The glorious day of Oscar nominations has come and along with it the roller coaster of emotions that goes along with seeing our favorite films recognized and snubbed. As I mentioned in the previous post, I got 87 of the 106 nominated films correct (shorts not included) for a total of 82%. My favorite film of the year (True Grit) racked up an impressive 10 nominations and the film I thought was the year’s most overrated (The Town) missed out in Best Picture, so I can not say I am disappointed by the results. Here are my reactions and some statistics for the 2011 Oscar nominations:
The Best Oscar Nominations
1) Exit Through the Gift Shop for Best Documentary. One of the best films of the year managed to get seen by enough members of the Documentary branch to score a nomination. It may be a controversial choice because much of its non-fiction nature is in debate, but it is a brave and inspired choice nonetheless and I am very glad the Academy selected it.
2) John Hawkes of Winter’s Bone for Best Supporting Actor. Many doubted that an actor in such a small film would make the cut, but the Academy was very wise in choosing Mr. Hawkes. As the gritty Tear Drop he manifests an uncertain scariness in his performance yet manages to be the only character outside of the protagonist that the audience is meant to feel they can trust.
3) Ethan and Joel Coen of True Grit for Best Director. Before you get upset because these two seem to be the reason that Christopher Nolan was snubbed, I will state that I too am dismayed about Mr. Nolan’s dismissal. However, the Coens easily had one of the greatest directing jobs of last year and deserve to be recognized for their work.
4) How to Train Your Dragon for Best Original Score. John Powell’s beautiful work on this whimsical animated film could have easily been ignored in favor of the sweeping dramatic scores in some of the Best Picture nominees. However, it was wisely included in the shortlist and could actually find itself getting a lot of campaigning as one of Dreamworks’ few nominees.
5) Roger Deakins of True Grit for Best Cinematography. Deakins’ work in the latest Coen brothers film is very subtle and could have easily gone unnoticed by this branch of the Academy. I’m very glad it didn’t and hope that the most overdue cinematographer will be able to hang on for his first ever Oscar win.
The Most Egregious Snubs
1) Christopher Nolan of Inception for Best Director. The reaction around the internet to this snub makes it seem like The Dark Knight has been ignored all over again. It’s definitely the case, however, that there were probably directors who received nominations that were less deserving than Nolan. Perhaps Russell or Aronofsky could have been substituted for Nolan. However, it is starting to look like the Academy has a bias against his sweeping direction.
2) Julianne Moore of The Kids Are All Right for Best Actress. Bening got in, so that offers some minor consolation, but the greatest acted film of 2010 deserved more recognition than it got. In my opinion Bening and Moore should be 1 and 2 in the overall rankings, but alas it shall not be the case.
3) Armie Hammer of The Social Network for Best Supporting Actor. The idea that Hammer had a shot at all was wishful thinking, but I am not actually very disappointed that Andrew Garfield was snubbed. Hammer’s performance in The Social Network should have been the Oscar frontrunner and maybe if Sony had campaigned correctly, he would have heard his name announced this morning.
4) Waiting for “Superman” for Best Documentary. I have not seen most of the documentaries that were nominated, so it is sort of unfair for me to make this claim, but there may have not been a movie of 2010 with higher stakes than Davis Guggenheim’s look at America’s broken education system.
5) “Shine” by John Legend from Waiting for “Superman” for Best Original Song. Easily better than the songs from Country Strong, Tangled, and 127 Hours.
Some Interesting Numbers
12 – The number of nominations received by The King’s Speech. Only 4 films since 2000 have received 12 nominations or more including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Chicago, and Gladiator. Of those only Benjamin Button did not win Best Picture.
15 – The number of films that received nominations today that played at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. indieWIRE has made a list of all of them.
21 – The number of nominations received by Paramount Pictures, whose films The Fighter and True Grit were big hits this year and scored many nominations.
9 – There are six individuals whose nomination this morning made it their 9th career Oscar nomination. Those individuals are Roger Deakins (Cinematography, True Grit), Stuart Craig (Art Direction, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1), Colleen Atwood (Costume Design, Alice in Wonderland), Jenny Beavan (Costume Design, The King’s Speech), Sandy Powell (Costume Design, The Tempest), Hans Zimmer (Original Score, Inception).
What are your reactions to today’s nominations? In your opinion, what was the biggest snub?