Follow us on

Awards Season: Oscars Offer a Truly Regal Performance

January 25th, 2011

The Oscar nominations were announced this morning, thus ending months of speculation. Along with a (very) few surprises, the list of nominees is mostly a case of Deja Vu. Leading the way, as it has so often this year, was The King's Speech, with 12 nominations, including six in seven of the most prestigious categories (Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, and the four acting categories). But it was far from the only multi-nominated film on the list.

The categories and nominations are...

BEST PICTURE

DIRECTING

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

BEST WRITING - ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

BEST WRITING - ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

BEST DOCUMENTARY - FEATURE LENGTH

BEST DOCUMENTARY - SHORT FILM

  • Killing in the Name
  • Poster Girl
  • Strangers No More
  • Sun Come Up
  • The Warriors of Qiugang
SHORT FILM - LIVE ACTION

  • The Confession
  • The Crush
  • God of Love
  • Na Wewe
  • Wish 143
SHORT FILM - ANIMATED

  • Day & Night
  • The Gruffalo
  • Let's Pollute
  • The Lost Thing
  • Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTING

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN EDITING

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC - ORIGINAL SCORE

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC - ORIGINAL SONG

Notes and Reactions...

Going category by category, my initial reactions were.
    Best Picture:
  • Winter's Bone earning a Best Picture nod was the closest thing to a surprise, while The Town was the only PGA nominee not to repeat.
    I'm glad Toy Story 3 earned a nomination here, but it is such a long shot to win, despite its near perfect reviews.
    As for the favorite, I would say The King's Speech and The Social Network are too close to call.
  • Directing:

  • Compared to the DGAs, Inception is out and True Grit is in. And even that is hardly a real surprise.
    Again, The King's Speech and The Social Network are too close to call for the favorite here.
  • Best Actress in a Lead Role:

  • This one was a little more up in the air as far as nominations went, as neither Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, nor Michelle Williams were locks for nominations.
    The only ones that would have been a shock had they not been nominated were Annette Bening and Natalie Portman; however, I think it is safe to say Natalie Portman is the favorite to win and if Annette Bening won, you could argue it was a Lifetime Achievement win.
  • Best Actor in a Lead Role:

  • I was starting to think Awards Season voters were going to completely ignore Javier Bardem's performance in Biutiful, which would have been a real shame.
    That said, Colin Firth is the major favorite here.
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

  • Matches the SAG nominations perfectly.
    Christian Bale is the heavy favorite here.
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

  • Disappointed Mila Kunis didn't get a nomination. At least she garnered enough recognition for this performance that she should get similarly challenging roles in the future.
  • Vote-splitting could cost both Amy Adams and Melissa Leo the win. Hailee Steinfeld is really young and that can have an effect. Jackie Weaver is a bit of a surprise nomination, which makes her an underdog.
    This leaves Helena Bonham Carter as potentially the favorite, but by only a small margin over Melissa Leo.
  • Original Screenplay:

  • Another Year is a surprise nomination, while The King's Speech is likely the favorite.
  • Adapted Screenplay:

  • Toy Story 3 deserves to win, but The Social Network will likely win.
  • Feature-Length Animated Film:

  • The only way Toy Story 3 doesn't win is if they give it to The Illusionist because it's the best traditionally animated film of the past several years.
  • Foreign Language Film:

  • Incendies! Go Canada!
    Despite my pro-Canada bias, I would say Biutiful has a small advantage over In a Better World as the favorite to win.
  • Documentary: Feature Length:

  • Waste Land is the closest thing to a surprise nomination here, only because most Awards Season voters have passed it over and the rest have all earned at least one major nomination.
    I would say Inside Job is the clear favorite here, but I have been wrong about that in the past.
  • Documentary: Short Film
    Short Film: Live Action
    Short Film: Animated

  • No comment. Seriously. It will take a bit of research to even have the faintest clue who is a contender here and who isn't, as I've only seen Day & Night.
  • Cinematography:

  • Something tells me True Grit is the favorite here, but once you get into the technical side of things, they tend to become harder to predict.
  • Art Direction:

  • Alice in Wonderland, as it was the most visual film of the five, but it was also the weakest overall and the voters might dismiss it as too much CG not enough real sets.
    Too much CG could hurt Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I and Inception as well, leaving The King's Speech and True Grit as the two favorites.
    I'm going with The King's Speech here.
  • Costume Design:

  • Here Alice in Wonderland has a much better chance of winning. In fact, I think it might be the favorite.
    On the other hand, The King's Speech might be going for a (nearly) clean sweep and its momentum could give it wins in a few close categories like this one.
  • Makeup:

  • Paul Giamatti doesn't get a nomination for his performance, but Barney's Version gets one for Makeup?
    And no Alice in Wonderland here?
    If The Wolf Man doesn't win here, it will be a shock.
    Last note here, it might be time to retire this category, as the nominations have seemed rather random as of late. It's as if the voters don't know what to do with it anymore.
  • Visual Effects:

  • Inception is likely the favorite here, as it had the best combination of visual effects, overall reviews, and effects that aided in the storytelling and were not a distraction.
  • Editing

  • I think this is a two-way race between Black Swan and The Social Network
    I'm kind of surprised Inception was overlooked entirely.
  • Sound Editing:

  • Toy Story 3 should win, as every sound has to be created in the computer, so it is a lot more impressive job.
    However, this hasn't mattered in the past, so Inception is more likely to win.
  • Sound Mixing:

  • If I have this correct, Sound Editing is creating the sounds, Sound Mixing is placing them within the audio track, so this is for directional effects, surround sound effects, etc. If this is the case, Toy Story 3 should win; however, it wasn't even nominated.
    This leaves Inception as the likely favorite.
  • Original Score:

  • Toy Story 3 wasn't even nominated here?
    In that case, it's a three-way race between Inception, The King's Speech, and The Social Network.
  • Original Song:

  • Unless Disney pushes both their nominees into a vote-splitting situation, "I See the Light" from Tangled is probably the favorite.
That's it for my initial reactions. Perhaps after a good night's sleep I will see things differently. (Why do they announce them so early in the morning?) But we will have more detailed analysis of the major categories once our Oscar Prediction Contest begins.


-

Filed under: Awards Season, Inception, The Fighter, The Wolfman, Salt, Tron: Legacy, Tangled, Barney's Version, Alice in Wonderland, How to Train Your Dragon, Iron Man 2, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, Toy Story 3, Unstoppable, The Town, True Grit, The Kids Are All Right, The Social Network, Restrepo, Exit Through the Gift Shop, The Tempest, Winter's Bone, Animal Kingdom, Io sono l’amore, Dogtooth, L'illusionniste, Another Year, Black Swan, 127 Hours, Biutiful, Blue Valentine, Inside Job, The King’s Speech, Hereafter, Rabbit Hole, The Way Back, Country Strong, GasLand, Hors la loi, Waste Land, Incendies, Haevnen