The Oscar nominations were announced at some ungodly hour this morning. I was sleeping through them, so this article is much later than every other site, where poor bastards woke up in the dark hours to find out who got nominated for awards by a group of largely out of touch older people.
The answer to who got nominated: The King’s Speech. I have not yet seen The King’s Speech, and I hear it’s very good. But I have stayed away from the film because it looks genetically engineered to take home Academy Awards, and it’s well on its way - the film received 12 nominations, making it the front runner at this year’s Oscars. So now I’ll trudge down the street to catch the film at my local theater, where it’s been playing for weeks, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it well enough. I’ll just never forget that this thing is like the shark of the movie world: it exists only to consume. Awards, in this case.
As for the rest of the categories - I feel okay about most of them. I think that Scott Pilgrim should have been on these lists, in the editing, visual effects and best original song categories, and I think that Christopher Nolan being snubbed is a flat out, honest to God travesty, but otherwise there are enough solid movies nominated to make this not horrible. Whether they win or not we’ll see, but it’s mostly a respectable set of nominees.
The nominees and my limited commentary:
Performance by an actor in a leading role
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful” (Roadside Attractions)
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit” (Paramount)
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
James Franco in “127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight)
Interesting that Robert Duvall didn’t get anything, but otherwise a fairly expected category. This is Colin Firth’s award.
Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Christian Bale in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions)
Jeremy Renner in “The Town” (Warner Bros.)
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features)
Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
Is there a chance that Christian Bale doesn’t get this? Maybe if The King’s Speech does a hideous sweep. Otherwise everybody else is just happy to be in the audience. Great to see John Hawkes on this list - what an incredible performance he gave.
Performance by an actress in a leading role
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features)
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole” (Lionsgate)
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions)
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight)
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine” (The Weinstein Company)
This is almost certainly Natalie Portman’s award. But I love seeing the beautiful and talented Jennifer Lawrence on this list - I’m a huge supporter of her and the movie.
Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Amy Adams in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”(Paramount)
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom” (Sony Pictures Classics)
That’s just a great list of nominations. You gotta root for little Hailee Steinfeld, but I also am backing Jacki Weaver, who was so phenomenal.
Best animated feature film of the year
“How to Train Your Dragon” (Paramount), Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” (Sony Pictures Classics), Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3” (Walt Disney), Lee Unkrich
I’ve only seen Toy Story 3, and I assume that wins. Snore.
Achievement in art direction
“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney), Production Design: Robert Stromberg, Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” (Warner Bros.), Production Design: Stuart Craig, Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas, Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Production Design: Eve Stewart, Set Decoration: Judy Farr
“True Grit” (Paramount), Production Design: Jess Gonchor, Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
For the record: Fuck Alice in Wonderland to death. Inception all the way, although I wonder if the film’s cold utiltarianism could hurt it. King’s Speech might well take all the craft awards anyway.
Achievement in cinematography
“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight), Matthew Libatique
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Wally Pfister
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Danny Cohen
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit” (Paramount), Roger Deakins
Who doesn’t want Roger Deakins to win? Assholes, that’s who. And maybe the other guys up against him, but that’s fair.
Achievement in costume design
“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney), Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love” (Magnolia Pictures), Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest” (Miramax), Sandy Powell
“True Grit” (Paramount), Mary Zophres
Have I mentioned Fuck Alice In Wonderland To Death?
Achievement in directing
“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight), Darren Aronofsky
“The Fighter” (Paramount), David O. Russell
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Tom Hooper
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), David Fincher
“True Grit” (Paramount), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
I have to stand by my Brooklyn boy Darren Aronofsky here, but should David Fincher take it I wouldn’t complain. Of course The King’s Speech probably wins.
Best documentary feature
“Exit through the Gift Shop” (Producers Distribution Agency), A Paranoid Pictures Production, Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz
“Gasland”, A Gasland Production, Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Representational Pictures Production, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo” (National Geographic Entertainment), An Outpost Films Production, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
“Waste Land” (Arthouse Films), An Almega Projects Production, Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley
This was a really interesting year for documentaries, which is in no way reflected at the Oscars. Banksy probably grabs this though, right? It’s the highest profile doc on the list. Maybe the controversy over the veracity hurts it, though.
Best documentary short subject
“Killing in the Name”, A Moxie Firecracker Films Production, Nominees to be determined
“Poster Girl”, A Portrayal Films Production, Nominees to be determined
“Strangers No More”, A Simon & Goodman Picture Company Production, Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
“Sun Come Up”, A Sun Come Up Production, Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
“The Warriors of Qiugang”, A Thomas Lennon Films Production, Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon
Achievement in film editing
“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight), Andrew Weisblum
“The Fighter” (Paramount), Pamela Martin
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), Jon Harris
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
I would give this to 127 Hours. Really wonderful editing in that film, all part of a complete tapestry that makes a movie that shouldn’t work work like gangbusters. Oh, but The King’s Speech is nominated here as well. Sorry, 127 Hours!
Best foreign language film of the year
“Biutiful” (Roadside Attractions), A Menage Atroz, Mod Producciones and Ikiru Films Production, Mexico
“Dogtooth” (Kino International), A Boo Production, Greece
“In a Better World” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Zentropa Production, Denmark
“Incendies” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Micro-Scope Production, Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” (Cohen Media Group), A Tassili Films Production, Algeria
Dogtooth! I haven’t seen it, but I’m totally on the bandwagon. Someone send me a screener!
Achievement in makeup
“Barney’s Version” (Sony Pictures Classics), Adrien Morot
“The Way Back” (Newmarket Films in association with Wrekin Hill Entertainment and Image Entertainment), Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
“The Wolfman” (Universal), Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
Finally, my quote on the TV commercial for The Wolfman is justified! Here’s hoping Rick Baker takes it, despite the Old Man Werewolf suit being silly.
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“How to Train Your Dragon” (Paramount), John Powell
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Hans Zimmer
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
I would be pushing for Inception or The Social Network here. Either would make me happy, although the idea of Trent Reznor winning an Oscar would make 1992 me so fucking psyched.
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” (Sony Pictures Releasing (Screen Gems)), Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from “Tangled” (Walt Disney), Music by Alan Menken, Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3” (Walt Disney), Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
A list of bullshit. This is the category the Oscars gets wrong most often.
Best motion picture of the year
“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight), A Protozoa and Phoenix Pictures Production, Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
“The Fighter” (Paramount), A Relativity Media Production, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), A Warner Bros. UK Services Production, Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
“The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features), An Antidote Films, Mandalay Vision and Gilbert Films Production, Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), A See-Saw Films and Bedlam Production, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), An Hours Production, Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), A Columbia Pictures Production, Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
“Toy Story 3” (Walt Disney), A Pixar Production, Darla K. Anderson, Producer
“True Grit” (Paramount), A Paramount Pictures Production, Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions), A Winter’s Bone Production, Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers
I’m already resigned to The King’s Speech winning, so I’ll just be happy that Winter’s Bone made the ten. Toy Story 3, I am told, is the only sequel to be nominated for Best Picture without any of the previous films getting nominated; I’m sure a bunch of people who are way too old to be invested in cartoons are dancing that Toy Story 3 is in the 10. Maybe The Social Network and The King’s Speech - both perceived frontrunners - will cancel each other out and Black Swan would win. I could deal with that.
Best animated short film
“Day & Night” (Walt Disney), A Pixar Animation Studios Production, Teddy Newton
“The Gruffalo”, A Magic Light Pictures Production, Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let’s Pollute”, A Geefwee Boedoe Production, Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing”, (Nick Batzias for Madman Entertainment), A Passion Pictures Australia Production, Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)”, A Sacrebleu Production, Bastien Dubois
Best live action short film
“The Confession” (National Film and Television School), A National Film and Television School Production, Tanel Toom
“The Crush” (Network Ireland Television), A Purdy Pictures Production, Michael Creagh
“God of Love”, A Luke Matheny Production, Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe” (Premium Films), A CUT! Production, Ivan Goldschmidt
“Wish 143”, A Swing and Shift Films/Union Pictures Production, Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite
I’m sure these are all great. I’ve only seen the Pixar one.
Achievement in sound editing
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Richard King
“Toy Story 3” (Walt Disney), Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy” (Walt Disney), Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit” (Paramount), Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable” (20th Century Fox), Mark P. Stoeckinger
Achievement in sound mixing
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit” (Paramount), Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Salt? What the fuck? I think Inception’s use of sound is breathtaking.
Achievement in visual effects
“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney), Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” (Warner Bros.), Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter” (Warner Bros.), Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
“Iron Man 2” (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment, Distributed by Paramount), Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick
I haven’t seen Hereafter, but I bet the FX suck. And I have seen Iron Man 2 and the FX are no great shakes. Scott Pilgrim should be on this list.
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3” (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Michael Arndt, Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
“True Grit” (Paramount), Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions), Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
Many good nominees here (Toy Story 3 is adapted, by the way, because it’s ‘based on’ existing characters). I’d be happy with almost any of these winning.
“Another Year” (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Mike Leigh
“The Fighter” (Paramount), Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson, Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
“Inception” (Warner Bros.), Written by Christopher Nolan
“The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features), Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Seidler
It would be pretty amazing if Inception won. Congrats to David Seidler in advance, though.