Musings on Oscar 2011 nominations… in pictorial

The stars are probably still either basking or sulking as a result of yesterday’s Academy Award nominations. If you’re connected with me on Twitter, then you know I’ve been tweeting about it on Tuesday morning. The noms were released at 7:30 am CT yesterday and you can see the full list here. I actually had been drafting my last-minute Oscar prediction post on Monday night but decided to talk about the Razzies instead. Now I wish I had posted it after all as now that I’ve looked at my list again (the version of the draft saved 1/24 at 20:57), I actually got ALL of my Best Picture predictions right. Imagine that! I mean, not even a SINGLE film nomination amiss. I’m quite flabbergasted by that as in the previous years, I often didn’t have a clue what some of the nominated films were about!

Anyway, now that the cat is out of the bag, I thought I’d chime in on what I think of the nominations just for the heck of it. After all, this is the first year I’m a lot more aware of the names on the ballot, even if I haven’t seen some of the films/performances nominated. Of course I don’t agree with everything the Academy picked, nothing new there, but instead of being negative, I’d rather focus on the ones I do agree with. So here they are in pictorial… ’cause we’re all visual people, right? 😀

BEST PICTURE

The three I’m rooting for:

I’m totally ok if either one of these three wins as I see the merit in each of them. My favorite of these three is probably The King’s Speech, as I’m a sucker for movies about British monarch (as you can see in this list), and I adore that film so much I can watch it repeatedly. Glad to see all of the three major actors got nominated, as I really think despite Colin Firth‘s outstanding performance as the stuttering King, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham-Carter are both equally fantastic and deeply engaging as the eccentric speech therapist and the warmhearted queen, respectively.

Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter & Colin Firth at TKS premiere

BEST DIRECTOR

First let me say, where on earth is Christopher Nolan??? So his movie is good enough to be nominated for Best Picture, but the writer/director who is the mind behind the film and what makes it great is not worthy of a nomination?? I don’t understand that logic. Danny Boyle is also missing from the shortlist, though his film 127 Hours made the Best Picture noms. I had thought either one of those British directors would make the cut over the Coens, but clearly they’re one of the Academy’s favorites.

Nolan directing Leo in Inception, both notably absent from this year's Oscar noms

So I guess amongst those who did make the cut, I’d root for either one of these guys. Probably leaning more toward Fincher as he’s done a lot of exceptional work in the past and I truly respect The Social Network.


David Fincher, The Social Network | Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech

 

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

The pair I’m rooting for:

I’ve always liked Colin Firth and he’s done such amazing work in the past decade, so I’m totally for him taking home the golden statuette. However, I can’t discredit how good Jesse Eissenberg was as Mark Zuckerberg. It’s a more understated performance that perhaps isn’t as ‘noticeable’ as playing someone with a handicap, but I think the quieter roles often get overlooked even though to me, it seems equally (if not more) challenging to pull off.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

As I actually have not seen ANY of the performances in this category (I know, shame on me!), I can’t really say who I’m rooting for. I guess for all of the buzz Black Swan has been receiving, Natalie Portman seems like a shoo-in, but the race might come down between her and Annette Benning in The Kids are All Right. However, based on what I’ve been reading about Nicole Kidman’s captivating performance as a grieving mother in Rabbit Hole, she might very well pull an upset and win her second Oscar after she won Best Actress in The Hours in 2002. After all, the Academy usually loves an actress who de-glamorizes herself for a role, I think the more plain-jane (or even ugly), the better the chances. Just look at Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball and Charlize Theron in Monster.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

The pair I’m rooting for:


I’d love for Helena Bonham Carter to win as she’s consistently been churning out noteworthy performances in various genres. Whether it’s a fantasy films like Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter or a classy period drama like The King’s Speech, she seems at ease and believable in her roles. At the same time, Melissa Leo is just tremendous as Alice Ward, the tough-talking mother of the two boxers in The Fighter. Besides Christian Bale, I think she is one of the two most-deserving actors to be recognized for their amazing performance.

Which brings me to…

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

The pair I’m rooting for:


My vote goes to Christian Bale, hands down. Granted I have not seen Mark Ruffalo’s nor John Hawkes’ performances, but I can’t possibly think they would sway me to think that either of them deserve to win over Bale. Besides, this guy has been overlooked waaay too many times it’s not even funny! I mean, his work in The Machinist, Rescue Dawn and even Batman Begins are of Oscar caliber that if anything this recognition is long overdue. The only person in that list whose possible winning I probably would not be so up in arms about is Geoffrey Rush. One, because his performance is just superb and so darn delightful I wish I could invite his character to dinner, and two, because Rush is one of the best thespians working today. But even despite all that, I’d be sorely disappointed if Bale doesn’t win.

Garfield as Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network

I know one should not make silly promises like this but I seriously doubt I’d watch the Oscars again if Jeremy Renner wins over Bale! Seriously, as I said in my tweet, I haven’t the slightest idea why the Academy loves him so much. He was just ok in The Hurt Locker (good but not spectacular) and was even less memorable in The Town for which he’s nominated. I’m still scratching my head right now, maybe someone can clue me in?? Having seen both performances, I think Andrew Garfield should’ve been in his place for his engaging and expressive performance in The Social Network. Bonus points for nailing down the American accent, but the Brits seem to have less of a problem with accents than American actors doing attempting British accent.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

I think it’s a definitely going to come down between these two:

Toy Story 3 definitely has the edge as it’s also nominated for Best Picture, which really when you think about it, it has no chance of winning over the other nine. Which automatically means it’ll win this category. I guess I’m ok with that, even though I think How To Train Your Dragon is equally exceptional and totally deserving of recognition. It’s not only technically outstanding, but the story is quite charming and poignant.


Well, what do you think about the nominations? Feel free to chime in on who you’re rooting for or those who you think have been snubbed.