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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Facebook vs. King George VI? Mila Kunis is Missing? The Academy Hates Christopher Nolan? News and Views Talks Oscar Nominations

The Academy announced the Oscar nominees Tuesday morning. Yes, I know my post is a tiny bit late, but I was soaking up the sun in Mexico (be jealous!) Either way, Tuesday morning Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak and 2009 Oscar winner Mo'Nique greeted groggy-eyed Hollywood with the 2011 Oscar nominations. 

Watch the nominations announcement below:

While The Social Network swept the Golden Globes and critics’ awards, you would think it will most likely come out on top in the Oscars as well. But with The King’s Speech raking in the most noms (12), The Social Network (8 nominations) could now be a best picture underdog. As Moviefone’s Gold Derby points out, “The movie with the most nominations tends to win Best Picture 75 percent of the time.”

Additionally, The King’s Speech pulled off a bombshell Best Picture victory at the Producers Guild awards. “Over the past 20 years, [the] PGA and the Oscars have agreed on Best Picture 13 times.”¹ Not to mention that there has only been “one other instance where the winner of the Golden Globe for Best Picture actually won the Oscar.”² Not looking good for the Facebook flick, but as Slumdog Millionaire and Hurt Locker both proved, underdogs can take the cake (or the little Oscar statuette).

While the Best Picture buzz is always interesting and makes for a great debate, especially when you see all the odds, I find the surprise and snub talk by far the most entertaining.

There are the surprises:
  • Good job, 127 Hours! You’re up for Best Picture!¹
  • After being shut out at the Golden Globes, True Grit came back strong with 10 nominations.¹
  • Hats off to Mark Ruffalo (The Kids are All Right), Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine), John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone), and Javier Bardem (Biutful) who all received actor nominations, even though Williams' and Ruffalo’s co-stars got big snubs.¹
  • While mainstreamers may say “um, what?” Twitter blew up with happy shock over Dogtooth for a Best Foreign Film nomination and I Am Love's Antonella Cannarozzi for Costume Designer.⁷
And the snubs, which most definitely outweigh the surprises:
  • Why was 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld of True Grit announced as a Best Supporting Actress nominee when she is the film’s main actress?³
  • Why wasn’t Mila Kunis given a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her dynamic and captivating role in Black Swan
  • How could the Academy ignore Daft Punk’s phenomenal techno score for Tron: Legacy as well as the film’s innovative visual effects?¹
  • Not even The Town seems able to vindicate Ben Affleck, who has dropped some major theatrical bombs like Daredevil, Jersey Girl, and (shudder) Gigli and also hasn’t really been a presence in the awards scene since Good Will Hunting. However, he made a career comeback with “assured direction, superb casting, and solid acting” in this crime drama. It didn’t seem to be enough, though, for the Academy.⁵
  • Where the heck are Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield (The Social Network), Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right), Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine), Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter), documentary Waiting for Superman, and animated film Despicable Me?¹,⁶
  • And, finally, does the Academy just hate Christopher Nolan? I mean, sure, Inception got a Best Picture nom, but “Nolan—a three-time Directors Guild of America nominee for Memento, The Dark Knight, and Inception—has yet to be recognized in the director category by the Academy.”⁴
Now that I’ve run down the big Best Picture face-off and all the shocks and snubs, let’s hear what you think! I’d run through my picks, but they’d be heavily Black Swan and The Social Network-weighted. So, enough about me! Let’s focus on you.

What are your thoughts on the surprises and snubs? Did I miss anything? Who do you think will take home the major prizes? If the Academy was comprised of your patrons, what films and actors would make up the nominations and/or winners?

Share your thoughts!

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