Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Academy Announces 2011 Oscar Noms

By Steve Evans

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the 2011 Oscar nominations this morning. No big surprises in the noms, but some potentially serious upsets could be in the making on awards night Feb. 27.

Nominees in the main categories:

Best Picture: Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King's Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, Winter's Bone

Director: Darren Aronofsky, David O. Russell, Tom Hooper, David Fincher, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Best actor: Javier Bardem, Jeff Bridges, Jesse Eisenberg, Colin Firth, James Franco

Best actress: Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, John Hawkes, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Geoffrey Rush

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, Helena Bonham Carter, Melissa Leo, Hailee Steinfeld, Jackie Weaver

Thoughts & predictions:

Whew! That’s a lot of nominations for best picture. Wanna bet the academy expanded the roster to help the box office of more films? Although The King's Speech leads the race with 12 nominations, my Best Picture money is on The Social Network, David Fincher’s insightful commentary on the creation of Facebook by drunken Harvard students, one of whom became a billionaire. Fincher lost his bid for best director with Benjamin Button two years back, so I suspect this is his year for Oscar gold. His only serious competition is Aronofsky, whose output is thin and spotty. If Aronofsky couldn't win for The Wrestler (2008) he won't likely win for Black Swan, which is a lesser film and wildly overrated. The Coen Brothers won with No Country for Old Men only three years ago, so the Academy will give those boys a rest. Russell and Hooper are perennial also-rans who'll have to be content with nominations.

I’ll take Colin Firth to win the Best Actor category. James Franco hacking off his own arm in 127 hours could be the upset of the night.

Best Actress is dicey. Natalie Portman as an unhinged ballerina in Black Swan is the crowd pleaser this year. That must really irritate Annette Bening, who’s staring down her third nomination after losing twice in the last decade to Hilary Swank.

Supporting Actor? Geoffrey Rush as an Aussie elocution expert in The King’s Speech.

And Helena Bonham Carter takes supporting actress for The King’s Speech, which will also cop a screenplay Oscar.

Toy Story 3 takes Best Animated Film.

Christopher Nolan’s tricky mindbender Inception wins for special effects and sound effects.

What?! Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island gets no Oscar love? Christopher Nolan gets snubbed, again, in his quest for a directing Oscar yet his picture, Inception, gets nominated? The Academy Awards are becoming almost as silly as the Golden Globes.

You heard it here first, film fans.

Cinema Uprising copyright c 2011 by Stephen B. Evans. All rights reserved.

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