Speech*
The Social Network*
Toy Story 3*
True Grit*
Winter's Bone*
Got all 10 of 'em. I'd like to say I'm really good at this, but, honestly, it just wasn't hard to do this year. I suppose I'm pleased enough with the results here. There's nothing egregiously bad like, say, The Blind Side. I'm thrilled that the Academy managed to not nominate another terrible movie.
Early winner prediction: The King's Speech

Best Director
Darren Aronofsky-Black Swan*
Joel and Ethan Coen-True Grit
David Fincher-The Social Network*
Tom Hooper-The King's Speech*
David O. Russell-The Fighter*
The huge surprise here, obviously, is that Christopher Nolan and Inception were left out here. I'm not his biggest fan, but even I gotta ask, what did he do to the Academy? They must really despise him. That being said, I wouldn't have nominated him either. Still, the Internet is probably going to throw an Internet-riot when they find out.
Early Winner Prediction: David Fincher

Best Actor
Javier Bardem-Biutiful
Jeff Bridges-True Grit*
Jesse Eisenberg-The Social Network*
Colin Firth-The King's Speech*
James Franco-127 Hours*
It's delightful to see Robert Duvall ignored this morning, though it does mean I probably won't be able to see all the nominees before Oscar morning. Also groovy to see Eisenberg here for a thoroughly atypical performance, and of course, Mr. James Franco, who deserves to win.
Early winner prediction: Colin Firth

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
I absolutely love that Michelle Williams made it in here. That being said, it kills me that Julianne Moore didn't. C'est la vie.
Early winner prediction: Natalie Portman

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*
Why the hell isn't Andrew Garfield here?! This could be the worst part of the ballot. It just breaks my heart to see him left off for his fantastic Social Network performance. I hate this.
Early winner prediction: Christian Bale

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams-The Fighter*
Helena Bonham-Carter-The King's Speech*
Melissa Leo-The Fighter*
Hailee Steinfeld-True Grit
Jacki Weaver-Animal Kingdom*
This category made me yell 'DAMMIT', followed quickly by loud clapping and whooping, no doubt making the neighbors wonder how I spend my mornings. Sure, Hailee Steinfeld got in at the expense of Black Swan's Mila Kunis, which sucks, but I'm absolutely thrilled that Jacki Weaver got in. In a fair world, she'd win this Oscar in an instant.
Early winner prediction: Melissa Leo

Original Screenplay
Another Year
The Fighter*
Inception*
The Kids Are All Right*
The King's Speech*
No Black Swan? Strange. Did not expect that. Still, it's nice to see Mike Leigh get some recognition for Another Year.
Early winner prediction: The King's Speech

Adapted Screenplay
127 Hours
The Social Network*
Toy Story 3*
True Grit*
Winter's Bone*
I love that 127 Hours made it in here, as it's not really a dialogue-heavy piece. A little disappointed that The Ghost Writer missed, but that was a long-shot anyway.
Early winner prediction: The Social Network

Art Direction
Alice in Wonderland*
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Inception*
The King's Speech*
True Grit*
I'm really glad Harry Potter made it here, as this was one of the best-designed of the series. I hate, hate, hate that Alice in Wonderland shows up here for its ugly, joyless, stupid design. And no TRON.
Early winner prediction: The King's Speech

Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland*
I Am Love
The King's Speech*
The Tempest*
True Grit*
So, here I was, all set to unveil my 'best of 2010' costume category, full of movies too cool and contemporary for the Academy, and then they go and nominate I Am Love. I mean, I'm thrilled that it's here, but it steals a bit of my "I've got discerning taste and they don't" thunder. Sad that Burlesque didn't make it. Come on, there was a dress made entirely out of fake pearls!
Early winner prediction: Alice in Wonderland

Visual Effects
Alice in Wonderland*
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1*
Hereafter
Inception*
Iron Man 2*
As I'm sure you can guess, I am absolutely slain by the fact that TRON isn't on here. Maybe the Academy and I saw different movies, because if they'd seen the version I saw, they'd know how incredible it looked. Also, I hate that Hereafter made it, because now I actually have to try and see it.
Early winner prediction: Inception

Makeup
Barney's Version*
The Way Back
The Wolfman*
No Alice in Wonderland!! Rejoice!! That being said, I also really don't want to have to see Barney's Version. Meh, all my favorite movies in this field were ineligible anyway, so I don't care about this category much one way or the other.
Early winner prediction: Barney's Version

Film Editing
127 Hours
Black Swan*
The Fighter*
The King's Speech*
The Social Network*
Kind of wild that Inception didn't make it here. Boy, the Academy sure didn't love that one like the rest of the world did, huh? Great to see 127 Hours and Black Swan, though.
Early winner prediction: The Social Network

Cinematography
Black Swan*
Inception*
The King's Speech*
The Social Network
True Grit*
Kind of annoying to see The King's Speech show up here. Still, they nominated Black Swan, and that's something.
Early winner prediction: True Grit

Original Score
127 Hours
How to Train Your Dragon*
Inception*
The King's Speech*
The Social Network*
I hate that TRON didn't make the cut, especially boring crap like The King's Speech did, but that was never going to happen anyway. At least How to Train Your Dragon and The Social Network made it, which are both completely amazing. Incidentally, Trent Reznor (of '9 Inch Nails' fame) is now an Oscar nominee. Trippy.
Early winner prediction: The King's Speech

Sound Mixing
Inception*
The King's Speech
Salt
The Social Network
True Grit*
What the hell is The King's Speech doing here?! I mean, seriously. I get that the Academy loved this movie, but putting it over TRON, How to Train Your Dragon, 127 Hours, Black Swan, or any other of the hundreds of more interesting sound jobs this year is just heinous. This is probably my least favorite nomination of the morning. AAAAAAUUUGGGHHH. This pretty much raped my soul. Seriously? So. Many. Good. Mixes. THE KING'S SPEECH. WHAT. THE. HELL.
Early winner prediction: Inception

Sound Effects Editing
Inception*
Toy Story 3*
TRON Legacy*
True Grit
Unstoppable
Thank God The King's Speech didn't show up here. You know they thought about doing it. This is also TRON's only sad, lonely little nomination. Don't worry, big guy. We know you're better than the rest of them. Also, it's an utter travesty that How to Train Your Dragon didn't make it here. Note: it's really strange to see a year when the two sound categories don't really line up. This year, they only share two nominees. Normally, they share four.
Early winner prediction: Inception

Original Song
"If I Rise"-127 Hours*
"Coming Home"-Country Strong
"I See the Light"-Tangled*
"We Belong Together"-Toy Story 3*
It's hard for me to get worked up about this category, but it's a little sad that Cher's hilarious power ballad, "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me," from Burlesque, didn't make it. Turns out Burlesque didn't get any nominations. Sure, it's a bad movie, but it's fun! And they can't care if song nominees are from bad movies. After all, they nominated Country Strong.
Early winner prediction: I See the Light

Animated Film
How to Train Your Dragon*
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3*
I haven't seen The Illusionist (yet), so I can't comment on it beating out Tangled. At least Despicable Me didn't make it.

Foreign Language Film
Biutiful-Mexico*
Dogtooth-Greece*
In a Better World-Denmark*
Incendies-Canada*
Outside the Law-Algeria
Hurray Dogtooth! I haven't seen it yet, but it's allegedly a graphic movie about incest and animal-slaughter, which is absolutely not up the Academy's alley. Congrats to them for this, the most bizarre nomination this morning.
Early winner prediction: In a Better World

Documentary Feature
Exit Through the Gift Shop*
Gasland*
Inside Job*
Restrepo*
Waste Land
I'm just thrilled that both Exit Through the Gift Shop and Restrepo made it, as they're both great movies. Also, Waiting For Superman, which is supposedly awful, but, for some reason, was the favorite to win, missed out, which I guess is probably awesome.
Early winner prediction: Exit Through the Gift Shop


Note: of the main nominees (ie all categories but animated, foreign language, and documentary), I haven't seen Biutiful, Another Year, The Tempest, Hereafter, Barney's Version, or The Way Back. I'm sure that I can see Another Year and The Way Back before the Oscars. The others? ...We'll see.

Incidentally, I did pretty well with predicting. With the exception of the sound categories, I averaged 4/5 nominees guessed correctly.

Here's a list of the 10 most nominated films:
1. The King's Speech-12
2. True Grit-10
3. The Social Network-8
4. Inception-8
5. The Fighter-7
6. 127 Hours-6
7. Black Swan-5
8. Toy Story 3-5
9. The Kids Are All Right-4
10. Winter's Bone-4

And here are a few notable films that got nothing: Shutter Island, Burlesque, Despicable Me, Waiting For Superman, Secretariat, The Ghost Writer, Life Above All, Made in Dagenham, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Easy A. ...I'm sure there are others, but they aren't coming to mind right now.

There we have it. What are your reactions? Pleased? Angry? Surprised? Apathetic? Sound off!

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