5 Oscar Surprises for Tuesday Morning

The Oscar nominations are almost here. Less than 4 days away. The excitement is in the air despite the race being somewhat predictable at this time. However nominations morning always brings in a couple of surprises. Dreamgirls shut out of Best Picture and Director. Kate Winslet for The Reader as Best Actress and Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road. Letters From Iwo Jima for Best Picture. And just last year Maggie Gyllenhaal for Best Supporting Actress. Here are five nominations I’d like to be surprised by next Tuesday. A couple of these wishes already appeared in my praise of 2010 performances.

Jacki Weaver for Best Supporting Actress
Have you seen Animal Kingdom? Rent it today if you haven’t. This one could possibly happen. Weaver received nominations for both BFCA and the Golden Globes but missed the crucial SAG nomination. There is a scenario where she could possibly bump off Mila Kunis. She is very deserving as the worst mother in the world. But does it all smiles and sweetness, which just makes the character chilly and scary. And those intense eyes, man. She did so much with them.I could not take my eyes off of her. Plus she has been a charming presence on the campaign trail, judging from the couple of interviews I read and/or saw online. It would be great if this acknowledgement happened to this Australian veteran.

Tahar Rahim for Best Actor
Not a chance for this one. A Prophet is in a foreign language film. It was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film last year. Although technically eligible because the movie was a 2010 US release. This was a whopper of a performance. Plus it’s a great role; you know sometimes it’s all about the role. Rahim shows you how a criminal mastermind is born and how he develops his powers. Powerful but quiet performance, absolutely not fussy. He doesn’t really have the “look at me” quality some actors do, but completely owns the role and character. If nominated it could open more doors for him in the US. He already won the Cesar in France.

Lisa Choledenko for Best Director
Because she directed 5 fantastic performances in The Kids Are All Right. She was the maestro behind that beautiful ensemble. Because her movie was not only warm and funny but a true contemporary American story that captured what it means to be living in America in 2010. Because her direction was not flashy, it simply served the story. And for that she deserves a trip to the Kodak as a Best Director nominee.

Alex Garland (Never Let Me Go) for Best Adapted Screenplay
I loved this movie. But I’m in a very tiny minority. Garland managed to transform a beautiful lyrical book into a cinematic marvel. He kept the spirit of the characters but enhanced them and brought them to life. And for that he should get invited to the party. I have loved his work for years. From his novels to his collaborations with Danny Boyle, come on Hollywood give this guy some attention.

And can I end up with a wished for snub? I know I know it’s not cool. But I can’t stand all this awards attention for the overrated performance of Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech. I like Bonham Carter fine. In fact I loved her a decade ago in The Wings of Love, Fight Club and Howard’s End. But recently she has been just coasting working with her partner Tim Burton. She was particularly awful in Sweeney Todd, never sing again Helena. While I was happy to see her work with another director, it was really a nothing part and not a remarkable performance. Even she is surprised she’s getting all these accolades. If she gets in and Weaver or Kunis miss out I’ll be so mad.

Tell us what are the nominations you are hoping for? Or the snubs you’d like to see. And don’t forget to check out Alex’s latest predictions.

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  • I agree with you about HBC. And I absolutely loved Animal Kingdom and Ms. Weaver.

  • When did you see Never Let Me Go? I seem to recall you saying you missed it and it isn’t coming to DVD until Feb. Or am I imagining this?

    I’m with you on all of it (particularly Weaver, who I think will make it). But I could care less if Kunis gets in, that performance was no more than adequate from my perspective.

  • When did you see Never Let Me Go? I seem to recall you saying you missed it and it isn’t coming to DVD until Feb. Or am I imagining this?

    I’m with you on all of it (particularly Weaver, who I think will make it). But I could care less if Kunis gets in, that performance was no more than adequate from my perspective.

    My wish: Sam Rockwell!!

  • Here are five I would love to happen (most of which have absolutely no chances at happening though)

    “Easy A” for Best Original Screenplay and Actress (Emma Stone)

    “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” for Best Adapted Screenplay and Visual Effects

    Lee Unkrich for Best Director

    The Town for Best Original Score

    A surprise nomination for Never Let Me Go in any category

  • @Davin – I saw NLMG in September when it was first released. I have reviewed it here.
    @Quinn agree on Stone and I think NLMG has a good chance for score.

  • i wouldn’t be mad at any of these. i love surprises!

  • Matt Kanter

    I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but A Prophet isn’t eligible for any awards, if you go to the Academy Website and look at the rules for Foreign Film it states that if a film is submitted by it’s country And Nominated then it’s ineligible for awards the year it’s released in America (if it wasn’t the same year as the Foreign Film Nod) but if it wasn’t nominated it can be nominated for anything (except foreign) the year it is released in America

    Essentially that’s bad news for A Prophet but…I’m hoping for a massive surprise next year if they give Uncle Boonmee some love.

  • Chris

    Well said. I always think you should have something to take out if you want something (unexpected) nominated.

    A few random thoughts…

    Best Picture
    Winter’s Bone needs to be in the 10. I’d have it in a top 5, honestly. It’s more than one breathtaking performance (Lawrence). Since there seems to be 11 in the race, I’d knock out True Grit (gasp!, I know) or 127 Hours (although it’s 1 of the 2 of the 11 potential I haven’t seen, also King’s Speech)

    Best Supporting Actor
    This is BRUTAL. Bale has it sealed. Nevertheless, a TON of guys deserve a nomination. I want Hawkes in, quite a bit, but not over Garfield or Renner. (Firth seems a safe bet). Ruffalo was good, but the role seemed easy for him. But really, is that his fault?

    Best Director
    Coens and Danny Boyle need to take a back seat. Aronofsky should be the frontrunner. I’m sorry, but that seems ridiculously obvious to me, but it isn’t the case in reality. Am I crazy?

    Anything else, can wait.

  • My bad Murtada, for some reason I thought that was an Alex review.

    I would also love to see Boyle make it. Sorry Russell…

  • pat

    Surprises I’d love to see!!!!!!!!

    Marion Cotillard as best supporting actor – ain’t gonna happen but I think her character is one of the overlooked strengths of one of this year’s top films.

    Shutter Island as best picture – how this isn’t in the discussion is beyond me.

  • Andrew R.

    Jacki Weaver would be a great suprise.

    Rahim is out of the running due to the rules of eligibility. I’m not so sure he’d make my list anyway.

    Cholodenko would be nice.

    Garland has no chance and I don’t think he deserves it.

    As for HBC, I liked her, but an Oscar is a little too much. (I really liked her at first, but then I thought about it and realized it wasn’t anything special.) But she can sing, so don’t diss her Sweeney Todd performance.

    My personal preference: I’d like to see The Fighter get snubbed in Best Picture. We have 11 films in the race: nine locks and two battling it out (Winter’s Bone and The Town). I’d like to see the two outside films magically replace The Fighter. Even better: Winter’s Bone makes it and Biutiful replaces The Fighter, though that will never ever happen.

  • @Matt and Andrew…. thanks for pointing out the eligibilty rules….ahhh Rahim has no shot,

    I think then I’ll go with Aaron Eckhart for Rabbit Hole, another powerful performance.. what do you guys think?

  • Jose

    Yes to Aaron, hey what happened to the buzz that Diane Wiest had?

    Anyway. I’d rather see Barbary Hershey instead of Mila Kunis get the Black Swan supporting actress nod.

    How To Train Your Dragon’s John Powell gatting a best score nod, and I know that Alexandre Desplat will get a nom for The King’s Speech, but his The Ghost Writer was so much better, he should get recognized for that.

    Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, best Visual Effects.

    Easy A and Black Swan for for best original screenplay.

    Snubs: I already mentioned Hershey in favor of Kunis, but I also I agree with you on Carter, how boring was she in that film? And please no best director or original screenplay nod to the Fighter. And also, I hated Firth in The King’s Speech, despite the fact that he will win I found nothing special in his performance of Tom Hooper’s directing skills so I wouldn’t mind a snub from both of them.

  • julian

    jacki weaver getting in would hardly be a surprise. She has been doing very well throughout precursor season (the SAG omission being the only crucial snub). I do believe she might very well get in, but it depends on lesley manville, probably. If the academy voters agree on manville being in for supp actress, she is going to get a boost (and could be a possible upset winner come late february, especially of she wins the BAFTA, which is very likely). If category confusion keeps manville out, I think weaver will take the fifth spot. And even if manville gets a nomination, maybe weaver can push out mila kunis instead..?

  • Jose

    Quick question: If Steinfeld were to score a best actress nod, whose slot would she take? My guess is Kidman, not sure why though. Probably since her film is a flop and the others have films with higher grosses and better reviews.

    Oh, and I’m hoping the Blue Valentine duo make it in.


  • @raguabros – NOOOOO!!!

  • Jose



  • Jose



  • Andrew R.

    Quinn, Jose-Enough! You’re screwing up my page.

  • On Roger Ebert’s new show there is going to be a contest called “Out Geuss Ebert.” 100,000 dollars is going to be split among the people who can geuss all 24 Oscar winners. I’m definitely doing it. The only problem will be the short film winners.

  • Predicting the Oscars is like predicting the NCAA Basketball Brackets. It’s a lot about luck and its usually somebody who playfully fills out a bracket who gets the most right over someone who follows everything very closely.

  • Andrew R.

    Is it OK if I post my final predictions here, or will there be a topic dedicated to that?

  • Topic is coming.

  • julian

    well, outgessing roger ebert is not the hardest thing to do. After all, he is not even aware that I Am Love is not eligible for foreign language film…either he’s getting old or not paying any attention.

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