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Oscar Nominations for 2010 Movies – Who Got Love and Who Got Snubbed

Overall, the 2011 Academy Award nominations weren’t rife with shockers, except perhaps for those who seriously believe that the Golden Globe Awards are a genuine bellwether for the Oscars. Those misguided souls no doubt got quite a shock when they saw that Joel and Ethan Coen’s True Grit, a hit with both audiences and critics that was snubbed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the group that nominated the Angelina Jolie-Johnny Depp thriller The Tourist in its Best Picture, Comedy or Musical, category), racked up an impressive ten nominations, including Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor (for Jeff Bridges), and Supporting Actress (for newcomer Hailee Steinfeld).

True Grit landed squarely between the other front-runners, The King’s Speech and The Social Network, which received twelve and eight nominations, respectively. Both received nods in the Best Picture, Director, Actor (for Colin Firth and Jesse Eisenberg, respectively), and Original Screenplay categories. The King’s Speech also earned Best Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress nominations for Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.

Now in its second year, the Oscars’ ten-nominee Best Picture category again performed as it was designed to and spread the wealth around. The nominees are a healthy mix of box-office hits like Toy Story 3 and Inception, which grossed some $415 and $293 million, respectively, and low-grossing critical favorites like Winter’s Bone and 127 Hours. The remaining six nominees — True Grit, The Social Network, Black Swan, The Fighter, The Kids Are All Right, and The King’s Speech — all fall somewhere between the two extremes, and Black Swan, True Grit, and The Social Network have all attracted an impressive number of mainstream moviegoers. Black Swan has done especially well for a movie about classical ballet, suggesting that star Natalie Portman was onto something when she quipped that everybody likes a good lesbian scene. All that said, there are some juicy conversation starters scattered throughout the mix.

Portman, for example, got a Best Actress nod for her role as a high-strung dancer in Black Swan, while co-star Mila Kunis was ignored in the Supporting Actress category, despite a knockout turn as a bad-girl ballerina (and, incidentally, the other half of that lesbian romp) that proved her capable of much more than pouting and preening her way through the long-running TV comedy That ’70s Show. The versatile Ryan Gosling was ignored in the Best Actor category for his anguished performance as a young husband trying to save his disintegrating marriage in Blue Valentine, while his co-star, Michelle Williams, was nominated (quite rightly) in the Actress category. The Kids Are All Right star Annette Bening was recognized for playing half of a long-term lesbian couple whose relationship is shaken when their teenage children seek out their biological father, but the equally fine Julianne Moore — who plays the other mother — was shunned in both acting categories.

Both Christopher Nolan (Inception) and Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) were shut out of the Best Director category. Granted, there are ten Best Picture nominees and only five slots for directors. But Inception and Toy Story 3 proved that critical acclaim and boffo box office are not mutually exclusive, a message you’d think Hollywood directors would like to send to the executives controlling the industry’s purse strings.

And while Best Documentary Feature is rarely a high-profile category, this year’s Waiting for ‘Superman’ — which takes a hard look at the politics of America’s public-school system and the way in which many of the students who could most benefit from access to a first-class education are shortchanged — generated a mediawide conversation about a vital topic. So the fact that it was shut out of the category stands out. So was Race to Nowhere, which tackled the flip side of the education problem and also sparked heated discussion: kids driven to nervous meltdowns brought on by the pressures of completing hours of homework every night, participating in transcript-building extracurricular activities, and maintaining A-plus grades.

On the pleasant-surprises front, middle-aged Australian actress Jacki Weaver was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for the little-seen Australian gangster movie Animal Kingdom. Her breathtaking performance as the sweet-seeming middle-aged housewife who subtly manipulates her brood of viciously criminal sons with a mix of bullying and near-incestuous love is a chilling tour de force. Mark Ruffalo’s Best Supporting Actor nomination for The Kids Are All Right is another nice one, especially in light of the fact that Julianne Moore was snubbed.

Javier Bardem’s Best Actor nomination for playing a dying street-level criminal trying to provide for his children in Biutiful is richly deserved but one of only a handful of such nods for actors in foreign-language movies. Even with his Eat Pray Love co-star Julia Roberts lobbying for him, it’s a standout. And while James Franco’s harrowing turn as an extreme hiker forced by a freak accident to choose between dying and amputating his own arm in 127 Hours was praised to the skies, his Best Actor nomination was far from a foregone conclusion. Ditto the movie’s Best Picture nomination, though the movie’s winning streak didn’t extend to director Danny Boyle. On the other hand, he did just get an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire.

And, finally, hooray for Hollywood for seeing fit to nominate both fresh-faced 20-year-old Jennifer Lawrence and 50-year-old character actor John Hawkes for Winter’s Bone. She’s the dirt-poor Ozark girl trying to track down her bad dad, and he’s her enigmatic Uncle Teardrop. They’re both terrific, but his nomination is a shout-out to all the actors and actresses who, year after year, turn in fine, subtle performances that enrich movies large and small but rarely get to enjoy a moment in the spotlight. For Hawkes and Lawrence, a win would be great, but the nominations truly are their own reward.

Complete Nominations

Best Picture
Black Swan, Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver, and Scott Franklin, producers
The Fighter, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, and Mark Wahlberg, producers
Inception, Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, producers
The Kids Are All Right, Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, and Celine Rattray, producers
The King’s Speech, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, and Gareth Unwin, producers
127 Hours, Christian Colson, Danny Boyle, and John Smithson, producers
The Social Network, Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, and Cean Chaffin, producers
Toy Story 3, Darla K. Anderson, producer
True Grit, Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen, and Joel Coen, producers
Winter’s Bone, Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, producers

Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky
The Fighter, David O. Russell
The King’s Speech, Tom Hooper
The Social Network, David Fincher
True Grit, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
127 Hours, screenplay by Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network, screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3, screenplay by Michael Arndt; story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich
True Grit, written for the screen by Ethan and Joel Coen
Winter’s Bone, adapted for the screen by Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini

Writing (Original Screenplay)
Another Year, written by Mike Leigh
The Fighter, screenplay by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson; story by Keith Dorrington, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson
Inception, written by Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right, written by Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech, screenplay by David Seidler

Animated Feature Film
How to Train Your Dragon, Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
The Illusionist, Sylvain Chomet
Toy Story 3, Lee Unkrich

Foreign-Language Film
Biutiful, Mexico
Dogtooth, Greece
In a Better World, Denmark
Incendies, Canada
Outside the Law, Algeria

Documentary (Feature)
Exit Through the Gift Shop, Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz
GasLand, Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
Inside Job, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
Restrepo, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
Waste Land, Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Documentary (Short Subject)
Killing in the Name (nominees to be determined)
Poster Girl (nominees to be determined)
Strangers No More, Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
Sun Come Up, Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
The Warriors of Qiugang, Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

Black Swan, Matthew Libatique
Inception, Wally Pfister
The King’s Speech, Danny Cohen
The Social Network, Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit, Roger Deakins

Art Direction
Alice in Wonderland, production design by Robert Stromberg and set decoration by Karen O’Hara
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, production design by Stuart Craig and set decoration by Stephenie McMillan
Inception, production design by Guy Hendrix Dyas and set decoration by Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
The King’s Speech, production design by Eve Stewart and set decoration by Judy Farr
True Grit, production design by Jess Gonchor and set decoration by Nancy Haigh

Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland, Colleen Atwood
I Am Love, Antonella Cannarozzi
The King’s Speech, Jenny Beavan
The Tempest, Sandy Powell
True Grit, Mary Zophres

Film Editing
Black Swan, Andrew Weisblum
The Fighter, Pamela Martin
The King’s Speech, Tariq Anwar
127 Hours, Jon Harris
The Social Network, Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

Barney’s Version, Adrien Morot
The Way Back, Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk, and Yolanda Toussieng
The Wolfman, Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

Music (Original Score)
How to Train Your Dragon, John Powell
Inception, Hans Zimmer
The King’s Speech, Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours, A.R. Rahman
The Social Network, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Music (Original Song)
“Coming Home,” from Country Strong – music and lyrics by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges, and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light,” from Tangled – music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise,” from 127 Hours – music by A.R. Rahman and lyrics by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together,” from Toy Story 3 – music and lyrics by Randy Newman

Short Film (Animated)
Day & Night, Teddy Newton
The Gruffalo, Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
Let’s Pollute, Geefwee Boedoe
The Lost Thing, Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
Madagascar, a Journey Diary, Bastien Dubois

Short Film (Live-Action)
The Confession, Tanel Toom
The Crush, Michael Creagh
God of Love, Luke Matheny
Na Wewe, Ivan Goldschmidt
Wish 143, Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Sound Editing
Inception, Richard King
Toy Story 3, Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
Tron: Legacy, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
True Grit, Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
Unstoppable, Mark P. Stoeckinger

Sound Mixing
Inception, Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo, and Ed Novick
The King’s Speech, Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen, and John Midgley
Salt, Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan, and William Sarokin
The Social Network, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick, and Mark Weingarten
True Grit, Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff, and Peter F. Kurland

Visual Effects
Alice in Wonderland, Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas, and Sean Phillips
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz, and Nicolas Aithadi
Hereafter, Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski, and Joe Farrell
Inception, Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley, and Peter Bebb
Iron Man 2, Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright, and Daniel Sudick

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