The Oscar race is officially under way, following the announcement of the nominees for the 2011 Academy Awards this morning. As expected, The King’s Speech has emerged as the front-runner with twelve nominations, followed by True Grit with ten, and The Social Network and Inception with eight. That’s the first time in a while that the top four nominated films have all been major studio releases. But will the big movies be the big award takers? Or can an art-house hit like Winter’s Bone (four nominations) somehow sneak in there and take away the statuette, much like The Hurt Locker and Slumdog Millionaire did in years past?
Among the bigger surprises this morning: Javier Bardem gets nominated for the little-known Biutiful, while a few relative unknowns — Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom) and Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) — receive nods for awards in the acting categories. Not all surprises were of the pleasant variety either. A few big stars were notably absent from the list of nominees, including Mark Walhberg (The Fighter), Mila Kunis (Black Swan), and director Christopher Nolan (Inception), though Nolan did get a nod for Best Picture and Original Screenplay.
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