Nomiated for Best Picture are:
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
The Kids Are All Right
More nominations here.
First and foremost: Wow, do I suck at predictions!
When I wrote about Social Network I was stating my fears that it might get overtaken by a “fresher” movie:
As I said in the paragraph addressing the backlash, there will be one with social network and it will only need a moderately good movie to come out in December to beat Network because it is new and people might have grown tired of Network.
And it seems like exactly this has happened. Within a week The King’s Speech has overtaken the Oscar run, now collecting insane 12 nominations (among one very unearned nomination for Helena Bonham Carter, who herself stated that she doesn’t think her role is particularly Oscar worthy).
The runner up now is no longer The Social Network but True Grit with 10 nominations.
The five big movies (the one with nominations for best directing) are:
Black Swan – Darren Aronofsky
The King’s Speech – Tom Hooper
The Social Network – David Fincher
The Fighter – David O. Russell
True Grit – Joel and Ethan Coen
Now I’ve never been the biggest proponent of The Social Network, but since the three movies I care for in this race (Black Swan, Inception and Toy Story 3 – I have not yet seen The Fighter or 127 hours) don’t stand a chance to win I’ll have to root for Fincher to upset The King’s Speech similar to Slumdog Millionaire beating Benjamin Button.
My biggest gripe with these nominations are the things that have always been a gripe with Oscar-predictions/nominations:
1) If your production has enough nominees/winners working on it you’re automatically a frontrunner and if your product is acceptable you get a load of nominations
2) If you are a frontrunner you get awards for almost anything no matter if you deserve it or not.
The two biggest nominees (The King’s Speech and True Grit, both Category: 3, Rating: Lukewarm) are prime examples for this. Both movies have been on every “top list” as soon as they were announced.
You can safely predict “untitled Coen Brothers project” for any year they are bringing out a movie. Same goes for The King’s Speech, this movie has been on top even before we had seen any moving images (trailers/clips).
It’s a historical movie, many acclaimed talents and… it has Nazis in it, but most importantly it is sappy and crowd pleasing enough to be an automatic candidate (Frost/Nixon).
On the other hand movies like Toy Story 3 and How to train your Dragon can try as hard as they want, they can succeed in storytelling in ways neither True Grit nor The King’s Speech do, but they won’t get much recognition. They earn the “Best animated picture” and Toy Story gets one of the 10 slots but it’s not really in the race.
1 Exit Through the Gift Shop getting nominated for best documentary!
I had stopped believing this movie would make it when it was not nominated by the directors guild for best documentary, but it seems as if Mr. Brainwash has got the Academy!
2 Winter’s Bone collecting four nominations!
I still have to write a review for this very good movie (Category: 3, Rating: Great). I only expected the main actress Jennifer Lawrence to garner a nomination, but thankfully Winter’s Bone also got a nomination for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and John Hawkes, who was my favorite part of Winter’s Bone with one of the year’s best performances.
3 Aronofsky for Best Director!
Finally he gets some recognition after not getting nominated for The Wrestler in 2008.
4 Inception for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture!
Self-explanatory. Thankfully Inception didn’t get totally blocked out in the main categories like The Dark Knight.
Now the ugly part:
1 No directing or editing recognition for Inception:
As a big Inception fan I’m naturally upset about two categories Inception failed to get nominated: Best Director and Best Editing and I don’t know which one is the harder blow. Director was somehow expected, because the Academy loves the Coen Brothers, so either the Fighter or Inception had to go. Mr. Nolan seems to get the shaft once again (similar to Dark Knight having all guild nominations but no Academy Award nomination). The fact that Inception has always been in the top five makes the blow as hard as the one against Dark Knight two years ago, but well… that’s the Academy.
While not getting nominated for directing is the tougher pill, the more unexpected is Inception not getting nominated for editing, which seemed (after SFX and Sound) Inception’s biggest Oscar chance. But I guess 127 hours was so well edited and they didn’t have the balls to omit the King’s Speech so they kicked out Inception (boy I’m giving the King’s Speech way too much flack…)
Plus Inception even got nominated by the editors guild…
2. Black Swan getting only a handful of nominations!
Director, Editing, Cinematography, Actress, Best Picture – Five nominations for the movie that got nominated from every guild, a movie that seemed like one of the biggest contenders. Neither scored a screenplay nomination, best supporting actress for Mila Kunis (come on Helena Bonham Carter got nominated for King’s Speech! Where she did nothing!), Make Up (obvious choice), Costume Design (see next point), one of the two sound categories (just remember the amazing sound work in the shock sequences or the creepy sounds of changing skin… brrr…) or best score.. just wow.
3 Hereafter getting nominated for best special effects over Tron!
Why? Because it’s a movie by Clint Eastwood and Scott Pilgrim and Tron are too hip, or whatever convoluted reason they came up with. This category this year is probably the least imaginative since we have two sequels who merely improve upon their previous entries (Iron Man 2, Harry Potter), a movie by a respected Academy member (Hereafter) and two other blockbusters (Inception and Alice in Wonderland).
I can’t understand how Tron did not make the cut and it would have been a miracly had the Academy recognized the fantastic special effects in Scott Pilgrim.
4 Best Costume Design and Best Song are still useless categories!
Last year’s winner Sandy Powell pledged that the Academy Award for Best Costume Design should stop honoring just period pieces, this year the Academy nominated:
The one with the obvious costumes (Alice in Wonderland)
Three Period Pieces (True Grit, The King’s Speech, Tempest)
And one movie set around the millennium (I am Love)
So four standard “Look we have costumes” movies.
And the nominees for Best Song are proof how big of a joke this category is. Mostly you have some generic pop songs to animated movies and one good song (127 hours) – this category should only have one nomination and save us the annual Randy Newman horror.
To sum it up:
The big winners: The King’s Speech and True Grit.
The big losers: Inception (except for technical categories it only got nominated in two categories where there have been 10 possibilities when you see the two screenplay categories as 10 nominees) and Black Swan.
The possible big big losers:
The Social Network, this could turn ugly and it might just get a screenplay award while King’s Speech sweeps everything else.
Also Black Swan will likely just get Natalie Portman’s Oscar (if Annette Bening does not upset it) and Inception will be the biggest loser with only one category (Special Effects) since I’m counting on True Grit to get the technical awards and King’s Speech for Art Direction… well.. so long!