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.

34 thoughts on “Musings on Oscar 2011 nominations… in pictorial

  1. How I’d rank the Best Picture nominees:

    Black Swan
    Winter’s Bone
    True Grit
    The Social Network
    Inception
    The Fighter

    I’m seeing The King’s Speech in an hour or two. I think Black Swan runs laps around all of the nominees but I’d be surprised if it wins. True Grit and Winter’s Bone are a flip of the coin for the #2 spot. If either won, they’d be flawed best picture winners but certainly justifiable choices.

    As for Best Director, again, I’d go with Aronofsky. I think there’s a pretty big gap in quality between Black Swan and the rest of the nominated films I’ve seen this year.

    1. Haven’t seen Black Swan yet but I’m sure a lot of people are in your corner, John. I’m curious what you think of TKS and whether it’ll sway your opinion about Best Picture.

      1. Just got back, and it’s very, very good. Re-adjusting my list, it’d be the new #2. It’s the only other film that I’ve seen this year that I’d put in the ballpark with Black Swan. Buuuut…. Black Swan is a pretty divisive movie, very much a love or hate type of thing. Whereas I can’t see anybody disliking The King’s Speech.

        I can’t say enough about how tight The King’s Speech was- the screenplay works 100%, with the story coming full circle. It’s one of the better screenplays I’ve seen brought to life in quite some time.

        1. Hey John, glad you enjoyed it. It’s amazing how consistent TKS is. The acting, dialogue, art direction, etc are all on par and support each other, it’s rare to see that in a film.

          Yep you’re right that Black Swan is quite a polarizing film. I don’t know if I’d appreciate it as much as others as I can’t stand psychosexual thriller. I still might see it on dvd but I don’t think I can handle it on the big screen.

  2. I think The Social Network will make a great best picture winner. I still havent seen The King’s Speech yet.

    Colin Firth will most likely win best actor, despite James Franco’s performance really kicking ass and Jessie Eisenberg doing the same.

    Bale will and should win, same with Melissa Leo who is, omg, awesome in The Fighter.

    I’m rooting for Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right. Better performance and it will be a career award to some extent, like Firth.

    Anyone else bummed Despicable Me didn’t get nominated?

    1. I’m ok with either one winning, both are worthy of it.

      Yeah, I think Oscar will give it to Colin this year as he didn’t get it last year. It’s kinda like Russell Crowe winning for Gladiator when he lost to Kevin Spacey the year before, though his performance in The Insider is more gripping IMO.

      It’d be cool to see Bale and Leo up winning for The Fighter, those are such transforming performances that they pulled off.

      Haven’t seen Bening in that film so I can’t say, but I agree she’s got a great body of work.

      I’m not bummed out about Despicable Me as I haven’t seen it either, I think if they have 5 noms, Legend of the Guardians should make the cut.

  3. Ted S.

    Like I said on my top 3 best picture, Nolan won’t get any respect from his peers until he makes THAT film like Spielberg did with Schindler’s List. Yeah Spielberg got nominated a few times before Schindler’s List but he wasn’t considered a serious director until Schindler’s List. I think Nolan might have to go back and make a smaller film after The Dark Knight Rises.

    1. You’ve got a point there Ted, it took a while before even Spielberg to get recognized. And Nolan is still young so I’m sure we’ll see his name in the ballot soon enough. I don’t know what he’s got cooking after TDKR but yeah, it’d be great if he goes indie after that.

    1. Well Kidman is usually so plastic looking, I mean her forehead barely moves from all the botox. So seeing her looking like kind of plain makes me say that. Of course she’s still a very attractive ‘regular woman.’

  4. PrairieGirl

    So not into the Oscars this year. Have only seen two nominated best pictures (Toy Story 3 and The King’s Speech, totally agree with all the noms here), but am not at all interested in the other eight. And you’re correct about what you’re probably thinking right now Ruth, I certainly would be more interested if GB or RS were in the mix, so what else is new!

    1. Ha..ha.. yes I definitely share your last sentiment there Becky. Alas, I doubt they’d even attend the ceremony, GB probably just go to the after party 😀

  5. For the record, Michelle Williams deserves to win the Oscar for Best Actress. She transcended acting in Blue Valentine, giving one of the strongest performance I have seen in any movie.

    1. I saw your tweet about that earlier, Castor. Yeah, she’s a tremendous actress. I have not seen BV but I’d take your word for it that she indeed deserves her nom. Do you find it interesting that Gosling is not nominated though?

      1. Yes, certainly interesting because he had a flashier role than her. I’m bummed that he didn’t get one but let’s face it, someone was going to be left out in the cold this year.

  6. I’m not all that disappointed with the Oscars this year, except no love for Christopher Nolan, or The Town for that matter. However, it doesn’t matter all that much really since The Social Network is practically going to win everything it’s nominated for. Which kind of blows, but hey it really was an amazing piece of work. Can’t wait for the show!

    1. I agree with DanTheMan…The Town got snubbed too and should’ve had something other than Jeremy Renner’s nom! I hope they at least give a posthumous nod to Pete Postlethwaite.

      1. Great point, T, I’d rather see Pete getting a posthumous nod than Renner as he’s a lot better and memorable in it despite his limited screen time.

    2. Dan, you’re doing the copy&paste comment thing again 😀 I’ve already seen your exact comment on G-S-T blog and a couple others, ahah.

  7. I hope THE KING’S SPEECH will take all of the awards, and that Michelle Williams will finally get her well deserved Oscar … but I’m not an optimist in this world full of injustice 😦
    Hope Bale gets an Oscar too!
    The films in best film category are mostly horrible … not all, but mostly. It’s obvious that’s it’s a huge setup.

    1. Y’know, if there’s a film that I don’t mind sweeping the awards, it’ll be TKS. And yeah, Bale better get it or else! 😀

      And you’re right Dez, it’s all kinda political how the voting goes. That’s why you don’t see films like Another Year in the Best Picture noms as the producers probably didn’t do an Oscar campaign for it.

  8. congrats on getting your predictions on the noms right! I wish too that you would’ve posted them. We have some time before the Oscars….Are you going to post your predictions for the winners? I think I will.

    I also wondered what happened to Nolan’s nom. David over at theschleicherspin.com put on his post a box of kittens as a consolation prize to Nolan. Made me laugh! Here’s the link if you wanted to see it! At least he gave Nolan something! haha http://theschleicherspin.com/2011/01/25/a-box-of-kittens-of-christopher-nolan/

    1. Hey thanks T, I just realized it when I compared the noms list from Oscar website and it dawned on me, I had all of them right! 😀 Yeah I might do a winner prediction post as the telecast date gets closer.

      Oooh, cute kittens! Ha..ha.. well, he’s got his own Catwoman so I doubt he’s shedding a tear of this ‘snub.’ That guy is only 40 yrs old, he’s got a loooong career ahead of him. He’ll get that Oscar soon enough… at least I hope he does.

      1. Make sure, in case you haven’t seen it already, that you check out the trailer for The conspirator. If memory serves me right, you wrote about that one quite some time ago. The trailer just released. I will post it tomorrow on Trailer Time Thursday!

        1. Thanks for the heads up, but yeah I did see the trailer after dinner. Good thing I opted to feature a different trailer for my weekly trailer post, so I’ll saunter over to your blog to see what else you’ve got cookin’ for TTT.

          P.S. Just a small suggestion, it would be nice if you limit the trailers to just 3 or 4 per post as the loading time is quite long even w/ T1 connection. Just a thought.

  9. mcarteratthemovies

    I’m of the camp that was quietly enraged — well, conflicted, really — about Colin Firth losing last year after giving that revolutionary performance in “A Single Man.” So I’m going to say that he’s still owed a statue for that, and I hope he gets it for “The King’s Speech.” Maybe then he and Jeff Bridges can do a trade. That seems fair.

    As for Best Picture, I’m gunning for “Winter’s Bone.” It’s a long shot for sure because not everyone saw it, but I think those who did would agree it was compelling on so many levels: story, acting, dialogue, cinematography, editing. It’s an amazing re-imagining of neo-noir.

    1. I just realized Firth and Bridges are up against each other again this year! Man, Bridges better not win again this time. I have not seen A Single Man but I can see how that is a more challenging performance than in TKS. I hope they’ll do what they did w/ Russell Crowe, giving him the Oscar for Gladiator when he should’ve won it for The Insider instead of Kevin Spacey!

      Yeah, I know you really love Winter’s Bone. I have yet to see that but from what I heard, glad it was recognized by the Academy.

  10. I truly enjoyed Inception, but I believe that The King’s Speech should win Best Picture, without question. And I think that Geoffrey Rush should definitely win Best Supporting Actor. That was such a wonderful movie with such astounding performances.

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